The private nature of online affairs may make them less painful for the betrayed partner as well.
Moreover, when online affairs are revealed to the significant other, which is done more often than when offline circumstances are involved, it could be considered as something less than cheating.
Online sexual activity can involve various activities, such as viewing explicitly sexual materials, participating in an exchange of ideas about sex, exchanging sexual messages, and online interactions with at least one other person with the intention of becoming sexually aroused.
In his stimulating paper, "Chatting Is Not Cheating," John Portmann defends online lust and characterizes about sex; he maintains that such talking is more similar to flirting than to having a sexual affair.
Nevertheless, since online affairs are real they do often cause actual harm to one's primary, offline romantic relationship.