I know I’ve talked about this already, but why not keep beating a dead horse? And honestly, some people need to be beaten over the head a bit for any sense to get in. This time, instead of looking for a “discreet” (read, cheating piece of shit) relationship, today’s bad example is looking for a strictly online relationship. Sadly that discussion got deleted between drafting this post and actually publishing it, but if you’ve been on the internet for more than ten minutes you’ve probably seen some sad bastard looking for an online dom to cheat with, so I don’t think reading the original discussion is necessary for this post to make sense.
If you feel like you have to hide things from your partner, something is very wrong. If you are hiding a relationship (even just an online one) from your partner, something is very wrong. Now, to be fair, sometimes the very wrong part is on your partner’s end. It’s normal to have close friendships with people who aren’t your partner. It’s normal to talk with close friends when something happens in a romantic relationship that bothers you. It’s normal to need a little space sometimes. It’s normal to not have to tell your partner every single thought that floats through your mind. If your partner makes you feel like you can’t even talk with a friend without somehow betraying them, you’re not the asshole here.
However, if your partner isn’t systematically isolating you from all of your support systems, hiding things from them is a sign that you are doing something wrong. I sincerely don’t fucking care if you never intend to meet your online dom in person, if you’re hiding that from your poor innocent vanilla girlfriend then you are cheating. Cheating is not about actually getting your dick wet or even about getting your kink on in person. Breaking an agreement with your partner is what makes an action cheating. As a bit of an aside, this is why the idea that you can’t cheat on a poly person is total bullshit. You damned will still have agreements with your partners when you have more than one, even if that agreement is as low key as “let me know if you’ve had sex with someone else before we have sex again and share as many juicy details as the other participant(s) is comfortable with.”
Because poly relationships tend to involve so much more negotiation than monogamous relationships I assume it’s easier to know for certain if the thing you want to do is technically cheating. However, that in no way means you’re not a complete asshole if you try to use “but wait, you never said having an intense emotional relationship with someone else was cheating!” as an excuse. You fucking knew it was cheating or you never would have hidden it from your partner. If a really great new person started at work and you got along with them really well, you’d tell your partner all about it. If you went to a meetup and you met someone really cool and had a great conversation, you’d share that with your partner. If you randomly met up with an old friend and talked all afternoon, the first thing you’d say when you came home would be “Guess who I ran into today!”
When you’re doing something totally above board, you would never even think to hide it from your partner. It’s not exactly rocket science to make the connection between hiding things from your partner and doing something shady. It doesn’t matter if you never meet your online dom, it doesn’t matter if you never even learn their real name, if you do something that intimate with someone who isn’t your partner and without your partner’s enthusiastic consent then you’re cheating.
And while I’m at it, guys, can you please stop acting like it’s a surprise that dominant women usually don’t like being treated like a dirty little secret? If you can’t tell your partner that you promised your dom you’d be online at a certain time, then I get stood up if she spontaneously asks you to go to the movies with her or something. Why would I want to involve myself with some douchebag who treats me like dirt when I could be alone and not treated like dirt?
It’s also pretty hard for me to have any kind of power exchange with someone if I can’t trust them. Guys, if you’re cheating on your partner, you are definitely not trustworthy. I am simply not deluded enough to think that somebody who is already cheating on his partner won’t also cheat on me or lie to me or just jerk me around. Totally separate from the ethics of getting involved with a cheater, that’s a hassle I’m just not going to sign myself up for.
Once again, if you hide it from your partner, it’s cheating. Don’t kid yourself that it’s not cheating just because it’s only online.