Adultery is the voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and another person who is not his or her spouse, though in many places it is only considered adultery when a married woman has sexual relations with someone who is not her husband. In most cases, in Western countries, only the married party is said to have committed adultery, and if both parties are married (but not to each other) then they both commit separate acts of adultery. In other countries, both parties to the adultery are considered guilty, while in others again only the woman is able to commit adultery and to be considered guilty.
Even in western countries that have decriminalized adultery, it has been grounds for divorce under fault-based divorce laws. Couples that practice domestic discipline might count it a spanking offense rather than grounds for divorce.
- Main article: play partner
There are couples in which one spouse is into BDSM (or just spanking), and the other isn't (a vanilla). Such couples might agree to see a 3rd party, a play partner, to meet the needs not being met in an otherwise satisfying relationship. As there is a physical activity of a sexual nature (though not necessarily intercourse), many people would consider this adultery.
- Main article: online roleplay
Some people engage in online chat pretending sexual activities, but possibly never even meeting offline, let alone acting on them. Still, such "virtual sex" can lead to emotional connection. If one of the chatters is married, there is debate on whether this is adultery or not. Some say no, as not physical act is involved, but others prize the emotional bond higher than the physical acts and see this as a bigger betrayal.
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