I recently conducted an informal survey. Don’t worry, though; I didn’t show up unan- nounced to anyone’s home like

those annoying Jehovah’s

Witnesses. Been there, done that. Except the police called it “stalking.”

No, my survey took place the lazy — I mean safe — way: via texting. And the best part

about my little questionnaire? It was composed of just one inquiry: Do you consider sexting to be cheating? Let’s back up a minute. Most people (especially now, due to COVID-19) have dipped their something into the sexting pool. Fun, flirty and often filthy when it’s good, sexting is a healthy alternative to in-person encounters. Forget STDs, the only downfalls to sexting are bad angles, publicly shared photos without consent, and getting the screen of your phone messy. I won’t waste time discussing false advertising, because this article is about sexting, not what sexting almost always eventually leads to, such as buyer’s remorse. What I will dissect, however, is if you’re in a

relationship and sext (i.e. send a pic of your cock and balls or text verbiage such as “hole” and/or

“pound”) someone who is not your partner, are you cheat-

ing? The short answer: It depends. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the majority of gay men

I “interviewed” actually believe sexting someone who isn’t your partner is considered cheating — specifically if you keep the act hidden from your partner and then later lie about it. You see, the issue with sexting doesn’t necessarily have to do with

cheating, but more so with communication and trust. In laymen’s terms: Are you being open with your partner? Or are you keeping secrets from him? I asked 10 gay men the obvious question: If you’re in a relationship and sext someone other than your partner, is that act considered

cheating? What wasn’t so obvious was the consensus response. I can fully and unapologetically admit that I’m jaded when it comes

to the gay community, or to be a little more detailed, a large portion of the Southern California gay culture that is repeatedly on display. Fine! I’m actually disgusted, disappointed and done. Maybe I’m a hypocrite, maybe I’m just growing up, but the constant drinking, drugging, and dudes putting their assholes on Only Fans pages and Twitter with their Amazon Wish List and Venmo accounts attached is — in my opinion — pathetic. And pure trash. No skills, no education, no talent? What a turn on! Do any of these amateur porn “stars” know how to properly use a semicolon? An article for another time. That being said, you can imagine how pleasantly flabbergasted I

was to learn that so many people agreed with me: If you’re in a rela- tionship and sexting someone other than your partner, yes, you’re a cheater. Who knew such high standards and morals still existed in the gay world? But, like I stated above, the issue goes deeper. No pun intended. The issue is about two necessary components required to have a healthy, adult relationship: communication and trust. Unfortunately, it is all too common today to witness open relation- ships within the gay community. Again, I’m not going to dive into my opinion on what this type of stain has left on the community, but I will say that there isn’t enough bleach in the world to get it out. Regardless, some men think it’s appealing to stop on the way home from work and screw a stranger before going home to their partner. The classic case of “having your cake and eating it, too.” Or, in gay terms, “getting the attention of anyone with a dick.” Still, if you and your partner are both knowingly open, then the

above doesn’t really apply. It’s OK to be on Grindr, sext multiple men, even hookup with them. Though, seeking therapy immediately could be helpful for your attention addiction disorder. Maybe it’s a “never being satisfied” disorder. Maybe it’s a just a “you’re a whore and should be single” disorder. I digress. Again, an article for another time. The point I’m trying to make for this article, right now, is: A relation- ship — any type of relationship — needs communication and trust to both thrive and last. No secrets. No lies. No ulterior motives. So, as we charge forward into 2021 (very carefully, I might suggest),

let’s all do our best to communicate with one another, promote trust, and, you know, just be fucking decent human beings.

Cutter Slagle has been a contributing writer for The Rage Monthly since 2016. He is the published author of suspense, horror and crime fiction works.

JANUARY 2021| @theragemonthly 31

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