10. July 2012 · Write a comment · Categories: theory · Tags: ,

Let’s talk about cheating.

It seems like I see a lot of questions on various forums (fora, if your’e a Latin geek) that all amount to, “When I do [fill in the blank], is that considered cheating?”

Of course, this isn’t a new question. But I think the internet has opened up all sorts of novel variations on the question. “If I’m having sexy online text chats with a stranger, is that cheating?” “If I’m having naked chats on omega with a friend, is that cheating?” “If I’m role playing sex on Second Life, is that cheating?” “If I’m masturbating to internet porn, is that cheating?”

To my mind, there are too many possible scenarios to create special case rules for each one. So I’ve got one general rule of thumb:

If I feel as though I need to hide some behavior from a sex partner, that’s cheating.

Of course, this means that deciding if something counts as cheating will vary hugely from relationship to relationship. There are some relationships where simply looking at a hot person sashaying down the street would count as cheating. And there are other relationships where you could have unprotected sex with a total stranger and that wouldn’t be consider cheating. Mind you, I wouldn’t want to be in a relationship where either of those extremes applied, but you get the idea.

The criteria I’m aiming towards is honesty. I think everyone deserves to know what risks they are accepting and embracing when they enter into a relationship. No one deserves to be blindsided by an unexpected STD, or a jealous, vindictive “other man/woman”. I firmly believe a relationship should be a thing of trust, safety and security.

What this all leads to is a need for open discussion, at multiple stages of a relationship. Own your sexuality, be proud of it, don’t hide it. If your kink involves cross-country skyping with your ex-boyfriend from high school, more power to you. But don’t hide it from your partner and then feign surprise at their hurt, and don’t try to claim, “Of course this doesn’t count as cheating!” You wouldn’t have felt the need to hide it if you didn’t know it was cheating.