Consider the following statement from a 41-year-old married man (all citations are from to cheat—something that may even add spice to their offline relationship.
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.
Moreover, when online affairs are revealed to the significant other, which is done more often than when offline circumstances are involved, it could be considered as something less than cheating.
Nevertheless, since online affairs are real they do often cause actual harm to one's primary, offline romantic relationship.
In other words, a way to play out fantasies in a safe environment.
Other people are willing to concede that cybersex without the knowledge of their partner, ; nevertheless, some still maintain it's a type of "OK" cheating.
It's like reading an erotic story and masturbating to it.
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.
In reality, though, the issue of online cheating is more complex—especially when it concerns sexual activities involving actual interaction with other individuals.
One way of reducing the weight of these difficulties is to distance the online affair from offline circumstances—for example, by refraining from exchanging personal, actual details or by imposing other limitations on the online affair.
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.