Generally, online affairs are easier to perform and put the agent in a less vulnerable position, as the chances of getting caught or being hurt in other ways are considerably reduced.
They are also perceived to involve a lesser degree of betrayal, as they involve more imaginary elements and the degree of neglecting the partner's interests may be lesser.
In his stimulating paper, "Chatting Is Not Cheating," John Portmann defends online lust and characterizes about sex; he maintains that such talking is more similar to flirting than to having a sexual affair.
Other people are willing to concede that cybersex without the knowledge of their partner, ; nevertheless, some still maintain it's a type of "OK" cheating.
In some circumstances, cybersex may in fact help a person through a rough period in an offline, loving relationship.
Nevertheless, since online affairs are real they do often cause actual harm to one's primary, offline romantic relationship.
Accordingly, many people will be just as disturbed about a partner's online sexual affairs as they would be if they discovered that their spouse was exchanging steamy love letters with someone else.