Tuesday, March 26, 2013
I've noticed several blogs recently (including my own) dealing with topics of a sexual variety - whether it be on the topic of sex in general, or pornography, or something else. Well, allow me to hop on the band-wagon, but switch to a slightly different topic on the same subject... Cheating. Adultery. Taking what isn't yours.
In this day and age, cheating has become increasingly easier. Don't believe me? Go into any online chatroom - people who are married or in relationships are having online affairs with complete strangers. Grab a random person's cell phone - you may get a good glimpse at some 'sexting' with someone other than his/her spouse. Check someone's email - you may find provocative photos of someone other than the person's significant other.
But what really is "cheating" on your spouse? What really fits into that category? I remember hearing some friends of mine when I was in high school talking about this. "I didn't cheat on Jimmy... I just gave Scott [oral sex]." Or "I just kissed him." Or something else that was not actual sex in the medical sense of the word. And this was back before cell phones and digital cameras and the internet. Now, there are so many additional varying forms of 'sex' which many do not consider to be wrong.
Is looking at porn cheating? Sexting? Cybersex? Phone sex? Is sending photos of yourself to someone else cheating? Or videos? None of these involve any touching of another person. It's not like kissing or groping or... you get the point. Are these cheating? What about just fantasizing about someone else?
A friend of mine once summed it up nicely... although at the time, the topic was on lustful thoughts, it can be attributed to any of the above. To summarize his words - if it takes your focus off where your focus should be, it's wrong. If you're married, your focus should be on your spouse. End of story.
Ok... this makes sense. But, what if both partners agree to what is or isn't allowed? For example - open marriage. While I have never personally understood why anyone would enter into a marriage of this sort, it does happen quite often. Two people get married with the understanding that they are each allowed outside "affairs." Maybe there are certain rules agreed to - spouse A must meet the potential sexual partner of spouse B before any extramarital activities take place. Or maybe the activities allowed are defined. Or, perhaps it is adding a third person to the bed and both spouses are involved.
Can these be considered cheating? Both are in agreement that it's allowed. It's like taking an open book test. Under normal circumstances, looking in your book during an exam would be cheating. But when the rules are defined that the book is allowed during the test, it is not cheating. Is it only considered cheating if it is done behind the other person's back?
Again, I think the definition could be applied here - if it takes your focus off where your focus should be, it's wrong.
But, is this really the case?
If you look in the Bible, men were allowed concubines, slaves they were allowed to bed, and often more than one wife.
Or what about those who say "Well, he's the married one. Not me. So, I didn't do anything wrong."? I've heard that one as well. Is the single woman having an affair with a married man cheating? Is she also in the wrong? Well, if you take into consideration that premarital sex is considered wrong, then yes - she is. But, is she cheating? The definition above doesn't really fit her - she doesn't have any place her focus should be.
But anyway, I could probably continue on forever with questions regarding what is and what is not cheating. Please feel free to share your thoughts.