People who go online to find sex partners are likely to have unsafe sex, reveals a new survey.
According to Dr Philippe Adam, the act of engaging in "fantasy" cyber chatting on online matchmaking sites could encourage unsafe sex.
"Something very specific is created in the dynamic of chatting that produces risk," News.com.au quoted Adam as saying.
"Most people think going online will not have any consequences in real life but the results we have show the contrary," he added.
During the study, the researchers analysed almost 2600 users of a gay match-making website in France.
It found almost 96 per cent of the men said they intended to use a condom for any resulting sexual encounter.
However, 32 per cent went on to have unprotected sex when they had a real, as opposed to virtual, meeting.
The study also showed that those whose shared "fantasy" conversations included references to unsafe sex were far more likely to later engage in it.
The research finding runs counter to a commonly held view, said Adam, that most people who used these websites were seeking partners for unsafe sex.
"That's less than five per cent, it's only a couple of per cent among gay men and it is certainly even lower in the heterosexual population," he said.
"In fact, people go online without having the intention to take risk ... but they start progressively engaging in sharing fantasies online, sometimes they accept some fantasies around unprotected sex, and this creates scripts in their mind that influence their real life behaviour," he added.
Adam says that a similar Australian-based study of the impact of cyber-chat on sex practises would soon get underway, with results expected early next year.