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Much of the Internet's appeal to married people is the anonymity it guarantees, coupled with the no-touching aspect, which they view as a license to be sexual, Mileham said.
One can reveal the most intimate emotional and sexual details to an unseen stranger at any time of the day or night, she said.
The vast majority said they loved their spouses but sought an erotic encounter online because of boredom, a partner's lack of sexual interest or the need for variety and fun, Mileham said.
"I'm not going to cheat," wrote one married man.
Several participants indicated they divulged more about themselves to online partners than to their wives or husbands.
"We started chatting about life, our marriage, what we like to eat, what sexual positions we like the best," wrote one man to Mileham.
"We are hearing from therapists around the country reporting online sexual activity to be a major cause of marital problems," Cooper said.
1 complaint from men was lack of sex in the marriage," Mileham said.But some used this form of effortless escapism while their spouse was in the room, she said.Said one such man, "While I'm on the computer my wife just assumes I'm writing a report for work." Another man said his wife, who knew what he was doing and didn't like it, looked over his shoulder sometimes while he was typing, Mileham said.One 66-year-old man ended up having 13 affairs this way, she said.Research shows that more males than females use chat rooms, said Mileham, who found it difficult to get women to respond to her survey.