Cheating is Still a Gender Biased Issue

A few years ago I wrote a post aimed at women who cheat and how they give non-monogamy a bad name.  It’s something that over the years has come up time and time again, and the reason I wrote it pointing the finger at women specifically is that I feel there is a huge discrepancy between how we treat men who cheat, versus women.  And thus, I want to address this point again, but from a different angle now that I have grown a little older, wiser, and if I’m honest a little bolder with my recent life experiences.

Firstly, whenever I hear the sad news that a friend of mine has experienced cheating, the first thing I do is calmly remove myself from the situation and slowly gather information before forming any opinion.  I have learned that being Switzerland is a far more valuable place to sit than just picking sides and quickly reaching out to both parties in a quest to plant my flag on the winning side.  I am always available to listen, and provide any insights when asked, but as I have mentioned in previous posts, I do not go out of my way to seek out drama anymore.  I would rather be approached than provide my unsolicited opinions into someone else’s very complex relationship.

The next step I take, and the most important one to this post and my current gender blogging trend, is to pretend that the opposite gender is telling me the story and gauge how my reaction changes to the information (yes this is valuable in same sex couples too).   And why do I feel this is so important?  Because throughout my childhood and formative years, I bore witness to at least a dozen acts of indiscretions either through my mother, or hearing her talk with her friends about them.  And one clear thing always resulted, a witch hunt, and it was almost exclusively towards the male.  Whether the man did the cheating or not, he always seemed to deserve it somehow.  He either treated the woman badly and thus drove her away, or he was lying man-whore who should have never gotten married in the first place, or the ever common drunken mistake with the whole forgive and forget or divorce the so-and-so etc.

Growing up with this constant narrative, I began to ask myself why cheating was always exclusively blamed on the man.  And further to this, why the women always escaped unscathed even when they were the ones who very often cheated.  And this line of questioning started to expand further after having experiences of my own in the this very dicey place.  Every single time that I have come close to cheating it has been my own doing, and I would say 80 percent of the time, the man has been the one to put the brakes on.  Yes, this is full disclosure.  I was very unhappy in the latter part of my last long term relationship and I came increasingly close to cheating on numerous occasions.  And again, I repeat, I was the one who was in the drivers seat.  And what’s more, I was the one who consciously drank excessively in order to have something to blame if I got caught or needed an out.

Perhaps I am just more self aware than many people out there.  Or perhaps I just have reached a point in my life whereby I would rather be honest with myself and others than sugar coat a damn thing.  Whatever the case may be, I have not actually participated in this male witch hunt.  And that is definitely against the grain.  Yes, it takes two people to cheat.  And yes, relationships are incredibly complicated, and that only supports my theory that always blaming one side, especially the men is just wasted time, energy and makes everyone involved look even more like the assholes.  So I guess where I am at right now is that cheating is an issue for the couples themselves.  If you are going to form an opinion on someone else’ relationship, I don’t think it is too much to ask that you try and look at it from both sides first.  Cheating is a gender stereotyped issue and thus we need to ensure that we flip the narrative and judgement every once in a while, if for nothing else, than to give hope to the future generations that cheating will be discussed more fairly and judged on individual merit and not just gender sway.

I would love to hear your opinions on this, or lessons that you have learned when it comes to helping friends through indiscretions, so please leave a comment or reach out to me on Twitter.

Some People Are Assholes and Give Non-Monogamy a Bad Name

As a follow up to a recent post about practicing Ethical Non-Monogamy, I feel it is only fair to mention that sometimes people are just assholes and don’t give a damn about ethics.  I like to imagine my perfect world where these people are in the minority or don’t exist at all.  However the truth is that people do exist who are looking for open relationships or non monogamy for all the wrong reasons.  If you are curious about opening up your relationship, and would like to start swinging or any other variety of monogamish, I truly hope that your positive experiences far outweigh the negative.  This is a story however of a very misguided male seeking a relationship without the word ethics in his vocabulary.
One of my non-monogamy forums that I frequent had a male user ask for advice and help with assisting his wife to open up their marriage.  This is a question I have been asked quite a few times over the years.  And there are many books, forums and resources available to help introduce non-monogamy to someone who has never heard the term.  Here however is this guys back story and why he is an asshole.  They were together for 15 plus years, had a young child and he was miserable. The problem in his words, was that he was trapped so to speak, because he had to turn down sex from a young, hot female due to his monogamous marriage.  So this guy did a bunch of research, and decided he was prepared to divorce his wife, and lose his child in order to sleep with other people.  He was willing to lose everything he had, in order to have full control over his sex life.  And he decided to call this his true nature, that he was either open or polyamorous at heart.  Let that story sink in for a moment. 
Now, here you are, looking for new partners in non-monogamy and you come across a profile for this guy.  He presents himself as a good family man, married, and with full blessings from his wife to have a little fun on the side.  What you don’t know is that he forced her to let him have some strange for fear of losing their family.  She is at home, miserable, devastated and he is out chasing tail because it is his God given right as a man to have sex with whomever he chooses.  He had a chance encounter with the notion of non monogamy and will do what it takes to prove the grass is greener on the other side.  Spoiler alert, it is NOT!  Non-monogamy is hard, and this guy does not have the communication or emotional aptitude to be successful, that is my earnest hope at any rate.

I’m sorry to say, this story is real.  A woman out there is going through this.  This man is on Tinder, and is actively seeking strange, as his family falls apart.  And if you chatted with him, you would never know.  My heart breaks for this woman, and I abhor this man.  But what does that mean for the rest of us?  Do we give up because there are bad apples out there who are abusing the system?  No, we promote ethical Non-Monogamy.  
We call out people like this.  If we are on a date with this person, we ask them if their significant other is really OK with things.  If they are not listed on each others profile, ask to meet them.  Watch this person’s reaction, and be critical in your thinking.  Protect yourself, physically and emotionally.  Everyone is entitled to make a mistake here and there, but we have a duty to be respectful of our fellow man.  To do no harm.  This arrogant man has proclaimed that he was in physical turmoil being tied down to one woman, forever.  But he made the commitment for a monogamous marriage and is now changing the rules.  This man, is an asshole.  This man is NOT the norm within the non-monogamous community, but you need to be prepared in case you meet him or chat with him.  What he is doing is selfish and cruel, and we can either be afraid of experiencing this lifestyle on the off chance that we may run into him, or we can be aware and have a plan for when we do.  Let’s work together to make this lifestyle a welcome place to be, ask questions and grow in your own sexuality.  And finally, don’t be that asshole!

Openly Dating Online or Cheating?

Publicly stating on my online profiles that I am living with someone, or in an open relationship often leads people to get the wrong idea.  I frequently get openers stating that the guy is in a similar “situation” and would be “discreet if and when we met up, so not to worry”.  It’s quite a bold opener, making all sorts of assumptions about me and my lifestyle.  But it does get me wondering about the men who are online just to cheat.
I had a guy message me stating that he was married and looking for something on the side because he had not had sex in over a year.  I asked why he didn’t just get a divorce.  His reply was that they were in the process but had 10 months left on their lease, so they would stay together until then.  And the very next day, his profile was gone.  Similar stories to this one happen all the time.  Sometimes the guy is honest about just needing some stress relief, or other times he will say he is in an open relationship just like me, and would I mind if we kept this whole thing a secret. 
I am public in my open status because I am not cheating.  Or I am not cheating because I am honest with myself, my partner, and the people that I am chatting with.  Either way, I find it difficult not to get a little squeamish at the thought that there are men online actively seeking out sex and not being honest with their partners.  Too often I have listened to gut wrenching stories from my loved ones who are devastated because they found out they were cheated on.  It is a pain that you don’t forget.  Having experienced it myself and having emotionally cheated in past relationships I know the damage.  I am not perfect.  I have done some crappy things when I was not in a happy, healthy relationship.  So I would never say I am above it, as that would make me a hypocrite.  That being said, I recognized where I strayed and adjusted my life, and even changed partners (but that’s another story) and found a lifestyle that works for me.
I love to flirt, and I would be miserable if I didn’t have the ability to do it, if and when I choose to.  I like getting to know new people, and finding out their stories.  But cheating is something that hurts people.  If you can lie to someone you love, or used to love, then end it.  You do no favors to yourself, to you partner or to your future partner.  Find a way to be happy and not cheat.  If you have to make compromises then do it, but do not use the online dating world, which is crappy enough, to add your BS to.  I am open, my partner knows I am online and I know he is online.  I have seen his profile, he has seen mine.  And what’s more, we met online.  I believe that the system can be wonderful if honesty is a part, or at least flat out lies are removed from the equation.  So if you’re cheating, please don’t message me, I am not impressed by how big your cock is and I do not believe it will go to waste.  Save us both the trouble, and keep me from being a part of future tears.  Being honest isn’t always easy, but freaking man up!

Cheating: Creative Ways Humans Detect It

Yesterday, while listening to CBC, I heard an advertisement that left me speechless.  In Spain, where the rate of adultery averages 2.5 affairs per year per household, they have come up with a new revolutionary new product.  A mattress, that notifies your smartphone when it is being used suspiciously, and they call it the Smartress .  If you cannot trust your mattress to keep your dirty secrets, I mean, who can you trust?  Let’s not even deal with the issue of how you explain the purchase of said mattress, or the logistics of getting updates from your bed.  What if you have a dog that jumps up and down on it?  Or your kid playing hookie from school and the bed catches them… wait… that could be added value right there.  But back on point, you suspect that your partner is cheating, so you discreetly purchase a new bed to catch them in the act?

A few years ago, an app came out that would send you outgoing message notifications from your partners cell phone.   Basically a nanny cam for a cell phone also known as actual spyware.  To me it just seemed like click bait, so I honestly did not research how the actual device or software works. I just know for a while, every second ad online was screaming ‘do you know who your spouse is texting right now?’   It seemed obsessive, and ironically supported in part by Ashely Madison.  So here we are, still in a culture where we do not trust our partner’s so we sink to levels as low as them, to catch them doing something we feel is worse.   

We all know the black and white movies where a lady in a trench coat seeks out the office door that has ‘private investigator’ painted on it.  We know exactly what she is there seeking, confirmation of her worst fears, her husbands unfaithful behavior.  We all know what that next scene will depict, the private investigator stalking a spouse, hoping to catch them doing the nasty and them provide photographic proof that devastates a family.  We rationally know the P I is slimy, but the suspicious wife?  Never!  She is the angel, who seeks out aid, under cloak and dagger in desperation.  Only to be driven mad, when her worst fears are realized in that manila envelope of proof.  Ok, sometimes that damsel in distress dies a gruesome death, but hey, that’s just to keep you on your toes.  The point is, we sensationalize the methodology for catching the partner cheating, in media and in our daily lives.

And now, your mattress can send you a text.  The further technology advances, the further we get from one on one human interaction.  Or being able to have adult conversations about serious issues, needs and wants.  It honestly would be so much easier to get that text message, go home, pack your bags and then just copy and paste the notification to your spouse.  No mess, no fuss, and full validation without ever having to say a word to one another. Peace of mind, from the item that gives you a good nights rest. It was just as sexy in the past to leave the envelope of dirty pictures on the husbands desk and leave in the middle of the night, never saying another word.

Let’s not deal with why, in the macho and poverty stricken Spain, the infidelity rate is spiking alarmingly.  Let us instead, spend nearly $2000 on a new mattress, a couple hundred bucks on a Private Dick, or download a free app.  Humans, constantly finding new and creative ways to catch a spouse in the act.  Ah good ole cheaters.

Ashley Madison: A Few Gray Areas

It should be noted that I do not condone lying or cheating.  I promote healthy dialogue, and share with my readers my own open relationship through some of its ups and downs.  And with that in mind here are a few things that I feel many have missed while sharpening those pitchforks and throwing harsh words at the long list of individuals being outed through the Ashley Madison Hack. I will attempt to share a few case studies that I earnestly hope come with critical thinking and reflection as the reality is people are committing suicide over this outing of privacy.

Case Study #1 – A husband and wife found each other through a shared kink, sex with strangers.  As both are high earning members of society they do their best to keep this kink between themselves and the discreet partners that they have.  They each have a paid account whereby they are able to fulfill their fantasies with full disclosure to the partners they find and more importantly to maintain the spice that fuels their own relationship.  As a result of this hack, their privacy has now been invaded and they both risk losing their careers.  They made a choice to marry, provide support for each others kink, and do so in the privacy of their own lives.  Their choice to have accounts did not affect their careers, enhanced their own relationship and now they face the scrutiny of their peers and strangers. 
Case Study #2 – A man is in a sexless marriage with a woman who is raising their beautiful daughter.  He grew up in a broken home, and made a vow not to ever divorce on account of the childhood he had.  The man has wants and needs.  Through this website he has been able to fill a physical need with woman who are in similar situations.  He has been a member of the site for over 7 years and not once has it had any negative effect on the family.  There is no emotional connections being made, just simple physical acts that allow him to raise his daughter and maintain his marriage.  All that is now at an end.  He is losing his wife, and custody of his daughter.  She will now be raised in a broken home.    
Case Study #3 – This powerful article which is a first hand account of why a woman signed up for Ashley Madison
I am not naive that there are thousands upon thousands of users that are lying and cheating to their partners on this site, after all, the tagline, “have an affair” is in plain site.  I simply am putting these few examples out there to acknowledge that not all users all “evil”.  Nor are the families who now are being forced to make decisions based on societal influences.  He who is without sin, and all the jazz.  Do not support internet terrorism.