From an analysis of the Italian journalistic production, this study aims to detect cultural models that organize cybersex discourse in order to overcome an individualistic and medicalized paradigm proposed by the main research traditions. The emotional text analysis conducted on a corpus of 52 articles of the major national newspapers, allowed to explore the social representation of the phenomenon. The study detected 4 cultural models that refer to different cultural functions of technology for the development of online sexual practices and match specific conceptualization of cybersex as a substitute, protomental, proteiform and mythical space. Cybersex seems to be represented in terms of a process of reterritorialization of identity which suggests the crisis of the individual-context relationship, connected to the strong need of individualization, dynamic of social control, and feeling of progressive isolation. The study suggests some reflections on the growing demand for virtual sex and on the relationship between Internet and sexuality in a dynamic psychological perspective.
Keywords: Cybersex, technology, online sexual activity, cultural models, emotional text analysis, collusion