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Does Roleplaying Count As Cheating?


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Google has an experimental feature this month only in their webmaster Search Console called content suggestions that suggests content for websites based on their subject. Under the "Role-playing" category, it suggested a topic about "Does role playing count as cheating?" which I thought was an interesting question. As roleplayers on Star Army, most of whom are very seasoned at this point, we're usually pretty good at keeping IC and OOC separate - so within our community we don't have too many issues about confusing our thoughts with the character's actions and thoughts. But I guess this question is within the context of relationships with your significant other. Is it "cheating" to engage your character in NFSW ERP with the character of another roleplayer that's not your partner?

My first reaction is the highbrow thought is that the player behind the character isn't important in the context of RP, like it doesn't matter if the person playing my character girlfriend is male or female RP, and that because it's strictly in-character, it's not a real-world thing and isn't going to damage your relationship IRL. But then I think, or is it? And I think on the days I used to run the raunchy YSS Sakura plot with its explicit dare lottery parties and so on, and then after I met my wife I basically stopped all ERP. Why did I stop? Was it because I had access to physical intimacy in the non-imaginary world? Or did I just grow out of it? I think it's probably because I didn't really ask my wife if she was alright with doing ERPs because the subject is a little embarrassing. I also think of there's been a couple of times were an NSFW scene would have be great, but I didn't want to make things weird OOC.

Overall, it's not the approval of other RPers here we need to ask but rather the approval of our partners. At some point you gotta define what is and isn't considered cheating in your relationship, delineate the boundaries clearly and then adhere to those. So if anyone who found this by Google is reading this, that's my opinion and I'm sure there will be some great replies below to read as well.

What do you guys think about it?
I think your pretty much right. It really depends on what your relationship with your partner is and what they consider to be cheating. The fundamental problem with cheating is that it's a breach of trust. I think a partner who doesn't want their partner to do ERP isn't being unreasonable. It's something you have to negotiate with them. Part of having a partner is restricting yourself from things that would make them unhappy.
My boyfriend and I met online and so for a awhile our relationship existed solely online through voice. So while I was and am a big ERPer, I haven't ERP'd since he asked me not to because it makes him uncomfortable due to the similarities of our relationship's foundation. He's also not a role player though so I think the idea and knowledge of the separation between player and character are a bit foreign to him.

So it's kind of as Wes said. I think it's a communication thing, and if your partner isn't okay with it then it doesn't matter what the truth is so long as it's something you're willing to not do for them. At the end of the day role-playing is a hobby / game and your partner is more important.
I think cheating is any kind of romantic/sexual activity that takes place outside the bounds that you and your partner have established.

I tried ERP while in a relationship (with their blessing) and it still felt wrong to me. I'm strictly monogamous, so for me it just didn't make sense.

The real question is "would my partner consider this cheating"? If yes, then it is. If you don't agree with them, then that's something you've got to figure out.
The general answer, that it depends on the parties involved and their sensibilities, is pretty obvious and was stated immediately.

Further from that, though, should be considerations as to what would be comfortable for the players to write about their characters. Sometimes the demonstrated monogamy of a character gets ignored. Much like in real life, female characters are often assumed to be dtf when the situation and context indicate they would not be.
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