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.

How Long Have I Been Non-Monogamous?


One of the most common questions I get asked is “How long have you been non-monogamous?”  And the most truthful answer I can give, is “I don’t know”.  You see, I had never heard the phrase until I started dating a man in 2010 who wanted 2 girlfriends at the same time.  And I believed him, in the way that one believes in a dream.  But as things developed and we spent more and more time together, I discovered that open relationships and non monogamy were real.  That this lifestyle was indeed lived by thousands upon thousands of people around the world.  Thus, began my blogging adventure.

If I’m honest, I wrote for the first two years or so, under the guise of exploration and an almost fake it till you make it mentality.  I was reading a lot (and still try to keep up to date) with all the books available on Polyamory, non-monogamy and the origins of humans sexuality.  My early work is based on a premise of questioning, of tiny insights here and there, and basically the wondrous discovery of my non-monogamous acceptance.  As I looked deep inside myself, I came to realize that I had spent much of my early 20’s acting out of a place of non-monogamy, while blanketing myself with an over compensation of strict monogamy and all cheaters were evil mantra.  And my definition of cheating included those who were non-monogamous.  Any extra on the side was a sin, agreed upon or not.

Knowing who I am now, and where I was 15 years ago in my sexual development I can see that I was struggling with monogamy for a lot longer than I knew.  I put myself in situations whereby if a man wanted he could take advantage of me.  I felt safer knowing that my cheating would be out of my full control and thus placed as much onus on the men around me as possible.  I’m not proud of this.  But perhaps my truth will help someone else out there.  I truly, and deeply wanted someone to have sex with me that wasn’t my partner, and I wanted it to be in a way that I could deny it was my fault.  I’m not saying if it happened I would have denied it, but I needed that out.  I needed a way to explain or rationalize the monogamous demon I was fighting.

I have friends who are in their mid 30’s like me, who are still battling this demon.  It is not easy to have sexual conflict within yourself, especially for those of us who were raised with religion (Go Catholic school girl upbringing).  I know quite a few people, male and female, who have cheated, lied to themselves about what really happened and put on a brave face to the world afterwards.  They will do it again, and again.  For one main reason, because they have not faced the demon.  They have not faced the fear that monogamy is a choice.  It does not make you good, bad or anything in between.  It is simply a different way of relating sexually with those around you.  Once you face it, you have every opportunity to decide if monogamy makes you happy and thus you will work hard to cage your urges.  Or you can take a path that I chose.  One of education, self exploration and sexual discovery and experimentation.  There is no judgement from me either way.  The cool thing about autonomy is that you can live life the way you choose, as long as you do not cause pain or bodily harm to those around you.

There are of course moments along the way that I struggled, and my blog is a testament to that.  But I found peace in myself, once I accepted who I was.  And further found ways that I could feed my urges in a plethora of sex positive and healthy ways.  For example FWB’s, dating couples, swinging and of course just loving the man that I am with.

Now here is my PSA: If anyone out there is struggling with monogamy, please reach out.  I am happy to lend an ear, help you, do what I can to share my story or even just give you a hug.  Please though, whatever you do, stop the cycle of cheating, or calling sexual assault or even the word rape if find yourself in a situation that is outside of monogamy.  These terms are incredibly serious, and should only be used when necessary and NEVER as a cover up.  We all know what happened to the boy who cried wolf.