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This kind of less intimate sexual contact does seem to fit in particularly well with male sexual psychology.
But not exclusively so, as women obviously also use chat rooms for sexual or romantic purposes." Any number of scenarios can have occurred by the time professional help is sought, he says.
Cybersex can lead to a 21st century form of addiction which threatens relationships, writes Nuala Macklin In the 1990s with the predictions relating to the internet becoming mainstream, the potential effects of virtual pornography were somewhat miscalculated.
Wexford-based psychotherapist Eoin Stephens specialises in addiction counselling and has a special interest in sexual addiction.
Often, a wife may try to rationalise her husband's involvement with the computer as 'not really infidelity'." According to Stephens, "If you feel that your partner is more in love with his PC than he is with you, then you are probably right.
A gut feeling will tell you if something feels wrong.
"Someone might be unable to explain why they are spending so many hours online.
Or a person might be discovered using the internet inappropriately at work.
Last year Naomi Wolf conducted some informal research among university students and wrote about her findings.