How do we define cheating in lesbiqueer circles?

Hiya slit-ticklers!

I’ve missed you!
And it’s warm out! It’s finally warm out!!

thanks yaara


Chicago’s beaches are open and sundresses are in season and the question “But do they have a patio?” is now the only determining factor in whether or not I’m going out.

Each summer I make up a new motto, and this year, my summer motto is: Fuckit, it’s too hot for a bra.

via rebecca bone

What’s yours?

Around here, it’s not quuuuuite summer yet, but that’s because – little known fact! – the first day of summer is different depending on which city you live in.

*Did you know?*

The Actual Scientific Date That Summer Begins is the first day after the first night of  Pride.

As my friend Mikal says: “It’s just not summer until somebody’s getting their stomach pumped.”

Emergency room workers across the country celebrate the date.
They know when summer’s here.

The traditional Pride cocktail guaranteed to land you in the ER, btdubbs, is:

90-degree heat + sunburn + parade dehydration + alcohol + sex with strangers + no sleep, along with a few ill-thought out uppers and several morning shots of espresso.

thanks Sarah Tooley


We are a responsible people, but dang if we don’t let  Pride  break our stilettos in the gutter and heatstroke us in our assless chaps each year.

Here in Chicago, regardless of the piercing sunshine and balmy breezes and exposed tattoos on hot girls biking by, I’ve been feeling kind of… blah.

thanks Arielle S


What was wrong with me?
I didn’t know.  I couldn’t snap out of it.

I mean, I was having fun! I was getting vitamin D!
I was writing a lot for Rookie, my hair was getting lighter from days outside, and I had just started running again.

thanks caitlin


In other words, life was great – my “blahs” made no sense.
For heaven’s sake – in one month alone, I was lucky enough to go to:

* The International Mr. Leather Competition,

* A reading with Alison Bechdel where I was thisclose to her and then afterwards saw her on the street going into a cafe right by my house – later, upon intense questioning of the baristas in the cafe, I learned that she’s a regular there.


Noooobody mind me, juuust sitting here sipping my soy latte…noooo particular reason I’m here….

* A buncha queer dance nights,



* Midsommarfest in Andersonville, where Timothy Maxwell Thumperton took 1st place in the annual pet parade (yes, hello, I’m five years old)

lookit ma bebeh in his fetching spring jaaaacket


* The annual Burlesque Hall of Fame weekend in Las Vegas, aka the Superbowl of Burlesque.

Miss Indigo Blue winning 2011

[Miss Indigo Blue winning 2011]

I just came back from that!

And as I got ready for the show each night in Vegas with my Minneapolis burlesque girls, and they displayed their new eyeshadow finds and rhinestone tiaras and shared news about state-of-the-art advancements in the field of glitter…

it hit me like a bolt from the blue.

I took dis. It's our sink at the hotel room in Vegas


I realized what was missing in my life, what was causing my strange uneasiness and vague sadness.

I missed high-femme-ing it up all the time.

Tawnya before going out. There's some tape involved, here


In Chicago, I walk everywhere, so I’ve ceased to wear high heels altogether.

My hair’s all shaggy and needs a cut; my nails haven’t been glossy red in ages.

Sluts, I currently only own one bra, and it’s beige.


Being at the burlesque festival, with its explosion of vintage swimsuits and elaborate pin curls and feather fans and wigs and sequins, was like remembering myself.

Its me! In drag!


Like surfacing from the sucking mud of my own murky Lake ToneItDown.

Lola Van Ella in her mom's body-building competition swimsuit from the 80s. I want this suit very, very badly


I missed fake eyelashes and polka dots and enormous gold hoop earrings and checked gingham shirts tied at the waist.

I missed heels with crystals making them sparkle; really elaborate garter belts; cherry red lips that kiss off onto everything.

I missed it! I needed it! That used to be me! Where had I been???

Jeez Loueez in another amazing suit. I vomited with envy.


My god.

Sometimes you really need glitter to bring you back to center.

Anyway! Refreshed and revived!

It’s so totally on this summer, sluts.

Nadine in her epic, epic crown


When I got back from my five transformative days in Vegas, I wandered, unknowingly, into a hotbed of discussion.

It seemed that June’s unseasonable heat had put some gayelles I know in heat, and…the results were volcanic.

Relationships were erupting like liquid hot magma.  (How many heat references can you find in the last three sentences? I count 5.)

Isn't this picture dirty?


The topic on the table was – and still is, y’allfags – cheating.


OK heads down hands up:  Who here is a cheater?

thanks Becky G! nice armadillo


It’s OK. No one can see you.  You’re alone at your computer.

Who’s cheated?

And what do I mean when I say ‘cheating’?

thanks Lauren and Adrienne


Because this is where the hotbed of discussion comes into play.

Here’s a very summed-up version of the sitch:

Two long-standing lesbian couples. Everyone’s friends with each other. Two of the girlfriends start sneaking around…with each other.

The queergirls who are accused of cheating with each other maintain that they did not, in fact, cheat.

Their girlfriends, um, felt otherwise. (They know I’m writing about this, obvs. They asked me to ask you faggettes what you think.)

The girls accused of cheating seem to be skirting the issue of cheating with technicalities, saying things like, “Well, we never actually fucked.”

You know. The way some (ahem) of us Mormon kids continued to claim we were virgins, because oral and intense fingerbanging “didn’t count.”

Thanks April


And why is this my business, anyway?  It’s not.
What’s it to me?
Who cares if some friends of mine are cheating on each other?

I’ll tell you why:

Because in this particular situation between friends, I was the Secret-Keeper.

You know who the Secret-Keeper is.
She’s the friend that everyone tells their stuff to; the friend who hears both sides of the story.

I knew what was happening.
I knew who had slept with who.

Thanks Lindsey P


And I didn’t say anything to anybody.
I just – I didn’t know what to do.

When you know your friend is cheating on someone who is also your friend…do you tell?

Thanks Suzan M


Is that your role?

Or is your role to listen without judgement, and wait for the problems-that-aren’t-your-problems to resolve themselves?

I chose the latter option, and now I’m kiiiiiind of spending a lot of time on couches with friends shaking their heads at me going, “I can’t believe you knew and didn’t say anything.”

via lulusofie

And what, dear god of all things gay, do we define cheating as, anyway?

I’m serious.

How do we define cheating in lesbiqueer circles?

Thanks Christian C


Assuming you don’t already have an agreement with your main squeeze about being open….

Does ‘cheating’ just mean ‘fucking’?

Cute.  How do we define fucking?  Remember when we were so confused about that way back in 2009?

Is it kissing someone else? Making out at a club when you’re in line for the bathroom? (Who does that? Nobody I know.)

Thanks rugburns


–   Is cheating like, admitting to someone that you like them?

–   Is it cheating to gchat with your admitted crush?

Thanks Tessa


– What about texting? What about snuggling?

–   What about ‘platonic’ dinner dates where there’s an undercurrent of sexual tension?

–    What about deep, drunken, late-night conversations up on somebody’s roof where no one does anything but OMG DEEP EMOTIONS AND FEELINGS are shared?

Thanks Bee

What do y’allfags think about this???

What’s cheating?

My friend Alma maintains that cheating is anything – anything! – you wouldn’t do if your partner was right there.

That feels a little Draconian to me.

via somethingtoforgetmeby


Like when I was 13 and bought my first-ever CD with my own money (it was RENT, you jealz?) knowing full well that there were words like “mucho masturbation” and “bisexuals” embedded in the lyrics, and my mom insisted on sitting down in the living room with me and listening to the entire musical, start to finish.

Determined to show her how worldly I was, and trying to be blase while the characters sang about AIDS and lesbians and drugs and working in strip joints, I quietly died of embarrassment in the living room for over two hours.

When the last ringing note of RENT had pealed out over our stereo, Mom rose, silently and tight-lipped, from the couch and headed down the hallway, tossing over her shoulder “Next time you buy music, imagine listening to it with your mother and Jesus in the room.”


I still can’t play a record without picturing Jesus sitting next to me on our green family sofa, flipping through the album lyrics with my mom.

So I think Alma’s definition of cheating is kind of intense.

You can’t do anything with someone else that you wouldn’t do around your girlfriend without it being cheating?




What if you start to like a new, cute lil’ dyke and she likes you and oops you maybe kiss once and then stop and then feel really bad about it and never do it again?

What if you make out a bunch and then stop, because you suddenly really realize the consequences of what you’re doing?

And, my lawd, what about emotional cheating?

Thanks Kristen


The kind of thing where you like someone and she likes you back but nothing happens because you have a girlfriend, but you still share stuff that lovers would share?
Cute texts, secrets, presents – is it cheating?

Or is it just cute texts and secrets and presents?

Where do we draw the line?

Thanks Rose S

[thanks Rose S]

In college, I took Human Sexuality (to learn! for science!), where I was startled to learn from a textbook that:

#1) Lesbians, gay men, and queer-identified couples unfailingly rate themselves as the happiest (how? in what way? how do you measure happiness?) types of couples (there’s that confidence I love about us); and

#2) An enormous portion of lesbian relationships are formed from the ashes of cheating.

I seem to recall the textbook calling it “mate-poaching,” and me thinking “oh I like that they have a fancy name for cheating, college is wonderful.

The gist of the idea is that when two people are in a relationship, another person comes along and mates (yes!) with one of them, and the coupled partner leaves the nest to follow the new person.

Yeah, so…cheating, right?

Thanks Maria J


And that seemed, well…fairly accurate.

Obviously, I understand that all kinds of couples cheat – not just gay ones.

But maaaaan it seems like I know a fuckload of cheatin’ lezzers.

For me, at least, the mate-poaching theory explained so much when I read about it.

thanks Ariel N - 'SapphicSista' on YouTube


At the time I was taking the class, I was in the process of letting go of one relationship and starting a new one, before the old one was, um, completely over.

Which is a shameful pattern of mine.
That I share with about 10 bazillion other dykes.

Tawnya calls ghey girls who do this “monkeys”, because they keep hold of one branch of the tree while swinging to a new branch.

I dunno, mos, I just – there are so many lesbigay couples in my life who started out as cheatin’ partners and then went public with it.

Is it the same where you are?
Does it seem like everyone you know has cheated?
Have you cheated? Or been cheated on?
Do you even think cheating is bad?
Did you start a relationship with someone by sneaking around? And are you happy now?  Has it led to shocking amounts of drama?

I’m seriously extremely interested.

thanks Nikki May of nikkimay


Really – what’s cheating to you?

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About Krista

Krista Burton is brand-new to Chicago. An ex-Mormon from Minneapolis, she writes a blog called Effing Dykes (, which is about activating your lesbian gaydar. She spends most of her time staring longingly at enormous dogs, riding her shiny orange scooter around town, and trying to bake gluten-free cake that doesn’t taste like gluten-free cake. She’s a staff writer at Groupon, and loves girls, inappropriate footwear, and hip-hop songs with filthy lyrics.


4 Responses to “How do we define cheating in lesbiqueer circles?”

  1. I think the definition of cheating is unique to every couple. Where one couple draws the line another may cross that boundry. I think it is something important that every couple should discuss.I believe when you cross that line you not only cheat your partner, you also cheat yourself.You made a commitment,so either have the integrity to keep that commitment, or the maturity to leave the relationship openly and honostly. If you are not ready to commit to another 100% you have no business being in a relationship.If we humans acted on every desire we had at every given moment we would probably all be jailed or deacesed! Finding someone who loves you and your flaws is not an easy task. If you are lucky enough to find that person you better hold on tight! Put that energy into making your currant relationship exciting and honorable. Shame on you ladies…

    Posted by Jen | June 17, 2012, 6:04 pm
  2. Texting is now cheating? I guess it all depends on what it says, right? If someone was complimenting my partner and they kindly took it and MAYBE sent a compliment back, I don’t think so. Now, if my girl was telling another girl she loved her, while telling me the same thing, possibly.. Most likely.. Yes.
    Calling another girl baby? No, it’d just be irritating to see it and we would most likely end up in a disagreement.
    Anything that’s physically sexual (including kissing) would be the main cheating action, correct? Like, hugging, snuggling and lap sitting is fine.(Although my partner would beg to differ.. “ONLY HUGGING! And no booby touching.. >.>”. )

    Going by a religious persons standards, I have not cheated, ever. I barely even text people. Not to atop myself from the temptation of flirting with no intentions via text, but to save myself from the issues at home. Everyone has to make sacrifices for their loved ones, right?

    I agree with Jen. If you don’t want to commit to ONE person, just be single. But make sure you haven’t gotten yourself into a psychotic relationship with some crazy bitch, who would stab herself in the leg with a pen, when you try to end things, causing you to spend 2 years with
    them out of fear.. o_O true story, scary shit.

    Check out my blog if you ever need a giggle. Tumblr.thesecretsofmarylou

    Posted by MaryLouTookMyAddiction | October 19, 2012, 1:14 pm
  3. Honestly, it took cheating on my fake-high-school-boyfriend for me to admit to myself THE REAL reason I wasn’t interested in him. It was seriously all of the above (emotional, flirting, holding hands, sitting on each others laps, which led to….)and I loved that girl more than air. Even she was surprised that I was not in fact the goody-two-shoes straight girl she thought I was. Really….cheating is…understandable. I’ve also been cheated on but…I don’t know it just wasn’t that big of a deal, I was a little steamed for a few days but aside from that unless she wanted to leave I’d just forgive and forget. Humans live so long sometimes people just have different needs that the person they are with cannot provide and while it’s sometimes disappointing to the cheatee isn’t something that you can internally control. If you expect your partner to be true to only you, then express it, but if you’re the kind of person that there is even the SLIGHTEST chance of you maybe getting drunk and making out with a flirty girl at a party, also express it. Being open is key and sometimes it can work out for both people.

    Nevertheless, I agree with the girls above me, practice some self control!! If you are doing something you KNOW your partner would be upset about (and don’t lie to yourself, you know what would upset her) THEN DON’T DO IT.

    Posted by Gina | December 5, 2013, 2:29 am

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