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There is disagreement over whether cybersex is a form of infidelity.
While it does not involve physical contact, critics claim that the powerful emotions involved can cause marital stress, especially when cybersex culminates in an Internet romance.
Cybersex can occur either within the context of existing or intimate relationships, e.g.
among lovers who are geographically separated, or among individuals who have no prior knowledge of one another and meet in virtual spaces or cyberspaces and may even remain anonymous to one another.
It can also be used to gain experience for solo writers who want to write more realistic sex scenes, by exchanging ideas like sex position.
It is also fairly frequent in online role-playing games, such as MUDs and MMORPGs, though approval of this activity varies greatly from game to game.
Cybersex is commonly performed in Internet chat rooms (such as IRC, talkers or web chats) and on instant messaging systems.
It can also be performed using webcams, voice chat systems like Skype, or online games and/or virtual worlds like Second Life.
In situations like this, the people typing often consider themselves separate entities from the "people" engaging in the sexual acts, much as the author of a novel often does not completely identify with his or her characters.
Due to this difference, such roleplayers typically prefer the term "erotic roleplay" rather than cybersex to describe it.