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April 2011
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gwen [userpic]
Relationship poll on cheating

My officemate got me interested in this question, so I'm putting this here for people to answer.

Poll #1158149 Relationship poll

Are you:


If you were in a committed relationship and your partner admitted to sleeping with someone else, would you be more offended by:

Your partner having an affair (not paid for).
Your partner hired a prostitute.
You wouldn't be offended.

In the above scenario, if you were the one having the affair, do you think your partner would be more offended by:

You having an affair (not paid for).
You hiring a prostitute.
Your partner wouldn't be offended.


I do think whether or not there are joint funds would impact this significantly. I think a prostitute would bother me less if our finances were separate. With a joint account it's more "You had an affair AND blew $300? You couldn't find someone to sleep with you for free?!"

That was my exact reaction to the Eliot Spitzer thing. He spent *what*? Surely there are women who would sleep with the not entirely unattractive governor of New York for free, and they'd have all the same equipment. Sure, I'd be mad about an affair anyway, but multiple thousands of dollars? LIVID.

The reason for the high price is usually the appearance of discretion, and some guarantee of cleanliness. Also, thousands of dollars is really not as much to someone who has a lot more spending money than most of the population.

I think something you need to consider in this is what committed relationship means. Does this mean monogamous? For a lot of people committed doesn't imply monogamy, and I think that those who have committed yet open or poly relationships may be more likely to be offended by a prostitute than by an affair.

I could be totally wrong- this is just my thoughts on reading this.

I'm not sure I would say "a lot of people". I would argue that for *most* people a committed relationship necessarily implies monogamy. Open and poly relationships are still a minority in the general public.

Personally I think a prostitute would be less problematic for me. I mean, it could be kind of icky but there are absolutely no emotional attachments with prostitutes. Its just physics.

That was actually my take on it. Prostitute usually means no emotional strings, and is therefore less of a threat to the relationship.

Its just physics.
And immunology.

I meant, and probably should have said, a lot of people within the social demographic which Gwen, myself, and many of her friends tend to be a part of.

Within the alternative/goth community I find a lot more acceptance of, and participation in, non-traditional relationships.

I replied to mr_sunyata's comment on this. To sum up though, basically it means "whatever level of commitment implies monogamy, if that is an option for you." I am not going to dictate where that lies, because it's different for everyone. :)

I agree with the previous commenter: what constitutes "commitment" in your relationship? I've always considered sex as the barometer of any relationship.

There is a context of finding an outside relationship to be offensive, so whatever level of commitment implies that for you. However, as I pointed out to ef2p, I know a number of people on my friends list who wouldn't ever be offended as well, and that's fine. The question isn't really framed with that scenario in mind, really, so is out of context there.

So... do you want to "do it?"

I think you personal definition of an affair has a lot to do with this question. As a polyamorous person, my interpretation is vastly different from the main stream.

Trying to narrow down what an "affair" precisely means is going to be very different for any person, even if they aren't polyamorous (is kissing someone else an affair? Is having a very emotionally close but yet still platonic relationship with someone else an affair?). I'm not interested in defining "affair" here, I'm more interested in the context of, "an outside relationship which you would consider an affair." That could mean kissing someone else, it could mean having sex outside of your previously defined constraints for having sex.

Notice I also put in the, "I wouldn't be offended" checkbox, because I know many of my friends don't have those sorts of constraints. This question really isn't for you guys anyway. :)

So which did you do?


I can see where some of the questions in these comments are coming from... but I assume this is meant to be a poll of how different relationships work, right?

Some context for my reply: I would be more offended by my wife seeing a prostitute because it implies planning. "Not paid for" implied to me that it was spur of the moment. We're pretty open-minded, so if she was deliberately hiding something, that's more offensive than an impulse she didn't discuss. (Although both would be against our "relationship contract," as such.)

I am guessing at what would offend her, but she's pretty good at understanding sex as separate from intimacy, and she's actually suggested that I get a prostitute when spending time apart. Sure, it might have been a joke, but even joking tacit approval is something...

Hmm, I actually put in "not paid for", because really a prostitute is an affair as well. It means nothing more than that.

I'm curious to find out the final results as divided by gender. I don't know if I was supposed to research to find out the answer for the last question, but I did ask my SO and he thought same as me 'having an affair' was more offensive. Emotional attachment seemed more possible, perhaps even likely, with having an affair that you're not paying for.

For me, I'd be heartbroken either way, but I could somewhat understand 'something happened' wrt to an affair; an emotional relationship developed, there were some weak moments, etc.

Hiring a prostitute, however, implies such a disregard for your own safety and emotional health and a premeditated, dispassionate desire to cheat that I'd be simply horror-struck.