Is Cybersex Cheating?
In a world run amuck with technological advancements – computers, laptops, Blackberries, iPod’s, camera phones, webcams, instant messagers – there are literally hundreds of ways to connect with other people. Sometimes these ‘connections’ are more than just a friendly ‘how do you do’ and more of a ‘how do you want TO DO me?’ An innocent conversation can quickly and easily turn into a sexual discussion – and sometimes it happens before you even know it. It can also be quite intentional, going to an adult chat room to find someone to cyber with.
In case you are unfamiliar as to what ‘cybersex’ or ‘cybering’ means, let me enlighten you. In simple terms, two (or more) people use words to describe sexual actions, what their sexual intent with the other person(s) is, a description of fantasy or any other intentional, sexual exchange. So, this begs the question, if two people are talking to each other, exchanging sexual language, otherwise describing what they would like to do with each other sexually – does this constitute ‘cheating’ if one or both of the persons are in committed relationships? The answer to this (as many of my answers are) is NOT black nor white – but more ‘personally’ based.
INTENTION IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL
Many people are of the opinion that repeated cybersex, for the intent of sexual release is definitely cheating. While I hesitate to weigh in one way or another, I do think that this discussion should really be about serious cybersex – not just the occasional flirtation gone wrong. So, the basic issue with cybersex is whether you can cheat if you are not having physical, sexual contact with someone else. The opinions are divided – some say cheating is emotional not physical – and others say it is physical only. While most people would definitely agree that having sexual intercourse or oral sex with another person WOULD be cheating, the floor is still divided on even kissing, fondling or over the clothes sex. The cloud gets even muddier when we are talking about words, not deeds.
The deciding factor, for most who weigh in on this subject, is where that person’s ‘heart’ lies, i.e. are they forgoing any sexual relationship with their partner and only having sexual release with this person online. Or, are they committing their heart more to the online lover as opposed to their mate? I think that most people assume that cybersex is harmless, flirtatious fun. You begin to chat with someone, they say something about your picture or website, the next thing you know you are having a very explicit sexual discussion in which you are both willing participants. This has now gone over into the realm of ‘attachment’ especially if you are continuing to do so. However, is it still harmless?
The golden rule to deciding this seems to be ‘would your partner be angry, hurt or upset if HE or SHE saw your emails or messages?' If the answer is ‘yes’ – then harmless flirtation is not so harmless after all. Or, conversely, if YOU saw emails from your lover to another person depicting the same things, would YOU feel hurt, betrayed or otherwise upset? You can then take the same stance toward your own actions and determine – at least – if your actions are hurtful to your partner. This is why intent is the root of evil here – knowing that you would be hurt if you found out your lover was doing the same and continuing to do so definitely puts a new mindset on the situation.
How To Keep Things Sexy When You Are Away
A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS
In this technologically advanced world, webcams and camera phones can transmit sexy, erotic or downright pornographic pictures right to your cyberlove. People have been known to masturbate in front of webcams or to do what a lover asks them for the webcam. In fact, this is very common among overseas soldiers right now. This begs the question, if you can SEE a person, naked, doing sexual things that YOU are telling him or her to do – does this go way over the line of ‘harmless flirtation?’ Personally, I feel that this does cross the line of marital boundaries – but may not be totally ‘cheating.’
Once again, we have personal opinion fueling the fire here. If the person doing the cybering found out that his significant other was masturbating with a dildo for some lonely soldier overseas – would HE be mad or think, “well, I told her to support our troops!” I am willing to be that he would be mad as hell – as would any woman who found her man doing similar deeds or watching them. Here we have a disclosure of MIND and BODY – and have jumped from words to deeds – dirty deeds at that! I think many people would be hard pressed to say that this isn’t at very least a FORM of cheating. You can now SEE and maybe HEAR this person doing something extremely erotic and sexual – and very private. Most married couples (with exceptions) assume that they are the only person seeing their significant other naked – so does this then constitute cheating?
UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL
I had a talk with one of my girlfriends once who had found out her husband was having a cybersex relationship with another woman. She confessed to me that she ‘wasn’t mad about the sex talk’ but WAS mad that he was ‘bitching, complaining and otherwise belittling me and my sexual performance.’ He was discussing personal things about THEIR sex life and their family. He even talked about her ‘fat ass’ or the way she didn’t parent the kids well. She said it was ‘a total and utter privacy violation – and I felt violated!’ So here we have another issue – what if the cybering isn’t all about sex, but is about personal things, perhaps desires, thoughts, fantasies that this person hasn’t even shared with their spouse? What if the discussion is far more ‘intimate’ than this person ever had with their spouse? Many people (especially women) find that this IS cheating – emotional cheating! My friend said, “I would have rather he just told her sexual things than discuss my failure as a wife and lover.” Her marriage ended over this ‘affair’ and she definitely found THAT to be cheating.
ANY WAY YOU LOOK AT IT
Any way you look at it, this is not an easy call to make. There are way too many variables to consider here. Thousands of people cybersex every day – and most do not find it cheating. Their spouses, however, might. I believe that there is no answer to this question – but I do believe that cybersex, at very least, could be considered a violation of trust. Not everyone is going to feel this way about it, most may be nonchalant about it (at least until they find the naked pictures) – and this is their right. Marriage is between two people – and the rules can be different for each couple. I still believe the best litmus test is: ‘would YOU be upset if you found your spouse doing the same thing?’
IF the answer is ‘yes’ then you should, at very least, consider the hurt your actions may cause you. Is it worth damaging or ending your marriage to have cybersex with this person? Or, do you feel that the cyber relationship strengthens your marriage by keeping you ‘hot and horny?’ Then, this might not be an issue for you. Whatever side of the line you fall on with this issue, one thing is for sure, no one can answer this question for another person – each person has to make this decision for themselves. In essence, you have made your cyber bed, now you have to lie in it (or about it!).
Have You Had Cybersex?
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