Deep tissue massages feel great. Getting gently rubbed from your head to your toes is an incredibly relaxing experience, and the sheer pleasure of getting all the knots in your muscles worked out is worth making yourself an appointment at the local spa and plunking down $80+ for it.
Sometimes, the pleasure of a massage turns into something more however, when getting your legs and butt massaged feels—well—sexy. If the massage therapist does you a little favor and gives you a happy ending, is that considered cheating?
According to Logan Levkoff, PhD, an AASECT-certified sex educator and relationship expert, it depends on your partner. "Nothing counts as infidelity, and everything counts as infidelity if your partner and you are not on the same page with what counts as a betrayal.”
As awkward and embarrassing as it may seem, your best bet is to sit down and talk about expectations with your partner, and get a clear answer on what they feel is cheating. If the fact that someone else is getting you off feels like a betrayal to them, then yes with that person a happy ending massage is cheating. If they feel that cheating is limited to actual sex, than that massage is just fine, and they'll have appreciated the fact that you asked.
Having discussions like these with your partner is very hard to do, and it takes a very brave person to be able to make themselves vulnerable like that and open up a conversation. Many sex therapists and even councillors are out there purely to make conversations about difficult topics easier, and bringing one in may be helpful if you find talking difficult.
Communication is especially important if you and your partner are involved in three-ways or other sexual situations where what is and is not infidelity may get a little murky. If your partner is fine with a three way, but not fine with a happy ending massage, it's still cheating if you do it anyway.
What happens if you get a happy ending when you know they're not cool with it?
If getting a happy ending is more important to you than your significant other, than you need to be honest with yourself. Your significant other isn't significant at all if you can't respect his wishes about sexual activity. If you and your partner can't agree and be honest with each other, it may be time to find someone new.
As the EsquireUK put it, “A lot of loving someone is protecting them from the vulnerability of their love.” That means not doing anything that would hurt their love and trust in you.
It's not just your emotions at risk here, it's his too. It's not worth risking everything over. If you're sure he'll be cool with it, then do the right thing and just ask. Not only will it keep your relationship rock solid, but there's no harm in them if your partner gives it the thumbs up anyway.