A lust for the forbidden fuels a lot of sexual fantasy and fetishism for many people. The derogatory names, BDSM, rape/sexual harassment/punishment scenarios- all of these point to the attraction of 'sex is wrong'. Cheating is just another forbidden element.
Many men and women prefer to be involved with partners who are otherwise attached, for various reasons. Some enjoy the rush of seducing someone into betraying themselves; others prefer to keep their sex partners at a distance; having sex with a married person almost guarantees that distance.
Still others wage war on marriage, feeling vengeful for never having found a spouse. Being a homewrecker brings a perverse satisfaction.
I find monogamy, as we tend to define it today (being sexually committed and sexually exclusive to someone else) to be a dangerous expectation, because monogamy as was never about morality, it was about commerce.
Before there was paper or coin, a man's worth was measured in land, livestock, and a number of children (mainly sons) to tend his land and livestock. If a woman could have sex with whomever, whenever she chooses, which man can claim her offspring?
How can a man claim to have 100 hectares of land, 500 head of livestock, and eight sons without borders around his land, to keep his livestock from roaming and being counted as someone else's, and an arrangement that guarantees that a woman shall bear children only for him?
For this reason, marriage can be good for the men, and polygamy can be great- since to most of us, polygamy is a man who has more than one wife, never a woman with more than one husband- but a prison for women. When women began to figure this out, religion came to the rescue, claiming that it was the god's divine will that woman shall belong to only one man- BELONG TO- not unlike the land and the livestock.
Society has created religion and romance and all sorts of justifications to help women accept the role that is most convenient for the men, but as more women began to study and travel and read and ruminate and question, it became clear that they had been conned, which brought about the sexual revolution, as it was called.
Women wanted to vote, to work, to earn equal pay, to live alone, to have sex without marriage, to have children without marriage, to have sex with other women, with or without marriage, and so on.
For women who have been conditioned to be dependent as well as monogamous, the possibility of losing the man they belong to, and their means of support and identity (a man is called Mister, regardless of marital status; women's marital status is clearly expressed from the moment of introduction- Miss Wardell, Mrs Fenway), can be terrifying.
Men who choose to 'settle down', 'carry on the family name', or simply want to simplify their sex life (not the only reasons one becomes monogamous, just examples), also feel anxiety if the woman they consider to be theirs is suspected of being involved with someone else.
For both genders, fear of sexual inadequacy, of being less attractive, less exciting, perhaps less skilled can pique their insecurities, making them susceptible to feelings of jealousy. Jealousy is not based in love, it is based in fear: fear of losing what one considers to be theirs alone.
Here again, society and religion program us to believe that there is only one perfect partner, one soul mate- which, of course, current divorce rates worldwide contradict emphatically.
To cheat is to do what you said you would not do. If I state to a woman very clearly that I will never be monogamous, I am incapable of cheating. Then, I have sex with my partner because I choose to, not because it's all I'm allowed to do. It is now up to my partner and I to create a life together wherein we will always be one another's first choice.
I would never make another person responsible for my sexual well-being, and that's what true sexual monogamy is: "my only sexual release will be with you". I believe that sexuality is not just in physical contact but also in our intent, so phone/chat room/webcam sex are all a breach of monogamy.
Men and women go through many different phases of sexual desire; to assume that such phases will be perfectly coordinated or, worse, that we should ignore our patterns and needs, is a recipe for problems- resentment, frustration, dishonesty.
Dishonesty, because it is only cheating if you do what you said you won't...
This post has been edited by ScottyWright: Fri Sep 10, 2010 02:37 AM