‘cheating’

Open? Poly? How to NOT Cheat

A number of people have come into my office this past month inquiring about various forms of non-monogamy. Of course there’s the traditional one-sided clandestine affair, in which one person thinks the couple is monogamous while the other person knows that isn’t true (because he or she isn’t). For people who want a consensual arrangement, two of the more common ones are: * Open relationship: Each person has one or more sexual partners outside the couple, which they freely acknowledge to each other; * Polyamory: The couple finds other people (usually one or more couples) with whom to have a…

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(Not-So) Random Thoughts About Sex

Each of these thoughts deserves a post of its own, but after a day of special foods, special company, and hours of Masterpiece Theatre (about Henry VIII), a few words about each feels just right. * Real sex doesn’t feel like porn looks. It’s usually less intense, less gravity-defying, less taboo-breaking, and more about the people trying to connect. Therefore real sex often has a lot of kissing, hugging, and, well, non-“sex” in it. And because it isn’t scripted or edited, real sex often has moments of frustration, awkwardness, disappointment, clumsiness, and misunderstanding. It’s best to laugh together at these…

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Ashley Madison: Playing Around, or Just Playing?

We’ve learned two things from the Ashley Madison hack-a-thon: “Internet security” is an oxymoron—like working vacation, compassionate conservatism, science magic, free speech zone, and the one true religion. You can make a lot of money pretending to offer men a chance to meet strangers for extramarital affairs. What we have NOT learned is that tens of millions of men actually want to arrange extramarital affairs with virtual strangers. That’s because we don’t know how many men joined AM specifically to get laid (yes, of course many did), and how many joined for other reasons. These could include: “I wonder who…

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Is everyone on Match.com looking for a match?

In a word, no. The problem is, I see a lot of couples in which one partner is caught using Match, or Tinder, or Ashley Madison, or some other dating/hookup website. Partner B flips out, accusing partner A of cheating, or wanting to cheat. Partner A denies it, but doesn’t sound convincing: “Uh, I was um, you know, just looking around.” Sometimes that’s nonsense—A is cheating, just as B suspects. But frequently, A is window shopping. We all do it—we look at ads for things we can’t afford, look in shops at things we’ll never buy, look on EBay at…

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Reasons People Have Affairs—Besides Sex

Cheating, infidelity, adultery—no matter what you call it, it’s a staple of popular culture. Articles with titles like “Why he cheats,” “Affair-proofing your marriage,” “Too sexy to cheat on,” and “Secrets of wives with faithful husbands” litter the self-help and “lifestyle” landscape. These articles—which mostly advise readers to be as sexy as possible, and just a tiny bit mistrustful—generally treat infidelity as if it’s primarily about sex. But while some affairs are just that, a large percentage of affairs are not about sex. In fact, many unfaithful men and women admit that the sex at home is good, or the…

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