Males' cybersex addiction: the role of impulsivity and affective States (2014)

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Alcohol Alcohol. 2014 Sep;49 Suppl 1:i66-i67. doi: 10.1093/alcalc/agu054.68.

Wery A1, Devos G1, De Sutter P2, Billieux J1.


Nowadays, many people are using the Internet for online sexual activities including: watching pornography, having sexual chat, looking or participating in sex-webcam, or seeking offline sex partners. In the majority of the cases, these cybersexual activities have no impact in the daily living. Nevertheless, for a subgroup of individuals, the usage of cybersex becomes excessive and impacts upon several facets of their life (Philaretou, Malhfouz & Allen, 2005).

Cybersexual addiction is characterized by: repetition of excessive use of cybersexual activity; loss of control; persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to stop, reduce, or control those cybersexual behavior; withdrawal (negative mood states when the cybersex is unavailable); tolerance (need for more hours of use or more new sexual content); and negative consequences (Block, 2008; Carnes, 2000).

Some risk factors like demographic factors (e.g., gender, education), psychological factors (e.g., attachment, trauma, or shame), and structural factors (e.g., Internet's affordability, anonymity, and accessibility) were already studying in the literature. But others like impulsivity and affects, which have been evidenced to play a crucial role in other behavioral addictions, have only received little attention in cybersex research. This study reports an analysis of impulsivity facets and affective states in a sample of 268 French-speaking men recruited in an online survey. More precisely, we will explore how impulsivity traits and affective states predict (1) the type of cybersex activity practiced and (2) the pattern of symptoms characterizing the participants.