Treatment of compulsive cybersex behavior (2008)

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Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2008 Dec;31(4):697-712. doi: 10.1016/j.psc.2008.06.003.

Southern S1.

Department of Psychology, Mississippi College, 112 Lowrey Hall, P.O. Box 4013, Clinton, MS 39058, USA.


Compulsive cybersex has become a significant problem for many men and women who have fallen prey to the accessibility, affordability, and anonymity of online sexual behaviors. Some patients develop problems with compulsive cybersex due to predisposition or accidental conditioning experiences. Other compulsive users of cybersex present with underlying trauma, depression, or addiction. Three case studies highlighted obsession, compulsion, and consequence in the pathogenesis of compulsive cybersex. While men and women differ somewhat in their use of cybersex, both genders exhibit maladaptive coping, conditioned behavior, dissociative reenactment of life trauma, courtship disorder, intimacy dysfunction, and addictive behavior. Comprehensive treatment of compulsive cybersex would include the following components: relapse prevention, intimacy enhancement, lovemap reconstruction, dissociative states therapy, arousal reconditioning, and coping skills training. Thanks to recent treatment advances in several fields, help is available for those caught in the dark side of the net.