I could include a sensationalist picture with this post, but I want to try and be a little serious. For many people it is any incredibly life change situation. So maybe we need to look at how different people might see the whole thing.
Stepping off at one extreme are swingers and those in the cuckold lifestyles. For them sex with someone other than their partner can be an expression of trust and love. Most people that read this won’t believe that, or consider it warped and twisted. It may not appeal to you, but is it wrong if they are genuinely happy doing it?
So, how can it just be sex for other people? Surely and affair is everything else. I believe the root is in confusing the things we enjoy with expressions of love. In many areas of life that might be tolerable, but we have a very different perspective on sex. We believe it is very special and should be held to current lover. Yet, it is strange how we don’t feel that when we are outside a ‘secure’ relationship.
The real test is when it boils down to an affair. In some case I believe it is truly about the sex, and just the sex. It may mean nothing more than liking beer or going to a concert. The complication probably comes because in most cases they like the other person. Then that leads to confusing liking and loving.
And that is where the whole thing can get messy. Maybe it starts as “just sex” and then evolves into a form of love. It’s where the affair can differ from swingers. The swingers are in relationship that may not involve either of them placing great emphasis on touch as key part of their love communication, which allows them to not prioritise the physical intimacy above their own sense of love. For people setting off on the affair often love is missing and although the affair might start by filling a sexual void because they like sex and the main relationship no longer has it. But if you like the person you’re having sex with then the danger is the whole story expands to include speaking your language of love.
Having walked in a circle, the short answer to the question is yes. However, life isn’t that easy and sometimes it is something more. An issue I’ll come back to in another post.