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The ugliness of virtual sex: 5 downsides a psychiatrist wants you to know about

Published on:17 November 2020, 16:03pm IST
Just like everything else, virtual sex in moderation is healthy and blissful. But, when you overindulge in it, major repercussions can follow.
Nikita Bhardwaj
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Is virtual sex as good as the real thing? Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Till date, sex is a term that comes with its own set of taboos. The truth is that sex comes with a lot of health benefits and should be talked about to raise awareness.

From boosting your mood to relieving pain, sex can fix a lot of troubles because it results in the secretion of a ‘happy hormone’ called dopamine. 

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Technology has revolutionized this domain as well and virtual sex has become quite common. Porn, chat room sex, etc. are the multiple ways to explore the territory of virtual sex.

Do you know that indulging in cybersex too often can take away from the real deal? You might face intimacy issues and can also fall prey to major physical and mental health disorders.

Virtual sex is actually fairly safe, especially during the ongoing pandemic when couples and singles are living in isolation. In addition, virtual sex is absolutely fine for those who are experienced in real sex because they know how the entire process falls into place. But, when it comes to a first-timer, it can be really problematic because it can malign the idea of sex in their heads,” explained Dr Rahul Khemani, a psychiatrist from Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai.

virtual sex
It’s time to rein in your porn-watching habits. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Here are 5 ways in which virtual sex can be harmful to your mental and physical health:

1. It can lead to sexual dysfunction

According to a study published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, indulging in virtual sex too often is a major cause behind genital disorders. In men, it has increased the risk of premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction. In women, it can lead to delayed orgasm or the inability to experience an orgasm.

2. It leads to unrealistic expectations

Porn and real sex are very different. But, when you expose yourself to porn too often and are unable to match that level, it creates a discrepancy in performance as well.

“The problem arises when you encounter sex in the real world. When you’re preoccupied with what you’ve seen the virtual world, you end up not focusing on the act. It becomes difficult to feel the sense of satisfaction that leads to problems like performance anxiety,” said Dr Khemani.

3. It causes intimacy issues

When virtual sex is on your mind, you want to indulge in it at every opportunity you get. This cuts short the time that you spend with your family or partner.

The bigger problem is that virtual sex seems to be replacing real sex. Physical touch, which is important for bonding, is missing.

“In my experience, I’ve seen people divorcing their partners as their idea of sex has been distorted due to virtual sex. Basically, they feel unsatisfied,” said Dr Khemani.

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4. It can also lead to mood disorders

“Virtual sex sets the wrong expectations in a person’s head. The problem starts when people aren’t able to perform the way they have seen others do online. This leads to disappointment. The person can become irritable, anxious, and even aggressive,” explained Dr Khemani.

5. It can affect your sleep

When this indulgence turns into an addiction, it can affect your sleep, revealed Dr Khemani. It becomes a vicious circle. When a person spends more time watching porn or in chat rooms, they compromise on their sleep. Sleep deprivation causes reduced concentration and irritability.

“Virtual sex is fine when it doesn’t affect your day-to-day work. When it becomes an obsession, it can lead to many problems and can wreck your entire life. So, be vigilant,” he concluded.

Virtual sex is great for a release of all that sexual energy but overindulgence can have some grave harms.

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Nikita Bhardwaj Nikita Bhardwaj

Six-pack abs are all that Nikita needs, along with her daily dose of green tea. At Health Shots, she produces videos, podcasts, stories, and other kick-ass content.