Yukari is a 48-year-old mother and wife with everything to lose. She needs to be present for her daughter\u2019s graduation and her son\u2019s autism therapy appointments. She needs to be a partner to her husband. But she can\u2019t seem to manage any of it. In the past, she worked really hard; she was a perfect wife and mom. Then her father passed\u2014they had a difficult relationship\u2014and Yukari started drinking. Five years in, after a lot of messy mistakes, she put the bottle down. Recovery felt good. But now she finds herself hooked on something new. Each night she goes to bed promising herself she won\u2019t do it anymore, but each morning arrives and Yukari can\u2019t resist the urge to check her throwaway email account. To post Craigslist ads. She\u2019s already met five men and done things a younger Yukari never would have. In the moment, these dalliances make her feel alive and desired, young again and sexy. But afterward, she feels incredibly ashamed.\u00a0 Cybersex Is Increasing By now, we\u2019ve all become aware that Internet pornography is accessible anytime, anywhere\u2014provided you have a machine to capture it, however tiny, and Internet access, however reliable. Porn is no longer that hidden stack of magazines in the back of your dad\u2019s closet, or those couple of VHS tapes your brother and his friends pass around. Now everyone can view pornography anytime they like, and virtually anybody does: men, women, even kids. It is believed, in fact, that with the rise of Internet porn, the average age youngsters are exposed to it is 11. With the burgeoning availability of a once underground commodity, porn has become practically pass\u00e9. That isn\u2019t to say it\u2019s something we should try to ignore. Beyond the issue of younger and younger children exposed to pornographic images is a new problem even the pornographers may not have predicted\u2014that of the growing number of women presenting with cybersex addiction. Cybersex refers to any kind of sexual arousal that occurs through the use of Internet technology\u2014the viewing of images, the exchange of sexual messages, sexual video chat, etc. Women and Cybersex Statistics As with nearly every other medical or psychological concern, women are vastly understudied compared to men. The subject of sex addiction and cybersex addiction in women, in particular, has a long way to go, but there are reports that: \t1 out of 3 people who clicks on an adult website is female \t4 million women access adult websites every month \t17 percent of women say they struggle with pornography addiction \tWomen are more likely to engage in sexual online chats than men, and are more likely to act out their fantasies in real life: multiple sexual partners, casual sex, affairs, etc. Compulsive Cybersex Stimulates Dopamine\u00a0 The brain\u2019s reward center produces dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and motivation. Regular cybersex users begin to seek a high from their habit much in the same way substance users do. The problem is not the high itself, or even the use of cybersex\u2014except when individuals\u2019 values and beliefs cause them to feel deep shame in the process\u2014but when the use of cybersex becomes compulsive, something users must do to escapes pain or boredom, or in order to feel relaxed and \u201cnormal.\u201d When the need to view graphic material or sext with others disrupts one\u2019s ability to live a happy, healthy life, it may be time to get help. Cybersex addiction often comes with shame, regardless of age or gender. Women who have a problem with compulsive cybersex or pornography addiction may feel even greater shame due to cultural messages about women and how they \u201cshould\u201d behave. But sex is a natural human phenomenon, as is seeking pleasure, and nothing on the surface is inherently wrong with either. If your pleasure-seeking behaviors are causing you pain, dysfunction or shame, don\u2019t wait to get help. Recovery is possible, and through the process, you may be surprised to find many others just like you.