While this new wave of sex is a solo act, in some cases, it can encourage communication between partners. "There are instances in which virtual sex is helpful because some people work up the courage to speak to their mate about something that arouses them that they found online, that they have not been able to talk about before," says Weston.
"Sometimes, though, the virtual sex draws a person away from their partner. While the former does happen, it's the latter that probably happens more often." "Just like any other form of human communication, sexual communication is evolving," says Gurza.
"Given the Net has infused many aspects of their lives, it is only fitting that this would be extended to social elements of their interaction and by proxy to the sexual dimensions of their lives." Email, instant messaging, the ever-handy text message via cell phone, webcam, chat rooms, and the tried-and-true telephone -- all the technologies of choice for those looking for cyber pleasure.
"When one person in a marriage is going to the Internet to get sex, it erodes the intimacy in the marriage," says Berman.
Does it also erode a person's sense of faithfulness?
He posed questions like, how many times a week do you have sex? "A number approximating around 50% was our expected guess.
We knew it would be high, given that students were filling this survey anonymously and as such would feel comfortable being truthful about their sexual habits." Gurza was surprised to find 50% wasn't even close.