Internet sex addiction, also known as cybersex addiction, has been proposed as a sexual addiction characterized by virtual Internet sexual activity that causes serious negative consequences to one's physical, mental, social, and/or financial well-being. It may also be considered a subset of the theorized Internet addiction disorder. Internet sex addiction manifests various behaviours: reading erotic stories; viewing, downloading or trading online pornography; online activity in adult fantasy chat rooms; cybersex relationships; masturbation while engaged in online activity that contributes to one's sexual arousal; the search for offline sexual partners and information about sexual activity.
Cybersex addiction is a form of sexual addiction and Internet addiction disorder. As a form of a compulsive behavior, it can be identified by three criteria: the failure of making a decision about engagement in the behavior, obsession with the behavior, and the inability to stop the behavior despite negative consequences.
Adults with this type of addiction, engage in at least one of the relevant behaviors. The majority of reasons why individuals experiment with such forms of sexual expression are diverse, and can be associated with an individual's psychological disorders or issues. Individuals who suffer from low self-esteem, severely distorted body image, untreated sexual dysfunction, social isolation, depression, or are in recovery from a prior sexual addiction are more vulnerable to cybersexual addictions. Other psychological issues that may arise with this addiction include struggles for intimacy, self-worth, self-identity, self-understanding.
There is an ongoing debate in the medical community concerning the insufficient studies, and of those, their quality, or lack thereof, and the resulting analysis and conclusions drawn from them, such as they are. So far, without repeatable, meaningful, measurable, and quantifiable analysis, no medical community wide acceptably reasonable standards, a definition, have been drawn yet.
Hence, internet sex addiction, just like it's umbrella sexual addiction, is still not listed in the DSM-5, which is commonly used by psychiatrists in the United States for diagnosing patients problems in a standard uniform way.