Letting go of such intoxicating nourishment seems unimaginable.
Before you are tempted to do something risky -- like leave your stable, good relationship for your exciting emotional lover -- it's important to examine what's really going on. There's a huge difference between a platonic friendship and a friendship that has crossed the line into the emotional sex danger zone.
But in today's technology-driven world, meeting, staying connected, and getting intimate has never been easier or more dangerous.
Thanks to smartphones and the Internet, your love "fix" is never far away.
You become friends with the sexy co-worker and decide to carpool to work together. You're married, or engaged, or you're in a committed relationship. All those tingly feelings and the fantasies that perhaps a "perfect love" can really exist isn't destiny knocking -- they're caused by "love chemicals" in your brain.
You become "friends" with an ex on Facebook and reminisce about the past. You spend hours thinking about them and your heart races whenever you see a text from them. You tell yourself it's ok because you're not really cheating, you're just chatting. Biochemical research has shown that the effect of these love chemicals is twofold: they are released in response to your friend, and they bond you to him or her.
For most people these forays into cybersex are relatively harmless recreational pursuits, but experts in the field say that the affordability, accessibility and anonymity of the Internet are fueling a brand new psychological disorder -- cybersex addiction -- that appears to be spreading with astonishing rapidity and bringing turmoil to the lives of those affected. Occasionally, they progress to off-line affairs with sex partners they meet online. Al Cooper of Stanford, who has conducted the largest and most detailed survey of online sex, calls the Net "the crack cocaine of sexual compulsivity." The survey, conducted online among 9,265 men and women who admitted surfing the Net for sexually oriented sites, indicated that at least 1 percent were already seriously hooked on online sex.Researchers writing in the current issue of the journal Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity report that many of the men and women who now spend dozens of hours each week seeking sexual stimulation from their computers deny that they have a problem and refuse to seek help until their marriages and/or their jobs are in serious jeopardy. The survey found that as many as a third of Internet users visited some type of sexual site. Young of the Center for Online Addiction in Bradford, Pa., wrote that "partially as a result of the general population and health care professionals not being attuned to the risks, seemingly harmless cyberromps can result in serious difficulties way beyond what was expected or intended." According to Dr.For some people, the route to compulsive use of the Internet for sexual satisfaction is fast and short, said Dr. Projected to the country as a whole, this would mean that a minimum of 200,000 men and women have become cybersex addicts in the last few years, Dr. And, he added, because the respondents were self-selected and because denial of the symptoms of sexual compulsivity is commonplace, there are likely to be many more cybersex addicts than the survey indicated. Jennifer Schneider, a physician in Tucson, Ariz., who is associate editor of the journal, said in an interview that even when cybersex addicts and their partners sought treatment, they often concealed their real problem, and therapists often failed to ask questions that would disclose it. Cooper, who works at the San Jose Marital and Sexuality Center in Santa Clara, Calif., cybersex compulsives are just like drug addicts; they "use the Internet as an important part of their sexual acting out, much like a drug addict who has a 'drug of choice,' " and often with serious harm to their home lives and livelihood.But no matter how you may rationalize it, these are huge trumpet blaring warning signs that your friendship crossing the line into emotional sex, and therefore cheating.The 5 Warning Signs That You're Vulnerable to Cheating Infidelity is as old as civilization.