When someone is straying from their relationship, they don’t usually go out and buy a signboard stating “I am a dirty cheater. Punish me!” The signs are usually much subtler. A mysterious charge on the credit card bill. After-work plans that just don’t sound fully legit. These are the kinds of stereotypical signs you may see outside of the bedroom. But inside, it’s a whole other ball game.
Berry consulted several experts in the field to find out what sexual clues may indicate a much, much bigger issue. The results are…well, kinda upsetting. Here, 8 sexual signs he is cheating.
1. Your partner gets a makeover out of the blue.
If a man who never groomed down there before suddenly show up bare-balled, you should wonder. If he or she suddenly starts wearing their hair a completely different way or buys some special lingerie, they might be cheating, says relationship and etiquette expert April Masini.
Basically, you should trust the fact that you’ll have a sixth sense about these things. If it feels weird, it could be because it is.
2. The way he pees changes.
For women whose partner is a dude: “Sex can change the way a man takes a pee,” says Becky Walsh, a UK-based sex educator and star of Anything Goes With Becky Walsh. “It means they miss the bowl more often as they spray in unexpected directions. So, just be aware of any unexpected splashes next to the loo.”
Bizarre, right? But it makes sense. He’s not respecting anything, and he’s peeing “outside his lines” figuratively, so why wouldn’t he do it literally, too?
3. Everything feels normal, except, not.
“It’s like when someone drunk tries to hide it, they do so by acting sober,” Walsh says. “A cheat does the same and tries to act normal.”
So, how can you tell the difference between “normal” and actually normal? It’s all about the vibe, Walsh says. If you have had sex with your partner enough, you know the difference between comfortable, relaxed normal and “nothing to see here” faux-normal. Pay attention to subtle cues—like eye contact or ways your partner touches you—and how, in turn, you feel and respond. You will notice the difference, Walsh says.
4. Your partner is suddenly so freakin’ lazy in bed.
If suddenly you find yourself doing all the work, and he or she is just hanging out, taking it or leaving it, your partner may be stepping out, says love coach Nasira Nekisha Michelle.
“He or she doesn’t have enough stamina to do you and the person they’re cheating with,” Michelle says. Your partner could be giving their other lover all their vigor and energy in an attempt to impress them, she explains. Ouch.
If your partner used to be a little more animated, communicate. It could be that he or she is just having a rough week at work or is battling bad allergies or something totally innocuous. Or, they may get defensive and flustered. And then, you can get suspicious.
5. You have to initiate every. Single. Time.
Yes, it’s sexist. And yes, women initiate sometimes, and we need to be comfortable doing so. But if you feel like you are doing it all the time, it’s possible your partner’s needs are being met elsewhere, says Michelle.
6. It’s suddenly show time.
Of course, people evolve in bed. Sex would be boring if we didn’t. But if your partner is suddenly switching things up in a dramatic way—from pulling out completely different positions to attempting wild ‘n’ crazy tongue tricks—there could be someone else in the picture, says Michelle.
“Most couples have familiar sex, you know what to expect, you know how it feels,” she explains. “But if all of a sudden, your partner changes the routine and can’t explain why or where it came from, then maybe they’re being schooled by someone else.”
7. Sex suddenly feels like a task your partner just wants to get over with.
This goes back to the change thing. Did he or she used to go all night? If your partner is suddenly finishing faster—and then not really acting interested in helping you finish—it might be because he or she is getting some elsewhere, says Michelle.
8. Your bedroom goes dead.
Let’s face it: A healthy sex life is integral to the well-being of a relationship. If that is gone, cheating could be the reason. “Any change in the frequency of sex can be an indication of someone who’s cheating or susceptible to cheating, ” says Masini. “If there is no sex in the relationship, or infrequent sex, there’s a good chance there may be cheating.” (Of course, it’s wise not to discount and discuss various other reasons, like physical or mental illness.)
Ultimately, playing guessing games will only get you so far. If you’re worried that they’re straying, initiating some honest, two-way communication is still the best way to find out what’s going on within—and outside—of your relationship.