At least 29 percent of women said "making friends" was their goal when logging on and 20 percent succeeded in making new cyberpals.Love lab Curiosity was the top reason given by nearly 60 percent of men and women for pursuing love online — and many are freely exploring suppressed desires and hidden interests.
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Find out more about the wired world of love and lust by reading the following excerpts from the Elle/Cybersex and Romance Survey, written and analyzed by Janet Lever, a sociologist at California State University at Los Angeles. Among survey respondents, 58 percent of women and 55 percent of men have logged onto a personal site.
Of these, roughly half of the women and 36 percent of men said that personals sites have made a positive change in their social life.
More than 40 million Americans log onto personals sites each month in search of a serious love connection or a quick fix.
But little is known about these modern mating rituals in which people are exploring every possible coupling and curiosity in the digital domain.
Pushing the boundaries Of the 53 percent of women who have viewed online adult content, 35 percent say they've found "more ways to look or act sexy." At least 28 percent say it "pushed the boundaries of what I find erotic." Just tell me The Internet may also be helping to improve interpersonal communication -- 26 percent of women and almost 23 percent of men who have viewed adult material say it helped them to feel more confident talking with their partners about what they want sexually.
Virtual Viagra Among the respondents, 17 percent of men and women say looking at erotic material online with their partner has a "Viagra effect," that is, it enhances sexual arousal.Among survey respondents, 81 percent of men and 53 percent of women are sampling some kind of sex-related activity online, whether participating in adult chatrooms, posting to a sex newsgroup or interacting with someone on a live Webcam.Porn is also popular -- 41 percent of women and 75 percent of men who responded have intentionally viewed or downloaded erotic films or photos.The sites are also impacting their sex life -- 73 percent of women who've gone on real dates with cybermates have slept with one or more of them.E-booked Nearly half of the women and 36 percent of men who have logged onto personals sites said their real-world social lives have been jolted by their virtual networking, with women reporting more dates and men reporting more sex.Flirting with disaster But not everyone is basking in the digital afterglow -- 24 percent of women worry that their partner's online encounter will turn into an affair.