A new survey that we have carried out at Marital Affair has found that a record number of Aussies are conducting cyber affairs.
More than 6000 of our members took part in the survey which asked various questions about their dating habits. The results found that around 80% of those questioned had conducted a cyber-affair, whilst around 15% of those who started a relationship online actually met face to face.
Site member Joe Cross explained that he doesn’t plan on meeting anyone face to face, but has been conducting online affairs for several years.
‘I’m a married man and I don’t want to cheat on my wife,’ said Cross, ‘But she just doesn’t want an early night as often as I do, so when I’m in the mood, I go online. She’d be angry if she knew, but I don’t think she’d call it cheating.’
But Psychologist Del Cole thinks differently, in his experience as a marriage counsellor man people who find their partner is having a relationship online feel as betrayed and hurt as they would if there was a physical affair.
‘When clients come to me because someone has cheated, the person who has been cheated on tends to feel the same whether it was online or in real life. It’ not to do with whether or not sex has taken place, it’s more about a loss of trust because the other person went behind their back.’
However, sexpert Carrie Kimble thinks that a cyber-affair can be the catalyst to improving a marriage, if it causes the couple to address their issues.
‘Couples often find it hard to talk about the issues are bothering them until it’s too late, especially if they revolve around sex and intimacy, but if a cyber-affair is discovered then the couple has no choice but to talk about what’s bothering them. In many instances getting to grips with the issues can save and even improve a marriage.’
So why are more and more people taking the plunge and getting intimate online? it could be partly thanks to the prevalence of marital affair and illicit dating websites online and of course social media like Facebook which allows old flames and exes to get in touch with each other. But Vikram Shah thinks that it’s computers themselves that are giving people the impetus to start a cyber-affair.
‘People will do things and say things when sitting behind a computer screen that they would never do or say in real life. Being on a PC, tablet, laptop or phone gives a false sense of confidence that makes it more likely people will take risks they normally wouldn’t.’
Dan King, a sex journalist, recommends that if you’re considering being unfaithful then a cyber-affair is your safest option.
‘Cyber-affairs can be just as exciting and fun as an actual affair but without the same risks. When you enjoy a cyber-relationship you don’t have to worry about STDs, pregnancy or finding excuses to get out of the house to meet.’