Alex Blaze

The Advocate made me smile, and your Monday question

Filed By Alex Blaze | June 18, 2007 9:09 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: cheating spouse, The Advocate

The Advocate has its online sex survey ready for you to take and for them to publish in next month's issue. Now, anyone who's been reading this blog for a while knows that gaystream publications and me don't get along, usually because they're just toeing the urban/white/corporate queer line, which isn't that bad of a group of people, but they're definitely not the only people that make up the larger LGBTQueer community.

Anyway, under their question that asks "What constitutes cheating?", one of their options is "Cheating is a heterosexist concept." That's a glimpse into the inner workings of The Advocate: among all the Britney-Madonna pop consumer kids and lesbian mom advocates and pretty-boys photographers they hired, they have someone on staff with enough tangential knowledge of basic queer radicalism to think up an option like that. So of course I chose it.

So what do you think? What constitutes cheating? I didn't pick that answer because I think that queer people are by definition incapable of cheating - I just think that presumed monogamy/exclusivity is a product of that pee-in-a-circle-around-my-lover's-body mentality that drives a lot of McRelationships, and the McRelationship is a heterosexist relationship standard. Cheating for me has more to do with dishonesty than any specific action, as relationships have more to do with intimacy than property for queers in general.

What do you think?

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Eric Georgantes | June 18, 2007 9:55 AM

I always thought it was fairly cut and dry; having sex - including those things leading up to sex, even if you don't actually have intercourse - with a person outside of your relationship.

I suppose it is different if your partner explicitly says he or she doesn't mind, or if you both are extremely open about it... but it somehow seems like the relationship loses some of its meaning when it isn't monogamous.

I think the term "cheating" is extremely contextual...every relationship has different comfort zones and wants. I wouldn't get caught up with monogamy as much as I would the stipulations couples agree upon when entering a relationship. If reciprocal values are broken and hidden from the other partner...that's cheating.

Whether that's dancing, kissing, having sex or doing whatever with another person...that's really up to the individual couple.

Ellen Andersen | June 18, 2007 2:01 PM

While I know several male couples who are comfortable with non-monogamy, off the top of my head I can't think of any lesbian couples who have open relationships. That I know of, of course. I may just be hanging out with staid lesbians and swinging gay boys. Or it might be that I talk about sex more with gay men so I know more about their sex lives. But I suspect that at least in part, "cheating" isn't a heterosexist construct to a lot of lesbians...

I think there is such a thing as "cheating" - and it happens in every kind of relationship - monogamous, non-monogamous, hetero or homo.

Cheating = some form of intimate contact with someone else when you know it will anger your partner(s).

While some open relationships allow for outside sex or whatever by one or both partners, it is usually followed up with a "Just don't lie about it," "Not with one of our friends," or some other rule. If you break the rule(s), you've cheated. Of course, if you're in a monogamous relationship and you sleep with someone else, you automatically broken the rules. Seems to work without regard to the gender involved.