Alternatively, it can be considered a form of sexual roleplay that allows the participants to experience unusual sexual sensations and carry out sexual experiments they cannot try in reality.Amongst "serious" roleplayers, cybering may occur as part of a larger plot–the characters involved may be lovers or spouses.The quality of a cybersex encounter typically depends upon the participants' abilities to evoke a vivid, visceral mental picture in the minds of their partners.

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For many the primary point of cybersex is the plausible simulation of sexual activity, and this knowledge of the other is not always desired, but this is also criticized as the emptying out of embodied relations.

Without continuing to draw off our historically ambivalent faith in embodied relations, techno-sex quickly becomes hollow, unsatisfying, no more erotic than collecting answers to what-are-your-measurements questions. By continuing to draw off that ambivalent faith, techno-sex and the many other practices of disembodying interaction contribute to a changing and increasingly abstracted dominant ontology of embodiment.

In some contexts cybersex is enhanced by the use of a webcam to transmit real-time video of the partners.

Channels used to initiate cybersex are not necessarily exclusively devoted to that subject, and participants in any Internet chat may suddenly receive a message with any possible variation of the text "Wanna cyber? " or a request for "C2C"/"C4C" ("cam to cam" and "cam for cam", respectively).

It can also be used to gain experience for solo writers who want to write more realistic sex scenes, by exchanging ideas like sex position.

One approach to cybering is a simulation of "real" sex, when participants try to make the experience as close to real life as possible, with participants taking turns writing descriptive, sexually explicit passages.

Cybersex can occur either within the context of existing or intimate relationships, e.g.

among lovers who are geographically separated, or among individuals who have no prior knowledge of one another and meet in virtual spaces or cyberspaces and may even remain anonymous to one another.

Cybersex is commonly performed in Internet chat rooms (such as IRC, talkers or web chats) and on instant messaging systems.