An online liaison may even take place in the same room with one's spouse."In the words of one 41-year-old man in the study, "All I have to do is turn on my computer, and I have thousands of women to choose from.(It) can't get any easier than that." Counseling organizations report chat rooms are the fastest-rising cause of relationship breakdowns, and the problem only stands to get worse as today's population of Internet users continues to grow, Mileham said."The Internet will soon become the most common form of infidelity, if it isn't already," she said.Many reported that what started as innocent, friendly exchanges progressed quickly to strong desires for sexual relationships, she said.

Females are usually bombarded with messages and can pick and choose which messages they respond to, she said.

Al Cooper, a leading expert in the field of Internet sexuality and the author of the book "Sex and the Internet: A Guidebook for Clinicians," said Mileham's research is important in helping to understand this increasingly common phenomenon.

Oh, what a tangled web is weaved as growing numbers of married women and men sneak into Internet chat rooms for romantic or sexual thrills, a University of Florida study finds."Never before has the dating world been so handy for married men and women looking for a fling," said Beatriz Avila Mileham, who conducted the research for her doctoral dissertation in counselor education at UF.

"With cybersex, there is no longer any need for secret trips to obscure motels.

One 66-year-old man ended up having 13 affairs this way, she said.

Research shows that more males than females use chat rooms, said Mileham, who found it difficult to get women to respond to her survey.Unlike some fatal attractions, a simple click of a mouse button ends contact – should the person want to break it off – without any explanations or apologies, she said.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.But some used this form of effortless escapism while their spouse was in the room, she said.Said one such man, "While I'm on the computer my wife just assumes I'm writing a report for work." Another man said his wife, who knew what he was doing and didn't like it, looked over his shoulder sometimes while he was typing, Mileham said.Segal, an Israeli citizen, began working at MIT last year after completing his doctorate at Yale University’s applied physics department. The probe of Segal began in early-February when a female undercover agent encountered him in a pair of Internet Relay Chat rooms whose titles included the phrases “childslavesex” and "Child Rape Torture Brutality.” The agent claimed to be the mother of two girls, one 16-years-old, and a second child under the age of 12.