Is Just a Kiss Still Full-Blown Cheating?

We get a lot of advice questions coming in at EMandLO.com, but sadly, we just can’t answer them all. Which is why, once a week, we turn to you to decide how best to advise a reader. Make your call on the letter below by leaving your advice in the comments section. 

I’ve been married for almost 20 years. I often fantasize about kissing other people. Not even having sex with them, just kissing them, just to feel that rush once again. Not necessarily anyone in particular, and maybe even just once would be enough. I love my partner and am not interested in ruining my marriage. I’m in it til the end. But I’m wondering if making out with someone, like while out of town, is just as bad as shagging them. I know both are deceitful, but one seems so much worse than the other. Could the more innocent indiscretion be justified if it just scratched an itch, didn’t disrupt my marriage, and made me happier without hurting my partner?

— Sealed with a Kiss

Can SWAK steal a kiss?
Let them know in the comments below!


  1. You definitely have to have a conversation with your partner, like bklynbug and Flo have said. I think another problem is emotional cheating. Even if you’re just kissing someone, are you going to feel emotionally involved with someone else? If it’s really just about the physical excitement, I think there are definitely options (like roleplay) to keep up the excitement. If you’re not comfortable enough to tell your partner, then it’s probably not the best idea.

  2. Ditto. I think you’d have to see if he’d be open to an opening up of your relationship, with very set parameters, eg you only keep it to kissing, only when one of you is out of town, only with people not in your lives, etc. But like bklnbug said, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Can you handle him making out with others? Can you trust him not to fall down that slippery slope Johnny mentioned? Maybe you can and do. The next question is can and does HE?

  3. I agree with Johnny. If all you want is the thrill, tell your partner. Agree to dress up, meet at a designated place (bar, restaurant,movie, theater) and pretend to not know one another. Be someone else. It’s called Role Play. That should do the trick. Otherwise, yes, it’s cheating. Another option would be to open up your marriage to soft play – but that means BOTH of you. How would you feel then?

  4. Are you asking for a pass here? Come on, you know no one is going to give you one.

    You’d have to meet a guy, flirt with him, get him attracted to you, put yourself in a position where he could bust a move, allow him to bust that move, enjoy said move… many people would say that therein lies the infidelity.

    Anyway, who are you kidding? You’re going to risk it all and stop short of grabbing the prize? Baloney – you say now that you just want a kiss, but you’re going to go all the way. Come on. You’re setting up an “oops, it just happened” scenario here.

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