The exact definition of cybersex—specifically, whether real-life masturbation must be taking place for the online sex act to count as cybersex—is up for debate.

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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.

Imagination and suspension of disbelief are also critically important.

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

It can also be performed using webcams, voice chat systems like Skype, or online games and/or virtual worlds like Second Life.

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).

Some online social games like Red Light Center are dedicated to cybersex and other adult behaviors. Cybersex may also be accomplished through the use of avatars in a multiuser software environment. In Tiny MUD variants, particularly MUCKs, the term Tiny Sex (TS) is very common.

the increased popularity of webcams has raised the number of online partners using two-way video connections to "expose" themselves to each other online—giving the act of cybersex a more visual aspect.

Cybersex, also called computer sex, Internet sex, netsex and, colloquially, cyber or cybering, is a virtual sex encounter in which two or more people connected remotely via computer network send each other sexually explicit messages describing a sexual experience.