Thursday, June 14, 2012

[thanks!]


Hiya slit-ticklers!



I've missed you!
And it's warm out! It's finally warm out!! 
[thanks yaara]


Chicago's beaches are open and sundresses are in season and the question "But do they have a patio?" is now the only determining factor in whether or not I'm going out. 


Each summer I make up a new motto, and this year, my summer motto is: Fuckit, it's too hot for a bra.  
[via rebeccabone]
What's yours?


Around here, it's not quuuuuite summer yet, but that's because - little known fact! - the first day of summer is different depending on which city you live in.


*Did you know?


The Actual Scientific Date That Summer Begins is the first day after the first night of  Pride.  




As my friend Mikal says: "It's just not summer until somebody's getting their stomach pumped." 


Emergency room workers across the country celebrate the date.  
They know when summer's here. 


The traditional Pride cocktail guaranteed to land you in the ER, btdubbs, is:


 90-degree heat + sunburn + parade dehydration + alcohol + sex with strangers + no sleep, along with a few ill-thought out uppers and several morning shots of espresso.
[thanks Sarah Tooley]


We are a responsible people, but dang if we don't let  Pride  break our stilettos in the gutter and heatstroke us in our assless chaps each year.


Here in Chicago, regardless of the piercing sunshine and balmy breezes and exposed tattoos on hot girls biking by, I've been feeling kind of... blah. 
[thanks Arielle S]


What was wrong with me?  
I didn't know.  I couldn't snap out of it. 


I mean, I was having fun! I was getting vitamin D! 
I was writing a lot for Rookie, my hair was getting lighter from days outside, and I had just started running again.
[thanks Caitlin]


In other words, life was great - my "blahs" made no sense.  
For heaven's sake - in one month alone, I was lucky enough to go to: 


* The International Mr. Leather Competition,


* A reading with Alison Bechdel where I was thisclose to her and then afterwards saw her on the street going into a cafe right by my house - later, upon intense questioning of the baristas in the cafe, I learned that she's a regular there. 


Well. 


Noooobody mind me, juuust sitting here sipping my soy latte...noooo particular reason I'm here....


* A buncha queer dance nights,
[FKA]


* Midsommarfest in Andersonville, where Timothy Maxwell Thumperton took 1st place in the annual pet parade (yes, hello, I'm five years old)


[lookit ma bebeh in his fetching spring jaaaacket]
and 


* The annual Burlesque Hall of Fame weekend in Las Vegas, aka the Superbowl of Burlesque. 
[Miss Indigo Blue winning 2011]


I just came back from that!


And as I got ready for the show each night in Vegas with my Minneapolis burlesque girls, and they displayed their new eyeshadow finds and rhinestone tiaras and shared news about state-of-the-art advancements in the field of glitter...


it hit me like a bolt from the blue.
[I took dis. It's our sink at the hotel room in Vegas]

I realized what was missing in my life, what was causing my strange uneasiness and vague sadness.


I missed high-femme-ing it up all the time. 
[Tawnya before going out. There's some tape involved, here.]


In Chicago, I walk everywhere, so I've ceased to wear high heels altogether.  


My hair's all shaggy and needs a cut; my nails haven't been glossy red in ages.


Sluts, I currently only own one bra, and it's beige


Beige!


Being at the burlesque festival, with its explosion of vintage swimsuits and elaborate pin curls and feather fans and wigs and sequins, was like remembering myself. 
[it's me! in drag]


Like surfacing from the sucking mud of my own murky Lake ToneItDown.


[Lola Van Ella in her mom's body-building competition swimsuit from the 80s. I want this suit very, very badly]


I missed fake eyelashes and polka dots and enormous gold hoop earrings and checked gingham shirts tied at the waist. 


I missed heels with crystals making them sparkle; really elaborate garter belts; cherry red lips that kiss off onto everything.

I missed it! I needed it! That used to be me! Where had I been???  

[Jeez Loueez in another amazing suit. I vomited with envy.]


My god. 


Sometimes you really need glitter to bring you back to center.


Anyway! Refreshed and revived! 


It's so totally on this summer, sluts.
[Nadine in her epic, epic crown]


When I got back from my five transformative days in Vegas, I wandered, unknowingly, into a hotbed of discussion. 


It seemed that June's unseasonable heat had put some gayelles I know in heat, and...the results were volcanic. 


Relationships were erupting like liquid hot magma.  (How many heat references can you find in the last three sentences? I count 5.)


[isn't this picture dirty?]


The topic on the table was - and still is, y'allfags - cheating.


Cheeeeeaaaaating.


OK heads down hands up:  Who here is a cheater? 
[thanks Becky G! nice armadillo]


It's OK. No one can see you.  You're alone at your computer. 


Who's cheated?  


And what do I mean when I say 'cheating'?


[thanks Lauren and Adrienne]

Because this is where the hotbed of discussion comes into play. 



Here's a very summed-up version of the sitch: 


Two long-standing lesbian couples. Everyone's friends with each other. Two of the girlfriends start sneaking around...with each other. 


The queergirls who are accused of cheating with each other maintain that they did not, in fact, cheat. 


Their girlfriends, um, felt otherwise. (They know I'm writing about this, obvs. They asked me to ask you faggettes what you think.)




The girls accused of cheating seem to be skirting the issue of cheating with technicalities, saying things like, "Well, we never actually fucked."


You know. The way some (ahem) of us Mormon kids continued to claim we were virgins, because oral and intense fingerbanging "didn't count." 
[thanks April]


And why is this my business, anyway?  It's not.  
What's it to me? 
Who cares if some friends of mine are cheating on each other?


I'll tell you why: 


Because in this particular situation between friends, I was the Secret-Keeper






You know who the Secret-Keeper is. 
She's the friend that everyone tells their stuff to; the friend who hears both sides of the story. 


I knew what was happening. 
I knew who had slept with who. 
[thanks Lindsay P]


And I didn't say anything to anybody. 
I just - I didn't know what to do. 

When you know your friend is cheating on someone who is also your friend...do you tell?  



[thanks Suzan M]


Is that your role? 

Or is your role to listen without judgement, and wait for the problems-that-aren't-your-problems to resolve themselves?


I chose the latter option, and now I'm kiiiiiind of spending a lot of time on couches with friends shaking their heads at me going, "I can't believe you knew and didn't say anything."
[via lulusofie]

And what, dear god of all things gay, do we define cheating as, anyway?  



I'm serious.  


How do we define cheating in lesbiqueer circles?


[thanks Christian C]


Assuming you don't already have an agreement with your main squeeze about being open....


Does 'cheating' just mean 'fucking'?  


Cute.  How do we define fucking?  Remember when we were so confused about that way back in 2009?


Is it kissing someone else? Making out at a club when you're in line for the bathroom? (Who does that? Nobody I know.)
[thanks Rugburns]


-   Is cheating like, admitting to someone that you like them? 

-   Is it cheating to gchat with your admitted crush?  
[thanks Tessa]


- What about texting? What about snuggling? 


-   What about 'platonic' dinner dates where there's an undercurrent of sexual tension? 


-    What about deep, drunken, late-night conversations up on somebody's roof where no one does anything but OMG DEEP EMOTIONS AND FEELINGS are shared?
[thanks Bee]


What do y'allfags think about this???  

What's cheating?


My friend Alma maintains that cheating is anything - anything! - you wouldn't do if your partner was right there.

Hmm.

That feels a little Draconian to me.  
[via somethingtoforgetmeby]


Like when I was 13 and bought my first-ever CD with my own money (it was RENT, you jealz?) knowing full well that there were words like "mucho masturbation" and "bisexuals" embedded in the lyrics, and my mom insisted on sitting down in the living room with me and listening to the entire musical, start to finish. 


Determined to show her how worldly I was, and trying to be blase while the characters sang about AIDS and lesbians and drugs and working in strip joints, I quietly died of embarrassment in the living room for over two hours.


When the last ringing note of RENT had pealed out over our stereo, Mom rose, silently and tight-lipped, from the couch and headed down the hallway, tossing over her shoulder "Next time you buy music, imagine listening to it with your mother and Jesus in the room."


Dude. 


I still can't play a record without picturing Jesus sitting next to me on our green family sofa, flipping through the album lyrics with my mom.  


So I think Alma's definition of cheating is kind of intense. 


You can't do anything with someone else that you wouldn't do around your girlfriend without it being cheating?  


DAY-um.
[thanks!]


What if you start to like a new, cute lil' dyke and she likes you and oops you maybe kiss once and then stop and then feel really bad about it and never do it again? 


What if you make out a bunch and then stop, because you suddenly really realize the consequences of what you're doing? 

And, my lawd, what about emotional cheating?  



[thanks Kristen]


The kind of thing where you like someone and she likes you back but nothing happens because you have a girlfriend, but you still share stuff that lovers would share? 
Cute texts, secrets, presents - is it cheating?  


Or is it just cute texts and secrets and presents? 


Where do we draw the line?
[thanks Rose S]


In college, I took Human Sexuality (to learn! for science!), where I was startled to learn from a textbook that:

#1) Lesbians, gay men, and queer-identified couples unfailingly rate themselves as the happiest (how? in what way? how do you measure happiness?) types of couples (there's that confidence I love about us); and


#2) An enormous portion of lesbian relationships are formed from the ashes of cheating.  




I seem to recall the textbook calling it "mate-poaching," and me thinking "oh I like that they have a fancy name for cheating, college is wonderful."


The gist of the idea is that when two people are in a relationship, another person comes along and mates (yes!) with one of them, and the coupled partner leaves the nest to follow the new person. 


Yeah, so...cheating, right?
[thanks Maria J]


And that seemed, well...fairly accurate.


Obviously, I understand that all kinds of couples cheat - not just gay ones.  


But maaaaan it seems like I know a fuckload of cheatin' lezzers. 


For me, at least, the mate-poaching theory explained so much when I read about it. 
[thanks Ariel N - 'SapphicSista' on YouTube]


At the time I was taking the class, I was in the process of letting go of one relationship and starting a new one, before the old one was, um, completely over. 


Which is a shameful pattern of mine. 
That I share with about 10 bazillion other dykes.  

Tawnya calls ghey girls who do this "monkeys", because they keep hold of one branch of the tree while swinging to a new branch. 



I dunno, mos, I just - there are so many lesbigay couples in my life who started out as cheatin' partners and then went public with it.


Is it the same where you are?  
Does it seem like everyone you know has cheated? 
Have you cheated? Or been cheated on?
Do you even think cheating is bad?
Did you start a relationship with someone by sneaking around? And are you happy now?  Has it led to shocking amounts of drama?  
What?  


I'm seriously extremely interested. 
[thanks Nikki May of nikkimay]

Really - what's cheating to you?

162 comments:

  1. I cant handle this, as a lady who enjoys the company of other ladies but has never had a relationship that lasted longer than a couple of months I just can't handle this revelation. I now have to be aware of ladies coming a long and potentially stealing my "future mate", aw hell.

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    1. I'm right there with you! I don't think I can handle this, on top of the few very short relationships that I've had. :(

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    2. I had a few short relationships, and a really long one, and I just met a whore... I mean, a lady who wanted to "steal" my girlfriend. We talked about that and she wanted to stay with me only, so I didn't worried about her a lot, altought obviously I wasn't bursting with hapiness when that girl was around or wanted to hang out with my gf. At the end, we cut all kind of contact with her. And despite that bad experience, I don't let that discourage me at the time to meet new lesbian friends =) I think that, If a relationship stops working only because a friend represents a trouble for it, then it's not worth of being a relationship in the first place.

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  2. So glad you're back! <3


    And to answer your question, I don't do monogamy, so you probably aren't actually interested in what would qualify as cheating to me, but the important part is that it's negotiated in excruciating detail.

    Anyone who doesn't negotiate what is cheating will have to deal with the fact that everyone has a slightly different idea about that.

    That said, this is what seems to me like the normative monogamous contract. (More or less what people seem to assume the rules are before we actually sit down to negotiate.)

    1) There's no such thing as cheating until it's "serious"
    2) Fucking is always cheating
    3) Infrequent kissing/Make-outs are against the rules, but if you feel bad enough/apologise they're forgivable
    4) Things have to get pretty serious before anything counts as emotional cheating, but you should probably feel guilty about it
    5) The threshold for 3 and 4 is much easier to meet if we are talking about exes, high school crushes, your partner's friends and family and other people who come with lots of emotional baggage.

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  3. I consider cheating to be not when you kiss the first time, but if you go back and do it again. Cause circumstances can occasionally make people do weird things. But doing it again means you liked it, and want to.

    And I think my first girlfriend was in an unofficial, friends-with-benefits type of relationship when we started to get together.

    The mate-poaching actually sounds about right...

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  4. Oh fuck. I want to understand this too.

    Can good relationships come out of cheating?

    I recently fell hard for a lady who was nearing the end of her relationship. We hung out as friends, but it was so much more. I told her I didn't want to be a catalyst for a breakup, they broke up, and I told her not to contact me anymore. But I misssss her.

    AM I A STUPIDHEAD?

    It seems unhealthy to be a "monkey" - don't you need time to recover from LTRs?

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    1. With all respect, yes you're a stupidhead. If you like her and she likes you, then play it out and see where it goes. I know tons of healthy, happy, insanely in love couples that came out of one version or another of what you describe.

      I think it speaks to her (and your) credibility that you both tried to not do anything until she sorted out her other situation first. It is important that she has a sense of why that relationship is ending beyond simply wanting something new (you). Is that your fear? You can be a catalyst for a breakup without it being a bad thing. Maybe you just helped her realize what she was missing, gave shape to her unhappiness. That's different from just jumping ship at the first scent of wonder.

      Good luck!

      Delete
    2. I don't think you're stupid, and I don't think there's a damn thing wrong with wanting a less messy foundation for a new relationship.

      Life doesn't always work out the un-messy way, but you're allowed to have standards (and to rethink them if you find your current ones aren't working for you).

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    3. Not only is alright to seek out a healthier relationship foundation, but speaking from experience: just because she has "broken up" with the girl friend does not in fact mean their relationship is over. I've noticed relationships usually continue for long after the the actual "break up" occurs.

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    4. It depends on what you want! If you don't want to have that foundation for your relationship, that's just fine. If you really want to be with her but you're keeping your distance because you're afraid of how it might turn out... then yes, go get her, stupidhead! :P

      But yeah, basically, it seems like you were crushing on her and even if she was interested at the time, this is NOT a case of a relationship coming out of cheating. If they were near the end, YOU weren't the catalyst of their breakup. And if she didn't cheat with you, cheating's got nothin' to do with this scenario.

      Do what you feel is best for you in this case, but don't be too afraid to go for what you want. And don't feel guilty if you decide you DON'T want it! :)

      Delete
  5. Missed you too, Krista!
    As for "cheating"... I guess that the imperative of faithfulness and the very concept of cheating are constructions that shall make one believe that you can possess someone. In any way, it means controlling - be it one own's jealousy, be it the partner that is "all mine". Which for me does not mean monogamy is impossible. In my perfect world, there would just be no need to even have a notion like cheating or, reversed, faithfulness, or jealousy - because, if we can't possess each other, we can't "cheat" anymore.

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  6. That'll depend on your agreements with your partner(s). Everyone's different on what *counts* as cheating - but I'd say cheating is when you *break* those agreements. Communication is key, people.

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    1. Seems obviously this. If you and your partner both talk about who your friends are and both go "OMG, I wouldn't even LOOK at another and the thought makes me sick," then if you have a secret situation with someone else even if it's no fucking, it's cheating. On the other hand if you're both like "yah, we have friends and we don't both have to know about each other's lives 100pct," then a little friend crushing would not be a big surprise.

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    2. Well-put, Cx Tiara Transience. As in sex (how we define it and how we have it), consent and boundaries should be established and agreed upon, can be changed or altered, and to violate those agreed-upon boundaries is just that: a violation.

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  7. I identify as bisexual and have long-term, serious relationships with both men and women and, if your theories hold up, I am a "monkey" through and through. I dated my first long-term boyfriend for 5 years and before we had broken up, met and started dating my first long-term girlfriend of what turned out to be 5 years. (pattern much??) My current boyfriend and I started dating in a very similar kind-of-cheating-but-I-thought-we-were-open? kind of way and now we've been together for almost 2 years. What I'm wondering is if these relationships can be maintained "forever," whatever that means. Or, do they speak to the inherent anti-monogmy of all humans? Should I start looking for another in about 3 years or what?

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    Replies
    1. P.S. I think good relationships come out of "cheating" ALL THE TIME. And no, I don't think everything is cheating. I think cheating is different for every relationship and depends on the perimeters individuals set and agree on. For me and my boyfriend now, that would be pretty much all physical contact and emotional dependency on others. But perhaps that will change in a few years. "Cheating" is fluid, context-dependent and whatever we want it to mean.

      Delete
    2. I agree, good relationships can come out of cheating. (I've definitely done that.)

      But I also think that the space between relationships is a really important.

      I used to be a grade A monkey. (I like that term!) And a lot of the reason for it was that I was terrified of breaking up, so I let relationships drag on way past the point where they made any sense any more. It's easy to cheat when you aren't interested in your partner. In fact, the very fact that cheating sabotages the relationship is part of the appeal.

      I did some really serious soul searching a few years back, and now I make a point to end relationships that aren't working and to be completely honest with my partners and myself (hard!) about what I want and how I feel.

      For me that means accepting that I'm no good at monogamy and being up-front about it. I haven't cheated in years now, because when I sleep around, every one knows where they stand and what to expect.

      But I think the principal is probably the same if you are in a monogamous relationship. Be honest about your needs, end the relationship if it's not working for you anymore, respect yourself and everyone you're involved with enough to trust them with the truth.

      The space between relationships is important because it lets you step back and take stock. What worked, what didn't, what do I want to do differently next time, what can I put up with, what do I really need?

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    3. I really like this and agree with you on being honest and communicating. I think that is where so much goes wrong. When people aren't open and honest about what they are thinking and feeling, it creates more heartache in the long run.

      I've spent a lot of time lately trying to figure out how I feel about monogamy and relationships. I am 31 and didn't start coming out until I was 28. I haven't had many relationships, but as I go along and feel genuine feelings (rather than feelings I forced or faked for the guise of being "straight"), I'm not sure what I find acceptable for a relationship... if I am okay with open relationships, etc.

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    4. I agree that being honest with yourself is the hard part.

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  8. I find the timing of this blog entry to be ironic, because I actually JUST cheated on my girlfriend of 4 years a couple of days ago with an ex. I've never cheated on anyone before, nor do I plan to again. I'm pretty sure it qualifies as full-on cheating, too. There was sex, yeah, but it went a lot deeper than that, emotionally. I've been out of town away from my girlfriend for almost a week, and the guilt has been eating away at me. I can hardly eat, or sleep. I go back tomorrow and I'll have to tell her what I've done. I wish it was as easy as just being a lezzie in heat :) Unfortunately, and as much as I may want it to happen, I don't think I'll have the luxury of running off with this girl I cheated with. After it happened (more than once) she realized she didn't want to "jeopardize her budding relationship" with a new girl, while she had no trouble aiding me in the destruction of my own. But, we live and learn, right? Thanks for the post, Krista!

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    Replies
    1. Please don't forget to leave out the part about "the luxury of running off with" your ex when you tell your current GF!

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    2. The timing is ironic for me too. I'm nearly a mate-poacher, but nothing has really happened (yet). We'll see. But I definitely want this girl to myself...

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  9. Is cheating wrong? I think lying is, especially lying to the people who love you about anything important.

    So yeah, I think it's bad.

    If you're being open and honest and everyone is consenting then it's not cheating anymore.

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  10. I'm in an odd position as a bisexual girl in an open relationship with a straight guy, because he's obviously going to have different feelings about what I do depending on whether it's with a guy or a girl. On the other hand, he steadfastly refuses to set any actual rules because he says he wouldn't break up with me for sleeping with anyone, so there's no point. I personally feel like there's a really wide gulf between "I guess I won't dump you" and "yay, go sleep with people!", so other guys are this whole weird gray area for me.

    I suppose it comes down to this - the word "cheating" is actually pretty useless. What you need is the words "bad idea." "Cheating" is something that is a Bad Idea because it would upset your partner/jeopardise your LTR. Although, in the context of my present relationship, doing pretty much anything with someone who would expect something serious out of it is a bad idea not for those reasons but because it's kind of leading them on. That doesn't mean I'm going to officially define that as cheating. Anything casualish with girls is Not A Bad Idea, whereas I have not yet figured out where the Bad Idea line is with guys because frankly I am not very good at this stuff.

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    1. WAIT YOU HAVE MY LIFE!!!


      I'm a queer lady in a long distance LTR with a bisexual dude. We are sort of semi-open, in that I can fuck women as long as I warn him first. HOWEVER i'm not supposed to do anything with men. Anything.

      BUT NOW there's this really cute boy, and it just doesn't seem fair, because I feel like if we're going to do open it should be regardless of gender, right? Since we're both queer sluts?

      Delete
    2. I am also a bi lady dating a man... and my experience messing around with nonmonogamy has taught me that it's not the 'fairness' of different rules for different genders that matters; it's how it makes your partner feel. Assuming, of course, that their feelings are a priority for you.

      Also, different rules for different genders, in my case, may not be entirely unfair since I have different types of attraction towards men and women. Irritating might be a better word than unfair. Fairness is hard to apply to a messy, feely-weely thing like a relationship.

      Delete
  11. Wow, this post hits close to home. My first serious girlfriend and I were having a tense few weeks in our relationship which eventually led to us breaking up, and during this time, she was becoming much better friends with a girl who she immediately started dating after we split up. I don't think she "cheated" – she never had sex with this other girl while we were together – but from my point of view, it seemed like there was some serious emotional cheating going on. She was absolutely a "monkey," in my opinion, and it made me feel like shit. It's the worst thing ever to have someone tell you that they love you and care about you for over a year, and then in the space of two weeks see her holding hands and taking cute facebook pictures with someone else. The whole situation has just made me bitter and has completely erased any chance she and I had of being friends.

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    1. Hey, I was there too. It hurts like a motherfucker but I hope you're alright <3.

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    2. Either this happens alarmingly frequently or we're different parties in the same situation! which would be awkz but given the size of the queer internet not improbable.

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    3. i did that to my ex. did you talk to her when you broke up or did you just try and forget about it? i asked my ex if it was ok if i started dating someone a few months after we broke up and she said she didn't care. i tried being friends with her and talking to her and explaining, but she didn't want to speak to me or discuss what my/our situation was and what was acceptable. she just assumed the worst i guess. and now she has blocked me on all social media's and avoids me at clubs.
      i didn't do it because i didn't love her - i did, so much - but maybe it wasn't anyone's fault. i guess what i'm trying to say is just because i was a monkey, doesn't mean i didn't love her with everything i had. it just didn't work, and there was someone there to help me work out how i felt which turned out to be more down the track...

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    4. I think that is something really important right there... Just because you love someone deeply, doesn't mean it will work. My first girlfriend was so completely wrong for me, but I loved her so much. I left her though, because it wasn't working. She couldn't understand how I could love her but leave her. I didn't leave her for anyone, and I didn't get into a relaysh right after, but I simply left her because it wasn't working. This was end of last year and I'm still not over her. I still love her more than anyone I have ever loved, but I know were not meant to be.

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    5. Same thing happened to me. Except y ex broke up with me cause she wanted to be single (or so she said) and was dating another girl 4 days later, enged three months later.

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  12. Alma's right. The End.

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    1. I agree with both you and Alma. Maybe I'm old, or just old-fashioned, or maybe I just have a strong sense of empathy, but all these justifications are bullshit.

      And I say this as someone who was "the other woman" for a looooong time...and the person I was with turned out to be a sociopath with women all over the country (world?). I've also been on the one cheated on in a few relationships. And I'm not saying shit can't be worked out after an indiscretion, but for fuck's sake take responsibility for it and talk about it!

      I've never been a cheater and I think that's more common than this piece lets on.

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    2. here is why we can trust alma:

      1. her name is alma. good name.

      2. your rent analogy is a biiiiiiiit of a stretch. since a mother isn't the same as a sexual partner and all (hopefully).

      3. it's not draconian--it's emotionally mature. all these justifications are pretty slippery and spineless. if ya want to be polyamorous, do it with someone who knows about/agrees with your terms.

      4. if you feel guilty, it's cheating. woman up, tell your partner what you did, and go from there.

      5. don't date monkeys. they will rip your face off.

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    3. #5 especially!

      Alma, FTW.

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    4. I have to agree too. If you want to be in an open relationship, or flirt heavily with other people, or kiss A LITTLE BIT ONE TIME, you've got to DISCUSS IT FIRST! I don't want to play holier-than-thou in any way, here, but my partner and I ten years strong at this point and getting married in less than a month, and I can assure you that if there had been any kissing-without-permission, or special presents arriving from other ladies, that wouldn't be the case. (For the record, also, we have both slept with someone else throughout the course of our relationship.. but WITH CONSENT. And NOTHING happened before we talked about it. No flirting, no present-giving, no "one-time" make-outs... nothin!)

      Parent analogy doesn't work for me. You don't CHOOSE your parents. You DO choose your partner(s).

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  13. I recognise the entire part about missing femininity. I've been fighting trough winter, wearing dresses beneath layers of sweaters and up to three layers of stockings, making feminine hairstyles for work (I can't remember having a sidebraid since kindergarden!) and now summer's slowly creeping back, like a muddy dog by the backdoor... about time you showed up!

    And second, Alma's got a pretty good point in this. WOULD YOU snuggle so close to your best friend if your partner was sitting right next to you? Probably not, and that's bound to give a little bad coinciense...

    And I feel your pain on the first CD story... but I'd love to know what Jesus would rock to? Elvis? Beatles? Prince? With all that hair, I'd drag him to a heavy metal concert and teach him headbanging ^^

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    1. Jesus would rock to a playlist drawn from many sources--Bach, Atmosphere, James Brown, Muddy Waters and Simon & Garfunkel would all make guest appearances.
      Also, Jesus listens to All Things Considered and Splendid Table on public radio in the car. Because everyone has a sensible hatchback in heaven, and an equal sign sticker on the rear bumper.

      Delete
  14. i don't even know how i define cheating. all i know is i was ditched for dance night and seeing this post just salvaged my day.

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    1. Sorry about dance night. That sucks. If I knew you, I'd take you out dancing.

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  15. For me, cheating is anything that makes my inner Jiminy Cricket wag a finger at me. Especially if a relationship is newer, and not totally well established yet. How do I feel about my actions? If I feel bad/guilty about them, then it's time to look at that and let my partner know what's going on. This works within the parameters of whatever boundries have been set up as well. If my partner and I had a "ground rules" discussion, and then I break one of those ground rules or even come close to it, that's cheating.

    Okay, now I'm gonna say something really un-popular, but I feel that it's been really true for me. I have noticed that a lot of queer folk use the queer label as a way to excuse their bad behavior (like cheating and lying about it). As if it's okay to be disrespectful to people because of the disrespect we've been shown all our lives. Or that whole "we don't conform to social norms anyway, my as well just do whatever we want" mantra. I think that is all well and good to a point-- it does not excuse treating someone like crap, no matter who they are. And cheating is treating someone like crap.

    Word.

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    1. I completely agree with everything you've said. I'm tired of people using the queer label as a pseudo-excuse. It really puts a bad connotation on the word and the lifestyle, especially for those who would never cheat and have been in relationships absent of "bad behavior." It makes me sort of sick, and makes the whole "gay rights" thing infinitely harder.

      Additionally, the ground-rules thing is an excellent example of how to make a relationship work. It allows each to cater to their own, and requires open communication.

      Delete
  16. It's fairly easy, actually... Each couple needs to decide what cheating is for THEM. There are couples who are okay with open relationships, as long as there are no sleep overs & no repeat fucks, whereas there are open relationships where no fucks are given. Then there are monogamous relationships who are okay with you making out with anyone you want, but nothing below the shoulders. For me, I don't define cheating. I define fidelity. You have to be FAITHFUL to me, meaning no sexting, no emotional cheating, no cyber or phone sex, no kissing (beyond friendly cheek kisses). If you're with me, you're with ME. If you want to be with her, even the tiniest bit, then you're free to go be with her but you're going to lose me. I apply the same rules to myself, so it's not like I'm unreasonable. I tell ever potential partner, in advance, how seriously I take loyalty & ask them to seriously think it over before we enter anything committed. For me, that's the only way to be in a relationship. But I know it's not the same for everyone. Nobody can define your boundaries BUT the people in the relationship.

    I think a very simple rule is this: If you feel guilty or feel the need to be secretive about it, you USUALLY shouldn't be doing it.

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    1. The feeling guilty rule really doesn't work for some of us. Sometimes a partner has unreasonable demands, e.g. never to hang out with your friend again because you had sex years ago when you both were single. Guilt is a feeling, it isn't logical. I could feel guilty about seeing the friend, but I totally do not think my partner has any right to forbid it in any way so I would continue to hang out with them and tell that to my partner. Sometimes you can feel guilty even if you aren't doing anything wrong.

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  17. When I met my current gf of 3 years, I was engaged to a man and ened up leaving him for her. I guess I've always been kind of a monkey, in that i've got someone lined up before I break off a relationship. As far as cheating goes, I'm in agreement that the word is different to everyone. Even if you never have sex, if you know that this new person you're getting to know is going to in one way or another cause you to end your relationship that's gotta count for something. Cheating? I don't know. I like the term "mate poaching" better.

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  18. Man, that Rent comparison was so incredibly flawed.

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  19. I don't think you can compare listening to music with cheating? The whole direction this post went in got really weird.

    I agree with your friend who said would you do it if your partner were there. I don't think that's extreme at all. If I wouldn't do something with someone in front of my girlfriend, then I probably shouldn't be doing it. I mean, if you're having a feelings convo w your friend then whatever, but you KNOW when there's potential for more. So if you think someone is hot/awesome, you should probably avoid putting yourself in situations with them where cheating can happen. This includes flirty texts and whatever else you don't think is cheating. Maybe it's not cheating, but it's shady!

    My general policy is to treat my girlfriends the way I want to be treated. I wouldn't want her to be kissing/texting some other girl so I don't do it either!

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  20. This post makes me so fucking angry. I was with this girl and I was crazy about her. We're both young, so it was one of these things that had moved from us being best friends to being girlfriends, but literally she was the center of my universe. I was later to find out that for a majority of our relationship, she had been in this FWEB thing with another of our friends and decided I didn't need to know. She said it wasn't cheating and I was being a controlling bitch for making it out to be so because our relationship was 'casual' or some other shit. In any case, I have literally never felt so betrayed and miserable in my entire life and it took me months to get over it.

    I think anything you wouldn't do with your partner there is a good defintion, but I personally consider emotional cheating way worse than sexual. It would have been ok if she was with some random person one time, but the fact that it was sustained and this other girl was worth making me so upset was crushing.

    In any case, cheating in all its guises makes you a fucking awful person. And friends who don't tell are nearly as bad unless they make some ultimatum with the person like you tell them or I will.

    ARGH.

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  22. Tasha thinks, thinking is cheating
    Alice, Jenny, and Tina think kissing is cheating
    Jodi thinks it depends on the agreement between the couple
    Shane doesn't think fucking is cheating as long as there is no emotional attachment
    Bette thinks it is a trap to judge
    that about covers it right?

    I think if it felt wrong or deceitful, it was cheating. If it didn't, then either it wasn't cheating or your relationship with your partner is so far gone you should be out of there anyways.

    It doesn't really matter if it was cheating or not, what matters is people got hurt and now they need to decide if/how to move forward.

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    1. +1 your last statement.

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    2. Everything in this world having to do with anything lezzy can somehow be connected to The L Word. Love it :)

      Also, I agree with everything else you said. Jussayin.

      Pretty much anything caaan be cheating, it just depends on what you, your partner, and this other person make of it. In my opinion, if one person says it was cheating, then that vote overrules the other two.

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  23. Me and my girlfriend got together after a little emotional cheating (on her part. I was single).

    Horrible mess at the time. But we've been together over a year now.

    Yay!

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  24. I once had a girlfriend who thought that masturbation was cheating. I learned later it was due to her own sexual insecurities, but... she was a really big pig about it. Super defensive about cheating in general.

    Honestly, communication is THE MOST IMPORTANT component to a successful relationship. If you're feeling something for someone else, tell your partner before you act on it and totally fuck your current relationship up. If you value both people, you're respecting them by communicating openly with both of them. Time and time again has this been proved to me.

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  25. Ummm.... yeah. I'm currently cheating. There's no gray area here. I've been sleeping with someone else for the past 9 months. And it's a dude, which isn't something I've done in about 10 years. I think the thing is that I know I won't fall in love with him, and he's pretty much exactly the opposite of my gf. We run in completely different circles, so all of his friends know, none of mine know and there's really no overlap. And even though I know I should, I don't feel guilty about the fucking. Because I don't really think that it's wrong to sleep with other people as long as you're not going spreading disease around (we both got tested before anything happened). The thing that's wrong is that this isn't part of the relationship contract, and that's the part I feel bad about. At this point, I know that if this is going to work, then the relationship has to open up-- I really love my gf and want to be with her long-term. And if I can't keep it in my pants with her, then I can't with anyone. I've cheated on everyone I've ever dated, so I don't think that's going to change. I thought things would be different with her. Turns out not.

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    1. Touchy-feely feelings aside, you cannot rob your GF of making choices about her own sexual health, and that's exactly what you've been doing to her for nine months.

      It doesn't matter if you've been tested (once, presumably) or feel that you're having safe (enough) sex.

      So start there, maybe?

      Delete
    2. If you loved your girlfriend, you wouldn't be cheating on her. Purposely doing something that brings you pleasure knowing that it would hurt the person who loves you is not loving that person. If you don't think it's wrong to sleep with other people, why don't you just tell her?

      Delete
  26. Wow..monkeys, mate-poaching, and rationalizing bad behavior. Thank goodness I'm not single. Your blog posts (and comments) are usually fun to read, but this one makes me glad my partner and I don't hang much with the gayelles. Sometimes I miss my single days. Now I remember why I couldn't wait to escape the lez scene in the first place. :(

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  27. Does it seem like everyone you know has cheated? Yes. The only person I know in my group of friends who hasn't cheated is my ex (who was trans). And it was a large group of queermos.

    Have you cheated? Or been cheated on? I have cheated on almost every partner I was with. OMG. I sound like an asshole. But each of their stories are wildly different. Undecided poly rules led to rules being broken, etc.

    Do you even think cheating is bad? I think it is bad, but there are two people to every couple.. and happy couples don't cheat.

    Did you start a relationship with someone by sneaking around? Yes. My current relationship started when she was thinking about breaking up with her ex (my old best friend), and I had permission to sleep with her once or twice from my then partner (trans). Well, her and her partner broke up the night after we frst slept together... One or two times ended up being every other night, and loving texts, secret dates, etc. The night that sealed our fate was a secret date night, I rented a hotel, we confessed our love to each other (so cheesy) and then from then on, we knew had to be together.

    And are you happy now? Incredibly. We have been together for two years. I want to spend the rest of my life with her. She is my very best friend.

    Has it led to shocking amounts of drama? At the time, it exploded a million times over, and the drama was literally too much. It led to some memorable explosive fights in front of drag king rehearsals, inappropriate overstepping, infidelity, etc etc... It was a drama shit show.


    It was all worth it. I would do it all over again. Does that mean cheating is okay? Nope. I don't think it's a positive thing... but cheating seems to be an extension of a miscommunication somewhere else in the relationship. It usually is a backlash of some unhappiness in the relationship.

    So. Yeah. I feel you, lezzie couple with drama. I feel you.

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  28. I should add that my partner and I have a complete honesty rule. There is no need for cheating because nothing is kept secret. If I have a desire for someone, she is the first to know, and then we talk about it. We're a team now. Cheating wouldn't happen unless something went seriously wrong.

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  29. This does not answer your question (I'm honestly still trying to figure out the answer for myself)... but, do people ever tell you that you look a bit like Peggy from Mad Men? A hotter version of course.

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  30. My feelings there are: you know you're cheating when you do it. If you consciously decide not to tell it's because you know what it was. Cheating. But further than that it has to be defined by the relationship. Personally I would consider kissing to be cheating, definitely anything beyond as well. The emotional relationship stuff gets a bit fuzzy, as does the texting. I'd go with "if you feel the need to hide it, it's cheating"

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  31. i cheated on the love of my life and broke her heart. i miss her everyday.
    she does not miss me at all.

    i learned the most important lesson of my life in doing this. . .if you want a break, ask for one. if you want to remain friends with your current gf, don't cheat. if you do cheat, don't lie about it. it's simple; it's about respect.

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    Replies
    1. I am in the same situation. I wish I could go back and change it more than anything. I am with the girl I cheated with and it has never felt the same as it did with my ex. You live and learn I guess.

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  32. As someone who has been cheated on after a 5 year relationship, I hate cheaters. But in the same token I am "dating" a few people currently and while it's not serious with any of them, they don't know about the others... It's not technically cheating I wouldn't appreciate if they were doing the same to me. Cheating is doing something that if it happened to you you wouldn't like it.

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    1. That last line is the smartest thing I've read in a long time. So true. Thanks.

      Delete
  33. The emotional stuff definitely gets a bit fuzzy (I guess there it's not an absolute but more of a degreed gradient-type thing), but with the physical stuff it's concrete. Kissing on up is cheating. Hand-holding is, like...semi-cheating? Absolutely emotional-cheating (if it's emotional hand-holding).

    I've never chought (as I will now call it, because it is awesome), but I've been chought on. Feelsbad and it IS bad. Don't do it. (Cheat, that is.)

    Somebody is (or was; maybe that's ended) emotionally cheating with me. I do think it's wrong and I'm stopping and don't do it.

    Ugh, cheating is horrible. That betrayed-feeling is horrible and jealousy is horrible. I'm not over it, I guess.

    On your not-telling: I guess you didn't do the worst thing you could do. What you did was passive betrayal of the cheated-on; what you could've done was actively betray the cheaters (though they were themselves doing something wrong, so I suppose it's debatable whether or not their betrayal was equally to-be-avoided).

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  34. As someone who's been cheated on by nearly every girl I've liked, I can say, for me, cheating is going behind someone's back--that includes texting, flirting, fucking, whatevs. If you don't feel like you can bring it up to me, or feel guilty about it, that's cheating. My big thing is communication--if you're honest with me, and if we can talk about it, I'm much more liable to try and understand. But I agree with what someone else said, about the lesbian community having a major problem with cheating and trying to excuse it. There IS no excuse, you know what cheating is in the parameters of your relationship! Makes me despair of ever finding a sensible girl to settle down with.

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  35. I don't know what cheating is- I have a very liberal view on what I can and cannot do in a relationship. But I do think that if you cheat and you only do it once there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to tell the other person- unless you want to destroy the relationship. If you genuinely want to stay with it and you never cheat again- live with the guilt and don't fess up. It's easier in the long run for everyone involved.

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  36. This is something I've thought about a lot as I've navigated the dubious waters of open relationships/friends with benefits/emotional attachments. I think that, ultimately, no one physical or emotional act can be defined as cheating because every situation is different... but the bright-line that I personally use as the measurement in any given situation is "obligation." In other words... if at any point my significant other is involved with someone else in any capacity, AND my SigO feels that being with me is an OBLIGATION, or a BURDEN, or they are staying with me because they FEEL BAD breaking up with me... then that's cheating. As long as my SigO comes home to me at the end of the day, and loves me... I don't care. And I wouldn't call it cheating in that case, EVEN IF there is some level of physical/emotional intimacy with that other person. But if my SigO is with me just because they feel like they "HAVE" to be... well, I don't want their pity. Go be with that other person who you've prioritized over me. So that's what cheating is for me -- the point at which my significant other no longer prefers me over all other possible romantic interests.

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  37. I hate this.
    I used to have a great friend who I liked very very much (yes, in THAT sense) and when I ended my relationship and she found out I was not monking-towards-her she went nuts.

    She literally gives me cold shoulders whenever I see her and people ask what the heck did I do to her.
    I did nothing. That's the problem.

    So, I found out we are all expected to monkey because If you not, well, you are a bitch.

    I miss her but I don't think I did anything wrong.

    WTF

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  38. I lost you at "Assuming you don't already have an agreement with your main squeeze about being open...." I figure you agree about all the parameters before you enter a relationship- not just if it'll be open or closed, but what open or closed means, and what would qualify as cheating. Without that conversation, and agreement from all parties therein, I don't consider myself in a relationship.

    Thus, my definition of cheating would be "breaking your promise to stick to defined boundaries". If you don't talk about it first, how do you know your partner and you have the same ideas about your relationship? You can't just expect someone to understand -and stick to- rules they've never even heard. Expecting psychicness is unfair.

    To my knowledge I've never been cheated on (to my knowledge- maybe I'm just dense), but if I were, it wouldn't really even be the sex that was the issue. It would be the breaking of one's word, which I consider hugely disrespectful. I mean, seriously, if you want to be with someone else that bad, just grow up and respect me enough to break up with me first. Then no agreements have been breached.

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  39. it makes me SOFUCKINGHAPPY that you've used a photo of OUR Pride parade (Manchester, UK) in your post.

    And yes, folks, that is a proper actual copper. Marching, in Pride, in uniform.

    Our firefighters do too.

    This is possibly the most awesome thing about living in Manchester.

    PS cheating is whatever you know your partner would be unhappy with. If you're not sure, err on the side of caution.

    Lying about it is what selfish arseholes do.

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  40. Krista,
    The "secret-keeper" section of your post with the picture of Sirius Black made me burst out laughing so hard, I thought I'd fall out of my chair. Thanks for that completely unexpected HP reference!

    I'm going to agree with the commenters who said that cheating is going outside of your defined boundaries with your significant other. Also, if you feel like you should hide it or carefully neglect to mention whatever you're doing with someone else to your significant other, that's cheating.

    I've been the secret-keeper before, and I think that's a shit situation to be in/put someone else into. It's so uncool to know that one of your friends is giving her all to someone who's lying to her and won't be up front about her dwindling feelings.

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  41. Many a long, happy and satisfying relationship has resulted from my main squeeze at any given time meeting the new love of their life in the course of our relationship, and leaving me blinking in their dust. Whether it's been as a result of cheating, or as a result of "open relationship, casual dating others is OK, haha oops now I am gonna go be monogamous with the new girl, soz, bye!", I've spent a LOT of my romantic life nursing those wounds. I always wondered why it was never ME that caused those big, dramatic, oh-so-romantic riftings and rendings and declaration of love in the face of all reason. I was always the polite, respectful, full-of-negotiation partner who got thrown over, every time, for the Love That Will Not Recognise Negotiated Boundaries.
    People really buy the idea that adding sparks, flames and drama to the beginning of their relationships provides this extra-delicious sauce of validation. Like, so many hearts were broken when we got together, our hooking-up reads like a trashy lesbian movie script, therefor our love MUST be inherently amazing, and it MUST be the case that heavens and earth must move to sustain it!
    I have eventually learned how to read the warning signs of "enjoys a love life that closely resembles the emotional narratives of bad 80s rock ballands" early in a relationship, and hit the eject button before I became another supporting character in a whole new story of Epic ZOMG Love Forever. Life is less dramatic now. I roll my eyes at people who need the flames of forbidden love to forge their new romances in, there are seriously better ways to spice things up.

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    1. You are obviously a mature, level-headed catch! Well said! You put the drama queens to shame.

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    2. Very well said. Do you have a a blog? I'd it read!

      Delete
  42. Okay, so I met my current gf whilst I was still with my boyfriend (I'm bi)...we did the whole "cute texts, secrets and presents" thing. A lot. And some rather dirty, flirty conversations too. But I didn't count that as cheating. And I still don't. Because we weren't physically doing anything. And because my boyfriend was possibly cheating on me and we were on the verge of splitting up.
    But I think cheating can be physical or emotional - and the worst kind is both!
    Basically I'd describe cheating as when you lose sight of the boundaries and start treating what you're doing like another relationship. OR when you're doing something you know your partner would feel is unfaithful. Really, cheating needs to be defined by individual couples, not by society in general. Cos I know people (my best mate, for example) who would think that even flirting is cheating.

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  43. Cheating IS doing anything you wouldn't do when your partner is in the room. The reason is because it's lying, which is actually what makes cheating bad. You are not emotionally there for your partner if your head, body or heart are flirting, pining or focused on someone else.. and isn't that the point of a relationship? (If you answered no, you probably shouldn't be in one.) However, in my opinion the biggest thing that makes cheating wrong and so devastating is this: you start being emotionally absent, your partner asks you what is wrong, you say nothing. At this point you have begun breaking down this person's self-confidence and their trust in their own 6th sense. Then when they find out they were right you further destroy their confidence because you've made them feel you didn't think enough of them to be honest. This is what you are doing to someone you say you love - or at least loved. The truth is relationships are serious, if you don't want to take on the responsibilities with the rewards, don't be in one. Try dating around instead, but whatever you do, be honest. There are enough outside forces against us, we shouldn't be destroying each other.

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  44. I agree with Alma. I've cheated before, both in the physical and emotional sense. I rationalized it until I was blue in the face, but what it came down to was that I wasn't willing to take responsibility for my own bad behavior. I've since grown up and am now in an amazing relationship. We have a full disclosure agreement. If I'm going to the bar with people and someone I'm attracted to is there, my partner knows. Simply telling them that little tidbit seems to be enough to keep me on the straight and narrow. And if I'm not getting what I need emotionally from my lover, then we talk about it rather than me going hunting for someone else to connect with. I still have deep, emotional conversations with friends and sometimes strangers, but I usually can't wait to go home and tell my honey all about it.

    And by the way...it's so nice knowing another non-hetero high femme! I've been told soooo many times that I don't put off "the vibe" and it's terribly frustrating at times. Granted, I'm pansexual and not full on les, but that's a whole other conversation.

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  46. my girl is in the pose and she is just wicked cute!!!

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  47. My current relationship rose from the ashes of a long faltering one...

    My ex proposed to me in a very public manner, terrified and embarrassed, I accepted then approached her about the problems in our relationship, she flipped, all friends stood by her -- EXCEPT my current GF who at the time was a friend I had met a few months earlier. LONG dramatic story short, my ex and I broke up and over the next few weeks my friendship with my current GF became something more.

    The BAD? My ex will NEVER believe that I wasn't cheating on her with my new GF and has let pretty much everyone I was acquainted with know her version of the story.

    The GOOD? I am too ridiculously happy in my new relationship to care.

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  48. I think my favourite part about these somewhat distressing blog entries is the diversity of the comment section. Gives a person some hope for mankind. I have never been the victim of one of my ladies cheating on me - except perhaps emotionally, at one point, and she made really certain that I knew about that - and I successfully managed to never overstepping any hurtful boundaries. I don't think that makes me a better person than those who do drop into the treacherous pitfall so vaguely defined as "cheating": avoiding the trap is simply a matter of being cautious, and communicating with the people you are involved with.

    What I'm curious about regarding the particularities of cheating is this: if you know that you are - perhaps inadvertently - "stealing" a partner out of a relationship already cemented, are you not putting your own emotional welfare at risk? It's true that some people only cheat the one time, to be with you. But there are serial cases, and this somwhat distressing post certainly makes it sound as if it almost norm, which troubles me. I haven't been in the situation myself, so I can't relate, but just imagining it makes me uncertain if I could invest in such a person, mad love or not?

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  49. The answer is very simple. First you need to understand what Cheating means:
    “Cheating: refers to breaking rules to gain advantage”; having that in mind, then cheating can be different for everyone and every type or style of relationship you´re in with depending on the rules they establish.
    For me as your friend Alma, I “maintain that cheating is anything - anything! - you wouldn't do if your partner was right there” and/or anything you can´t tell or have to hide from your partner cause you know she will not accept nor be happy about it.
    However first I have to establish the rules with my partner about what is “cheating” in our own relationship then we will know what we can and can´t do.

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  50. "With the expansion of understanding of other cultures, there is a wide spectrum of what cheating means. When in a committed relationship, the definition of cheating is based on both parties' opinions, and both parties may redefine their understanding to match the party at an either lower or higher extreme of this definition. Cheating constitutes doing anything, whether verbal or physical, that one would not do in front of their significant other. Such examples would include: expressing attraction to another person, talking, electronic communications, texting, data, kissing, making out, and sexual contact.

    Many people consider cheating to be any violation of the mutually agreed-upon rules or boundaries of a relationship, which may or may not include sexual monogamy. For example, in some polygamous relationships, the concepts of commitment and fidelity do not necessarily hinge on complete sexual or emotional monogamy. Whether polygamous or monogamous, the boundaries to which people agree vary widely, and sometimes these boundaries evolve within each relationship."

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  51. Cheating. That is a very nebulous word. I think of the concept in terms of lacking honesty and behaving in ways outside of the acceptable and agreed to parameters of your relationship.

    Your actions need not be deliberate, but the choice not to be honest about it is what makes cheating, well, cheating. If those were acceptable ways to behave in your relationship you would be completely honest. You have know what someone's boundaries are. Respecting them should not be optional.

    All of the many questions posed in this post could be cheating. Whether they are depend on the parameters of your relationship and whether you were honest about your actions. If you take deliberate steps to hide something- it was probably cheating.

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    1. "Respecting someone's boundaries should not be optional."

      YES. Precisely. Thanks for summing up this whole discussion!

      Delete
  52. Your friends comment about don't do anything you wouldn't do in front of your partner pretty much sums it up. Personally I have massive issues about cheating. Emotional, physical cheating.. it is all bad. Communication is key. Growing up my dad was never faithful to my mother, and many partners of mine were never faithful to me, and i have seen cheating ruin relationships and lives so cheating is the ultimate deal breaker for me. I am always brutally honest with any partner I have that any intimate act, whether it be fucking, kissing, or secret thoughts about someone or texting... anything they wouldn't want me to know about... is basically cheating on some level. Its like that episode of The L Word where they all went camping and had this exact debate, and i think it was Tasha who said "thinking is cheating"... im not that extreme but any Intimate act with someone you have an attraction too... and then hide it...is cheating.

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    1. Thinking is cheating? Oh man. I couldn't date someone with that definition. The advice I got from my mother was that relationships weren't about being attracted to only one person, they were about deciding that one person was more important and choosing not to act on your attraction to anyone else.

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  53. Up until quite recently I was infatuated with someone who was in a a serious relationship, and would have very much condoned her cheating. The general consensus everywhere I turned was 'cheating is unforgivable and cheaters will burn in hell'. And though my head was telling me I should respect their relationship and karma would be in hot pursuit of me for the rest of my life if I made a move on her, I WANTED MORE THAN ANYTHING for something to happen between us. We always made out like we didn't really like each other thought we were very fond of each other really and there was this tangible love/hate sexual chemistry between us, to the extent that I couldn't imagine for a second that she didn't guiltily want me as much as I guiltily wanted her. But... nothing happened. Looking back, I'm not even sure the chemistry was as mutual as I assumed it was. And I am SO GLAD nothing happened between us because I've got to know her girlfriend and I doubt I could look her in the eye if I knew I'd done something with her girlfriend.

    I know that if I was in a relationship, the idea of my beloved desperately wanting someone else but not doing anything about it would bother me more than if they drunkenly fucked a stranger. But of course you can't legislate against feelings and sexual chemistry. That's why I think that the 'don't do anything you wouldn't do if your partner was there' rule kind of makes sense. It does seem strict, but it would make you think twice before flirting too intensely or giving someone lingering looks, and perhaps lessen the chance of a falling for someone/emotional cheating scenario? Or would the EVERYTHING ABSOLUTELY FORBIDDEN element make it more likely for this to happen?! I just don't know!

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  54. Yup, I've been a CPOS in my time, but YAAAAYYYYYYYY MY PICTURE WHO CARES!!!

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  55. My ex-wife got poached at a lesbian moms group - yeah that's right. We were married with a kid, and skanky parasite dyke swooped in. Needless to say, said skanky dyke wasn't much of a catch, so they burned out pretty quickly. Turns out I'm a lot happier without the ex, and I have a lot more fun parenting without her too. So while it hurt like hell at the time, I'm much happier now.

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  56. I think your Rookie articles are interesting and all, but more Effing Dykes, please!

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  57. my relationship was already in the gutter and we'd already broken up, but we were still sleeping together and doing relationship things. i started talking to a girl and i'd go over to her place and listen to music with her. I finally got the balls to kiss her and couldn't continue on (even though i wish i had)because i felt bad. Little did i know my ex was already seeing someone. failed opportunity.

    i have been cheated on more than once, because i only dated assholes exclusively. I finally dated a good girl and she "sorta" cheats on me too. She breaks up to pursue lame-ass dyke. it burns out after a couple months and she comes back to me. Every now and then I still feel bad about how that all went down. It's not even so much about how the cheating made me felt, but about how it might mean i have no self-respect that i took her back.

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  58. Laughing so hard at "You know. The way some (ahem) of us Mormon kids continued to claim we were virgins, because oral and intense fingerbanging "didn't count."" and "Next time you buy music, imagine listening to it with your mother and Jesus in the room" and Alma's name cos I come from a Mormon background and it's just so typical.
    But that was an interesting topic ...but kinda scary, with some even scarier opinions.
    *kinda glad not to be in a relationship right now, lol*

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    1. Just remembered - you got to meet Alison Bechdel! SOOOOO jealous.
      -Same anon as before

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  59. I've been the cheater and I've been cheated on. There's a whole bunch of hurt no matter which side you're on. That being said, I met my gf b/c she was dating my friend. They broke up and my friend wasn't over her. We began sneaking around, it got out and boom- 2 months of lesbian drama, crying, yelling, texts, and picking sides. It took until about the 3rd or 4th month for it to all blow over. Mainly b/c we were serious and not just banging.

    Anyways, my girlfriend and I discussed cheating within the first 2-3 weeks of dating. We drew our lines n the sand and decided what is and what isn't cheating. And there you have it- a unique and clear guide to what's cheating..for us. I'm a kisser, I kiss everyone, so that's not cheating. She's not a kisser, so if i see her lips on someone, that's a big problem. She's a texter, I'm not. So same thing, vice versa. The point isn't to be hypocritical, it's to respect eachothers individuality and boundaries. It works for us.

    If there's a grey area, It comes down to, if I have to ask, or lie about this- I already know the answer.

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  60. I'm pretty much with Alma. At the very least, if you're doing something that you have to hide from your girlfriend, that's cheating. And just have an open relationship and talk about it.

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  61. I cheated on my last girlfriend with the girl who I'm dating now. It was a huge shitshow, and there were lots and lots of misunderstandings and miscommunications, but the bottom line was that I wasn't in love with my girlfriend, and some serious snuggle-makeouts were happening with someone else. I 'fessed up, ended the relationship, and got together with the other girl. We had to deal with a lot of guilt, and we lost a few good friends over the whole issue, but we've been together for more than 2 years now, and we're happy and in love, etc. Not proud of what I did, but I've learned from my mistakes,and I'm moving forward.

    Incidentally, I also know a lot of cheating lezzzzzbians and other queerly identified ladies.

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  62. Okay here's my two cents, if you're A.) Doing something with someone you wouldn't do if your girlfriend was there and B.) HIDING things you've done/are doing. For instance you're sending flirty texts back and forth to another girl and afterward you delete those texts? Guess what that's CHEATING! If not just emotionally, think of it this way, you and your girlfriend share something that's just your's and her's right? For the lack of a better term think of it as a pie, only you and her and eat that pie and no one else UNLESS both of you say it's okay, but then YOU start sneaking pieces of the pie to someone else, regardless of how little or how much of the pie you gave to that person you still gave away what was you and your girlfriend's exclusive pie/pie eating privilege's.

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  63. I can say happily that I've never physically cheated.

    I have, several times, been on the receiving end of someone cheating on their other half to be with me.

    (once was with my ex, we had a veryyyy long and drawn out complicated relationship, and she'd gotten with this guy friend of hers from grad school who i HATED (obvs) and after ages of flirting and being all silly she was at mine and we were rolling around in bed and finally kissed... she felt so guilty and awful but i felt AWESOME)

    However. Looking back, I definitly broke the 'don't do anything you wouldn't do in front of your girl' type of thing.

    and I really think that's what cheating is. anything you wouldn't say/do in front of your gf.

    emtionally cheating is just as bad as physically cheating.

    and it goes without saying that in my mind kissing someone/fooling around is def cheating.

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  64. I've cheated on every girl I've ever dated (except the most recent one. Girl doesn't even know how lucky she is). But I don't consider myself to be a "cheater" mostly because I was consistently cheating with the same two girls. It almost seemed like I was cheating on the cheating by having relationships. Lol. Does that make sense?

    For the record, fucking is always cheating. Emotional cheating is a no-no, and isn't fair to your significant other, however, I don't think it's unforgivable until something physical happens. Drunkenly making out with someone you happen to think is cute can be overlooked, but drunkenly making out with someone you've been "emotionally cheating" with is definitely cheating.

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    1. This rubs me the wrong way. If you can't be monogamous own up to it. Saying, "Girl doesn't even know how lucky she is" is an effing insult. If she thinks she's in a monogamous relationship with you, then fucking hell she should have the expectation she isn't cheated on.

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  65. I was cheated on in high school, and was horrified because I had been brought up with an absolutely no tolerance idea about it. Something a lot of straights share from what I've noticed, and at the time I hadn't identified as pansexual yet. Since then I have gotten way more lax about it, and I suppose it numbed me to the hurt of being cheated on in a way. Nowadays I have the trend of: If you want a certain someone, or feel you need to 'get out more' just talk to me about it first, we can work something out.

    My current relationship is, unfortunately, a result of emotional cheating. The person I was with before wasn't holding my interest anymore and I got to talking with this other friend of mine. We got closer and closer until I was slipping texts to him while with my significant other and eventually had to break it off with them. It started with a kiss with that boy, for which I felt extremely guilty and realized there was a lot more emotion in the situation than I was willing to admit before, and that my current relationship was falling through. I still tried a desperate attempt to keep that relationship going but it just wasn't working. I just wasn't happy there anymore, and now that I'm with this boy it is a lot more fulfilling. But I know it doesn't always work that way because in my high school situation from before, my boyfriend at the time knew he had fucked up and honestly regrets it to this day because that girl is honestly not the brightest, and he didn't really want her, just couldn't control his dick.

    Basically, aside from me wanting to spill my heart out a little, my point is that shit can be pretty complicated but I feel that emotional cheating can lead to things A LOT worse than just physical. 'Cause physical could just be a fling, or primal attraction, but when it gets emotional is when you start to build the support one needs to really build a relationship/life on. It's a matter of who the person prefers to be with, if it is no longer the significant other, you need to break it off, or cheating of the 'fucking' definition will surely occur.

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  66. So, I totes did this. I was dating this girl for like 3 months or something (which for me is a long time) and we were working really well but it didn't really feel right. Then she went away for the weekend and I went out with a bunch of my friends and met this girl and we hooked up. When my girlfriend came back, it was her birthday so I did something sweet even though I knew I would end things with her soon. She then broke up with me that same day because she thought i was more serious than she was about our relationship. I then started dating the girl I hooked up with a few weeks later and we were together for a long time.

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  67. I think I am very old school when it comes to cheating, so w/r/t the whole "anything you wouldn't do with your significant other in the room" I would have to agree. I realize this is kind of archaic, but when I start dating someone, I like to talk about it so it is always out there from the get-go.

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  68. i agree with alma's rule, cheating is anything that you wouldn't do in front of your significant other adn wouldn't want them to know about/see. if one agrees to be in a monogamous relationship, anything outside of that is cheating.

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  69. I'm currently in a torrid love affair with a fucking beautiful stud who keeps her girlfriend because she's close to her girlfriend's family but uses me for hot sex and i really can't complain because dear god she's perfection and...
    cheating is cheating and i'm probably going to hell.
    it's nice to know i'm not the only cheating queer.

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  70. I just got out of a relationship that started while I was with my ex-girlfriend. It got bad last summer when I owned up to what I did to my girlfriend at the time, but was honest with her and said that I needed an open relationship/something other than what we had been doing (We were also long distance and there was no end in sight). There ensued 3 months of painful talks and furthering resentment while I was realizing that I was falling in love with this other person. Right about the time when I realized that I just needed to break it off fully with my girlfriend, the girl that I was in love with slept with a guy friend of hers (Which although there were seeds of jealousy I found perfectly okay because, hell, I was in a relationship). However, after that point, it became obvious that this new guy was who she went to in order to feel "beautiful" and to flirt with even though she told me she loved me. I realized that even if I couldn't be with this new girl, that it wasn't right for me to be with my girlfriend at the time. We broke up, and I continued to tell this other girl that I was in love with her, and she continued to tell me that she was in love with me, all the while flirting with this other guy. The passion was gone from our "friendship", but we started dating two months later and I thought, "finally! We love each other and now we can have each other and get that passion back!" Little did I know that she continued to flirt with this guy, while our own relationship lacked flirting. I found out multiple times that she was either flirting with him through text, at one point she texted him that she would rather be sleeping with him, and when I said I was uncomfortable with them being friends and wanted her to cut him out, she got furious and said I was controlling her. A few weeks ago she told me that she was still lying to me, that I deserved better, and that we were done. Now, part of me just feels so burned because now she's free to do whatever she wants with this guy and not feel obligated to me for anything. I'm trying hard to cut her out of my life, but a lot of me just misses my best friend :( I don't know how to make myself see what everyone else does in that I dodged a bullet.

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  71. So that's why I've been gaining so many new YouTube followers! I love it when you use pictures of me! And for the record, I didn't poach that deer, it was in season and I had a license!

    Yeeeees, mate-poaching, I see it everywhere! Gosh, cheating is complicated, and I don't even want to delve into what can be considered "emotional cheating". I'd have to say what's what must be left up to each couple, triad, what have you. Pretty much everything you mentioned would bother me, though. Hehe.

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  72. I have to agree with what a lot of others have said: If it's something you'd hide from your partner, it's cheating (which is only half a step from what Alma-the-wise said, since most people in open relationships I know still wouldn't have sex with their partner in the room... unless their partner was involved).

    There's another aspect of monkey-ships as well, aside from the whole everyone-involved-in-the-cheating-is-causing-harm; if someone cheated on their partner with you, how do you know they won't go cheat on you when they're done? Not a risk I'd want to take.

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  73. I was in a relationship with a girl for almost four years. It arose from her emotionally cheating on her girlfriend with me, nothing physical. But somehow that was worse since the girlfriend in question was one of my best friends. Was it totally fucked? Hell yeah. Would I do it again? Also hell yeah. I still love that girl.

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  74. I've always had open relationships. Cheating is breaking our rules.

    Perhaps instead of cheating being something you wouldn't do with your partner there, broaden it slightly to something you aren't comfortable telling your partner. Not as strict, but gives the right sense for 'am I going to get in trouble for this?'

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    1. Great way to put it! If you can't tell your partner, it's cheating.

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  75. I was in a relationship with someone for about 2 years (with girl A) then cheated on her with someone else (girl B) who happens to be my girlfriend now. I broke up with girl A shortly after cheating and started dating girl B about a month after (as she still had to end her current relationship). Now it's been about a year and a half and things are going strong.

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  76. I've never cheated on my partner emotionally/physically. Ever. I don't really get the concept. If you're in a relationship, isn't the whole purpose to be devoted to that person?

    This invariably means that I'm going to meet a wonderful girl with all these built up walls and defenses and preconceived notions about what a great girl is because she's had her heart trampled on by some asshole. And I'm going to have to work ten times harder to turn her around and show her real trust and love. Maybe I'm a dreamer, but it's painfully discouraging...

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  77. I've cheated when I could rationalize "it wasn't really cheating." This happened not when I was in a fully realized relationship, but when I was either in a new one or in a falling apart one and wanted to test if I could get out (lacking the confidence to get out first and be all alone). Also has happened right after any new commitment that I felt a little rushed into, i.e., what, how, why are you my girlfriend exactly? Are you trying to take me out of the dating pool without doing the work to keep me? Well hmm, I can do THIS, with or without telling you. Now, do I still choose you?

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  78. this post has made me so unhappy and scared about being gay and losing my girlfriend. thanks

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  79. emotional cheating is the most scary.

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  80. Is it me, or does this post not have a clever title? What will happen when it ends up on the side bar as one of the most popular?

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  81. Haha, that anecdote about RENT sounds like a scene from Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit.

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  82. HOLY SHIT!! the photo from lindsay p. is HOT! I want a porno that looks just like that.

    Getting back to the question at hand. Cheating is anything you feel you have to hide or anything that feels like your integrity is compromised. If your core moral value is not to harm or hurt other people and to maintain your personal integrity, You don't cheat. It works whether you are in an open OR monogamous relationship
    I have been known to be a reltionship monkey. Yes. I. Have.
    In a long line of overlaping relationships. This last one though I think I did right (for me). and it has now been 12 years today! I think it is gonna be many more.

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  83. My fiancee and I got together via monkeying. I was on a break with my gf and she was on the rocks with her gf but I totally poached her. I think we monkey because girls don't stay on the market very long. If you don't snatch (hee hee) them up while they are available, they'll be gone very soon. Also, there is a great song about mate-poaching by lesbian singer Jen Foster called "Taken".

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DzmUp2cWMw

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  84. I think the definition of cheating is different for each relationship. For instance, in a monogamous relationship, fucking is MOST CERTAINLY cheating, as we all know. However, if you are poly or open, not so much.

    To me, a good rule of thumb is that if you feel guilty, or even have to pause, don't do it.

    BTW, emotional cheating is the WORST. That mean someone else has your heart. How can you fix that?

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  85. I've cheated on most of the people I've dated. You KNOW when its cheating. You might be able to excuse it, or go on and not tell your partner, but you KNOW you've cheated on them. I think its important for two people who plan to be vulnerable with each other to discuss what each of them think cheating is. Cheating is: different for everyone. To me cheating comes in different shapes and sizes as you explained... but I just think when it comes down to it, you know with in yourself whether you've cheated, or are cheating. and in that case, why be with your partner, if you're going to sneak around on them. way more stress than at least id want to take on

    HONESTY, with yourself as to what you are capable of providing, and what expectations you are able to carry, and the amount of respect you're going to be able to give a person is the first step.. second is HONESTY with your partner about all those things. Its obvious that alot of the time we shouldn't expect one person to be able to satisfy our every need for life. SO :) we should all know, before you get serious and take interest in a new interaction, relationship, partnership.. that its highly possible that they might do something with someone else behind your back. or that you might do the same to you.
    Cheating or being with other people, or desiring other people, is inevitable.. its natural. If we don't learn to think that way, we're in for lots of upsets. I believe in that case that at least honesty can keep things a little cleaner.

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  86. I think cheating depends on the couple. I would define it as anything your partner isn't okay with you doing with another person, and that means that boundaries should be set early in the relationship.

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  87. mmmmmmmnn..hot popsickle suckler up there K.

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  88. As a serial monogamist, I think that cheating is knowingly doing something with another person that would wound your partner. It's applicable to polyamorous, open, and monogamous couples alike. There are no hard and fast definitions. It is relative because our thresholds for pain are relative, and based on our individual values. It doesn't mean you can't have complex feelings, moments, or relationships with other people, it just means you need to tend to the feelings of all those people with care and respect.

    For my own heart, Jeanette Winterson says it best in Written on the Body:

    "Cheating is easy. There’s no swank to infidelity. To borrow against the trust someone has placed in you costs nothing at first. You get away with it, you take a little more and a little more until there is no more to draw on. Oddly, your hands should be full with all that taking but when you open them there’s nothing there.

    When I say ‘I will be true to you’ I am drawing a quiet space beyond the reach of other desires. No-one can legislate love; it cannot be given orders or cajoled into service. Love belongs to itself, deaf to pleading and unmoved by violence. Love is not something you can negotiate. Love is the one thing stronger than desire and the only proper reason to resist temptation. There are those who say that temptation can be barricaded beyond the door. The ones who think that stray desires can be driven out of the heart like the moneychangers from the temple. Maybe they can, if you patrol your weak points day and night, don’t look don’t smell, don’t dream. The most reliable Securicor, church sanctioned and state approved, is marriage. Swear you’ll cleave only unto him or her and magically that’s what will happen. Adultery is as much about disillusionment as it is about sex. The charm didn’t work. You paid all that money, ate the cake and it didn’t work. It’s not your fault is it?
    .......
    When I say ‘I will be true to you’ I must mean it in spite of the formalities, instead of the formalities. If I commit adultery in my heart then I have lost you a little. The bright vision of your face will blur. I may not notice this once or twice, I may pride myself on having enjoyed those fleshy excursions in the most cerebral way. Yet I will have blunted that sharp flint that sparks between us, our desire for one another above all else."

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  89. Being cheated on is awful. One of my exes cheated me, we are best friends now, but at the time I thought I was going to die. I think tht cheating should be definedby the couple when they become monogamous so that no lines are crossed.

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  90. Platonic dinner dates with underlying sexual tension are the worsttttttt. So bad. Ugh. Especially when you run into the taken girls friends and they give the two of you questioning looks that make it harder for you to pretend that it's just platonic.

    I think when it comes to that stuff that if it promotes guilt in the person who is in a relationship then the person probably shouldn't be doing it and you could classify it as cheating.

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  91. augh. I've always felt that cheating is a really horrible thing to do to a person and if I ever did it, I could never look at myself in the mirror and to be honest, I don't know how anyone who cheats can. When I realized that I would never want to be with one person forever, I decided to adopt a poly/open lifestyle and I had the tough conversations and avoided some really serious temptation in the meantime. It's the only way.

    Alma's right. How could she not be? Why would you be with someone if you wouldn't trust them? Why be with someone if you know they shouldn't trust you?
    Also, seconded the whole Rent analogy not being at all applicable, for reasons mentioned above.

    I'm poly/open, although my girlfriend and I have decided to be temporarily closed, and have been for a few months (because of some drama that happened to us left us feeling a little ruffled and we need some time to get over it). About a month ago, while drunk and on drugs and caught up in a moment, she kissed a friend before realizing what she was doing and stopped herself and IT FUCKING SUCKED. We're getting through it but....yeah. not fucking impressed.
    Once we're fully open again, yes, there are things that we would do that we wouldn't want the other seeing- I can condone her sleeping with someone else without wanting to watch, but I have to know about it, and vice-versa.

    Also, I have to say that no, I don't really know a ton of cheaters. I know a lot of open people, but not cheaters.

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    1. In my relationship, we have agreed that cheating is defined for us as a physical act like kissing or any kind of sex as well as "special feelings" for other people. It encompasses all the sexual tension that can happen sometimes. It seems to work for us. But I think every relationship is different.

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  92. On the subject of femme and stuff...I just set up a new queer style blog that deals with people who like baggy jeans, boi stuff and sparkley everything. Also for people who aren't 6 foot tall and shane!

    http://petitequeer.blogspot.ie/

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  93. I'm the one who gets cheated on. Nice guys finish last, I guess. I've been dubbed "Good Luck Chuck" by my friends, cause everyone that dates me finds the love of their life and leaves. "DON'T WORRY YESI, IT'LL NEVER LAST!" 5 years later, they're still together and engaged.

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  94. That sounds like some of the things my friends have gone through. My fiancee and I were dating other people when we "got together" and snuck around about it for a while (shame). But now our exes are dating one another and we're getting married next spring. So i think it all works out in the end :-)

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  95. my wife and i were one of the first gay couples to marry in new york, and now we'll be one of the first to divorce (we're also famous for it now, yay). all because she found a shiny new girlfriend on instagram. good times, right?

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  96. A few months ago I read a great great book called 'Sex at Dawn' by Christopher Ryan and Cadida Jetha and it was sort of an epiphany for me. It talks about human sexual behaviour and the history of human relationships and it really made me realize how the social standard of monogamy is bullshit. Cheating is NOT OK, however, being honest with ourselves and our partners about the need/desire to explore other options is totally achievable and it helps prevent nasty situations :)

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  97. Basically, Krista, your analogy is flawed. Alma is right because of one deceptively simple thing, that holds true in both monogamous and polygamous relationships: If you're lying and sneaking around and trying not to get caught? It's cheating. Now, of course, there ARE exceptions - an S.O. who is so jealous and suspicious that they never want you to hang out with your BFF, as one person gave as an example, is just going way too far - but most of the time? If you're trying to keep your partner in the dark, you know you're doing something that would hurt them, and that's wrong. And you know it's wrong, or you wouldn't be trying to hide it.

    And if you're NOT trying to hide it and don't realize they don't like it but they get upset and say it's hurtful? That might be cheating and you might have to adjust the boundaries and rules of your relationship somewhat. BUT in that case it's an honest mistake, and mistakes and misunderstandings can be cleared up. Giving your good friend and ex-GF a big ol' hug and a kiss on the cheek might make your partner uncomfy without you realizing it, but that's a totally different thing than you lying to your partner and sneaking out to spend the day on a no-really-it's-not-a-date with your ex-GF where you cuddle and hold hands and try to never let your current sweetie know about it. The intent and the method makes a big part, and it definitely matters if you know it would hurt your partner but decide you'll do it anyway as long as you don't get caught.

    (As for whether you did the right thing not telling... I think that was a slip-up, honestly. Either way, someone was going to be mad at you, but think of it this way, even if it's not exactly the same thing: If you knew one of your friends was doing something ELSE wrong to another of your friends, would you let the second party know? If the first friend was stealing from them, even a little, or had figured out their email password and was in the habit of looking through it, would you give the second friend a heads-up? I would; I feel like in those situations you SHOULD. I understand why you'd want to stay out of it completely and not tell, but there was definite wrongdoing happening, and I think your friends that were being cheated on deserved to know, the same way they'd deserve to know about a breach of privacy or theft or similar. An ultimatim to your cheating friends to tell their partners before you did would have been a good idea.)

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    1. Oh, and almost forgot :)

      Does it seem like everyone you know has cheated? Nope! In fact, it seems like the few times someone I know has been involved in cheating, it's been because the person cheating lied to them and said they were single. And when they found out, they were PRETTY PISSED.

      Have you cheated? Or been cheated on? I can't figure out if I have or not. I was in a relationship with two people at the same time when I was in high school, a guy and a girl. (Who are married to each other now, funnily enough, and I love them both dearly.) They both knew about it and were okay with it. Thing was, I was in the stage of trying to convince myself I was pansexual and totally attracted to both guys AND girls... Yeah, no. The way the relationship ended up, I was treating the guy a lot more like a really good friend, because I just wasn't into him that way no matter how much I tried to be. He was a sweetheart and totally smitten with me, and I, in return, was totally smitten with the girl. So whether or not that was cheating, it was an entirely unfair situation and I'm glad it didn't last long before I realized I needed to break it off with him.

      Do you even think cheating is bad? Yes, I think it's bad. It's callous, it's a huge breach of trust, and it's putting your own desires way, way above the feelings of the person you presumably care about, if not actually love. If you're not happy in a relationship and want to be free/move onto someone else, talk about the problem with your S.O. and/or end it before sneaking around. It's only fair to them.

      Did you start a relationship with someone by sneaking around? And are you happy now? Has it led to shocking amounts of drama? Nope, N/A, and N/A.

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  98. Ouch. I get that being in the middle thing with the secret keeping. Sometimes I even try to be good and be all, "I DON'T WANT TO KNOW!" but I always want to know, even if people get mad afterwards. However, such problems belong to no one other than who is directly involved and I'll be damned if I get tangled up in that by telling. Never get involved.

    And as to what qualifies as cheating: good question. I say there are always circumstances. From the side of the person cheating, if you feel kiiiinda bad about it, probably shouldn't be doing it. If they're making the person they're dating upset by their actions then they should realize that and be sorry or decide their gf/bf is too overbearing. It's kinda like how you mentioned in an earlier post how some things you wouldn't even expect to make you jealous at all make you REALLY jealous. Maybe couples should establish what they consider to be cheating and what they consider 'okay'. That would be a sticky conversation though.

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  99. my ex-girlfriend cheated on her partner with me, ultimately leaving that person for me. surprise surprise, when it came time for her to break up with me, it was really super messy.

    what starts in chaos ends in chaos.

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  100. I guess what your definition of cheating subjectively depends on how much Drama! you invite into your life. Relativism and rationalization in terms of lying leads to Drama! I am too beaten down now for such things due to much Drama! in my earlier years. Now, I consider that time a developmental stage, but it does not make me perceive myself any less fucked with my cosmic karma credit plan ...

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  101. This sounds bad and really judgy, and I admit that I've never been in a situation where I really wanted to cheat, but I feel like I know quite a few lesbians who have cheated or moved onto a new relationships before the old one was over; BUT, those people have been people who are manipulative, not considerate of other people's feelings, and can't be alone. So when they see one relationship going down the drain, they start another one so they literally don't have to ever be alone.

    I'm not sure where to draw the line, but I would almost agree with the person that said don't do anything with another girl you wouldn't want to tell your girlfriend about. I don't think it's that hard not to cheat.

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  102. I think that cheating is emotional.
    Even in monogamous relationships I won't care if my partner fucks someone else and it's just fucking... If there's texting and presents and secrets - then that's too far, that's cheating.

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  103. Once upon a time I was with this guy who was kind of a jerk and I had been considering breaking up with him for a while, but I was young and stupid and didn't know how to have that conversation yet. One night I climbed up on a rooftop with another sexy male person who I had been crushing on for a while. Long story short, there were makeouts and the next day I broke up with jerk guy. I count this as cheating mostly because I think he would count it as cheating. Tellingly, I had made out with ladies while dating this creep and he had not had a problem with it.

    I think that was probably the day that I decided kisses were awesome and guilt was unpleasant, and so committed myself to only open relationships from then on.

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  104. I often feel as if everyone I know in my lezbigay circles has cheated, but I also have to confess that my ratio of gay to straight friends is severely out of proportion. I'm one of those weird lesbians who mostly hangs out with the straights. I personally have been cheated on by both long term girlfriends that I've had. I also agree with your friend, Alma. I think that if you're doing something with someone else that you wouldn't do with you girlfriend present, then that is infidelity - which is a little different than actually cheating. I think it comes down to a matter of personal integrity. You either have integrity, or you don't. If you are always running around behind people's backs and causing drama, trauma and pain, then you aren't a person I'd ever associate with. I also have the benefit of being a bit older, so I have way less patience with manipulation, players, indecisive women, and games. So.

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  105. This is really interesting and strange to me!

    The relationships I'm in now are open-poly; we don't have to discuss things beforehand, our rules just amount to 'be safe, and tell me the juicy details later! :D' And I don't ever, ever get with anyone who's not cool with that (well. once a girl tried to lie and pretend she was okay with it and then got super hurt? ><), including people who would be cheating on someone else.

    So... it's weird, yeah. I've never cheated on a partner (or been with someone who was cheating on THEIR partner afaik) even back when I was monoamorous. Which is amusing, given how many people turn up their noses at the open part despite apparently being less honest than we are XD

    I'd definitely go with 'cheating is breaking the rules of your relationship' but so many people just assume that their partner has the same set of rules that they do that it's pretty messed.

    And I mean, sometimes those rules are weird abusive controlling stuff, too! Back before I came out as trans, and in my first relationship after coming out, my girlfriends actually weren't comfortable with so much as *thinking a movie star was attractive* and would always follow up with some sort of ...'but not more good-looking than you!' which was both bullshit and weird as hell.

    That part really got me about some monoamory, I mean, if you're attracted to your partner then you can be attracted to people, how could you possibly not find anyone else attractive? It's such an absurd impossible standard. And the no-masturbating (or watching porn) thing someone mentioned! That level of possessiveness over a partner's sexuality kinda freaks me out :/

    Anyway. Ironically, the only person I've been with who was doing monkey-type stuff was my first girlfriend BEFORE i came out. I wasn't really aware of it at first - she was flirty, I discovered she had a boyfriend, she tries to ask me over and I decline; she comes around a couple weeks later with a sob story about her now-ex dumping her for some shallow awful reason, we hook up.

    At the time I didn't question it, seemed fast but not really a problem. But when I came out, naturally she dumped me because she's straight and I'm a girl, and then started demanding that I go to all our friends and tell them I'd dumped her for some shallow reason... yeahhhh. :P

    Also to answer your other questions-

    "Is it the same where you are?
    Does it seem like everyone you know has cheated?"
    I'm really oblivious to this type of thing! I don't know much about the local scene or the relationship drama with most of my friends. Most of them know I'm super poly anyway so I'm pretty sure they don't bother talking about drama with me for that reason ;P

    "Or been cheated on?"
    Not to my knowledge!

    "Do you even think cheating is bad?"
    I think betraying your partner's trust is bad, although some people have really manipulative, possessive expectations! Obvs I don't think sex while in a relationship with another person is bad, but cheating is the betrayal of trust, not the sex. I like what people have been saying about cheating being something you'd be ashamed to tell your partner. Or if you're a callous asshole and wouldn't care about your partner getting hurt, things that would make them feel betrayed.

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  106. Kristaaaaa, where are you??

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  107. For me, the cheating as an act in itself matters not... it's the lying about it that causes the trouble... my partners (both boys and girls) are welcomed to see where interesting roads may lead them, but i expect to be alerted as soon as they are aware of their own desire to follow the new person down that road.

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  108. I know most of these comments are about the cheating question-

    But I have to say the best thing I got out of this post is that there is someone else out there that only owns one bra!
    I laughed so hard when I read that. I first blamed it on traveling through Asia and their lack of large boulder holders but now I'm back in a large-boobed country and have no excuse other than that bra shopping can be so excruciating!

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  109. haha, I think I can agree with this. It seems alot of women (well at least the ones I run across) are very VAGUE when it comes to their definition of a relationship. My first experience with this was actually my Senior year HS and what I thought was with my 1st love.

    There was this girl I was interested in who went to a different High school, we met through a gay male friend we shared. Long story short, he insisted we date and so after exchanging numbers within a matter of days we're spending time together, texting all day/night, sending dopey love letters to each other- the works.......

    About 3 months went by and I told her that I loved her- over the phone- and in the background I hear some other girl talking. Soon the other girl goes, "Lets go on 3way!" And we all end up talking on the phone and our male friend is included.

    Once the conversation dies and the girl hangs up, I ask her who was that girl on the other end and she goes "Oh, that's my girlfriend. We've been dating for a year. She's amazing, isn't she?"

    AWKWARD.

    I was crushed. I called the male friend and he goes, "Opps, I thought she told you see was seeing someone at our school?"
    Wow- what a friend.

    After that I now make sure to ask if they are IN a relationship, and what is their DEFINITION of a relationship.

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  110. Hmmmmm, if u hafta ask, and What starts in chaos, ends in chaos

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  112. I think it's all about honesty, communication, and compromise. I mean, monogamous or not, you are still going to have those random, "Oh wow, she's Hawt! Mmm" thoughts. You'll still get turned on by other individuals you've never even met, and that's normal. Now, how you decide to act afterwards is where "cheating" gets tricky. I feel cheating is messing around with the knowledge (or little voice in your head) that says, "no, don't do it!" and you pretty much said fuck it, and did it anyway. I mean ladies, you know you're gf/partners well right? You would know if what you did would be okay with your girl or not, right? If you're not sure, then, maybe sitting down and talking about it would better help those what maybe's or I'm not sure's. If it is, and you are in an open or polyamorous relationship, then the key word here gals (in my opinion!), is COMMUNICATION. If you feel like you have to hide the fact you've met with someone, omit something, then that's a problem. I mean, we all have our own secrets. We all have different personalities. I can understand if you don't want to make a big deal of hanging out with a new chick because, honestly, you haven't figured out if you even liked her as a person. Okay, that's fine. That's not omitting in a sneaky wanna-be ninja way. To me, that's not starting shit or meaningless arguments.

    I'd say I'm a very forgiving individual. Very. I get how some get into those, "We kissed, it just happened." The moment, the mood, and oops. Will I still be a little hurt? Yes, of course. For a second, until I hear your story. Does that mean she loved me any less? No. It means she's human. Physical acts don't hurt me as much as the emotional ones. If I felt she was getting further away from me, loving someone else (monogamous) or I no longer feel like her special woman in her life/that special connection is missing or muddled (poly), then yeah, that's a problem. I would most definitely talk with her, as soon as i found the words. No one wants to be verbally attacked, unless you want me to get automatically defensive and proceed to having me ignore you till you can speak to me like a person. Because that shit will not fly with me. Manners.... Crap, almost started rambling on a completely different topic... hehe, caught myself though!

    Okay, I guess I've said my piece.

    P.s. Just starting reading your blog. I love it!

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