Is it Cheating?  A discussion with sexworker & various views

On (Canadian sexwork board) there was a very good discussion of "cheating"

A Provider says in part to a client asking about if its cheating to see her:

Many men see me for many different reasons. Some gentlemen are single but the majority of the man who do see me are married or attached (at least 75%).

The married men see me perhaps because they have been married for a very long time. They love there wife and have children and wouldn't think of leaving there families. Usually they are just missing a little something out of there lives. I provide that little something for them. They go back to there loving families and that small need in there life is satisfied which makes them a happier man whom may have gained just that little bit of self confidence back to perhaps even go home to be a better husband or father in some cases.

Rather than going out and having an affair with a woman which can be long term (emotions & attachments are involved) and damaging to there relationships (sneaking around, lying, etc.) 90 minutes out of there day every so often provides them with the satisfaction they need to continue on being 100 percent of themselves rather than only half. Perhaps it's really just the company the desire more than the sexuality of the visit itself, (but of course that's always a bonus)

I've had young men see me who do have girlfriends (perhaps some men just can't be monogamous but love the person they are with) but enjoy something from myself that perhaps their girlfriend doesn't offer. For some men, they don't want another relationship, just to fill a small void. They love who they are with, maybe they have responsibilities such as a home together, children etc, and it's not appropriate at the time for them to separate. Of course for them affairs would be out of the question.

Other guys love the thrill, they love seeing woman, love having fun. Most of these men would not feel that they are's more of a lifestyle for them than it is a once and a while encounter.

Now with this in mind I'll answer your question....Do I think it's cheating? Only you can answer that question. With everything in mind, How do you feel about it?

I offer a very sensuous and therapeutic (in many different ways) service....mind, body and soul. Many of my clients say they couldn't get through the rest of the week unless they had come to see me to release their tension. Not only their bodily tension, but emotional (through company, and attention), physical (through therapeutic massage and release) and spiritual (through sensuality, eroticism and meaningful conversation). And of course we always have fun!

Most men do not feel that they are cheating because they are not completely involved, they see it as a therapeutic experience themselves. It's not a full time thing. Other men may argue that it is cheating beyond a doubt, But Im hoping that those men don't come to see me. I wouldn't want any man to be uncomfortable or regret any part of our experience. So again, only you can answer that question for yourself. How do you feel about it? Are you comfortable with it? If yes, than fine. Perhaps this is something that you can benifit greatly from. If the answer is no, then perhaps this isn't for you. You may feel guilty and subconsciously you will bring that quilt home and you will be cheating. Cheating yourself. your relationship could suffer if you take those feelings home.

I'm hoping since you contacted me that you do feel comfortable with it. And I'm hoping that you will see me and enjoy yourself. That you will benefit greatly and will not let the experience affect your relationship. I'm hoping I can teach you a few things and perhpas some emotions or feelings in yourself you didn't know you had and you can use them to benefit your relationship.

I hope this response has helped you and I hope to see you when you feel you are comfortable enough and ready to enjoy the experience!

A man says:
if it is cheating, does it matter? If the man remains committed to supporting his wife and family, both financially and otherwise, isn't he doing what society expects of husbands and fathers? I think so. The alternatives - suppression of sexual interest, or abandonment of marriages/relationships where such interests exist - seems rather narrow-minded, destructive, and pointless.

A man says
Of course, it is cheating!!! You are married, you are stepping out, you are cheating on her. Period. I don't care how you rationalize it. I am married and I have a pair of beautiful daughters. Something happened to my wife a few years ago - she turned into a bitter, vicious, mind-numbing woman. I don't know if it was me but it happened overnight. The next day she was just a nasty bitch. The only reason I stay is because of my girls. I could NEVER leave them. I am more than willing to personally put up with the woman to raise my children. If we got divorced I would lose them (something like 95% of custody battles go in favour of the mother apparently no matter what). One or two weekends a month is not good enough for me with my girls. So. . . I need to have some fun once in a while So I hobby. I have my favourite SP's and I use their services on average about once every 5-6 weeks. Sorry about the rant, but I needed to explain that some of us HAVE to cheat. NEED to cheat. Say what you want but that's my two cents.

Provider says:
I enjoy meeting people of all colours, races and creeds, and always find something interesting and/or uniqueabout each and every client. I'm sure that this time that we spend together whether it be the romantic, the sexual or the friendly part of the session, they will go home that much more satisfied, happier or self confidant.

Sometimes all it takes for someone to feel better is just have someone to listen and pay attention to them. Some men can't open up to their own wives for whatever reasons.....Coming to see myself or other SP's provides an oasis for many gentleman....This is why they can leave being more self confidant and feeling a lot better than when they arrived! xoxox

A man says:
There is an emerging trend towards defining the tie that binds a relationship in emotional as opposed to merely physical terms, namely a long term emotional commitment, and not just a ritualistic observance of extra-marital celibacy. This is part of a much wider tendency to view moral questions in terms of inner feelings as opposed to external, legal-type criteria. This really hit me when I was at a SC once and observed a bunch of really young college kids come in, some with girlfriends in tow, and I thought about how when I was that age, just being found out by the GF to have been at a strip would have been grounds for high drama and/or breakup, at least with the more conservative girls. Now it's seemingly just taken as normal among the youth. In another 25 years, as sex work mainstreams, everyone will do it, and nobody except the really conservative and/or religious will see it as any more adulterous than admitting to find this or that movie or pop star sexy seems now.

Another man says:
So you don't think the role of sex can be expected to change and slow down with the passing of time for any given marriage without it being seen as a broken marriage contract? I mean when you are both single she might have the energy and free time to dedicate herself to giving you sex 5 or 6 times a week but is it reasonable to expect the same when she is working, doing housework, and looking after kids? Do you still think that it is reasonable to look at that in terms of a broken (implicit) marriage contract on her part like infidelity is on yours or should it be seen more as expected life changes that one must make in compromises and family life?

Dave in Phoenix says:
Also from lots of E-mail I get on this issue, from, women have hormonal changes often after childbirth. With all the other responsibilities they face or purely physical they simply lose interest in sex and the man is physically unfulfilled. Sometimes its the women in need or more sex and the husband has lost interest.

But back to the point of the marriage contact. The "be faithful" part based on cultural traditions may be totally unnatural and totally unreasonable to include. But for the sake of tradition and the fact they are so Romantically in love at the time, they go along with it, willing to deny what may be unnatural.

"Infidelity - It may be on our genes" was a great Time Magazine 8/15/94 article showing how more than one sexual partner is historically more natural than monogamy. Also studies have shown the more sexually repressed a culture is historically they more violent they are.

I think it is a natural "need" in many men and women to release sexual energy and share physical intimacy and to limit this to one women for life is unnatural. There are many proven health benefits of both physical intimacy and sexuality - more than what you can get just doing it with yourself. Providers services should be covered by the Canadian Health Plan, since it provides proven medical benefits !!!!

In biblical times men could have as many wives, concubines and "common" prostitutes as they wished. Other religions also deal with this natural of many men and women to have sexual variety. For example: "Pleasure Marriages" of as short as 1-hour regain popularity in Iraq and common in Islam. The man recites some words and they are married for a specified time. I have had sexworkers tell me of Muslim clients that do this with them for the length of a session.

USA Today 5/5/05 Highlights
The 1400 year-old practice of muta'a - "ecstasy" in Arabic - is as old as Islam itself. It was permitted by the prophet Mohammed as a way to ensure a respectable means of income for widowed women (and of course pleasure for men). Pleasure marriages were outlawed under Saddam Hussein but have begun to flourish again. The contracts lasting anywhere from one hour to 10 years, generally stipulate that the man will pay the women in exchange for sexual intimacy.

Shites and Sunnis both permit men to take more than one permanent wife, but the rival branches of Islam are deeply split over the pleasure marriages. Most Shiite scholars today consider it religiously legal. Shiite lawmakers want Iraq's new constitution to give muta'a formal legal protection as under Sharia, or Islamic law. Sunni Arabs and Kurds, who are mainly Sunni, oppose the idea. But the practice is growing among Sunnis and Shiites alike.

Sunni scholars fear that giving official sanction to pleasure marriages - many of which are only verbal agreements between the couple - are little more than legalized prostitution that could lead to a collapse of moral values, especially among young people. "We have reports about one-hour pleasure marriages that are flourishing among students,: says a Sunni imam.

A woman agreeing to a pleasure marriage that involves a one-time encounter might be able to count on about $100. For a muta'a that runs longer, she might be paid $200 a month, though amounts vary widely. (A women) says, "All my friends who have done this have told me they got married in this way just to meet their sexual desires, but later on they started to love that man, and he does not accept to get married permanently....Most of the men, at the end of the contract, feel contempt towards the women."

Contracts for pleasure marriage strongly favor men. Married women can't enter into a muta'a, although a married man can. (Dave notes just like in biblical Christian times, a married man was not committing adultery if the other women was single. It was a property fight issue of the husband of the other women, not a sexual issue.) Men can void the contract at any time; women don't have that option unless it's negotiated at the outset. The couple agrees not to have children. The women who unintentionally gets pregnant can have an abortion but must then pay a fine to a cleric.

To many pleasure marriages are legitimate in God's eyes. They bring responsibility and formality to what would otherwise be squalid and sinful, As one said, "There is a noble goal in this kind of marriage, it's to eradicate moral corruption."

A man says
There are a couple of ways to look at this issue - in anger, or with calm acknowledgement. I don't advocate the former. Hey, people change! You don't have to view the fact that you've dropped down your spouse's totem pole as a slap in the face. However, you do need to meet your own needs, or there really isn't any point to be being alive. If your spouse can't/won't meet them, I think you have to go elsewhere. Does this mean you should divorce? I don't think so. There is so much damage done by doing so (to the kids, to yourself (emotionally), to your spouse (emotionally), financially) that divorce only makes sense when staying together does even more harm. Otherwise, getting divorced would be solely motivated by pride or some pre-conceived notion of "what's proper", neither of which are sensible reasons for doing anything.

Another man says:
First, Dave - I have a great deal of respect for your efforts and views. Obviously, you've thought this game out like a master chess player. But, I don't understand the view you expressed. It's not just your view but many other instances of this permissive sexual experience. I'm not sure whether you're wrong. Part of me says that you are perceiving the human condition as very maliable and open to diverse views that are all equally valid and relevant. I agree. Another part of me says that my woman is "my woman". A man's role in life is to support and protect and provide for his woman and children. If I permit "my woman" to satisfy the sexual desires of other men then is she still "my woman"? If I seek out other women to satisfy my sexual desires and needs am I still "her man"? Relationships are by nature possessive. Each possesses the other by loving the other. By surrendering to the relationship each surrenders their freedom and gets loyalty in return.

I'm still bewildered by the entire question and haven't a way out of my confusion.

Dave in Phoenix says
I think different forms of relationships work better than other for different couples. The key is to be open and honest in communications with your partner before getting into marriage. In my view there are various options all are legitimate moral options:

Lovestyle Options

MONOGAMY - a valid choice but the problem is that it often doesn't work. Over 50% of the time it becomes serial monogamy with different relations, different marriages over time. Monogamy is what society teaches is "right" and those disagreeing tend to hide. Studies show 70% of all marriages involve "cheating". See Time magazine "Infidelity - It may be on our genes" 8/15/94 issue for extensive study showing how more than one sexual partner is historically more natural than monogamy. This is perhaps the biggest (unkept?) secret in our culture and within the Church. Monogamy should be based on a couples' CHOICE, not because they think its the only legitimate option.

SINGLES INTIMATE RELATIONSHIPS - Singles who want to remain more independent or who have not yet found anyone they want to be in a "couple" relationship with. Primary "couple" type relationship means someone you live with daily and share finances. Many couples choose to remain unmarried seeing marriage as artificial. A couple may feel they want to be with each other permanently because they love each other, not because they have a legal document saying they are married.

SWINGING - open couples relationships. Swinging is an example in which you share sexually with others as a couple where you still have one primarily relationship. Avoids the cheating that often occurs in monogamy and encourages open communications. Many couples find their prime relationships enhanced by the honest sharing of variety and being open with their partners, enjoying hearing about each other's feelings and experiences with other intimate partners. Our problem with stereotypical swinging is that it is often about brief sexual thrusting for pure pleasure with a large number of partners. Our goal is to bring more loving intimacy to swinging based on honest communications and building long term extended family types of relationships.

POLYAMORY - is the broader expression of that natural desire for variety in our loving intimacy -as opposed to stereotypical "swinging", which is typically brief sexual interactions (rather than relationships) with different couples, "poly" is typically considered to mean multiple simultaneous relationships which include loving, caring intimacy (including emotions and intellectual attraction) which have the potential to be long-term "extended family" type relationships. These relationships my also include those with different sexual orientations or may not. The poly relationships may be either "open" such is typical in swinging, or "closed", which is polyfidelity. Stereotypical swingers are most concerned with what is between the legs while "poly" styles of love are often more concerned about what is between the ears.

POLYFIDELITY - Within polyamory a subgroup is polyfidelity which describes more or less a closed group of people. This can take the form of a group marriage or extended family where you have several relationships which may be couples of may include various combinations of males and females.. Some prefer this situation since they want the team structure, a group to come home to at night but not an exclusive relationship. It best shows the loyalty to shared values and commitment to each other's spirits rather than the ego of self-centered jealousy and ownership of a typical monogamous relationship. "Intentional" extended families, beyond just blood relatives, are created by choice. Connectedness to others by choice may result in more fulfillment than just being born into a family which may have very different emotions and values.

All of these types of relationships work well for different people. Your desired relationship structure may change over time based on your own emotional needs or your connection with others or finding a group you desire.

When a person isn't in these relationships or seeks more variety and sexuality "for the moment" without any long term relationship, seeing a sexworker to me as an ideal solution.

 Back to the Sexwork Main Menu