Right now thousands of Americans from all walks of life are hooking up in cyberspace with one thing in mind -- and it's not finding their soulmate.
Whether married, single, old, young, straight, or gay, Web surfers are scouring the Net for like-minded individuals interested in a little sexual fun -- no strings attached.
Using Internet bulletin boards like Craigslist, fee-charging Web sites that specialize in finding bedroom partners, or just connecting through adult chat rooms, Internet-savvy hedonists can easily find partners to satisfy any appetite.
Statistics are hard to come by, but the Adult Friend Finder Web site claims to have millions of registered users and Craigslist receives hundreds of posts by people looking for sexual encounters on a daily basis.
One 20-something New Yorker -- who asked that ABC News use an alias in order to conceal his identity -- says meeting women online is the only way to go if you're looking for a one-night-stand. His live-in girlfriend would probably disagree, if she knew.
"The Internet [is] one of the best ways to meet someone 'clandestinely' when you are in a long term relationship and need to stray a bit," "Joshua" said in an interview conducted via e-mail.
Joshua brags that not only has he slept with more than a dozen women he met on the Internet, he's done it in the same apartment he shares with his girlfriend.
"My GF [girlfriend] has no idea," he claimed. "I have had a few close calls, but hooking up [online] here in NYC is as easy as ordering a large pizza for dinner."
"Stoli," another Internet pick-up artist, says it's the most effective way to get what you want without going through the trouble of hitting the bar or club scene.
"Many times it's just quicker, easier and more efficient to search online for a sexual encounter than to spend time and money at a bar or club," he said. "When you see someone in a bar who's physically attractive you have to make eye contact and start up a conversation. You might spend half an hour getting to know them only to find out they're just waiting for friends."
When meeting people online you have access to all kinds of information about them before you even speak, Stoli says.
"You get to read profiles with physical descriptions and hopefully see a picture," he explained. "Sometimes you find [after meeting] the person sent a picture of themselves from 10 years and 30 pounds ago, or sometimes you get stood up, but often you meet someone who told the truth and you have a good time with no strings attached."
But when trading self-descriptions or pictures with strangers, you are opening yourself up to some less than honest individuals.
That lesson was learned the hard way by "Linda," a 38-year-old mother from Las Vegas, Nev.
"I am what you could describe as your normal, mature, suburban wife," said Linda. "Mother of three, full-time career woman, almost 14 years with the same company, and regular attendance at church."
Dissatisfied with life at home and considering a divorce, Linda was lonely and says a friend turned her onto the world of Internet chat.
Shortly after entering that world, Linda found herself being wooed by a married businessman "Tom," who often traveled to Las Vegas.
After weeks of e-mails the two agreed to meet in person and it wasn't long before they were embroiled in a passionate love affair, she says.