Kimberly Young Answer "yes" or "no" to the following statements: 1. If you answered "yes" to any of the above questions, you may be addicted to cybersex. Young's book, Tangled in the Web: Understanding Cybersex from Fantasy to Addiction or her ebooklet, Getting Web Sober: Help for Cybersex Addicts and Their Families that provides a step-by-step recovery system for online sex addicts and their partners.
Do you routinely spend time in sex chat rooms and instant messaging with the sole purpose of finding cybersex? Do you feel preoccupied with using the Internet for cybersex? Do you frequently use anonymous communication to engage in sexual fantasies not typically carried out in real-life? Do you anticipate your next online session with the expectation that you will find sexual arousal or gratification? Do you move from cybersex to phone sex or even real-life meetings? Do you hide your online interactions from your significant other? With the availability of adult sites and sex chat rooms, more and more people like yourself have come to realize their initial curiosity has turned into an addiction.
Did you accidentally become aroused by cybersex at first, and now find that you actively seek it out when you log online? Do you masturbate when having cybersex or looking at online pornography? Do you feel less interest with your real-life sexual partner only to prefer cybersex as a primary form of sexual gratification?
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Some high profile cases include Patrick Naughton, a top executive at Infoseek/Go.com, Terry Spontarelli, a Los Alamos research chemist, and George De Bier, a former Belgian diplomat (Andrews, 2000b).
Their profiles were similar, that of men who held upper-income jobs, and otherwise law-abiding citizens, arrested for traveling to meet undercover agent posing as a minor on the Internet.
Chat rooms exist in cyberspace with names such as “Daddy4daughter,” “Men for Barely Legal Girls,” and “Family Fun.” While these are branded as “fantasy only” chat rooms and require participants to be over the age of eighteen, it is difficult to decipher what is fact and what is fantasy, based upon the chat dialogues in such pedophilic virtual communities (Trebilcock 1997).
The FBI calls these criminals “travelers.” The numbers are hard to document but travelers are clearly part of the Internet-era crime wave.
According to a CBS News report, the FBI alone opens up six new traveler investigations every week (Andrews, 2000b).
This same report indicated that the Center for Missing and Exploited Children receives about fifteen new leads about online enticements each week, and a traveler is arrested somewhere in the United States almost every day.
A disturbing number of recent traveler cases involve men who are first-time offenders with no criminal history of sexual activity towards minors.
Specifically, this paper examines the role of online sex addiction in the development of virtual sex offending and outlines five stages from inception to incarceration that the virtual sex offender follows.
More importantly, this paper differentiates patterns of online behavior of virtual sex offenders that suggest they are fantasy users who dabble in pedophilic themes compared to classic sex offenders who seek out children for sexual gratification.