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Sex Health. 2013 Mar;10(1):26-31. doi: 10.1071/SH11023.

Outcomes of using the internet for sexual purposes: fulfillment of sexual desires.

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Department of Social Work, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.



The purpose of the current study was to examine the characteristics of those who report fulfillment of sexual desires as a result of internet use for sexual purposes and which sexually related online activities contribute to the fulfillment of sexual desires.


Data were collected through a questionnaire posted on Swedish-language websites in 2009. The sample comprised 1614 respondents who reported using the internet for sexual purposes, 62% women and 38% men.


The results showed that the majority of the respondents had their sexual desires fulfilled as a result of their sexually related activities on the internet; 21% to a great extent and 59% to a small extent, but 20% did not have their sexual desires fulfilled. Using a multinomial logistic regression analysis, respondents who had their sexual desires fulfilled to a small or great extent were each compared with those who did not have their sexual desires fulfilled at all. At the level of individual characteristics and sexual behaviours, those with no fulfillment of their sexual desires did not differ from those who had their sexual desires fulfilled, with the exceptions of age and masturbation. In comparison to fulfillment to a small extent, fulfillment of sexual desires to a great extent was predicted by a larger number of sexually related online activities that were based on interaction.


The findings suggest that the internet may contribute to fulfillment of sexual desires among a large internet population, irrespective of sex or sexual identity.

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