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)?
"Nor do I have a problem with him obsessively fantasizing over another woman. These are merely sexual interests"
Becky, i think your ability to completely separate sex from emotion is a very rare one on this planet. sexual infidelity is a big deal specifically because humans for the most part (me included ) are unable to detach the two. sex without any emotional attachment whatsoever seems impossible to me- on the biological level. and our difference of opinion probably stems from a real biological difference between us.
I would like to believe that this is definitely not proven to be a biological difference. Really, the amount of people I know that have friends with benefits that are quite capable of separating love and sex is very high.
Funny enough, among my religious friends they all seem to believe that the two cannot be separated. This to me seems to indicate a cultural component, not a biological.
I don't believe that sex and emotion are are inseperable at all. Having an emotionally void sexual relationship with someone (whether for the night or as "friends with benefits") is not rare at all. I have had plenty of sexual experiences through the years in which there was no emotional attachment. Casual sex, as it were.
Emotions don't come into play until it becomes a true question of "cheating" on a significant other. While you may not have any emotional attachment to the person you may be cheating with there IS an emotional aspect involving your otherwise monogamous relationship, and by betraying that trust (which if nothing else, is usually a mutual agreement NOT to screw other people) you have now created an guilt-driven emotional response.
If one is choosing to be monogamous for moral reasons, and not for logical ones, then this guilt is usally enough to prevent that person from being unfaithful. However, I know many people that love their spouses unconditionally, even "in love" with them, yet can rationalize sleeping with random people on occasion.
I personally don't think this way, since I never had the ability to hurt someone in that manner; if I'm considering sex with another person it's time to break it off as far as I'm concerned.
Any relationship is a series of agreements and understandings, as well as the willingness to make a few sacrifices. We are, however, hard-wired to ultimately do what's best for ourselves and self preservation makes us selfish in the end.
Which brings some of us (finger pointing directly at myself) to the point that we no longer prefer the emotional attachment and sacrifice required to have a relationship, and would rather have a series of relatively emotionless sexual encounters to quell our innate need for sexual gratification.
Separating emotion and sex may be difficult for you personally, but it's certainly not rare.
Becky, I always enjoy your posts. They certainly generate conversation.
I would classify cheating as the actual physical act, (kissing, oral, intercourse etc.) but would not consider pornography as cheating. Perhaps my position might be impacted if my partner were to spend hours on end with it thus stealing time away from the two of us. I think that pornography rests in more of the fantasy category and is alright. My partner is free to partake in pornography regardless of hetero, gay, bi, tans, formats. If it floats your boat it might just spice up the relationship.
within the relationship i am in currently, cheating was discussed at the beginning. we took in consideration each others sexual preferences and needs. it came down to 'if you get to do it, i get to do it. so if you dont want me to do it, dont do it yourself. if you want something im not giving you, ask me for it first.'
the only way i can see this kind of backfire is when im attracted to a girl. my bf cant grow a vagina for me to play with, amiright?...but it really hasnt come up, either. thats where the porn/fantasies/cybering comes in.
and i think that when people have an issue with pornography in a relationship, it has to do with their own insecurities. you have to seek out the insecurities and figure out where they come from. in a healthy relationship, you should be able to talk about that with your partner, and moreover, your partner should be helping to dissolve those insecurities. your insecurities shouldnt be getting WORSE in a relationship. if theres an issue, you need to discuss it or gtfo...personally, id rather learn my boundaries before i get into something, than learn them after ive already crossed them and am in the crossfire. plus, that allows me the ability to decide if i even want to continue with the quest. knowwhatimsayin?