Do Same-Sex Hook-Ups Count As Cheating?

Do Same-Sex Hook-Ups Count As Cheating?

Do Same-Sex Hook-Ups Count As Cheating?

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Two relationship experts weigh in.

For the best advice on sex, love, dating and relationships we ask two experts with personal experience. Cathi Hanauer is the author of Sweet Ruin, a novel about love, marriage, and adultery. Daniel Jones is the editor of both the "Modern Love" column for The New York Times, and Modern Love, an anthology derived from the column. They've been married for 15 years, and together they provide a his and hers take on relationship questions. This round: same-sex hook-ups.

Question: I just got engaged to my boyfriend of two years, and I feel regretful that I never had a sexual experience with a woman — even though I'm pretty sure I'm straight. Is it too late for me to explore this fantasy? –Vanessa, 29

Her Take: Ask yourself why you feel regretful. Is it because you realize that saying "I do" will limit what you can do? Or is it because you're not really sure you're straight?

Both answers are worth contemplating, but the latter is a definite concern. If lesbian sex is something you crave, find out now. (If you realize you do, think hard about whether you're ready to get married. I'd say not.) Or, is there any chance you could tell your fiance about this fantasy?

Part of a good marriage is exploring at least some of your sexual fantasies with your spouse— and lots of guys might actually like the idea of you being with a woman, especially if they could somehow be involved (even if it's just watching). Either way, it's better to potentially explore this with his blessing than behind his back.

His Take: People act like marriage comes with a rulebook. It doesn't. It's up to you and your partner to decide what's permissible in your relationship—so it's not too late for either of you to do anything with anyone before or after you get hitched, as long as you're both OK with it.

Alas, I suspect what you're really asking is, "Am I allowed to fulfill this fantasy without him knowing?" In which case I must insist on turning the tables: How would you feel if you discovered he'd squeezed in a secret gay affair before the wedding?

A betrayal may not seem as serious when couched as a "fantasy," and perhaps your fiance would feel less threatened by a fling with a woman than with an old boyfriend. It's your choice to roll the dice on such a gamble.

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