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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.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.The study's participants, who represented every state, included stay-at-home mothers, construction workers, engineers, nurses and presidents of large corporations.Some went online for a quick "sex fix," while others established more meaningful connections where they talked about personal problems and marital issues, Mileham said. Still others wanted to engage in cybersex, exchanging sexual fantasies with someone while masturbating, 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.
Mileham conducted in-depth online interviews with 76 men and 10 women, ages 25 to 66, who used Yahoo's "Married and Flirting" or Microsoft's "Married But Flirting," Internet chat rooms geared specifically for married people.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.Oh, what a tangled web is weaved as growing numbers of married women and men sneak into Internet chat rooms for romantic or sexual thrills, a University of Florida study finds."Never before has the dating world been so handy for married men and women looking for a fling," said Beatriz Avila Mileham, who conducted the research for her doctoral dissertation in counselor education at UF."With cybersex, there is no longer any need for secret trips to obscure motels.