Channels used to initiate cybersex are not necessarily exclusively devoted to that subject, and participants in any Internet chat may suddenly receive a message with any possible variation of the text "Wanna cyber? " or a request for "C2C"/"C4C" ("cam to cam" and "cam for cam", respectively).

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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.

Alternatively, it can be considered a form of sexual roleplay that allows the participants to experience unusual sexual sensations and carry out sexual experiments they cannot try in reality.

Due to this difference, such roleplayers typically prefer the term "erotic roleplay" rather than cybersex to describe it.

In "real cybering" personas often remain in character throughout the entire life of the contact, to include evolving into phone sex, and meatspace encounters while in character, as a form of improvisation, or, nearly, a performance art.

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.

It can also be performed using webcams, voice chat systems like Skype, or online games and/or virtual worlds like Second Life.

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.

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'.