Defining Cheating: A brick in building a successful threesome


Painting by Édouard-Henri Avril: two men and a...

Introduction:

The consideration of having a threesome brings many challenges for a couple. There are some challenges that are fairly obvious, like being able to successfully deal with watching your partner having sex with someone else. While other challenges are less obvious, such as resolving the social message that a relationship needs to be monogamous. Resolving the issue of monogamy particularly defining cheating can pose a hurdle especially because cheating is a term we understand but it is a word that has a specific meaning for each person. Such variation can create different expectations when considering a threesome and it if not resolved it may mean each person is held to a different standard. Overcoming the different definitions of cheating becomes quite important in the context of having a threesome since the success of the threesome and ultimately a couple’s relationship may hinge on the definition. Therefore, successfully defining cheating, this author feels, is a cornerstone of having a successful threesome. It will define what activity is acceptable in a threesome and how much tolerance a couple will have between defining what is an acceptable misunderstanding and actual cheating. In addition, this author believes, how a couple defines cheating will ultimately determine if they will have a threesome or not. For a couple, a lot can hinge on how they define cheating. This section will provide an opinion regarding the a definition of cheating by exploring some of the sources of the idea of cheating, then by breaking the topic down into its elements and finally this chapter will propose an alternative definition that may work, for some couples.

The Beginning – Early Experiences shaping the definition of cheating.

It is important before discussing how to define cheating that the reader begins to grasp how complex the definition can be due to varying individual experiences and how difficult it can be in reaching a common definition for cheating. Probably an unifying element is for cheating to occur a breaking of a trust must occur but what remains unclear is what event breaks the trust. In order to understand the reason for the variation regarding the event that breaks a trust in a relationship, it is important to look at person’s childhood. Childhood is a time in our lives where our job is learning. Learning occurs in many different formats. It occurs formally in the classroom and it occurs informally through our interactions with our environment, such as playing with friends. During our childhood we play a lot of games that have rules, as we get older the rules become more complex and we become upset when a participant in the game intentionally breaks a rule in order to have a greater chance of winning. At that point we become upset and claim that the person “cheated.” Then as we get older formal game playing begins to end and we play a more abstract game called dating.

Once we begin to “date” we begin to apply the rules we observed about relationships from adults around us along with our observations we begin applying our own belief system to the rules we feel that should define dating. Early during our dating experience, when a relationship tends to be short-term and we begin to learn how to care for another, we begin to confront the issue of what is cheating. The person we are dating may have gone to the local soda fountain for a phosphate or talked to a person of the opposite sex. Cheating, during this time, is clear-cut whereby any physical contact with someone else, regardless of how trivial it is, or acts inconsistent with our belief of what a couple does, is considered cheating. This leads to a “check-list” being developed because we have not learned how to communicate effectively in a relationship and the “check-list” serves as a way to protect ourselves being hurt while dating. Such a “check-list” defines physical activities we define as cheating and other activities if occur will ensure the relationship comes to an end. However as we get older and become better at communicating, in a relationship, then the cheating “check-list” we developed as young adults becomes challenged. Once it is challenged it requires some introspection in order to determine where our feelings on the subject lie and in most cases the “check-list” becomes no longer is fit for purpose. Should it be no longer fit for purpose, this means some type of change has been made to the person’s world view and it means the person’s definition of cheating is evolving. Moreover this means, the definition we hold for cheating is a continuously evolving definition based on experiences and challenges to the definition.

Trust, the foundation for defining cheating

Trust has many meanings and it means different things to different people. In the context of relationship that is considering a threesome in order for a relationship to last and to function there must be trust. Essentially trust can be defined as the reliance on what someone is saying or doing is true. However when you begin talking about a committed type of relationship, such as a couple considering a threesome, then trust takes on a broader meaning. Trust in this case also means that the success or failure of the relationship is linked with maintaining a trust. This usually means there is an interrelationship between trust and boundaries. Boundaries define the limits to which the threesome will operate and it builds a level of trust, this author feels, by building confidence that the threesome will not go outside of those boundaries. By having boundaries it allows the relationship to function by instilling a level of trust, otherwise this author feels having a threesome will become much more difficult.

This implies that any communication must be based on honesty and there cannot be any deceit. Such a statement also implies there is no universal list to determine truth. Instead truth comes about from the examination of the situation and understanding the person. Furthermore it can be said that trust is a core element that forms a relationship and without being able to trust the other in a relationship the relationship cannot function. Therefore this author believes that, trust develops over time resulting from effective communication, learning about the individual, and is the result of working together as a team. The more a couple invests in their relationship by developing trust and defining their limits of their relationship the more likely it is able to weather adversity.  The trust is broken it may be repaired, though not guaranteed, by re-establishing trust.

How does trust and having a threesome relate? Having a threesome requires that trust exists and having a threesome relies on the fact that no one will break an agreed boundary. Also it requires for a threesome to be successful that each person trust the other two. Having a threesome is not like going to a burger place and trusting that the cashier will get your order correct. In a threesome situation you essentially trust the other two with your life and that they will respect you enough to adhere to the boundaries.

Finally, the question becomes how does trust and threesome relate to cheating? Essentially cheating results from a trust being broken. In a threesome situation boundaries are principally the union of each person’s sexual comfort limit and by exceeding that limit trust is broken. Once trust is broken cheating becomes a possibility. This then raises another question is trust and cheating interlinked?

Difference between Trust and Cheating

Up to this point this author has not defined the difference between trust and cheating. However in this section the difference will become clearer. It can be said there is link between trust and cheating. This means cheating cannot occur if there is no emotional investment in trust being maintained and without the emotional investment it can be said no cheating can occur. Example of where this is a friend with benefit relationship. In this type of relationship, it does not matter if the person is being honest about having sex with someone because the type of relationship is based on physical attraction without needing to maintain a trust for the relationship to exist. This does not mean that a friend with benefit relationship does not require trust; instead it means the level of trust needed is less because other elements such as attraction have a role in maintaining the relationship.

The difference between a friend with benefits and a committed relationship is the emphasis placed on cheating. Cheating implies that violating a trust carries a heavier penalty than a feeling being hurt temporarily or that the relationship can continue without addressing it. In a primary relationship, if cheating occurs it has a devastating impact on the relationship. A primary relationship can be thought of as a couple that has established a relationship but is looking to bring another into it on a temporary basis for the purpose of pleasure. Therefore trust can be said is something that is needed when forming a relationship, regardless of how temporary it maybe. However for cheating to occur it requires an emotional investment in a primary relationship.

Knowledge of Partner, what does that mean?

Before defining cheating it is important to define one more concept, knowledge of partner is a term that implies having a relationship with a person and from that experience a knowledge base is developed. Then from that knowledge base certain expectations, expected behaviors in a given situation, and if the relationship develops long enough a particular “couple’s language” develops whereby the couple develops their own words along with a specific communication style. The communication style and language serves as a foundation for understanding. However when in a threesome situation it is best to return to the basics by abandoning any special words and any special communication style in order to ensure that nothing gets missed. Nonetheless the specific communication style and words could help as a way to communicate interest or lack thereof when selecting the third person.

What does this all mean, a proposed definition for cheating?

This author feels that the definition of cheating can be defined by a couple in a long-term relationship when a trust has been either intentionally or recklessly violated.  Such a definition excludes simple misunderstanding, excludes emotional cheating (e.g. emotional affairs), and instead requires that violating a trust is something that can be expected from the chosen action taken. Expecting an action to violate a trust means that there is an awareness, at some level, that performing the action will result in a loss of trust and even though the awareness exists the individual nonetheless chose to partake in that behavior.

The above definition can seem confusing and this author will present two scenarios to highlight how to apply the definition.

Scenario 1: Couple A (Mr M & his wife Mrs A) agree to invite another male, Mr D for a two male threesome. A boundary for Couple A is that Mrs A can perform oral on Mr. D but Mr. D cannot cum in her mouth. During the threesome Mrs A performs oral on Mr. D that results in him cumming in her mouth. The question becomes did Mrs. A cheat on Mr. M by violating the boundary?

Discussion: This is a difficult question to answer as there are allot of “it depends,” and a need to evaluate the situation in order to determine if cheating did occur. One area to be considered was Mr. D aware of the boundary and was he asked to let Mrs. A to know when it was close to “cumming” so that he could try to pull out? Another question to be answered, did Mr. D cum too fast because of the excitement and stress of the situation? It could be that even if Mrs. A had warning that it could not have been avoided because Mr. D “cummed” too quickly. Third question to be answered what was Mrs A intention? A lot of this revolves around what Mr. M knows about his wife and the current state of their relationship. Also, it comes down to what Mrs. A felt about her decision to perform oral on Mr. D to the put of “cumming” and if she was willing to take the risk that it might be seen as cheating. Finally, did the couple risk assess this activity, meaning did they realize that this was a possible consequence and they were prepared, as a couple, to accept that Mr. D might not be able to “pull-out” in time. My feeling the answer comes down to how important this boundary was to keep, how much discussion occurred, the understanding each person had of the boundary, and given their planned threesome how practical it was to expect Mr. D would not “cum” too fast.

Scenario 2: Using same couple from above, they agree that any communication with the third person would be transparent, whereby each of them would be present when any communication would occur. Mrs. A waits until Mr. M goes to be and uses IRC to plan a meeting alone with Mr. D. Mrs. A does not tell Mr. M of the meeting and he only discovers it a few days later when he discovers a saved chat between the two of him while he was a sleep.

Discussion: Unless there was some agreement between Mr M & Mrs A, such as she should meet him alone or that she should talk with him alone, then it is probable that cheating had a occurred due to the fact, as a couple, they agreed that any communication would occur in the presence of the other. Mrs. A should have known or did know that communicating without her husband present to meet the other alone would be considered cheating since it is in contrast to what has been agreed.  

For a couple wanting to have a threesome and avoid cheating it means that they need to have definable boundaries that are understood along with being agreeable. In addition it means that for the couple they must rely more on their knowledge of their partner when considering if cheating has occurred in a threesome. If a couple encounters a violation of a boundary during a threesome, their definition is quite rigid and do not examine the violation in the larger context by trying to determine what caused it to happen then it is this author’s feeling that couple will face major problems for their relationship .

Finally it goes without saying threesomes are risky, even if every precautions are taken and planned meticulously. Defining cheating and if a violation of trust occurs then considering it in the context of why it happened does not ensure protection from anything damaging to the relationship. All it ensures is that added protection to the relationship is given via communication and agreeing on the definition.

Why couples choose cuckolding?


Kama Sutra Illustration

Introduction

Life is a journey that each of us makes. Along the journey, we find people who join us and sometimes they leave to continue on their path. On the route we travel, feedback from others and learning occurs causing a change in path for our journey. My journey has allowed me to learn more about cuckolding and weave it with my experiences with threesomes. If someone were to ask me, what is one area that my knowledge is increasing form this journey? The response I would give, the biggest evolution of I have seen is my opinion of cuckolding.

Defining Cukolding

Before continuing, it is important to define cuckolding since each person defines it differently. Cuckolding involves the involvement of another person in a relationship either on a short-term or long-term basis that requires consent of the non-participating individual. Furthermore this activity is typically expressed with one individual in the relationship having sex outside of the relationship while the other partner remains monogamous. The reason for this can vary from opening up the relationship, to a domination / submission relationship, or various other reasons. Therefore, I feel cuckolding is best described by using a spectrum definition. A spectrum definition for cuckolding means examining:  the presence or absence of: domination / submission in the relationship, the degree to which  describing the relationship as an open relationship, the length of relationships, and the number of relationships, and the frequency that contact with the other person occurs. Thereby making the definition of cuckolding difficult due to the various ways it is expressed.

For those who have read my writings may know my experience with cuckolding has been with one strand of cuckolding and I have come to appreciate that there are other strands too. From my experience, I feel there is an underlying assumption, that cuckolding and cheating are synonymous. Cheating involves a violation of trust, due to a violation of boundaries and the breakdown of communication that leads one partner to meet their needs outside of the relationship. Whereas cuckolding involves, maintaining trust through an open and honest discussion about the activity. It also involves establishing boundaries, and working as a team to maintain the established boundaries. Therefore, the root of the difference comes from cuckolding is done in the open and done to the extent that the couple is agreeable versus an activity that is done in the cloak of secrecy.

The above definition may seem puzzling to some and I will try to provide a few examples as to how I envision cuckolding. One example is a typical scenario of the male feeling inadequate about penis size or is quite submissive in the relationship. In order for the male to address the inadequacy or to express his submissive nature in the relationship, the couple enters into cuckolding. This scenario will score high on domination / submission along, scoring high with the relationship being whereby the submissive male remains monogamous and scoring high on the other aspects. My feeling this comes about due to the couple waning to incorporate domination / submission into their relationship or it could come about as a way to maintain the relationship.

Another example would be similar to the above example but this time the male half of the couple is dominant with a submissive female partner. I feel, this could come about because the woman is in a high demanding role where she needs to be in control and this is one way for her to loose some control. Alternatively, I feel, this could come about from the couple wanting to have traditional roles and the woman does this not to please her husband. If you were to score this scenario it would score high on domination / submission, high on being an open relationship due to one person remaining monogamous, but scoring as it relates to relationship including number would be lower than the first example since this would most likely be a more controlled situation. Reason for the lower scoring on the number of relationships and length would most likely be due the amount of time needed before the woman agrees and her need to maintain her relationship with her partner.

Third example would be a couple exploring the idea of having sex with someone outside of the relationship. This would, most likely be a one-off or limited time experience that is not regularly repeated. The idea here is to allow one partner, for whatever reason, a chance to explore sex with someone else. This means this type of activity:

  • Is done in the open with their partner’s knowledge and consent
  • The relationship is not opened up since it is done for a limited time
  • There is not a BDSM element operating such as domination or humiliation
  • There is boundaries about the activity
  • There is agreement on how much information is shared.

Scoring this would result in a very low score for domination / submission due to the decision being about exploration. In addition, it would score low on being an open relationship since this experience would maintain emotional monogamy. Finally, it would score low on other aspects since it is about exploring and not maintaining a relationship.  Typically couples that want to explore the idea, try something different, or fulfill a fantasy would pursue this type of scenario.

A final example would be role-playing the idea. This implies that the couple does not physically involve a third person but plays out the idea. When scoring it this would mean domination / submission would be either moderate or low, depending on the scene. Others would be non-existent since there is not the involvement of a third person.

Many readers is at this point may be asking what is the point of this review or essay? The answer to this question is not easy, since there seems to be some confusion about cuckolding and some hostility to it as a subject. The rest of this essay will examine some of the reasons why a couple might consider the idea.

Ideally, I believe, cuckolding is something a couple should consider only after having some type of group sex experience together. Reason for this belief is grounded in the belief that by having the group sex experience a couple understands what is involved, understands if cuckolding is an option for them, and develop communication skills needed to help them work through a cuckolding experience. Now, I realize that we do not live in the ideal world but the real world, which means people / couples do not operate as expected. For couples who do not come to cuckolding as an extension of their group sex experience, I feel, there are several reasons why a couple might choose cuckolding and those reasons are discussed in the rest of this article.

Motivation

In the above paragraphs, I briefly touched on relationship variations where cuckolding might occur and in this section, I will go deeper by talking about motivation for a couple a couple. Motivation, simply put it is the reason why a couple participates in having a cuckold due to the rewards it provides the couple and the rewarding being provided exceeds the risk of having a cuckold.

For example, Couple A (a fictitious couple) who has been married 15 years decides to try cuckolding. The husband, Mark, find the idea of his wife having sex with someone else arousing and his wife, June, decides to provide that experience for him. After having sex with another man, June, comes back telling Mark about it and Mark then has sex with sex. Mark finds his orgasm is intense even though while June is out Mark went through  plethora of emotions from extreme fear to a high state of arousal from imagining what June is doing with her lover. From the experience Mark and June have found they have improved communication and a deeper trust of each other. In this case the motivation for the couple is the positive change in their relationship.

With that said, in the above example change in the relationship is a motivating factor for having a cuckold and it this can be quite a powerful motivator. However there are others, such as wanting to explore the idea, allowing sexual freedom, exploring domination / submission, and other reasons. The reason for motivation, this author feels, will determine to extent the couple will peruse cuckolding.

Reward

This author is not going to get into a Psychology 101 discussion of positive and negative reinforcement, rewards. Instead I will continue with the above example of the couple in the section on Motivation and discuss rewards. Unlike motivation understanding the risk is not necessary. In understanding rewards, the reward must be strong enough to encourage the continuation of the behavior. This means in the above example the rewards for Mark are the emotions he goes through, hearing about his wife’s experience after she comes back, and being able to have sex with her once she returns. For June the rewards includes having sex with someone else, breaking society’s norms, and sex with her husband.

It is obvious from the above example that the rewards being given will diminish over time an as a couple they will have to find other rewards to maintain their motivation for cuckolding. For the above couple, it could be the changes in their relationship may be enough to motivate them as the rewards diminish or it could be, as the rewards diminish, the couple looses their interest in cuckolding. This means their is a relationship between the rewards and motivation.

Society’s Norms

From birth message about roles and relationships bombard us. The messages come from religion, school, observing adults interact, and test our beliefs while searching for a partner that meets our needs. From there we incorporate some, rebel against others, and follow some norms until being able to replace it our belief regarding relationships resulting in a philosophy about what we believe is acceptable in a relationship.

My feeling, one factor that I feel motivates couples towards cuckolding or conversely is the biggest barrier in exploring cuckolding is, societal norms regarding relationships. For many couples adhering to societal norms provides a level of stability, a sense of security, a sense of worth / purpose, and decreased anxiety because they are living within society’s expectations.

Adhering to societal norms does not ensure a successful relationship but can lessen conflict within the relationship, thereby maintaining relationship stability. For couples that choose to divert from societal norms cuckolding becomes a possibility, though not a guarantee. Couples who choose this route may risk being discovered, may risk being spurn by those around them, and may risk isolation if because they chose a different route. However, if a couple can successfully balance the desire to define their relationship based on their values, instead of society’s, along with the anxiety that is created by not strictly adhering to society’s expectation then may find happiness by having more control over their relationship.

Needs

Need differs from a want because a need is something that must occur in order to maintain the relationship. Essentially this means without it, the relationship would cease to exist or at least be fraught with conflict. This can be risky for the relationship, since a need maybe one-sided whereby one person needs it to stay in the relationship while the other person does not. The differing value on the need puts pressure on the other to agree to fulfill the need or risk the relationship ending. Being able to negotiate need and communicate them becomes paramount for the survival of the relationship.

For example, couple B decides to try a cuckold relationship because one of them has a higher sex drive and the other has a low sex drive. Couple B believes by meeting the need of the individual with the high sex drive, by allowing a cuckold to occur, relieves pressure on the individual with the lower sex drive to have sex, thereby maintaining an equilibrium in the relationship. Arguably, it is a need because the couple feel cuckolding is central to maintain the relationship. However, I believe, this is a want since other possibilities exist before considering the option for cuckolding. This type of scenario also raises another issue regarding the impact on the relationship because the lower sex drive may not feel complete because they do not meet their partner’s needs thereby adversely influencing their relationship and it does not address an underlying issue in the relationship the reason for the competing sex drives.

Wants / Exploration

It is easy to confuse needs for wants. In this situation, a want is something that moves the relationship in a different direction and comes from the desire to try something different. This implies a want is not core to keep the relationship viable and it something for consideration. At this point, it is important to mention, a desire to explore is different than replacing something that is missing in the relationship or fix a trouble relationship. If the decision to try cuckolding is to fix or save a failing relationship then it is not want and probably a sign that cuckolding is the wrong choice until the issue is resolved.

Another example, Couple C ( a fictitious couple), appears to be a very typical married couple. They are enjoy trying new things, evaluating them, and then deciding their next step. Fred one day suggest to Melissa that he would like to have her have sex with another male. At first Melissa is shocked but then acquiesces to Fred’s suggestion and meets Tom for a one-off meet, with Fred’s knowledge. Both Fred and Melissa enjoy the experience but decide it is not for them.

Finally, this author feels the difference between a want and need is dependent on the extent to which the relationship depends on meeting it. In the example with Couple B, there was a need in order to maintain the relationship and minimize conflict. Whereas the couple wanting to explore the idea,  Couple C, is a want, since the relationship could continue without trying cuckolding.

Resolution

Under this type of motivation, the couple may want to explore cuckolding in order to resolve a question or a mundane issue that comes up without having an impact on the relationship. A question that cuckolding might be used to resolve would be, “what it would feel like if I did have sex with my first boyfriend?” Another question might be, “What would it be like to have sex with the guy that flirts with me while he takes my order at the coffee shop?” Alternatively, the mundane issue could be one partner not having as much sexual experience as the other, a boyfriend / girlfriend from the past, an attraction to someone outside of the relationship, or another issue.

Compromise: Monogamy versus open relationship

Arguably cuckolding can provide a solution for a couple who wants an open relationship but wants to maintain some level of monogamy. In a cuckolding situation monogamy only remains for the partner who does not participate. This means cuckolding provides a compromise solution between having a threesome and an open relationship.

Conclusion

Life is a journey that provides many detours, dead-ends, scenic routes, and expressways. Every couple that exits on cuckolding will find that cuckolding will take them to different places with some staying on the cuckolding highway. In order for them to stay on the cuckolding highway, there needs to be enough rewards fueling  their motivation for continuing with cuckolding. Without motivation and rewards cuckolding for a couple will end

Lastly, cuckolding is there for the consideration as a tool in a relationship but it does not mean all of us have to partake. Instead it means appreciating the diversity and richness it brings.  This means, someone else’s journey may not be appropriate for us but we understanding their journey means we can better improve ours. By being able to learn form it, we can learn something a bit about ourselves, what motivates us, what  motivates others, and integrate that learning into our lives. As an author I am glad cuckolding is an option because of the richness it can bring and I hope all that read this article can appreciate it too.