my friend’s girlfriend cheated on them and was caught. My friend is clearly breaking up with her but her entire rhetoric is “It’s my body and I do what I want with it. You don’t own me”. My friend was completely unable to find a come-back to that logic without some weird confrontation about sexual exclusivity and it got me thinking too. They are already broken up for about 2 weeks now but when I try to re-simulate the situation to myself I wouldn’t know how I’d handle it either.


Cheating isn’t wrong because your partner owns your body and gets to decide when you have sex, it’s wrong because you’re breaking an agreement you made with your partner.

Monogamy is an agreement that people in a relationship should talk about openly and explicitly and decide on together without pressuring each other. If people haven’t agreed to be monogamous, having sex with someone else isn’t “cheating”. If people have agreed not to have sex with others outside the relationship, it’s wrong to break that agreement, just like it’s wrong to break any other agreement you make with your partner.

Like any other agreement, some people will think this is very serious and others won’t mind as much, but it’s still important to keep any agreements you make with your partner unless and until you inform them that you don’t plan to keep that agreement anymore.

It’s not kind or respectful to sneak around and not allow your partner to make decisions about the relationship based on current information instead of old agreements they assume you’re still keeping.

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