What is the Root Cause of Cheating?

why people cheat

Once a Cheater Always a Cheater, Not Exactly.

Cheating–it’s a touchy subject, but a subject that has been on my mind for quite some time. Admittedly, I have cheated, been cheated on, and been the person who someone has cheated on someone else with. Does this mean that I live in a valueless world full of people who have no morals? Maybe. Though, not exactly.

Are only people who have no values the ones who cheat? No. Plenty of mostly morally-okay people have been known to dip in where they don’t belong.

Is cheating just a whim brought on by desire to fulfill sexual needs? Seems much more rare than mainstream movies would have you believe.

Of course, there are a plethora of reasons why a person cheats. They could do it because they’re bored. They could do it because they’re lonely within a stagnant relationship. They could do it because they’re a sociopath who cares not about the damage they’re creating. They could do it because they’re selfish or stupid or because they think they can get away with it.

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But what seems to be at the root of many cheating scenarios is a flirtation with freedom, a renegotiation of self, a statement that says, ‘no one owns me,’ or ‘see, I can still do what I want.’ In a way, it’s the creation of an ‘out.’

If I do this terrible thing then I can get out of this relationship at any time. All I’d have to do is come clean.

This “secret” is more of a key that will unlock the door to the possibility of no longer being in the relationship they’re in.   

Why do people do this?

Fear. Insecurity. Not fully trusting themselves. Not investing 100% in another because they think deep down that they could never truly be loved. Causing pain before the other person can cause it first. An upper hand. A backup plan.

In other words, self-sabotage.

We see it often in relationships where one person is too clingy; we see it in relationships where one person is too distant. And honestly, that line is a fine one. Every person has their own level of need, space, attachment. Can we blame it on that, no. But, we’re talking about root causes of human behavior, we’re not talking about whether it’s a good or bad choice.   

Yet, just because a person cheats on another person does not mean they do not love the person they’re in a relationship with. This culture puts almost too-much weight on fidelity–hence why people use it as an out.

As anyone who has used Tinder can attest, it is possible to have sex without attachment.

Vice versa to that, it’s possible to have attachment without sex.

And even going further, it’s possible to be in love with someone you have sex with and also have sex with people you’re not in love with.

The core of the issue is not about sex. It’s the value-systems in place. Can I trust this person? Will this person abandon me? Can I rely on this person to be there for me to help when I need it, to celebrate my wins? Etc.

So cheating, in essence, is more a violation of these values. Is there a way to hold those values and have sex with other people? Certainly.


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I’ll explore more of the topic of cheating to come. It’s a complicated one, full of twists and turns.

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The Benefits and Disadvantages of Friends with Benefits

fuck buddies and friends who fuck

What to Expect from Friends with Benefits

Friday Feels: Heavy with Friendships

When I think of the difference between friends with benefits and fuck buddies one distinct difference comes to mind — friend versus fuck. While the former, ‘friends with benefits’ seem to indicate that you’re friends first and the sex comes as a bonus and fuck buddies seem to mean that the main basis of your buddy-buddy-ness comes due to the fucking.

In other words, there is at least some mental/emotional connection when you decide to be ‘friends with benefits’ with another person.

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That being said, the difference between a friend with benefits and a girlfriend/boyfriend (gender combo that however you need) lies with the expectations and responsibilities.

Friends with benefits have lower expectations of each other and require less responsibility. These relationships often form when people are in a transitionary period of their lives– they just got out of something heavy or they started a new job and don’t have time to focus on deeper romantic connections.

I’ve been contemplating whether this formation is actually healthy or not. I suppose it comes down to the two people directly involved. We all know that these are relationships that do not last. Yet, it doesn’t mean they can’t be helpful.

Anytime you interact with another person is a moment to learn more about yourself and the world around you, but is the ‘friend with benefits’ helping your growth or just distracting you from figuring out your shit?

Feels like it’s a distraction for the body even though deep down the mind (or spirit or both) wants something else.

We’re afraid to get to close because all of past issues have built up to the point where we are not ready for the pain of the let down of another person–who will inevitably let you down, just like you will inevitably let someone else down.

The thing is–the let down is unavoidable. To fully experience love in all of its capacity, one has to be open to the pain. Most people can’t handle the pain part and want to hold on to fragments of love, fragments of the good parts and avoid all of the rest.

I wonder if you’re in a stage where you can only give a fragment of yourself if you should really give that away at all? Maybe instead you should work toward rebuilding the self?

How many times have you been in a friend with benefits situation to have the benefits end and still remain friends? That is no easy task. I’d say 85-95% of the time one person develops stronger feelings than the other and has the desire to turn it from an fwb into a real deal sort of thing.

What makes friends with benefits less real than the girlfriend/boyfriend label?

Perhaps because within the friend with benefits label there is an understanding at least subconsciously if not obviously that whatever you have together isn’t as valuable, isn’t as serious, will most definitely come to an end.

I will say this, even though the friends with benefits scenario has lower expectations I’ve concluded that if I am ever going to be in one, my friend has to act like a friend and the benefits have to be beneficial.

Here are my three expectations of friends with benefits:

  1. The friends exchange an equal amount of attention, both of them playing the part of a friend, actually caring, asking questions, texting back etc.
  2. The friends equally initiate invitations (not just a 3 am ‘wyd?” text every Friday)
  3. The friends have consistent sexual relations with each other where both enjoy the benefits (she cums too).   

Of course, every person in every form of relationship has their own individual desires and expectations. Those are mine and I don’t find them too much to ask. If it’s difficult or the person doesn’t have the time or energy to do those things then that person shouldn’t be in a friend with benefits scenario with me. That’s all there is to that.

To be honest, I’m contemplating taking a break from men and sex altogether but that’s a story for a different day. Perhaps after I’ve contemplated the pros and cons of that choice in more detail. I’ll still masturbate though and maybe even film it (ask for more details on this if interested).

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Masturbation Monday: More Than Two Book Review

more than two an ethical guide to polyamory

A Review of More Than Two: A Practical Guide to Ethical Polyamory

Or

Can Non-Monogamy Work and Can Any Book Actually Help People Get There?

First of all, let’s get this out of the way. I started exploring the concepts of non-monogamy, polyamory, and open relationships many years ago. You can read a plethora of articles on these topics from when I wrote for elephant journal way back in the day.

At this point in my life I can not claim to be polyamorous nor can I claim to be monogamous.

I am somewhere in the middle.

Recently, I even had a boyfriend for all of about ten days; we had made an agreement that we could still have random casual sex on occasion and that we could also explore group sex together if that sort of event became available. Unfortunately, we never got to that point before some incidents occurred in which we are now in different time-out corners (perhaps I’ll go into this a bit more after I’ve had more time to process it).

Anyway, I know quite a few polyamorous people and as someone who is trying to create my own relationship scripts, it’s interesting to see what and how other people do romantic and intimate relationships.

More Than Two: A Practical Guide to Ethical Polyamory is one of those poly-classic books. There are people who live by its every word; people who take certain parts and apply those; and some people who disregard all the information in it entirely.

I started reading it over ten weeks ago. I am pissed about how long it took me to get through to be perfectly honest. Mostly, because I had started the year attempting to read a book a week and now I am ten books behind. I won’t blame it entirely on the book itself. The summer heat didn’t help. Nor did my budding romance.

So here we are now, finally.

What did I think?

Is it worth the read?

Would I recommend it to polyamorous beginners?

What about non-poly people?

Yes and no to all of that.

The book is broken into five parts. Regardless of whether you’re non-monogamous, open, closed, polyamorous, gay, straight, pansexual, etc. I believe that everyone should at least read Part Two: A Poly Toolkit. This section is all about understanding the self, diving deeper into the art of communication, and living with integrity.

The authors (Franklin Veaux and Eve Rickert) make many excellent points in this section of the book that resonate with improving any and all types of relationships.

What I’ve learned through my own experiences is that it doesn’t matter if you’re dating one person or 10; if you have weak communication skills you’re going to have weak relationships.

Communicating well is not easy either. I surely have plenty of work to do, but I’m at least acknowledging where I’m at; I can see the gaps. I can admit I’m not close to being perfect. More Than Two goes into communication failures and strategies + additional resources to help people continue to work on it.

If you are a polyamory beginner the book does offer decent information on many of the issues that are likely to arise. Personally, I think it’s a bit long and would recommend reading over the sections when you come to it in your reality as opposed to trying to cram all the information in your brain at once.

There are elements of polyamory that I am drawn to, such as creating a community of intimate friends, writing our own scripts of how relationships can work; sharing joy and love and dinner (clearly I’m hungry right now). But there are plenty of other things I am not drawn to; like the drama; all the talking and talking and talking; and the super-packed schedules trying to fit everyone in when there are only so many days in a week.

Perhaps I’m just a bit bitter right now because I’m having my own personal issues happening that are leaving me exhausted. Like, I can’t even get one relationship to work right, the thought of adding more to the pile makes me want to go live like a hermit in a cave somewhere far away. And you know, someone did write about a guy who did that, you can read my review of The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit on my other blog here.

What are your thoughts on More Than Two: A Practical Guide to Ethical Polyamory and / or polyamory in general. Comment below or send me an email to discuss in more depth!

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