People seeking sexual thrills on the Internet are inspiring and encouraging new technologies, according to a cybersex expert.
Dr Trudy Barber believes that fetishism and deviation in sexuality are helping change the way people use new technology.
Dr. Barber, who is due to speak at this week's 'Sexual Pleasures' conference at the Royal Society of Medicine, also says that cybersex can even influence the invention of new technology.
Dr. Barber, an expert on cyberspace and sexual subcultures, has spent years researching how people's sexual choices help shape new technology, including the Internet.
"People are inspired by their own sexual inclinations which results in some innovative uses of technology," The Sun quoted her, as saying.
"Nothing shocks me now although I'm frequently surprised at how ingenious people are in order to obtain sexual satisfaction," she added.
The University of Portsmouth lecturer says that cybersex can be anything from phone sex to someone literally being wired up to a personal computer server through which others in cyberspace can access and give sexual pleasure.
"Computer technology touches so many aspects of our lives it's really not so surprising that it would infiltrate and influence our sex lives," she said.
"In contemporary western society sex is for pleasure and for entertainment and computers will have an increasing role to play," she added.
In the course of her research, Dr Barber has come across Internet sites such as Second Life, an internet-based virtual world where 'Residents' assume an alter-ego called an avatar to interact with each other online.
She has found that people there are quick to take on the sexual practices from their regular lives into their second life.
"The role of deviation as a key to innovation must not be overlooked as it will contribute to our understanding of new intimacy, culture and the future of developing information and communications technologies," she said.