Cybersex provides various advantages: For many the primary point of cybersex is the plausible simulation of sexual activity, and this knowledge of the other is not always desired, but this is also criticized as the emptying out of embodied relations.
Without continuing to draw off our historically ambivalent faith in embodied relations, techno-sex quickly becomes hollow, unsatisfying, no more erotic than collecting answers to what-are-your-measurements questions. By continuing to draw off that ambivalent faith, techno-sex and the many other practices of disembodying interaction contribute to a changing and increasingly abstracted dominant ontology of embodiment.
Cybersex is commonly performed in Internet chat rooms (such as IRC, talkers or web chats) and on instant messaging systems.
It can also be performed using webcams, voice chat systems like Skype, or online games and/or virtual worlds like Second Life.
Alternatively, it can be considered a form of sexual roleplay that allows the participants to experience unusual sexual sensations and carry out sexual experiments they cannot try in reality.
Amongst "serious" roleplayers, cybering may occur as part of a larger plot–the characters involved may be lovers or spouses.
There are a number of popular, commercial webcam websites that allow people to openly masturbate on camera while others watch them.
While it does not involve physical contact, critics claim that the powerful emotions involved can cause marital stress, especially when cybersex culminates in an Internet romance.
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It can also be used to gain experience for solo writers who want to write more realistic sex scenes, by exchanging ideas like sex position.
One approach to cybering is a simulation of "real" sex, when participants try to make the experience as close to real life as possible, with participants taking turns writing descriptive, sexually explicit passages.