As one woman in a committed relationship remarks about her online sexual affairs: "I've had this discussion with my boyfriend, and we both agree that as long as it's not with the same person more than twice, it is really masturbation.
It's like reading an erotic story and masturbating to it.
Moreover, when online affairs are revealed to the significant other, which is done more often than when offline circumstances are involved, it could be considered as something less than cheating.
In other words, it's a way to play out fantasies in a safe environment.
Other people are willing to concede that cybersex without the knowledge of their partner cheating, because it involves deception; nevertheless, some still maintain it's a type of "OK" cheating.
They are also perceived to involve a lesser degree of betrayal, as they involve more imaginary elements and the degree of neglecting the partner's interests may be lesser.
The private nature of online affairs may make them less painful for the betrayed partner as well.
Living with the two worlds is not easy, however, and may become increasingly risky when people do not realize the limitations of each.