Since my discussion on monogamy, I have realized that most of you think that cheating is wrong and monogamy is the only way to go (unless, of course, you have an agreement with your partner to be open).
I would define cheating as sexual stimulation, whether it be oral or just plain out intercourse, by someone other than your partner. Some say that watching pornography is cheating. I guess I can understand that, in some cases, porn could cause a partner to fantasize more about the women/men in the videos and find themselves less attracted to their partner.
My question to all of you is:
What do you define as cheating? And, more importantly, Is pornography cheating (especially if the spouse doesn't approve of it)?
No, I guess I wouldn't, but I'd re-evaluate why I was with that person. I would try to convert him to the pro-porn side :)
I agree, Becky. If I was in a relationship with someone so incredibly domineering that they refused to let me watch porn, the relationship would require serious consideration.
The only justification (rationally speaking) for monogamy is that the attraction, loyalty and bond between partners might diminish without it. Unless porn is likely to result in the same consequences (which I don't think is likely), then to prohibit it is petty and arbitrary. Most of all it is selfish; it implies your partner is willing to deny a basic freedom, that causes them no obvious harm, for no reason other than to satisfy a quibble.
The only circumstances under which porn 'ought' to be prohibited is if it is causing damage to the relationship etc. Trust and all the other necessities in a relationship would cease to matter if the precondition of (relatively) free expression was not met in the first place.
Since in a relationship both sides must attempt to compromise and to amicably accomodate the other in a loving way. if there is a gap between libido's denial of porn can actually be detrimental to the relationship. if the partner is so against pornography then it behooves the partner to replace that with a compromise that both partners can come to an agreement is amicable. not to be to dry about but really the partner needs to have more frequent and possibly more kinky sex as a possible replacement. although I think masturbation has many purposes, getting in touch with oneself, realizing what does and doesn't turn you on, I do think porn is a negotiated accessory, but really hard to talk about if you partner has any issues with sex.
"Cheating", in my view, is anything which breaks your partner's trust. something you intentionally hide from your partner because you know it's wrong. something that you know will hurt your partner- yet you do anyway. it can be things which you yourself may consider to be ok, but you're aware that your partner doesn't- and by acting anyway you're aware of the pain and betrayal you're causing your partner.
every relationship needs a "contract", for both sides to be clear on expectations, desires, boundaries, do's and don'ts - and sex is only a part of it.
as for your question, if your partner sees porn as cheating, it is your obligation to honor that.
as for the severity? - is watching porn as bad as actively seeking another person, seducing them, finding a secret place to have sex, actually doing it with another live human being - and then lying about it - no.
not even close.
on the scale of bad things you can do to your partner, porn is bad, but definitely not as high as having an affair.
what about sexual fantasies with other people... not ones found in porn. Perhaps it is just someone that is made up in your mind. If your partner found out about your fantasy, it would surely hurt them. You said you'd define it as "... something that you know will hurt your partner- yet you do it anyway." Some people can't control their fantasies, but they can refrain from acting on them. So do you consider this fantasy or sexual desire toward someone else to be cheating?
it would deeply offend me if i knew my wife spent her days fantasizing about other men.
Really? I'm a jealous kind of guy but I'm not offended at all if my girlfriend would fantasize about other men. I don't see how this affects me or our relationship in any way, let alone negatively. I would rather have my girlfriend fantasize then that she is repressed because of a fear of offending me.
It's an honor to have my girlfriend fantasize about other men and then still consummate love with me. I cannot see how this should offend me.
be aware of your thoughts and give them the attention they deserve.
Sexual desires are there to be enjoyed in my opinion, not to be repressed.
do you really believe that desires, when nurtured and dwelled over - don't eventually lead to actions? once again, i'm not advocating covering people up, or self flagellation over sexual thoughts- far from it.
but there's seeing a pretty woman, saying, "wow, she's hot" and moving on, and there's allowing yourself to dream of coming up to her, talking her up, taking her home and doing the nasty.
it's not a rule - but i feel uncomfortable with the latter. maybe i draw the line even further than porn - thinking of another person other than my partner - sexually.
and once again "thinking" is not the initial occurring thought- rather it's the active choice to continue with it. i know that my partner and i are on the same page on this. she too doesn't close her eyes when seeing a handsome guy, but it stops there. when it comes to flowing with sexuality, there's only one object of focus.
i don;t feel like i'm repressing anything. my sexual desires definitely have their outlet.
but above all, there is some truth to religious doctrines regarding sex - in the sense that what we sometimes consider as freedom is actually enslavement to our instincts. and that true freedom of the mind requires harnessing your animal instincts. i think there's a lot of truth to that.