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QOD: "i slip out of my pants, just for u"

Inspired by my favorite morning radio show:

Is cybersex cheating?

Let's make the scenario this: that your SO has been having cybersex with different people on a regular basis, most of whom he/she meets in chat rooms. So we're not talking about your SO having an ongoing (virtual) sexual relationship with one single person (which is a whole other can of worms), but just engaging in random cybersex with strangers.

Do you consider that to be cheating?

[you can also vote in WBAB's online poll about this]

* title inspired by: i put on my robe and wizard hat

Comments

I've thought about this for a very long time over the past few years. I don't think there is an actual "right" answer, but in the end, I think having cybersex with anyone other than your significant other is probably a form of cheating, unless said significant other is present at the same time.

Cybersex is cheating only if a USB port is involved.

NSFW

Tough call. It's definitely worse than spanking it to pr0n, but "better" than a physical hookup. If I found out that my wife was a cyber-ho, I'd be upset, whereas if I found out she was physically sleeping with someone else, I'd be devestated.

Followup question: is it still cheating if it's a bot on the other end?

Relationships in the modern age.

Anyways. I guess it's technically not cheating, because nobody's touching anyone else. But I would consider it a kind of flirting that would be a little inappropriate. I mean, they are still communicating with someone else, whether they see it that way or not. It would be like your SO going to a bar, talking dirty with someone, and masturbating right thee on the spot. I mean, yeah, it's not cheating, but WTF buddy?

Cheating in the real sense? No, although I would be concerned if it happened repeatedly, over a long period of time.

Yes

If you're a believer in the Bible, it is. Jesus said that even the thought of having sex with a person other than your spouse is adultery.

In the secular world, it's hard to say. I don't think there's a person here who would appreciate their significant other getting off on pretending to have sex with somebody else on a computer. Would a one time experiment be considered cheating? I suppose not.

However, adultery sometimes is more than just physical (or mental). It's emotional as well. If your spouse formed an emotional relationship with somebody over the Internet, then yes, it is cheating.

It's absolutely cheating, imo. In fact, my husband and I have talked about this, mostly because it's happened within our circle of friends. Anyway, we both feel that it IS cheating because it's a matter of an "emotional affair". If, in my heart, I'm having an affair with someone else, then it's just the same as having an affair in the physical world.

If it isn't an ongoing thing with one person, then the emotional aspect of it is moot.

And, since there is no real physical aspect...no, it can't be called cheating. At least not by my secular definitions.

However, I know from experience that a person can be addicted to these forms of interactions. Or REALLY in the habit of engaging in them, anyway. Not necessarily the sex, but the whole connected-but-never-have-to-see-each-other aspect of cyber relationships.

While it may not be technical cheating, to keep doing these things over and over again means that you are not happy with your current reality, you're happier with the cyber version.

That's no big deal if you're single, but if you have a spouse that you're neglecting in order to be your cyber-self, something is busted and your marriage/relationship needs serious work (or needs to end). That, I think, is more important than if you've actually cheated or not. Are you running away from problems in the relationship, and why?

As a former queen of the lesbian chat rooms I'd say no, but I'm with stacella, if everything is cool, why are you hanging out (insert Beavis chuckle) there?

Yep, it's cheating.

Yes.

Yes yes yes.

I don't think I agree with the commenter who said, "If it isn't an ongoing thing with one person, then the emotional aspect of it is moot." On the contrary, having cybersex with a string of partners suggests an emotional alienation from your SO.

Or maybe it's just that I want to puke in bleak sorrow when I think of how it would feel if I ever found out my wife was doing this. It's the same reaction I have to the possibility of traditional cheating, so arguing from that resolutely ad hominem perspective, yes. Cheating.

I would be devastated and would seek a divorce because I would never be able to trust him again.

We have an agreement and cybersex with strangers isn't a part of it.

Johno:

The remainder of my comment clearly says that I think cybersex in any form - or hell, even too much time on the Internet or with RPGs - indicates a real problem in a marriage. So we definitely to agree on this point. (I know, people don't usually read the full extent of my comments; I have a horribly boring style and I'm wordy.)

What, then, did I mean by "the emotional aspect of it is moot"? Well, a lot of the commenters here said that cybersex equals cheating because it means having an emotional attachment to an individual who is not your spouse.

But if you're cybering with random, numerous individuals, as the originial question states, then an emotional attachment to a specific individual is not part of the problem. Your emotional attachment to another person is, therefore, a moot point.

At the same time, your emotional attachment to your spouse remains a very pertinent point, however damaged it may be!

If you have random sex via glory-holes, is that considered cheating? Doesn't seem to be much different from cybersex to me.

Jerkin' it to pr0n is passive enough to not be cheating. (Though it may still be an indicator of other problems. Notice I said MAY.)

Jerkin' it to an active participant on the other end of a keyboard is DEFINITELY cheating.

Here's a litmus test: do you THINK that your spouse would be upset if he or she found out? If the answer is YES, then you are probably cheating by your own internal admission.

At the risk of sounding like a hopelessly old fart, anything that takes away from the potential intimacy in your relationship is cheating, whether you're actually engaging in physical contact or cheapening sex altogether by engaging in "virtual" adultery on-line.

Yes. Yes it is.

It's not cheating. Is fantasizing about other people cheating? Is looking at porn cheating? And, if they are, good luck finding someone who does neither of those.

Nah, it's just really weird.

Michele:

Definitely cheating, insofar as the person is being sexually unfaithful. If I found out my girlfriend was having "cybersex" with people online she'd be gone, no question.

Cheating? Yeah, probably. But on the continuum of adultery, I'd say it's pretty mild. As other upthread posters have said, it's no worse than masturbating while watching Skinemax. I think it's a little like the "if a tree fell in a forest and nobody heard" chestnut: if my hubby talked dirty online to someone and I never knew about it, was I really harmed? I don't know.

This post is making me so hard.