Is virtual webcam sex cheating?

For some people, cheating is absolutely black and white – absolutely any sexual contact with anyone other than your partner.

But for others, the lines are a little more vague; where does an interaction become sexual? Is flirting cheating?

The debate is by no means simple, and with modern technology allowing non-physical contact with others, the questions surrounding fidelity become more and more opaque.

This article looks at more detail into whether or not virtual webcam sex should be considered cheating!

 

Subjectivity

Perhaps the first thing to mention here is that how you want to run your relationship is a subjective question, one to be talked through between you and your partner.

While you may have clear set ideals and beliefs, it’s wrong to assume that everyone shares these. With open relationships becoming more socially acceptable, it isn’t a question of single vs. taken, there’s a whole spectrum of possibilities.

What I write in this article may strike accord with you, or it may not – I’m not saying that either of us are wrong, but rather that we’re both right.

Hopefully it will allow you to open up a discussion with yourself and your partner, if it’s needed, allowing you to come to your own decisions.

What’s important isn’t that you’re on the same page as me, but that you’re on the same page as your partner. Find all the faults you want with this article, but if you can’t find common ground with your special other, things won’t work out.

Communication breakdown is one of the worst things that can happen to any relationship, so talking things through openly and calmly is absolutely essential to the stability, longevity and happiness of any relationship.

 

Digital hurts just as bad

With the above said, let’s look into some data, how other people think and feel about these issues.

An extensive survey conducted by a group of therapists found that when it came to sexual activity conducted outside of a relationship which was supposed to be monogamous, the feeling of pain, betrayal and loss of trust was exactly the same whether it happened online in ‘real’ life. Our statistics found much of the same. 

They came up with a definition of cheating which I think can be helpful for a lot of people: “infidelity is the breaking of trust that occurs when intimate secrets are kept from a primary romantic partner.”

What this definition helps break down is the intuitive bias we show for the importance of ‘real’ world interactions over online ones – it isn’t the action so much that hurts, it’s the lying! 

With the pandemic and lockdowns of the past year or so, the already blurring line between online and physical life has become even more obscured. We do more and more online, from work to school to socialising via apps like Houseparty and quizzes via zoom.

The more we socialise online, the more it becomes legitimised as a normal form of interaction. The more normalised it becomes as a form of interaction, the more hurtful infidelities which take place in the online realm will be to betrayed partners.

 

Staying calm

While these disagreements can sometimes start off as something salvageable, even something that can grow the understanding of what your relationship consists of, if both you and your partner are absolutely certain that you’re in the right and the other is in the wrong, nothing will be resolved.

It’s important to stay calm and think – do you truly believe that your partner was trying to deceive you, do you think that they knew what they were doing was wrong? As normal as it may seem to you, something like watching porn might represent a complete break of trust for someone else, representing the seeking of sexual pleasure from a person other than them.

The ability to see things from your partner’s perspective is absolutely essential.

 

Trust

Essentially, what makes a healthy relationship is trust. It might seem too simple to break it down that far, but it’s true – trust allows you to be vulnerable, to feel safe, to truly open up about your wildest hopes and deepest fears.

A relationship based on trust can blossom into something truly beautiful, creating a space where love can flourish.

When that trust is broken though, through something which can be as simple as virtual webcam sex, the person who feels betrayed will close up much more quickly than they originally opened their heart.

The deeper the trust was originally, the more they’ll be hurting and the more they’ll close up! Cheating then isn’t about any specific action, but rather about any lie told that leads to a breakdown of trust. I can’t say that webcam sex is cheating or isn’t – and even if I did, it wouldn’t matter unless you and your partner agreed with one another. 

 

Communicate

The chances are, as much as people like to claim complete and absolute innocence when caught doing something their partner disapproved of, even if they thought it was right, there was probably an inkling of doubt there somewhere. The key here to stay open, to communicate frequently and effectively. Some couples are much more open, partaking in swinging and other activities; the problem is, this needs to be clearly communicated from the outset. 

If there is a tiny doubt in your mind that you might be about to do something that would hurt your partner, ask them about it first – the chances are they won’t mind about the actual thing, what they will have cared about is being kept in the dark.

So truly, and this can’t be stressed enough, communication is key here, as if there is openness and clarity, tensions and doubts don’t have a chance to build up.

Another thing to note here is that not everyone communicates in the same way. While a lot of people focus solely on physical compatibility, what I believe is perhaps even more important to a good relationship is finding someone who speaks the same language as you.

If you can’t communicate, you’ll just end up frustrated and hurt. If you’re having issues and believe that your relationship is worth saving, my advice would be to see a couples counselor. They will allow you to communicate in a safe setting, and help teach you to see the other person’s perspective.

Having an impartial mind in the room can make a massive difference, and they’ll have seen these situations thousands of times in their career! 

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