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.

It is also fairly frequent in online role-playing games, such as MUDs and MMORPGs, though approval of this activity varies greatly from game to game.

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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 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.

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 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.