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The private nature of online affairs may make them less painful for the betrayed partner as well.

Moreover, when online affairs are revealed to the significant other, which is done more often than when offline circumstances are involved, it could be considered as something less than cheating.

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.

Thus, people may agree not to develop a relationship, permitting themselves only virtual one-night stands, or an uncommitted affair, or a promise with a partner to tell each other about each online affair.

As one woman in a committed relationship remarks about her online sexual affairs: "I've had this discussion with my boyfriend and we both agree that as long as it's not with the same person more than twice, it is really masturbation.

These people believe that if they do not even know the real name of their cybermate—and never actually see them—their affair cannot be regarded as from a moral point of view; it's no different from reading a novel or other form of entertainment.

In other words, a way to play out fantasies in a safe environment.

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