Due to this difference, such roleplayers typically prefer the term "erotic roleplay" rather than cybersex to describe it.
Cybersex can be utilised to write co-written original fiction and fanfiction by role-playing in third person, in forums or communities usually known by the name of 'A Shared Dream'.
It can also be used to gain experience for solo writers who want to write more realistic sex scenes, by exchanging ideas like sex position.
While it does not involve physical contact, critics claim that the powerful emotions involved can cause marital stress, especially when cybersex culminates in an Internet romance.
In several known cases, Internet adultery became the grounds for which a couple divorced.
Using similar sites, couples can also perform on camera for the enjoyment of others.
In online worlds like Second Life and via webcam-focused chat services, however, Internet sex workers engage in cybersex in exchange for both virtual and real-life currency.
Amongst "serious" roleplayers, cybering may occur as part of a larger plot–the characters involved may be lovers or spouses.
In situations like this, the people typing often consider themselves separate entities from the "people" engaging in the sexual acts, much as the author of a novel often does not completely identify with his or her characters.
One approach to cybering is a simulation of "real" sex, when participants try to make the experience as close to real life as possible, with participants taking turns writing descriptive, sexually explicit passages.