Several studies have focused on the “AAA engine” that drives online affairs, namely accessibility, affordability and anonymity.
“The Internet is extremely accessible no matter where you are,” Hertlein says.
“With the Internet, we’re moving away from just physical ideas about infidelity and acknowledging emotional infidelity.” While there is no universally accepted definition, an Internet affair frequently involves intimate chat sessions and sexually stimulating conversation or cybersex, which may include filming mutual masturbation with a Web camera.
Several studies suggest that even when there is no in-person contact, online affairs can be just as devastating as the real-world variety, triggering feelings of insecurity, anger and jealousy.
After an Internet affair, couples often need to move the home computer to a public space, such as the living room, and install tracking or blocking software, Ducharme says.