General Question

filmfann's avatar

Is Cybersex cheating?

Asked by filmfann (40361 points ) April 13th, 2009

If someone sexually chats with someone online, is that breaking a wedding vow?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

69 Answers

berocky1's avatar

umm. yah. it’s a question of the relationship. but . i think YAH

timeand_distance's avatar

YES.
I think that having cybersex with someone is just as hurtful as actually having sex with them. Maybe it’s just because I met my boyfriend online, but I would be very, very hurt if I found out he had a fling with someone online, and would indefinitely break up with him.

cdwccrn's avatar

yes. It is.

ru2bz46's avatar

It depends on how far it goes. A little flirting is iffy, but OK. When she starts making plans to be with him, it’s grounds for divorce.

filmfann's avatar

@ru2bz46 If it depends on how far it goes, what is line? We aren’t talking flirting, this is typing descriptions of sex with someone else.

Rememberme's avatar

If you think it might hurt your partners feelings then yes. If you are afraid to talk to your partner about it then yes. If you discuss it with your partner and you both agree its alright then no its not cheating

ru2bz46's avatar

@filmfann That’s cheating.

chyna's avatar

“In heart as in deed”. Yes it is cheating.

funky_princess's avatar

I would say yes
I wouldnt like it if my partner did this
Would you??

jonsblond's avatar

@chyna Love the new avatar.

girlofscience's avatar

Yes.

But I think it would be less offensive if it was one of those webcam/chat cybersex services. (Because that would be similar to looking at porn since it would be a fake person.) Still offensive, but not as bad as cybersexing with a real person.

Likeradar's avatar

Hummm… I don’t know. It’s one of those fine line things for me, personally. I’m going to go with yes, but I may come back and change my answer.
Like with any relationship “rule” though, it only matter what the people in the relationship think.

@funky_princess I definitley wouldn’t like it, but I’m not sure if I consider it true cheating.
Good question, filmfan.

chyna's avatar

Thanks jonsblond

Disc2021's avatar

I think if you have to ask yourself the question “Is this wrong? Am I cheating?” – you’re probably doing something that you shouldn’t be doing or would upset your partner. People’s opinions vary and perhaps your partner wouldn’t consider it cheating – but if you have to question your faithfulness, chances are things like this should be discussed beforehand or avoided all together.

girlofscience's avatar

Great answer, Disc2021!

Welcome to Fluther.

filmfann's avatar

@Disc2021 This is just a question for the site, not an admission of participation.
Isn’t Cybersex like interactive porn? I am not sure how it is different from reading Playboy and visualizing some of the letters.

girlofscience's avatar

@filmfann: Yes, I agree, but I still gave Disc2021 a GA because I assumed he/she was just providing a general answer rather than using “you” to mean you specifically, filmfann.

Likeradar's avatar

@filmfann You just put into words what I couldn’t… interactive porn.

filmfann's avatar

Sorry, got a sudden rush of anxiety that everyone thinks I’m a perv or something.

girlofscience's avatar

@filmfann: About cybersex being like interactive porn, see why I made the distinction between livechat webcam services and cybersex with real people in my answer.

Disc2021's avatar

Thank you girlofscience =D.

Film – Generally speaking then, in relationships I would go by the “when it doubt” rule.

I’m going to take the literal meaning out of cybersex – sex on cyberspace. Pornography is something that could be done privately without involving/interacting with anyone else. As soon as you start engaging in something with someone else, most would say you’re cheating. Some people would argue that cheating doesn’t occur until you’re actually making physical contact. Like I said earlier – everyone has a different stance and until you know what your partner is comfortable with (and NOT more importantly), it’s better to play it safe.

filmfann's avatar

Okay, with cybersex, you are interacting with what someone else writes. With porn, you are reacting to a model, and a photographer. I am not seeing a large difference.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Yes it is. It has the word “sex” in it, right? Phone sex, cybersex, etc… It’s sex even if you’re not physically touching that person. You are mentally touching that person. That counts.

filmfann's avatar

Mentally touching? So does flirting count?

jonsblond's avatar

@Disc2021 Your first post was an excellent answer! I completely agree with you.

Disc2021's avatar

Maybe there isn’t a huge difference – and maybe that’s why some people actually consider pornography to be “cheating”. Cheating can mean something different to everyone – but I’d say most generally, as soon as you start and engage in that interaction with someone else, you’re cheating. Whereas with porn, you’re not giving anyone else stimulation but yourself.

@jonsblond Thank you guys, you’re very welcoming =D.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@filmfann When I flirt with someone (and I flirt quite a bit, even though I’m very happily married), I’m not imagining having sex with that person. I’m not touching myself, imagining them touching me or anything of the sort. Flirting for me is just words. Like me telling you “That’s a sexy avatar” or “Hey gorgeous” or even making cracks like “Me love you long time”.... That doesn’t mean I’m sitting at my computer dreaming up ways to arouse you or begin an erotic conversation. My flirting is not intended to be erotic or sexual, just funny, cute and good natured flirting.

casheroo's avatar

Chatting with people of the opposite sex? Not cheating.
Innocent flirting online? Not cheating.
Cybersex? Definitely cheating.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@casheroo Yes! Although I tend to flirt with both genders, so my husband really can’t complain, LOL. I flirt with women as much as I do with men!

girlofscience's avatar

@casheroo: Couldn’t “innocent flirting online,” in some contexts, be worse than “cybersex”?

If my boyfriend was “innocently flirting online” with a real person, I would think that was a lot worse than if he went into some porn chat and cybersexed a camgirl. (lol! Not that he would ever do either!)

casheroo's avatar

@girlofscience Of course, in some contexts, but innocent flirting isn’t usually meaningful. It’s just silliness. If it’s something someone feels the need to hide from their partner, then you have a problem.

girlofscience's avatar

@casheroo: If a person was masturbating while participating in cybersex with a random livechat porn-ish camgirl in the same way he would look at porn (say, with the door open, while his wife was cooking dinner or something, and certainly not trying to hide it from her or do it secretly), would you think that was cheating?

jonsblond's avatar

@girlofscience I disagree. Blondesjon innocently flirts with several women on Fluther. That doesn’t upset me. If he were somewhere else, talking to another woman about how she was going to suck his ____, I would be very upset!

girlofscience's avatar

@jonsblond: Ok, I see where you’re coming from. I think it probably depends a lot on the context.

casheroo's avatar

@girlofscience First off, who masturbates to porn when they have a wife?(scratch that, i’m sure people do, but not my husband lol) Second, I would find it extremely gross that he was looking at someone else to get off. I think that is cheating, in a way.

girlofscience's avatar

@casheroo: Well, who knows why he might do it. Maybe he usually doesn’t last very long and his wife was complaining, so she asked him to “take care of himself” before dinner so that he’d have more staying power later on in the night? Haha, and so he chose to use a camgirl for that purpose in order to please his wife for longer, later on? What’s wrong with that?

casheroo's avatar

@girlofscience That’s disgusting. There’s plenty of other alternatives. Why wouldn’t the woman do something for him, to make him last longer? That would be my first thought…not porn.

girlofscience's avatar

@casheroo: Oh geez, who knows, it’s all hypothetical. But I’m just saying, it doesn’t necessarily have to be that bad. It pretty much is just like porn. And it’s not as bad as having cybersex with a real person. There have been plenty of other threads in which the majority agreed that looking at porn in a relationship is acceptable. Many people like to have a sexual relationship with themselves as well as with their partners, no matter how amazing their sexual relationship with their partner may be. For many, porn is a a useful tool in allowing them to explore and enjoy their own bodies. It seems like what you’re having a problem with is a partner masturbating to the concept of another person, which is exactly what happens in porn. So, according to what bothers you, cybersex with a livechat camgirl person is not really different.

Facade's avatar

Of course it is.

casheroo's avatar

@girlofscience I guess I’m just one of the lucky few who’s husband prefers doing me than doing himself. That’s not even an issue in my household.
Looking at porn, and jerking off to porn are two different things in my opinion. But, like I said, I don’t have a husband that does that, so I don’t know much about it.

girlofscience's avatar

@casheroo: Many people consider masturbation to be a healthy personal exercise that is in no way offensive to his/her partner.

We get it. You’ve said three times in this one thread that your husband does not jerk off to porn. I’m not sure how that’s relevant to this question, other than to reaffirm for yourself that you are sufficient for your husband, even though that has nothing to do with what looking at porn is actually about.

casheroo's avatar

@girlofscience I don’t think it has any bearing on if a partner loves his/her partner, all I was saying is my husband doesn’t do it, so I don’t have an opinion on it either way. I answered the original question, I do think cybersex is cheating, so is looking at porn and calling it a “fake” person..sounds like someone justifying their actions. That type of behavior would not be acceptable in my house.

jonsblond's avatar

@girlofscience If a man is cyber sexting, he’s masturbating. It’s relevant.

adreamofautumn's avatar

In my opinion you shouldn’t do things that you wouldn’t want to admit to doing, however if it is a perfect stranger and you don’t have the kind of partner that has a fit if you’re doing things like watching porn than I would say it isn’t exactly “cheating”, frowned upon yes, cheating no. However, if it’s someone you know and interact with in real life than it is just setting the path towards future physical mistakes and you really don’t want to go down that path.

girlofscience's avatar

@casheroo: You said in another recent thread that you don’t know whether your husband does or not, but if he does, it’s his business and you’re not concerned with it. I don’t think that calling porn a “fake” person is a sign of someone justifying their actions. There’s a big difference between (A) getting off to a picture of a naked girl to which you have no attachment whatsoever because you have no clue who she is and (B) getting off to a conversation with someone to whom you could potentially form a connection. The latter is definitely cheating.

@jonsblond: ...the fact that @casheroo‘s husband does not masturbate to porn is not really relevant to the discussion of whether cybersex is cheating.

chyna's avatar

@girlofscience and @casheroo Way to go to get the heat off of filmfann for looking like a perv. :)

filmfann's avatar

lol thanks

casheroo's avatar

@girlofscience you brought this topic up. You asked me how is cybersex not worse than innocent flirting online. I assume cybersex involves masturbation?? I could be wrong, but I thought it involved something like that. You were the one defending cybersex with a camgirl…I don’t even know what the hell that is, to be honest. In that post, I believe the topic was “is porn cheating” I don’t view looking at porn to be cheating, but if my husband were to masturbate to other woman, then I’d have a problem. The fact that my husband doesn’t masturbate is what makes this comical to me. He would never do these things. So none of this has even come up in my relationship, sorry that you’ve had to even deal with it…

filmfann's avatar

My question is regarding whether cybersex is cheating. I don’t know if people regularly masterbate while engaged in cybersex, and good luck if you want to try moderating THAT question.

casheroo's avatar

@filmfann lol. you should have more details to your question, apparently i don’t know what the hell cybersex includes. is it just chatting with someone about sex? i thought people got off from that sort of thing? haha

girlofscience's avatar

@casheroo: I never even said I had to deal with this. Masturbation is not an issue, in any way, in my relationship, nor has it ever been. I was simply stating my opinion on the matter.

wundayatta's avatar

Evil Daloon to the rescue!

I have done all these things: cybersex, phone sex, and porn masturbation. I wished so badly to have a wife like @casheroo, who would be happy to have sex whenever I felt like it. Unfortunately for me, it was down to once a month, or even less. So to cyberporn, I turned.

Porn, as far as I’m concerned, is just a masturbatory aid. When I was a boy, it was Playboy and Penthouse and Hustler, and sometimes pornographic descriptions. Sometimes I just ran these stories in my head. All were perfectly fine, although porn is faster.

Eventually, my isolation from my wife grew too much to bear. I had been waiting, believing she would come back to me, but it never happened. There was one excuse after another. I had no desire to leave her, and I wanted us to stay together as a family, and so when some relationships appeared online, I went for them.

At the time, my intent was to actually meet some of these women. Unfortunately, or fortunately, mental illness got in the way. Shit hit the fan, and a lot of stuff happened, but the upshot is that my wife and I finally worked through some things, and we are connecting again, and I am much happier.

However, I drew a lesson from these experiences that most people here probably will disagree with. I don’t think relationships where you don’t meet the person are truly real.

What do I mean by that? I mean that relationships with people we have never met are about 75% fantasy. When we sit here writing to each other, we imagine all kinds of things about each other, based on few words. We don’t really say all that much about ourselves, not because we are withholding, but because they are so much a part of us that we don’t even think to talk about them. We take them for granted.

I think that people drastically underestimate the impact of in-person meetings. We gather so much information from the way a person looks, walks, talks, and expresses themseles in other ways.

Cybersex, I believe, is mutually aided masturbation. The person we believe we are make love with is 75% in our own heads, and only 25% the actual other person. As such, it has a feeling of unreality to it. You are sitting in your chair, IMing or chatting; maybe even adding video, but it’s all on this screen. The real action takes place in your head.

Having another person on the other end, so to speak, of the internet, helps a lot. It gives you ideas, and you can push each other’s fantasies, and do all kinds of things you would never do in reality. It’s fantasy. No one can get hurt. There are no real world consequences.

Except in other people’s minds. Cheating is a belief. It’s a fantasy, mostly, too. We imagine our loved ones in the arms of someone else, and that kills us. But it’s imagination, not reality. And if you ask for details to make it real…. well, I’d say you need to think very carefully before you want to go there. Sometimes it helps; other times it hurts.

Cheating is a perception. If you cheat physically, someone can see it better in fantasy. Or they may choose not to. The cheater might explain it as a one-night stand, or a drunken mistake, or as something to fill a need that the spouse is not filling. If you hadn’t been caught, the spouse might never have known.

My wife wouldn’t have known if I hadn’t told her. I realized that the lie was the worst thing. She needed to know. I wanted to tell her, in a kind of honor among thieves kind of way. I didn’t want to cheat. I just didn’t know how to bring it up. I was afraid of rejection. Staying with her while cheating was better for me, than telling her what I needed, and being rejected and divorced. I was certain she would not want to give me what I wanted, and would tell me to get out. I was right about that, in part. She won’t give me what I want, but she also doesn’t want to lose me. Who knew?

“Cheating” is a complex thing, and I believe that no one does it until they are really hurting. I think our image of the cheater is of that of a sociopath. Someone who doesn’t give a shit about hurting people.

I care a great deal about people, and I want to help them, not hurt them. However, despite being a fairly on-the-ball guy, relationship-wise, I didn’t know what to do, and I did what I could think of to get what I needed and stay in my marriage. Fortunately, the women I met were all very honorable, and one of them was so honest with her husband that she told him about her other relationships. Including me. It was her example that I decided to follow in telling my wife, and in a way, because of her, my relationship started on the path to healing.

Relationships are complex. I turned to the internet to work out some psychological problems. I needed to emulate real life experience to figure out what to do. I think the internet is more like a “what-if” kind of place than reality. It is a model of the world. We work things through here, and then apply them in the real world. Sometimes people so enjoy this working through with someone else, that they do meet in the real world, and maybe get married.

But until we meet in person, it’s all in our heads.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

Yes it is. Your conscience doesn’t let you down… I’m sure you already know the answer.

Milladyret's avatar

If you hesitate to tell your significant other because you’re instnctivly worried about his/her reaction; you’re cheating.

And regarding porn/cybersex/so on: Take your partner with you (if he/she’s into it)!

netspencer's avatar

Cheating is all about the emotional de-attachment. So, in any situation where you turn to someone else instead of your wife is cheating. However, cybersex may not seem as serious it still shows that you are less interested in your wife (whether its true or not).

So, tell your wife. Maybe she will think its okay (highly, highly unlikely), in which case it wouldn’t really be cheating. Like @Milladyret said, anytime you are uncomfortable to tell your wife about your actions, you are essentially answering the question of weather or not it would be cheating.

Just like in any game, cheating is something you must do secretly. If you feel that, in your relationship cybersex would be expected than its probably not cheating.

All in all, it depends!

mjchatter's avatar

It depends – is your partner/spouse helping you Cyber??? Mine certainly would be so – no! Frankly… I think it all depends on what is living in your heart at the time. Are you doing it for an outlet? Are you doing it as a writing experiment? Why are doing doing it? And how does your partner feel about it? I have cybered a lot over the years and my spouse/partner always knew. but that’s just me.

nocountry2's avatar

@filmfann – our opinions are mute. The verdict lies in an open discussion with your SO.

filmfann's avatar

I don’t really have a position or a point here. I think cybersex is probably a notch or two above porn, but not really cheating. I am sure there are relationships out there where someone would feel cheated on if they found their S/O looking at a Playboy magazine, and this would be worse, but I don’t think I would feel it is being unfaithful.
And thanks for writing! Lurve.

mattbrowne's avatar

I think you’re okay with Web 2.0. Not so sure about Web 5.0

Alegio618's avatar

Looking at porn—no. Cyber-sex—yes.

thrice2k3's avatar

So if someone said to someone else, “I’m so angry with you I could kill you” but they don’t actually do the act… then that’s as bad as killing them?

Violet's avatar

YES! If you have to hide it, you shouldn’t be doing it. How would you feel if your partner was cybering?

maccmann's avatar

Biased opinion here, because my wife did it. It is an emotional affair of a sexual nature. These things should be reserved for your spouse if you are married. Period. Otherwise you need to examine your need for it and why you are in an exclusive, monogamous relationship and still feel the need for it.

So, in short: YES, IMHO from experience it is cheating.

My marriage is still having difficulty because of it.

ThrallKiller's avatar

Yes. That’s it, easy answer. Hell yes it is.

dabbler's avatar

@wundayatta‘s answer has a very important point in it, a lot of people in marriage/couple relationship do Not have a significant other who wants to take care of all of their partner’s needs.

Is it the fate of someone in a relationship like that to just suffer the need? Or have to leave the relationship and its good aspects just to get some needs met (forsaking other needs)?
It’s debatable how satisfying are surrogates for intimacy, but they can be a lot better than nothing. And they can help keep the valuable parts of a relationship in perspective.
——

That said, I’d draw a line between plain old anonymous porn and actually connecting with someone (whether or not they remain anonymous). With non-interactive porn one just wants to get one’s rocks off. With the interactive situation there is a connection developed with another individual and a different intention involved, even if eventually you get your rocks off.

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