Current and Emerging Aspects of Cybersexuality

A special issue of European Journal of Investigation in Health, Psychology and Education (ISSN 2254-9625).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 May 2022) | Viewed by 23894

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
School of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ottawa, 136 Jean Jacques Lussier, Rm 4013 Vanier Hall, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada
Interests: technology-mediated sexual interactions; cybersex; online sexual activities; social anxiety; research methods

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Since the early 1990s, researchers, educators, and health professionals have expressed concerns about the impact of the Internet on human sexuality. Human sexuality refers to the broad spectrum of concepts and variables that make people sexual beings, including but not limited to their sexual behaviors, experiences, interests, preferences, attitudes, knowledge, health, and well-being. Rapid evolutions in digital, communication, and interactive technologies have expanded the ways in which people can, and do, use Internet or data-connected technologies for sexual purposes. However, people’s cybersexuality is not in isolation from their offline sexuality; their technology-mediated sexual activities likely interact with, and contribute to, their offline health and well-being. In the context of high-paced technological changes, research from health, psychology, and education on cybersexuality has lagged. The purpose of this Special Issue is to assemble current research on the state of contemporary and emerging aspects of cybersexuality—that is, human sexuality as it relates to the Internet, cyberspace, data-based communication technologies, and/or emerging interactive technologies. We especially encourage submissions that include qualitative or quantitative data collection or synthesis. Sample topics might include (but are not limited to):

  • Experience, outcomes, or predictors of technology-mediated sexual interaction, online sexual activities, cybersex, sexting, virtual sex, haptic sex;
  • Artificial intelligence and/or robotics and human sexuality;
  • Digital and emerging technologies in clinical, educational, health interventions or service deliver contexts related to sexual health;
  • Forensic aspects of cybersexuality as they relate to health, psychology, and/or education;
  • Virtual reality, augmented reality sexual activities, fantasies, preferences, assessment;
  • Developmental aspects of cybersexuality;
  • Cybersexuality and relationships;
  • Sexuality on or via social media or social networking;
  • Advances in research methods for investigating cybersexuality.

We invite expressions of interests via a one page statement of intent by email to .

Dr. Krystelle Shaughnessy
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. European Journal of Investigation in Health, Psychology and Education is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • technology-mediated sexual interactions
  • sexting
  • cybersex
  • haptic sex
  • digisexuality
  • online sexual activities
  • cybersexuality

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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16 pages, 336 KiB  
Article
How Customers Evaluate Genitalia versus Torso Sex Toys on Amazon.com: A Content Analysis of Product Reviews
by Nicola Döring, Veronika Mikhailova and Pari-Gole Noorishad
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2022, 12(6), 563-578; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe12060042 - 1 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3350
Abstract
Sex toys are widely marketed on the Internet. Browsing for, buying, and reviewing sex toys online are popular cybersexual activities. The aim of this study was to investigate consumers’ experiences with different types of realistic sex toys via online product reviews on Amazon.com. [...] Read more.
Sex toys are widely marketed on the Internet. Browsing for, buying, and reviewing sex toys online are popular cybersexual activities. The aim of this study was to investigate consumers’ experiences with different types of realistic sex toys via online product reviews on Amazon.com. Toys were categorized in a 2 × 2 design regarding their representation of the human body (genitalia sex toys representing reproductive organs only versus torso toys representing larger parts of the human body) and their depiction of gender (toys representing female versus male body parts). Informed by feminist discourses on sex toys as well as sexual script theory and consumer research, the study explored the overall evaluations (RQ1), most frequently addressed characteristics (RQ2), usage patterns (RQ3), and perceived effects (RQ4) of the four groups of sex toys. A quantitative manual content analysis of N = 778 online sex toy reviews showed that 79% of consumers gave popular realistic sex toys positive ratings (RQ1). The most frequently mentioned characteristics were quality, material, and shape (RQ2). Most reviewers were men and used sex toys for solo sexual activities (RQ3). An additional qualitative analysis of n = 69 reviews addressing the perceived effects of sex toy use revealed that consumers predominantly mentioned positive effects (RQ4). Genitalia sex toys received better evaluations than torso sex toys and were perceived to be complementary tools to enhance sexual arousal, whereas the use of torso toys entailed anthropomorphization and symbolic social interactions. Implications for future research and design of different types of sex toys are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current and Emerging Aspects of Cybersexuality)
9 pages, 279 KiB  
Article
Linking Sexting Expectancies with Motivations to Sext
by Joseph M. Currin
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2022, 12(2), 209-217; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe12020016 - 9 Feb 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3000
Abstract
While many researchers have explored the impact sexting may have on relationships and mental health, few have explored the motivations and expectancies as to why individuals engage in sexting. By understanding why individuals sext their partners, we can learn more about what drives [...] Read more.
While many researchers have explored the impact sexting may have on relationships and mental health, few have explored the motivations and expectancies as to why individuals engage in sexting. By understanding why individuals sext their partners, we can learn more about what drives the behavior. Therefore, the current study sought to determine if sexting for sexual purposes (SP) or body image reinforcement (BIR) would predict positive sext expectancies. There was no prediction for instrumental/aggravated reasons (IAR). The online questionnaire had 348 participants, and based on regression analysis, positive sext expectancies while sending a sext message predicted sexting for sexual purposes. Somewhat surprisingly, sexting for instrumental/aggravated reasons was predicted by negative sext expectancies (both sending and receiving). These findings demonstrate individuals who sext for sexual purposes, and have positive sext expectancies, appear to enjoy the consequences of that behavior. Individuals who sext for instrumental/aggravated reasons may be uncomfortable with the outcome of their sexting behavior. This result highlights an area where clinicians could help clients explore the true reinforcements behind IAR. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current and Emerging Aspects of Cybersexuality)
16 pages, 448 KiB  
Article
Sex on the Screen: A Content Analysis of Free Internet Pornography Depicting Mixed-Sex Threesomes from 2012–2020
by Danica Kulibert, James B. Moran, Sharayah Preman, Sarah A. Vannier and Ashley E. Thompson
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2021, 11(4), 1555-1570; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe11040110 - 29 Nov 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 7837
Abstract
Viewing online pornography is common among US adults, with mixed-sex threesome (MST) videos being one of the top 10 most popular categories of pornography for both men and women. The current content analysis applied sexual script theory to understand the themes present in [...] Read more.
Viewing online pornography is common among US adults, with mixed-sex threesome (MST) videos being one of the top 10 most popular categories of pornography for both men and women. The current content analysis applied sexual script theory to understand the themes present in these mixed-sex threesome videos. Independent coders viewed a total of 50 videos (25 MMF and 25 FFM) at each timepoint (2012, 2015, 2020) and coded for different sexual behaviors and themes in each video. By examining both same-sex (female–female, male–male) and other-sex (female–male) behaviors, as well as themes of aggression and sexual initiation in different videos and across three timepoints, it was determined that other-sex behaviors are more common in MST videos than same-sex behaviors. Same-sex behaviors between two female actors were more common than same-sex behaviors between two male actors. Aggression was a common theme in videos, with male actors being more aggressive on average than female actors. Most of these trends did not change across 8 years, suggesting that the impacts of traditional sexual scripts are pervasive in pornography, even in current online content. Important implications for both researchers and clinical professionals are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current and Emerging Aspects of Cybersexuality)
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18 pages, 724 KiB  
Article
Young Adults’ Qualitative Self-Reports of Their Outcomes of Online Sexual Activities
by Erin Leigh Courtice, Krystelle Shaughnessy, Kristin Blom, Yodit Asrat, Kristian Daneback, Nicola Döring, Christian Grov and E. Sandra Byers
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2021, 11(2), 303-320; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe11020023 - 30 Mar 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 4264
Abstract
Online sexual activities (OSA) refer to Internet-based activities, behaviours, and materials that are sexual in nature. Many young adults engage in OSA, but report doing so infrequently. Most OSA outcome research has focused on negative effects of only some types of OSA (e.g., [...] Read more.
Online sexual activities (OSA) refer to Internet-based activities, behaviours, and materials that are sexual in nature. Many young adults engage in OSA, but report doing so infrequently. Most OSA outcome research has focused on negative effects of only some types of OSA (e.g., viewing pornography online). The goal of this study was to enhance knowledge on the range of OSA outcomes by qualitatively exploring young adults’ self-reported negative and positive outcomes from OSA experiences generally. University/College students from Canada (n = 246), Germany (n = 411), Sweden (n = 299), and the USA (n = 123) completed an online survey that included open-ended questions about “one of the most positive/negative effects that engaging in online sexual activities has had on your life”. More participants provided positive outcome responses than negative outcome responses. Qualitative analysis of the responses suggested a wide range of positive and negative outcome content that fit into seven bi-polar, higher-order themes: No Outcomes, Relationship Outcomes, Sexual Experience, Emotional Outcomes, Knowledge, Personal Outcomes, and Security. We found no variations in themes or their respective codes across the four countries. The findings suggests that researchers, educators, health care and psychology providers need to include multiple dimensions of positive and negative, personal and interpersonal, sexual and non-sexual OSA outcomes in their work Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current and Emerging Aspects of Cybersexuality)
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Review

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29 pages, 970 KiB  
Review
Technology-Mediated Sexual Interactions, Social Anxiety, and Sexual Wellbeing: A Scoping Review
by Krystelle Shaughnessy, Cassandra J. Fehr, Marilyn Ashley, Justine Braham, Patrick R. Labelle, Allison J. Ouimet, Serena Corsini-Munt, Andrea R. Ashbaugh and Elke D. Reissing
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2022, 12(8), 904-932; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe12080066 - 29 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2695
Abstract
Technology-mediated sexual interactions (TMSI) are interpersonal exchanges via technology of self-created sexual material, including photos, videos, and auditory or text messages. There is little research on the factors that predict both TMSI experiences and their sexual wellbeing outcomes. Social anxiety is anxiety experienced [...] Read more.
Technology-mediated sexual interactions (TMSI) are interpersonal exchanges via technology of self-created sexual material, including photos, videos, and auditory or text messages. There is little research on the factors that predict both TMSI experiences and their sexual wellbeing outcomes. Social anxiety is anxiety experienced in response to social or performance situations. From a cognitive–behavioural perspective, people higher in social anxiety may avoid TMSI, preventing positive or negative consequences. They also may use TMSI to avoid the anxiety caused by in-person sexual interactions, benefiting from access to sexual interactions while perpetuating anxiety about them. The purpose of this scoping review was to explore the role of social anxiety in TMSI and its sexual wellbeing outcomes. We executed a comprehensive search strategy across eight academic databases and searched reference lists of included articles. We included 19 articles written in English or French that had a human sample and were published between 1991 and 2021 and evaluated connections between social anxiety constructs (e.g., shyness, anxiety) and TMSI-related experiences (e.g., sexting, internet sex addiction). The pattern of results suggested that social anxiety constructs may predict some but not all forms of TMSI. Future research from a cognitive–behavioural perspective will expand knowledge on social anxiety, TMSI, and its sexual wellbeing outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current and Emerging Aspects of Cybersexuality)
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