It’s a fine line—but probably one you don’t want to cross.
One Playboy reader had that exact question. In a recent column, he asked: “I’m in an exclusive relationship. Would it be considered cheating if I paid to watch a camgirl when my girlfriend isn’t around? Essentially, I see it as being the same as watching porn by myself—and that’s definitely not cheating, in my opinion. But I’ve heard differing opinions when it comes to interacting with camgirls.”
First, we hate to break it to you, but a recent survey found that 22 percent of women do actually consider watching porn without her as cheating.
That’s because porn can become excessive for some guys, explains relationship and family therapist Paul Hokemeyer, Ph.D. And if watching X-rated flicks—or a camgirl that you personally paid for—gets you off more than your wife or girlfriend does, then that’s a problem.
If she catches you watching porn, it can bruise her ego, since she might not feel like she can satisfy you on her own, explains Hokemeyer. But if she catches you watching a private camgirl? That might feel a lot more like straight up in-the-flesh cheating.
That’s because camgirls are a bit different than a random video you’d find online. The biggest difference, however, is the level of intimacy.
If you’re paying for a private performance, many women might question how that’s different from going to a strip club without her knowing, or meeting up with a girl without telling her.
Case in point: When one person asked people what they thought about the camgirl-cheating debate on Reddit, one user wrote: “Well with ‘regular’ porn there’s close to 0 percent chance that you’ll leave your [girlfriend] to be with one of the actresses because it’s one-way interaction. With webcam porn it can be a 2-way interaction either via chatting, dual camming, you sending her pics, etc... where you become an active participant. And that’s where it becomes a very grey area. Talk to her about it.”
And as another user put it: “If you have to bring yourself to even ask the question, there’s a solid argument for it being considered cheating.”
As Playboy’s columnist noted, it’s her opinion that bears the most weight in the end—but how exactly are you supposed to know if she’s cool with it?
Both of you need to establish clearcut boundaries. First, familiarize yourself with these seven things other than sex that she could consider as cheating.
Then, maybe start with her thoughts on porn, and see how she feels about you watching it. If she’s not cool with that, then it’s not likely she’ll be cool with camgirls.
And if not being able to watch a private show bothers you—it might be time to reconsider whether or not you’re ready for a commitment in the first place.