Generally, online affairs are easier to perform and put the agent in a less vulnerable position, as the chances of getting caught or being hurt in other ways are considerably reduced.They are also perceived to involve a lesser degree of betrayal, as they involve more imaginary elements and the degree of neglecting the partner's interests may be lesser.These people believe that if they do not even know the real name of their cybermate—and never actually see them—their affair cannot be regarded as from a moral point of view; it's no different from reading a novel or other form of entertainment.
Thus, people may agree not to develop a relationship, permitting themselves only virtual one-night stands, or an uncommitted affair, or a promise with a partner to tell each other about each online affair.
As one woman in a committed relationship remarks about her online sexual affairs: "I've had this discussion with my boyfriend and we both agree that as long as it's not with the same person more than twice, it is really masturbation.
In reality, though, the issue of online cheating is more complex—especially when it concerns sexual activities involving actual interaction with other individuals.
People, consciously or not, consider their online sexual relationships as real—they experience psychological states similar to those typically elicited by offline relationships.
Online sexual activity can involve various activities, such as viewing explicitly sexual materials, participating in an exchange of ideas about sex, exchanging sexual messages, and online interactions with at least one other person with the intention of becoming sexually aroused.
In his stimulating paper, "Chatting Is Not Cheating," John Portmann defends online lust and characterizes about sex; he maintains that such talking is more similar to flirting than to having a sexual affair.
The 25-year-old single mother says she hopes to have a ‘little talk show’ although she wouldn’t turn down an acting part if it came knocking after her sister Hannah said she was keen for a role on Hollyoaks.
She said: ‘I’m not an actor but I don’t mind, I will learn some lines but my one is hopefully more like a panellist on a daytime TV show or a drivetime TV show.’ Speaking to press after coming third in the series Deborah said her main focus was to promote single parents and stand up for single mothers.
The private nature of online affairs may make them less painful for the betrayed partner as well.