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In 2002, Mileham conducted in-depth online interviews with 76 men and 10 women, ages 25 to 66, who used Yahoo's "Married and Flirting" or Microsoft's "Married But Flirting," Internet chat rooms geared specifically for married people.
The study's participants, who represented every state, included stay-at-home mothers, construction workers, engineers, nurses and presidents of large corporations.
"We started chatting about life, our marriage, what we like to eat, what sexual positions we like the best," wrote one man to Mileham.
Much of the Internet's appeal to married people is the anonymity it guarantees, coupled with the no-touching aspect, which they view as a license to be sexual, Mileham said.Twenty-six of the 86 study participants went on to meet the person whom they had been engaged in an online relationship with, and of these, all but two ended up having a real-life affair.One 66-year-old man ended up having 13 affairs this way, she said.He believed he was chatting with the father of a 14-year-old girl and expressed his interest in engaging in sexual acts with the girl.He is charged with two third-degree felonies and one second-degree felony.