PeteP wrote:So I'm unsure whether the special treatment is warranted. Though I guess the difference might just be how high the risk increase is and for non STIs it's lower.
The difference, to me, is that cheating pretty much by definition requires that you are still in an intimate relationship with your "legitimate" partner, and that you are concealing your affair from them. Anything else and it's polyamory or an open relationship.
So, you're coming to them and purposefully concealing your possible exposure to disease and encouraging them to engage in behavior that is incredibly risky, with the expectation that if you're not verbally lying to them, it's because you've engineered a situation where they expect an answer that would nullify the need to ask, and you know that. That's not analogous to simply walking past people who haven't asked whether you work in a disease lab -- that's analogous to wiping your hands on cookies after leaving the disease lab, and then handing the cookies out. Whether or not you are actually caring a disease at that moment, the flagrant exploitation and abuse of their good faith is deplorable.
Furthermore, working in a disease lab (unless you're making WMDs, which would mean you kind of are an asshole) means that you're working to help humanity - that you're doing something to benefit those around you. Lying to those who have given you their trust so you can get your dick/clit wet is not equivalent to that in the least.
If you could pass a guaranteed-accurate disease screening after your lurid liaisons, and be absolutely, 100% sure you were clean, then you "only" have the emotional betrayal of the necessary dishonesty to weigh on you. I'm pretty sure even our best tests still produce false positives, so I'd have to say that even this mythical "ethical cheater" is committing what we should catalogue as sexual violence.
As for the STI discussion, that seems like a particularly poor argument. If you cheat with someone who doesn't have any disease and can prove it, it is still cheating and the person you cheat upon is unlikely to find talk of testing and protection very comforting.
I absolutely agree that there is an emotional component that I empathize with the most. However, some groups, with large sway in society, say "fuck other people's feelings", and so pointing out that it also counts as sexual violence is a useful corollary.
There are many situations where the marriage itself is unethical and I would cheer on a person for cheating.
Sure. If you don't have the option to be honest with your partner, as in, you fear physical harm, it's hard to blame you for trying to seek happiness while confined to a marriage you were forced into. That's not Ashley Madison though.
I agree. I think cheating is unethical, but I do not believe that a law can stop it, and associated costs exist. We've had anti-adultry laws before, there's a reason we're moving away from such things.
Also want to clarify that a law would definitely be abused to trample over poly/etc. persons. My vehemence is just against the idea that "adultery is no big deal, guys". It's pretty impossible to not laugh at that claim if you've actually been cheated on.