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.
Due to this difference, such roleplayers typically prefer the term "erotic roleplay" rather than cybersex to describe it.
There are a number of popular, commercial webcam websites that allow people to openly masturbate on camera while others watch them.
Using similar sites, couples can also perform on camera for the enjoyment of others.
In some contexts cybersex is enhanced by the use of a webcam to transmit real-time video of the partners.
In one form, this fantasy sex is accomplished by the participants describing their actions and responding to their chat partners in a mostly written form designed to stimulate their own sexual feelings and fantasies.
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.
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.