Is P@rn use considered Cheating on your Partner?
Is P@rn use cheating?
Do you use p@rn? Not everybody does. I remember having a conversation with a male friend many years back, and p@rn simply didn’t feature for me then. My friend thought there was something wrong with me! I’m just telling you this to explain that while p@rn use may be completely normal for you, and not even something that needs discussing, your partner may have a completely different view of it, and consider p@rn use cheating on them. Can p@rn use be considered cheating? Well, it depends. Did you make a relationship agreement with your partner, or have you ever talked about relationship boundaries?
Online Sexual Services, and Cheating
Things are even more complex now online, when sexy pictures are constantly on offer without even choosing to engage in p@rn. Online p@rn can range from passively consuming video clips, to platforms like Only F@ns or Cha@turbate, where paid online interaction is possible, and then of course paying for 1:1 online sexual services. Or maybe you have created a fake dating profile, to browse, or interact?
How is Cheating defined?
Cheating in relationships has three categories, physical/sexual, emotional, and online. Cheating are actions in the categories mentioned, that you keep secret from your partner, and that are definitely or possibly beyond your relationship boundaries or agreements. There may be sexual activities that you don’t share with your partner, such as private masturbation, maybe with a new sex toy that your partner doesn’t know about. Why would you keep this secret in the first place? You may not be sure how your partner would react if they knew, maybe they would feel threatened or insecure. Similarly, porn use. It’s private, you may say. I don’t want them to feel bad about it. Or maybe there is a kink or fetish that you have never shared with anyone, and online services cater to it. Maybe you’ve even tried to share this sexual preference with your partner, and they acted in a dismissive way.
Cheating and Intimacy
While everyone has the right to their own private sphere, intimacy thrives on honesty. We want to know who we have a relationship with, after all! Relationships have a wonderful shame-busting function when we realise that, by-and-by, our partners can even deal with traits of ours that we had considered completely unacceptable. Of course, our partners bring their own baggage into the relationship, and get triggered at times. Honesty is a way to more and more intimacy. If there is a shameful secret that your partner must never ever know, that’s a burden and a responsibility, and it may get in the way of intimacy. That said, if you had a secret affair, and it’s over – consider carefully if you want to share this with your partner, or not. You may choose to keep it on your conscience forever, and that may mean love and kindness to your partner. There is no right or wrong here. You have to decide.
So – is P@rn use Cheating, or not?
I would generally advocate to have a talk about relationship agreements and boundaries. We are all sexual beings, and continue to be attracted to others, even though we may choose not to act on it. Is looking ok? Is flirting with a colleague or a stranger ok? Don’t forget that reputation may be much higher on your partner’s list of priorities, and that’s particularly true for women, to the degree, that she may not even care what you do sexually outside the relationship, as long as you tell her about it within 24 hours, are emotionally faithful, and others in her social circle don’t know about it, and are unlikely to ever find out. Does your partner get triggered when they find out about your p@rn use? Instead of getting defensive, make time for a long talk. Give them space to share all their feelings about the issue. Just listen. Affirm their feelings, don’t try to talk them out of it. This is a chance to learn more about your partner. Express your own feelings, and the love you have for your partner. Then, schedule a follow on talk, or try to find an arrangement that suits both of you. Who knows, maybe your partner is interested in online erotica, and you both get a research assignment, and share the results. This could even enrich your partnered sex life. Enjoy!