The internet has brought new ways for people to have fun – including sexy fun. Cyber sex can be safer for health than real-life sex but there are other dangers you need to think about.
What is cyber sex?
Cyber sex means using text messages, internet chat rooms, email or instant messaging to exchange sexy chat with another person.
It could be your regular partner or someone you’ve met online. It can involve only talking or flirting or partners can masturbate during a cyber sex exchange.
Some people only use text, others will take pictures or videos of themselves.
It’s all about painting pictures in the other person’s mind and responding in a sexy way to the things they send to you.
What are the risks from cyber sex?
Although there’s no risk of sexually transmitted infections, there are other risks from cyber sex.
If you send someone sexy messages, pictures or videos then they are no longer in your control, and you can never know what someone will do with it. Someone could make it public. This could be highly embarrassing and damage your other relationships. You might feel like you know and trust someone but things can change and they could always use the material against you in the future.
If you’re under 18, anyone caught with sexy images of you could be prosecuted as a pedophile.
If you’re ‘cybering’ (having cyber sex) with someone other than your regular partner, it could change your feelings towards them. You may feel guilty – the emotions involved in cyber sex are just as real as with any other kind of sex. If they find out, they could feel hurt and betrayed.
Worst of all, people might not be who they say they are on the internet. Sometimes adults go online to chat rooms or social networking sites pretending to be someone else. They do this so that they can meet young people. They might ask personal questions or try to persuade them to do things sexually for them. Someone you meet online could track you down in the real world. It’s hard to judge age or character over the internet – they could turn out to be nasty. If you’re caught with nude pictures of anyone under 18, you could be prosecuted and end up on the sex offenders register.
How can I make cyber sex less risky?
There are some easy ways to reduce the risks from cyber sex.
First, don’t have cyber sex with anyone you don’t know personally. Cyber sex with someone you know could still be risky though because you don’t know how they might use the sexy messages, pictures or videos in the future.
Second, never give out personal details or information about yourself to someone you don’t know personally. You never know who the other person might be or how they might be using that information.
Third, it’s a good idea to delete any sexy messages from your phone and computer quickly, including from any online accounts. Phones and laptops get lost and stolen all the time (there are nosey people around too).
To avoid trouble with the law – including getting your partner in trouble – don’t send nude pictures or video of yourself until you’re over 18.