‘Is Cyber Sex Unhealthy — And is it Cheating?’ — Ask Dr. Harry Fisch
Is having cyber sex considered unhealthy — and does it constitute âcheatingâ on a spouse, even if you never meet? — Daniel, 27, Kansas
Cybersex is arguably safer than real sex because there is no chance of contracting sexually-transmitted diseases or of being physically hurt by another person. Whether cybersex constitutes âcheatingâ depends on how one defines âcheating.â
If the cybersex is done with the knowledge and permission of a partnerâor even with a partnerâthen, clearly, itâs not âcheating.â Some people may not consider masturbating (or flirting) via the internet as âcheatingâ but, if done without a partnerâs knowledge, it could certainly be considered as âemotional cheating.â
There are few clear lines in all of this. For example, itâs normal for people in relationships to masturbate while fantasizing about somebody else. Itâs not such a big leap from that to masturbating in the virtual company of another person with whom you have no emotional attachment. But itâs a slippery slopeâif emotions do get involved, then you could easily find yourself involved to a degree that distracts or distances you from your ârealâ partner.
As in many things, the Golden Rule may apply to cyber sex: donât do what you would not want your partner to do.
Dr. Harry Fisch is a board certified urologist at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Medical College of Cornell University. Heâs here to answer reader questions in an effort to get guys to âman up about health.â