Deployment Sex Pacts: Widespread?


Last week, I came across an article about “deployment oral sex” written by a military life columnist in the Norfolk area. The writer began by pointing out that oral sex is now the leading cause of oral cancer, and she thought that military couples may reevaluate their “oral-sex-is-acceptable-during-separation agreements.” I had never heard of military oral-sex pacts, so I read further to find the writer consulted with a “handful” of service members and spouses who confirmed that they knew of “many” military couples who have this type of arrangement. An excerpt:

It’s always with a considerable amount of apprehension that I approach such highly-controversial topics as this, checking with a handful of military members in Norfolk before I proceed. My private advisors span the spectrum from E-3s to officers, male and female, active duty and retired, often including spouses.

Confidentially, they’ve shared with me open and honest opinions, describing their own personal experiences as they relate to such issues as engaging in deployment oral sex and not considering it cheating during periods of marital separation.  Or they’ve told me about the many military members and spouses they know personally here in Norfolk who do have this kind of private arrangement in their marriages while deployed.

As shocking as it may be, the fact is that many of our military friends, neighbors and coworkers maintain such an agreement with their partners.  They engage in oral sex activities with others while separated.  And they often freely share these experiences with their spouses during phone calls or in emails immediately after.


It’s none of my business what couples do or what arrangements they enter into, but my first thought was what civilians reading this piece must be thinking. It’s not as if certain stereotypes need to be reinforced in this area. Perhaps it’s just me, but the article left the impression that oral-sex-while-separated is widespread. If this assumption is based on accounts from a “handful” of people in the military community, then color me skeptical…

About the Author


Andi is married to an active-duty soldier and is the founder and former editor of SpouseBUZZ.

She is the founder of the Annual MilBlog Conference. The MilBlog Conference is the premiere event of the year for military bloggers. President George W. Bush, U.S. Representative Adam Smith, GEN David Petraeus, LTG Mike Oates, LTG William Caldwell, RADM Mark Fox, MG Kevin Bergner, MG David Hogg and The Honorable Pete Geren have addressed previous conferences.

While living in Washington, DC, Andi was the Ambassador to Walter Reed Army Medical Center for Sew Much Comfort, a non-profit organization which makes and delivers, free of charge, special adaptive clothing for wounded service members. Andi has worked with several non-profits to help our wounded heroes and their families. She finds that work to be the most rewarding and meaningful of all.

Andi strives to find humor in the good, bad and ugly of life and is a firm believer that laughter has the ability to cure most ills.

137 Comments on "Deployment Sex Pacts: Widespread?"

  1. Uhhh, color me skeptical too. I've never heard of anything like this.

  2. Stephanie Lynn Homan Billings | March 1, 2011 at 8:50 am |

    I have never heard of this….I am with Guard Wife, to me even porn is cheating….

    • your an idiot, porn is cheating, good god woman do you cut holes in the sheets and pray before "copulation" as well. if you are this prudish im sure that your husband is getting a taste of the better life while he is down range

      • This really is not the place for name calling. Stephanie clearly said that was her opinion, and she is entitled to it.

      • clementiney | March 1, 2011 at 12:26 pm |

        “im sure that your husband is getting a taste of the better life while he is down range…”

        Absolutely no reason for that sort of hurtful comment.

        • You women are deluding yourselves. Whatever your guy is saying its a lie. ALL men look at porn and take care of business. its not cheating you are just a female and crazy, as per usual.

  3. This* strikes me as irresponsible, sensationalist drivel that passes for journalism when writers want to up their hit count for a bigger paycheck. By linking to the article on the Examiner, we are probably upping that particular writer's income, as I believe author revenue on that site is tied to how many people visit the article.

    While I don't doubt that there are some people who do engage in this practice, any neophyte statistics student should be able to point out the fallacy of taking juicy anecdotes from "a handful of military members" and projecting widespread scandalous behavior onto "many military members and spouses."

    * I feel I should note that it is not Andi's calling attention to the article with which I take issue, but the Examiner writer's rather suspect claims. It is by no means a bad thing that we can take the opportunity here at SpouseBUZZ to tell the Internet at large that we dispute those findings.

    • It's always fun to read articles that make these bold assumptions by using vague sources and no actual polls isn't it?

    • I agree with you completely, my husband is now at 20+ yrs, we have been married for 12 yrs, with 8 year long deployments. This reminds me of the jokes we used to tease my special forces neighbor about ( putting the weeding rings in a fish bowl, kinds jokes) No, doubt there are a couple of trailer trash E-3 ( my husband is enlisted too, don't misunderstand me) anyway I have no doubt this writer found somebody who said " sure I've heard of it" But, did she talk to anybody that actully did it themseves? I personlly have never even heard of this, ( But, I seen quite a bit of cheating in my nieghborhood,on post) But not among my friends. I found the best way to do the right thing (sep. during deployments) is to surround your self with friends of good moral value.

  4. as a military wife myself… this is gross… I married my husband. I took a vow. I am his and his alone..

    • Phillip Smith | March 2, 2011 at 3:41 pm |

      Agreed I was in the Army and married to my wife for 25 Years before she passed away this year. Not once did I chect on her while deployed away from her. We felt as you do, I was her's and her's alone and she felt the same towards me

  5. Renee L. Ten Eyck | March 1, 2011 at 9:18 am |

    I tend to avoid anything written by examiner authors, who are not necessarily the formal experts they portray themselves to be. Just because it's in writing that doesn't mean it is a fact.

  6. i just recently signed up with this site, because I was interested in upcoming events in my area. If this is the kind of drivel I can expect in my inbox, not only will I unsub, I will tell every FB friend, military wife and other set of ears i can what trash this is. I hope the content improves. What a disappointment.

    • And I realize that the author is quoting another. The point is, why? Of what value is it to give this article a wider audience? There are a lot more important issues facing deployed soldiers and their families.

    • Spousebuzz does not engage in drivel, but they do tend to post controversial articles like this as an attempt to break down stereotypes. I don't believe Andi was doing anything than calling an article into question that is potentially harmful to the image of the military wife.

    • Sorry you feel that way Jendem. I can assure you that you'll be missing out on a wealth of well thought out insight, great stories of military life, and milspouse news. This is a great crowd of intelligent, experienced military spouses who are all here to support each other. Don't leap to conclusions!

    • RightOnJendem | March 1, 2011 at 7:44 pm |

      I'm with you JenDem. This is not news….this is sensationalized hearsay that is right up there with the other "urban legends" that seem to get bigger and more grandiose with the years. This story not only discredits the committed couples who manage to remain true to their vows, but it also helps perpetuate the stereotype of young soldiers who are only out for getting a piece of *ss and having their testosterone-driven needs met, regardless of the consequences. There are many, many good news stories about committed couples who keep the fire alive in their marriage. Why not focus on them? The veracity of this piece leaves a lot to be desired….I've read some informative, well-formulated posts on this site. This is not one of them.

  7. No Way-that's all I can say. Just so wrong.

  8. I'm sure this is happening a lot, but not as common as this article makes it seem. We shouldn't really be surprised by this seems how the military draws all types of people from all over the country. I am an open-minded person, but when it comes to topics like these I am not!! I think it is extremely disgusting, and these people obviously shouldn't be married because they don't know the meaning of marriage!!!!!!

  9. I'm speechless…and I believe the author of that article was misinformed by her "sources". Maybe I'm just really out of touch with the military I've been a part of for 20+ years but I'd never heard of such a pact nor had any of my mil-spouse friends when I asked them about it. Just a sad, sad portrayal of our military marriages.

    • Just went and read a few more articles by Debi Ketner (author of the Examiner article) and all the ones I read play up the negative side of being married to the military. This appears to be her modus operandi and to me, that undermines her credibility as a journalist.

    • I can say as a military spouse my husband lied n manipulated me to have sex with men he lied to me about how he new them he found them on craigslist while he was deployed and after deployment idk if other men do this i jus know mine did we have a daughter and maybe another on the way and im heavily considering leaving however not finacialy blessed too i am depressed and feel like im a worthless peice of lower than dirt all because of him and how he took and still tries to take my love and wanting to please him for advantage and dont realize what he has

  10. I do wonder if those couples have adulterous relationships between deployments, too. My husband & I made a vow to each other ALONE til death do us part (NOT til deployment we part and become reunited). Perhaps this SMALL group of pact-makers reflects the state of "marriage" others in our nation take-I have a ring & I made a vow before God, but it doesn't matter. I'll do what I want. What a sad ignorance this article writer portrays of her military life knowledge, or rather the lack thereof. Thanks, Andi, for continuing to bring issues to our attention that others wouldn't dare.

  11. I think this article is an insult to military spouses. I have never heard of this. All of the military spouses I know do not cheat nor do they even think that cheating is ok. I strongly believe that the actions of a “handful” of people that the author talked to should not dictate the actions of a whole group. You would not say that because a handful of police officers are corrupt that they all are. Just as you cannot say that because a handful of spouses cheat they all cheat. I don’t feel that spouses in the military cheat any more or less then those in civilian life. While many never cheat those that do give a bad reputation to those who do.

  12. I should have unsubscribed from this blog a LONG time ago. This is an absurd article.

    Where is the real news around military spouses?

    Spouse Buzz – You've become the "OK Magazine" of internet blogs. Trashy. Is this what sells now?

    Consider me unsubscribed.

    • Amy – I am sorry that you feel that way, but it seems that SB is here to talk about all aspects of mil life! Touching on the insane (trashy) things that are written or said about military life is part of that.

      If anyone says things such as this about military life, I want to know. I want to be able to say that it is insane and not part of MY military life. It's called – calling someone on the carpet – calling it like you see it. Open discussions are always good – even when it relates to something that I see as an insane topic.

      I love SB and the fact that all things related to military life can be discucced!!!!

      • Well "Guest".

        If you want to spend your days reading/discussing which of your neighbors are in a blowjob club, by all means, I am not hear to judge you.

        I will spend the little time I have immersing myself in real news/politics/current events.

        You my friend, can have your bj article.

        • Deltasierra | March 1, 2011 at 12:19 pm |

          Well then, Amy, go away. No one's stopping you from leaving, just the same as no one's forcing you to read the articles and comments or to continue commenting here.

          Spousebuzz isn't just about news pertinent to military families, it's also about discussion and sharing from like-minded individuals and distraction or support for those dealing with various issues in military life.

          Besides, from what I've noticed, this is pretty tame material compared to what's in the news/politics, and current events . . .

        • *here

        • Proud&Faithful | March 21, 2011 at 9:13 pm |

          Hate to break it to you…but the "real" news…isn't real as they only give you part of the story…

          As for bashing someone on a blog because they choose to discuss things that you disagree with…it's simple minded.

          Just my humble opinion…

          Proud & Faithful Army Wife

  13. I think this article is ridiculous and paints military members and spouses in an unfavorable light. I spent over 20 years in the Marines and have never heard of this type of pact. It would be more realistic to state a 50 percent infidelity rate among married military couples during deployment, especially among younger couples.

  14. Um, no. I would consider that cheating, and so would my husband.

  15. I never trust journalists who rely on anonymous sources with no actual data to assert opinions. Ridiculous and shameful.

  16. WOW. My hubby recently returned from his 3rd deployment, he has been a Marine for 20 years, and neither of us has ever heard of this! Makes me wonder about the ‘handful of people’ interviewed.

    • RightOnJendem | March 1, 2011 at 9:02 pm |

      Agreed, Gaile. Never heard of this either. Maybe "handful" was the wrong term….that would describe another act.

  17. Oral sex is cheating in my book! I’ve never heard of such agreements but clearly these are sure to be couples who do NOT honor the sacred meaning of marriage. I would NEVER even entertain the thought of engaging in such a pact. Infidelity is too side spread and begins with the acceptability of ****, strip clubs, and overall inappropriate relationships with someone other than your spouse. We protect our marriage at all costs and the strong bond we share and treasure speaks for itself.
    —beside the examples we are setting for our SIX children.
    And I assure you….I am no prude!
    SStepp, Fort Leavenworth, KS.

    • I agree with you RSS. I am definitely no prude when it comes to what I enjoy doing with my Mil. Husband, but we've come to agree that porn, clubs, etc- probably aren't for us. It's not to say that other couples can't do those things and survive. Because they can– it's all up to the specific relationship. But for us, well, we're just in a different boat I guess.

      I think that it is a somewhat pertinent topic to hear what works for various mil couples.

  18. eh, far too many are uptight about the subject. mainly religious influence and overprotective upbringings. It is perfectly understandable that some make concessions to allow themselves to stay relatively happy and healthy while seperated.

    • F-18-Wife | March 2, 2011 at 1:14 pm |

      "eh, far too many are uptight about the subject. mainly religious influence and overprotective upbringings. It is perfectly understandable that some make concessions to allow themselves to stay relatively happy and healthy while separated.""

      I think your making a weak and over generalized argument here. I am an agnostic and wasn't raised in church or over protected by my parents at all, but that doesn't mean that I am devoid of a good moral compass. Everyone always differs on what their "level" of infidelity is…. some say porn is, others say kissing and as long as those two people in the marriage are in agreement then its all good. As they say "a marriage and all its intricacies are between the husband and wife" and yes there are a lot of couples out there that have "agreements" .

      However, the abhorrent behavior starts when they want to start talking about it with other people. By sharing they are doing one of two things … 1. trying to shock someones sensibilities or 2. their recruiting.

      In my opinion consensual infidelity is an oxymoron and no matter what anyone believes it isn't conducive to a healthy marriage that is based on respect and trust. When there are no real set rules it makes it really easy for someone to put a toe way outside the line… then they risk getting a sexually transmitted disease and giving it to their spouse or even worse they get involved with someone outside the marriage who becomes emotionally involved and then developes an agenda of their own.

    • Than why get married?

  19. Retired after 26 yr | March 1, 2011 at 6:49 pm |

    I personally think you folks are burying your heads in the sand, this does not reflect anything on today's or yesterdays military service men and women. This has been going on for a long long time, read your history books, and it is not exclusive to the military. No they are not called oral sex packs or anything like that. It is just plain old what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas in or out of the military. When you put men and women together either deployed or the one that stay behind a percentage engage in personal relationships which may include sex. Does not reflect on their marriage, religion, morals, or ability to fight a war. I get tired of these sensational articles that stir up people over what goes on between consenting adults everyday and is no one else s business, it doesn't hurt them, so mind your own business and live and let live. It like saying changing DADT all of the sudden people of a gay or bi sexual nature will now rush out of the closet and things will never work again. Got news for you they have been in the services since the start of this country, served with plenty myself, they did there job and who or when they had relations with someone of either the same or opposite sex, married or single was none of my business as long as they could maintain professional competence and fighting readiness. Take your head out of the sand and worry about your own personal matters and stop judging others.

    • "When you put men and women together either deployed or the one that stay behind a percentage engage in personal relationships which may include sex. Does not reflect on their marriage, religion, morals, or ability to fight a war"

      I'm not sure how you don't think that a relationship outside of marriage which includes sex doesn't reflect on their marriage or their morals. It shows they have absolutely not commitment to their marriage and paints a very clear picture of their moral makeup. Does it effect their ability to fight a war? who knows. No one is talking about that. This article is referencing the fact that spouses (this is spouse buzz, not war buzz) have this sort of agreement. But it most certainly reflects on their marriage. 100%. To think that it doesn't – that's is burying your head in the sand.

      • Thank you Michelle. Commitment and trust are vital to a marriage. If you cannot stick to such a commitment then don't get married…period. Just because this person doesn't care what others do with their bodies, doesn't mean it will not damage a marriage.

      • However, it doesn't necessarily have to reflect negative qualities. It is possible to separate the physical act of sex from the emotional and spiritual feeling of love.

    • ProudMilSpouse | March 9, 2011 at 5:43 pm |

      The only thing your reply reflected to me was your inability to grasp reality, grammar and the english language. Didn't the military pay for an education for you? You and your opinion is what is wrong with the world today and why today's children act the way they act! You don't see a problem with anyone's morals because you don't have any yourself!

      • To begin with I recently married my best friend and high school sweatheart. We have three children between us nad one with special needs. Life is tressful and I know that deployments are hard on everyone. However if you dont have enough HONOR and Commitment to HONOR your spouse you have no business serving our country. People who engage in this type of behavior make themselves and other military spouses look bad and there ARE ALOT of us who can and will remaiin faithful to our vows between each other just as you service me are to remain faithful and dedicated to ypur country! Besides in the military adultry can still get you time served in Levenworth so if oral or intercorse is your choice I hope you have a long time to think about it in Leavenworth!!!!!!! By the way this has got to be very discouraging and disheartening to military spouses who have alot more to worry about like death and the stress of normal everyday military life. Thanks for the moral support (Not Really)

    • I applaud you for being open minded and waking some individuals who are not accepting of such. There are so many things going on that some of us are not aware off. Thank you for your service sir!!! Because of you i have my freedom to roam around in our country.

    • OEF / OIF | June 19, 2011 at 3:32 pm |

      Retired after 26 years put it pretty nicely. To the spouses, here is a reality check. If u married to someone in the military u married someone that is going to be gone all the time. Trust me, your husbands or wives are still having sex. Probably more than when they are home with you. I'm deployed and married, I know everyone out here has at least one deployment boo. This includes every rank from Pvt. to Maj. that I personally know of. If you're the one left in the rear, I know that when a unit deploys all of a sudden all the wives come out to play. My wife and I talk about everything openly, when I'm home were together. Unless she wants to bring one of her girl friends home, shes bi. Get a grip on reality, it makes life a lot more enjoyable.

  20. I spent 23 in the service and went through many separations. I have never heard of this garbage.
    While I am sure some couples had open marriages, the vast majority did not. I am not saying that cheating does not happen, it does. But that is what it is, cheating not some sort of pact.

  21. Oh come on!!!! Steph – “trailer trash E3s” Did your hubbie pop out of the womb a senior nco??? And for whoever said “Not MY friends” lol. Yes, your friends. I was enlisted; deployed many times. Yes, men, women officers, enlisted do have sex while deployed and while at home. probably higher than civilian rates. Open your eyes. Hopefully there are more faithful than not, but, most get it on if they can, especially in a war zone. Not just BJ’s either. The old love the one your with. AND YES, UNLESS YOU ARE IN A CONVENT, YOUR FRIENDS.

  22. One other thing…….Oral sex causes cancer??????LOLOLOLOOLOL. I guess there is no one chewing tobacco anymore. I am not saying I condone it, but that the military wives on here sound awfully pious. We all know what goes on, on both sides of the fence. Heck, when I was at Ft Carson, when one battalion went down range (let alone out of the country) their wives/hubbies were sneaking in the back door. OPEN YOUR EYES. YES, PROBABLY YOUR HUSBAND TOO.

    • Leigh, clearly you need to wake up. HPV causes 64 percent of oropharynxl cancers.

      You won't be laughing when your hubby or you have to talk through a tracheotomy voice box. Show exactly how uneducated some people really are.

    • It looks like Michelle beat me to the facts. Yes, cancer-causing viruses can be, and are, transmitted via oral sex. It certainly isn't something that makes me LOL.

      Also, I am a little concerned for you. Yes, some folks do cheat on their spouses. It is true for civilians as well as military. However, the statistics (oh, those pesky facts again!) show that the actual rates of infidelity are significantly lower than would be suggested by popular stereotypes and urban myths. The facts show that the majority of non-convent living people do not cheat on their spouses, even while deployed. If you are basing your behavior on the belief that "everyone else is doing it," then you are not only wrong, you are also making some pretty poor choices.

      • @Kate-I wish I could like your reply a million times!!!!!!!!! I agree with you 10,000 times over!!!! :)

      • Gee, I never said I participate or condone (I don't). Yes, most ppl do not stray, but do you really think NONE of YOUR holy friends do it????? Well, mother thereasa , read my comment below. and WAKE UP

    • Leigh,
      Thank you for waking some of the individuals who are not really aware of what's really going on the military. Like you said you are not condoning it but it does happen. There's nothing you can do but to be acceptable to the so called " others peoples business". Yes, I do understand the vows that we take when marriage occur but we are human and we do things that makes us feels good for that moment.

  23. SweetMonti | March 1, 2011 at 8:17 pm |

    I have not heard this before and reading this is a WOW factor for me. I have heard I guess worse. Women put up with so much just to say there married to a someone in uniform it's sad.

  24. George Benson | March 1, 2011 at 10:35 pm |

    I'm sure this person only got it from one side of any of the relationships they got the information from. If they had asked that person's spouse, the answer probably would have been the same as many of you here have stated. Stuff happens and it always has and always will. I would like to say the ones who remain faithful are in the majority but I can't. I can say good for them! The ones this person interviewed were either out and out lying or have fooled themselves into believing the crap they were spouting just to feel better about themselves.

  25. Mrs. C Lady | March 2, 2011 at 12:57 am |

    I heard of it here and there, but it doesn't go on in my home at all, in no way… uh eww… I wish my husband would, not only would he be on the injured soilder list but he'd be divorced… ahaha.. I kid u not… no but really I must say I do know it is definately done, thanks to an old neighbor, not a friend or associate, just a neighbor… Ol' girl had two young school age daughters who I felt awful for cuz when the husband was away… oh mama was at play… as loud as this woman was you would think a shee was separating the houses… just to think, if I was hearing that next door, what was those poor little girls hearing… ugh.. and I thought oowee when husband comes home.. um um um trouble… but guess what he came home and nothing. they pick right on up where they left off… and nooo he had to know what went down while he was gone, because his friends/neigbors were around the whole time…. but its not only in the military community this happens… in the real world I think they're referred to as swingers… same nastiness tho

  26. I suspect this is an "urban myth."

  27. ..just another way the devil can excel, and believe me , he will if people coninue to succumb to him…..

  28. Tom Brooks-Miller | March 2, 2011 at 8:48 am |

    Thirty two years in the Marine Corps and I thought I had heard it all. This is pure B.S. from a sexually frustrated reporter who lives vicariously through an imagination of what she thinks happens in the military! What nonsense.

  29. I call bs on the original story.
    I’ve seen people fail at their vows, but never anyone with such a stupid agreement as the ” columnist” suggests. I’m curious how she arrived at her sources, and if their spouses knew about this ” pact” as well, assuming the sources actually exist.

  30. Rich McKinney | March 2, 2011 at 9:40 am |

    It’s official Executive Branch Policy. Bill Clinton issues an official statement while president that Oral Sex did not constitute Sex. Remember that?

  31. ok lets keep real. Do married miltary cheat on deployments? YES! Do they secretly agree to eachother cheating? I doubt it….. My husband and i are dual Mil and we have seen alot of people
    do alot of cheating, but does that mean the whole service is doing it?NO!!

  32. berne Gerod | March 2, 2011 at 12:01 pm |

    Odd ,Men and Women have been the same for eons. Morals in WWii and Korean conflict w and since have been kicked around a lot. There were evidence on various bases that "things" happened,if they were not obvious-who noticed or commented. 8yrs active and eleven reserve and its still o ones businessExcept between spouses!

  33. I cheated. My superiors cheated. My contemporaries cheated. My subordinates cheated. I'm not talking about once, four or nine times. I mean we all did so as a career pattern whether stateside or otherwise, oral or vaginal, safe sex (extremely rare) or unprotected, from Pear Harbor to Philadelphia, and all points in between.
    Nothing good ever came out of any of our shameless acts. Divorce was and is raging. Our children are estranged, disenfranchised and mentally ill.
    In a phrase, there is no right way to do a wrong thing.

  34. I was not laughing about oral sex and cancer, just the way it was brought up in the “article”, like it was a public service announcement, or something. All I am saying is that sex outside marriage in the military DOES happen, probably on a higher instance than non-military. Separation, money issues, etc cause husbands and wives to look outside. I just cant believe all the wives here who are so sure that NONE of the ppl they know have sex outside the marriage. Pacts, well, they can be inferred as well as spoken, but I think that the author went out of her way for a sensationalized article. Oh, and Kate; who said I condone or participate in such activity. I do not. I just freely admit i see it all the time.

  35. 6591 USMC | March 2, 2011 at 4:25 pm |

    Cheating is cheating. Infidelity is infidelity. Period. You either do or you don't.

    If you do you're a cheater and you deserve what you get. Disease is not the issue, infidelity is. If you don't love your spouse enough to be loyal you should get a divorce.

    Semper Fi… it's what marriage is all about. If you cheat in your marriage, chances are you aren't trustworthy on your job or in your other relationships, personal or professional.

    • Retired E 8 | March 12, 2011 at 10:58 am |

      That is the most self righteous, sanctimonious nonsense I have yet to read.Your equating personal life to professional duties? You really should spend less time with Dr Phil and get into the real world.

      How can you say "aren't trustworthy" and the like?

      General Eisenhower while in England had a female driver he was 'quite close to'. Your saying he failed the war effort in Europe by being intimate? Where is your proof?

  36. I just retired after 28 years in the Army and I have never heard of anything like this. Marriage does not come with the “what Joe does on the road stays on the road” clause. It doesn’t matter if you were married in a church, court house or out house. If you make a commitment, honor it. If you can’t then why did you get married?

  37. First of 4325 | March 2, 2011 at 10:36 pm |

    It happens, a lot….whether there is a pact, or not. Trust me…all of the "oh, not my soldier", if you only knew what REALLY went on during deployments, there would be a whole lot less of the "high and mighty", OH!!! Not my guy, we took vows…um…ever look at myspace, facebook, craigslist or ashley….all of these "married but looking" are married to somebody and I'm sure that "someboday" doesn't know. As for you "finding out", do you really think soldiers are going to tell on each other???…most of the ones they are hooking up with are other soldiers, and they could all get into trouble, if you could really prove anything. It happens, it is happening, it will continue to happen….and thanks to the internet, webcams, and all the "social networks"….the opportunities are limitless!

  38. never heard of this, my husband would have a conniption and he would divorce me before he even got back. i would do the same. oh and come on, dont subscribe to this if you are going to get a little uncomfortable reading the articles, for real get off your high horse. turn on jersey shore, its content is 20 times worse than this mere little article.

  39. Took a vow or not.. that's just disgusting! Sorry don't mean to bash those who stress at the drop of a hat that they "TOOK VOWS"- but seriously, even if my husband and I were just dating this would still be a big no-no. Don't consider porn as cheating though, we're both still human.

  40. I was on an aircraft carrier in the late 1950's, and our ship deployed for nine months to the Far East and spent considerable time in Yokosuka, Japan. As a young Ensign, I was surprised to find that many of the wardroom officers, married or not, soon found girlfriends in Yokosuka. My own boss, a LCDR, had a lady friend and he was not the least reticent to bring his friend to ship's events. His boss also had a girlfriend, and both were married to wonderful ladies back in the States. My boss told me he and his wife had an agreement that what they did while the ship was deployed was up to each of them, and they never had any trouble in their marriage because of this.

    On this same ship, the senior medical officer encouraged all officers to engage in sexual intercourse as soon as possible after arrival in a new port so that they would still be sober, more able to take protective precautions, and would then be able to relax and better enjoy the port visit.

    I think the point is that those who want to engage in extra-marital sexual relations will do so and have done so forever. There is nothing new under the sun, and attitudes toward morality vary from person to person. It is not that the military has a monopoly on promiscuity; deployments might put a strain on both marital partners, but those who want to remain faithful will do so. Others will not.. This is no different from our politicians, clergymen, doctors, lawyers, teachers, etc. Human beings have free will; how it is used is dependent on one's own moral code, commitment, and religion.

  41. Just one wife's 2 cents: if my husband finds some relief from the stress, fear (yes FEAR), and heartache from being in a war zone in the arms of another woman, more power to them both. I can't even begin to comprehend the horrible situations he finds himself in daily, or how much it affects him. If being with someone else sexually helps him to cope, I'll accept that, because extreme situations often cause extreme reactions. It doesn't mean he loves me less – it just means he's doing what he needs to to get by. We're human, all of us. And all of us need something to make us feel alive, supported, cared for, and human. Especially in such a de-humanizing situation. The only time I would have an issue with it is if the affair continued after he got back. Because that would mean he is dealing with deeper issues above and beyond the stresses of war and deployment. (And even then we would have a civil discussion about what those issues are. Not a knee-jerk reaction.)

    And in the end – we don't own each other. If our marriage ends because he no longer wants to be with me, so be it. I cannot and will not attempt to control his behaviour or choices. That's HIS job. He knows already (because we've been honest with each other) what I can and cannot accept. If he chooses to do something I find unacceptable, then he made a choice that he wants to end our marriage. But as long as he's happy to be with me, I'll assume he's mature enough to make decisions that facilitate that. Yes, he vowed to stay with me – but I'd rather he stayed of his own free will and happiness than just because he made a promise he can no longer keep. Why anyone would want to stay in a marriage that doesn't work for both parties is beyond my understanding. "Til death do us part" is a nice sentiment, but it doesn't always work in practice – people change, and sometimes military service changes people profoundly.

  42. Jayne – if your husband is deployed to a stress / fear filled area then the only relief he is getting is from some other soldier. So chalk up problems with good order and disipline to go with the morality of breaking marriage vows.


  43. Marine wife 27 years, of which he spent 20+ combat grunt. We married to remain faithful. Don't know how other branches approach infidelity, but I know of very few Marines (I have also worke overseas on bases, apart from my husband) who actively engage in infidelity, at least publicly. Marines take a vow as Marines for integrity too as a cornerstone of their lives. I don't judge any couples who choose to do what they want, but I just don't think you'll find a lot of Marines engaging in cheating behind their wife/husband's back just because they're not home.

    • Yo, Karen, marines are no more "moral" than other branches. As a matter of fact, when stationed in Korea , I had a year long affair with a married marine. I was not married at the time. After he left, it was over. At least he didnt' bring a "present" home from a korean hooker. Hey, maybe it was YOUR husband.

  44. Stupid people with Lack of Faith and understanding of Vows…I hope you enjoy life because once you die and wake up in Raging Fires, Just think Hey atleast I had some awesome oral sex in my life, its totally worth burning in **** for Eternity…pathetic souls….

  45. Army wife

    Cheating is completely wrong in any situation if your married..key word MARRIED! I don’t see how any spouse could live with guilt bc they cheated on their husband/wife while they were deployed. In my opinion it’s just wrong and completely selfish they go out and put their lives on the line while you satisfy a “want” of sexual’s just not right if you can’t go long periods of time with out sex then you shouldn’t be married to the military. Plain and simple and people wonder why there is such a high devorce rate.

    • ol'blue eyes | March 11, 2011 at 7:34 pm |

      hmmmm… maybe yes, maybe no. but its not like those women dont have the same opportunity to cheat as they are alone too.

  46. The majority of these comments are coming from women who were left at home.

  47. deployment sex pacts: widespread?
    What about the assertion by a military life columnist [?] in the Norfolk area
    that oral sex is now the leading cause of cancer?

  48. I completely agree with you I was away from my husband for 7 months and completely celeb ate. That's just the way its suppose to be and the "everyone does this" not everyone does its just their way of justifying it.

  49. This is utterly disgusting and wrong on every level, rather it be porn, any kind of sexual behavior with someone other then who your in a committed relationship with, rather your married to that person, engaged, or just together as gf/bf it's WRONG! you take vows to the person you love as they do you. and you don't bend those rule and vows just because your separated from that person for a while and get "lonely" that's complete BS on the highest level.

  50. Obviously this post has generated a heated discussion, which I am sort of glad I missed out on (for the most part). Right now, I live right outside of Norfolk, and have never heard of such a thing, which basically means nothing. I chose to not associate with people who would consider this type of activity as being acceptable, EVER. Call me sheltered, call me prudish, call me whatever you want. I married my husband, for better or worse, and if/when we are separated that means no sex. For either one of us.

    This article, in the examiner, to be sensationalism, at best, and could potentially be damaging to the image of military families. There *should* be a wholesale backlash on the author and the publication for publishing such nonsense.

  51. Couldn’t have said it any better Laura! :)

  52. My husband has been in the Army for 24 years and we've done 5 deployments and I have NEVER, EVER heard of this. What boneheaded people was that columnist talking to??!! I'm not naive, I know that there are spouses on both sides of the marriage who cheat and I know there is a small percentage who are swingers, we've had two neighbor couples in all those years who were, and back before Facebook I saw Yahoo Groups for military swingers. But this article, or at least the excerpt, is VERY, VERY UNprofessional journalism and/or POOR writing because it gives the image that everyone's military neighbor is doing it and that is quite a prejudicial statement. If she had written that all homosexuals went to sex bars and had orgies, guaran-darn-ty that her editors would have gutted that story in a heartbeat. I resent this article beyond all measure.
    And the oral sex–oral cancer link is suspected to be from HPV transmission.

  53. Retired E 8 | March 10, 2011 at 11:22 am |

    To me its as if each generation 'discovers'sex. I recall the Ö"Club in Alameda after carriers deployed with wifes looking for companionship. This is not new.

  54. I am not judging others but I firmly believe that to engage in any type of sexual act outside your marriage is not acceptable. This may be considered old fashioned or naive but it is the way I feel. I know that there are incidents such as this which happen but to generalize it as a common event is not fair to the Military Community. This is a hard lifestyle but a very rewarding career and I know that the men and women including spouses face very long, lonely difficult times. I also believe that loyalty to each other is the priority and there are far far more loyal couples than what this subject leads people to believe. The Military demands your full attention but we all know your family is forever and will be there for you long after the Military is a memory. Communication is key and staying in touch with each other in any means available is critical.

  55. To clarify, I'm referring to the original article and the author of said article.

  56. This article is asshatery at its finest. I have been active duty and i am not a spouse of active duty. there is no room for cheating in our marrige and i would assume most marriges. I have never even heard of this before.

  57. Marine spouse 7 years | March 10, 2011 at 10:56 pm |

    I’m 26 years old.. I been married toy marine for 7 years, he joined after we got married. The Military experience has been very hard From the beginning. Yes it is so true about the infedility being huge around us .. No matter what base we get stationed in. Usually eighter the spouses want to hit one me and or him. And same with his friends or other military personel. For me is been hard to trust anyone and we have always kept to ourselves.. Not a very fun way to live but for me is the safest. My husband currently whe. On a training to work with military dogs in South Carolina there he has met different girls he has been going to bars with his friends and according to him they are doing the same. The reason I know this … He wanted for me to make this type of agreement were he came right out and told me that I can date other man while he deploys to Afghanistan this coming up April. He said that this training has opened opportunities and that everyone else is doing it. Superiors and all .. Sometimes the even get encouraged so that they are physically healthy they should have sex. once the
    shock finally hit me I told him that I want to seperate and leave the military life once and for all. This is easy said than done
    considering I have not built a carreer yet.. We have a 6 year old
    and 2 year old. I disagree with some of the spouses on here. I
    don’t think it’s worth it .. Some talk about traveling different places
    living in nice homes. The money an the benefit we and our
    children get. To me that is not worth more than my marriage. I’m
    very hurt by this but I’m glad I was able to come to light and this
    article has brought a lot to discuss. We are going to separate and he has his mind to make up wether he wants to continue to serve his country he has reenlistment 2012 it will be his choice. Right now he is into heavy drinking as well and has been very violent with me in the past. I blame the military about the alcohol for sure. I remember when we got invited to battalion cook outs everyone got drunk and the drove home even though some should have not. But all this is kept a secret it never gets out.. Too many spouse blind. I guess I was for a few years as well I don’t think my voice matters anyhow. They are millions of us going trhough the same. But only a few speak up. Sometimes I wonder is America in God’s eyes? or do we prefer to stand by the devil…as long as we train the soldier to kill we can care less about anything else. that’s how they think.. Is not about the family is about them having total
    control. I guess the only people that should join .. Should be heartless criminals that continue took offenses because that is exactly what they are creating.

    • Again, get help through Military one source. Those counselors there will help. They saved my marriage. Face it the guys have gone through hell. My man has been on 5 year long deployments. If you truly love him then do all you can to make it work. Don't be judgemental until you get help. I highly recommend the Military one source counceling and they do it on line now. Email me off line if you need help doing that.

  58. Apparently no one here has been staioned in VA Beach/Norfolk! Haven't you heard…Virginia is for LOVERS! That place is wack…and some military people up there will take what they can get!

  59. Marine spouse 7 years | March 14, 2011 at 2:37 am |

    Yeah I guess that’s right ..why blame the military? No they didn’t buy him the beer while some do provide it.. I guess I meant that they do encourage it and their is no consequence untill is
    Too late. I just feel that they should have more rules and encourage those to do right. I already went to his commander like I said they cannot so anything about it If anything they are moving my stuff back to my hometown. I do agree on counseling but I can’t make him want to make it work I’d he doesn’t. I pray so
    We do work it out. I love him a lot .. I wish then best for the military families. I’m sorry if my story offended anyone. I should of not directed it as general. This is just my story and it seemed appropriate for this article.

  60. This is where the military needs to start prosecuting these soldiers instead of prostituting them. I'm ashamed to consider myself a career soldier with over 12 yrs service and I've never heard of anything like this even through multiple deployments myself.

  61. I love these responses. Either most are lying their pretty butts off to save face, or are lying to be lying. Trust me…when the dust on the tank trails settle after a deployment to the field I can surely bet that even in today's military, the cheating spouse is at the hair salon in the day and at the club at night…and with another "hubby" in their bed at night. Shocking isn't it? But in all reality, this happens a lot more than most of these shocked "spouses" would ever think, or admit too. Sexual games are a military way of life…. as it was yesterday, and it still is today, regardless of the "goody two shoes" liar comments from most of these "out raged spouses"

  62. What a bunch of crap! Just read the drivel passed on as journalism with statements like "they've told me about the many …"; "…the fact is that many of our military friends…." and "…they often freely share …" – so now these peopl actually are right there in the bedroom with married folks, and believe hearsay and propagate that as cold, hard facts, huh?
    My wife would not forgive any such behavior, and believe me I wouldn't even imagine that as being anything but cheating….cheating is cheating, and it is never endorsed by loving spouses. Sorry anyone read that garbage, but was compelled to say it's just that – garbage!

  63. Again…why get married. Oh I see get the bha and do what you want. WRONG

  64. Has ANY of you ever considered that maybe, just maybe its how they are raised… Nothing has changed in America since I have been alive. Always blame something or someone else. Never even once taking into consideration how you or they were raised? Are your morals and standards the same as mine? Are you now telling me that I have to feel exactly like you because how you see things is right and how I see them is wrong? It kills me that SOME of you openly criticis these men and women reguardless of it they engage in this activity or not. Because in all honesty I can guarntee if someone was to take your life under a microscope you have not always been on the right side of the law yourself… I am quiet sure this happens just like it happens in almost every city in America…NEW FLASH!!!! Where do these service members come from?? The question now becomes: Honestly, if its not effecting you, why are you in someone elses personal life? VERY BIG problem in America, most people are soooo worried about what their neighbor is doing, and not about the pile of dung they have in the middle of their OWN living room floor.

    As for the recomendation of stricter laws. Join first, make it through training, actually serve, and live it…. So sick of people judging while looking in from a window!

    Much respect to the women married to these men who serve, I know how hard it can be on you!!!

  65. It is sad but very true going on and alot of porn and other things. we spouses ahve alot to deal with when our they come home, it took me two years to find out my husband was into porn and before he left he never looked at a nother woman. they even have female soldiers selling pictures to the guys to pleasure themselves. our government needs to pay closer attention to what is going.. i notice alot come back alocoholics to. they really need us when they come home but yet they push us away because of who they have become.

  66. Ummm, I have never heard of this before in my life. It really seems that the author of this article just want to degrade the standards of military families, because they have nothing better to do. If the research was done correctly the truth would have come out that married military couples wouldn't engage in something as stupid as this. Its just shameful and a total disgrace after all we go through as military families we have to worry about being lied on too, this is so sad.

  67. i may be new to this, but i went through basic with my husband when we were still engaged. but in my opinion this is wrong. i cant i agine doing anthing with another man. and who is to say oral sex wont lead to anything else. and oral sex is still sex. im not prude, im 19 almost 20, def not prude. but i'd rather use my battery operated boyfriend when my husband is gone then go for another dude. and if i ever found out my husband was doing his, i would flip my lid. its still cheating. pact or not

  68. I was a dependent child of Military, I served in the Military, I married military, our son is military, and we both now work as civilians for the Military and I have NEVER heard about this. What a horrible waste of electrons to even discuss what obviously only a select few choose to do. It doesn't "help" anyone, it doesn't bring honor, and I could have lived the rest of my life without this so called "enlightement" you have brought me. Look at what Mr Clinton has given us…a generation that doesn't think that oral sex is sex. Then why does it have the word SEX in it??

  69. I have been a military spouse for seven years and I have never heard of this "pact". Are there service members and spouses who cheat? Yes I have heard many of those stories but none of pacts. The author needs to write useful articles instead of garbage. Also the author should get credible sources.

  70. i have heard of army wives and husbands "sharing" each other with buddies, i have even been warned about it by my own soldier husband…but this oral sex thing? no way in hell. i am 100% with stephanie billings, i think even porn is cheating.

  71. Ooops! Was that YOUR husband? he didn't act very married to me, and it wasn't just oral sex. HEHEHEh happy anniversary;. (That was one of the first things he told me, was about your upcoming anniv. so sorry

  72. Wow, I think I found the wrong web site to be visiting.I wonder if everyone here believes what they are saying. First I am a 7 year Army spouse (male) 11 years of marriage. My wife is currently on her 2nd deployment. The base supplies condoms in all the restrooms, clinics and hospitals. I personally know 30% of the unit either has these agreements or are doing it behind their spouses backs which I know a couple that are doing that too. I also know several that attend the local swing clubs when they are not deployed or enjoy the happy ending massages. I guess my point is that it is going on whether anyone wants to admit it or not. I am just lucky enough to have a spouse that tells me everything that goes on downrange. I also talk to a couple officers and 5 of her soldiers and I know they are all doing the same thing. Im not saying everyone does but I think more do than most would care to admit. As long as they have permission I do not think it is anyone's business.

  73. Wow… I was in the Navy over 20 years and never heard of such a thing, nor was it practiced with my friends or famly that I know of… I know people stray because they grow apart after a while, but there was no pact. Ultimately you get what you deserve when you do something like this, and it's usually because the offender has to over coming the guilt of breaking your vows. If there is such a pact between husband and wife, then I guess that's something that is between them, and shouldn't be sterio typed for everyone.
    I wonder if the writter was suggesting this because he or she was wanting to make it a norm so that they aren't feeling so guilty about accepting this type of behavior?

  74. Handful does not equal widespread. DUH Dumb article – it's like me walking into one Commissary and asking a "handful" of people if they kick their dogs – and they all said yes. Then writing an article that says: Military Animal Abuse: Widespread? WTF

  75. annamarie02 | October 2, 2011 at 1:28 pm |

    im so not ok with that and i highly doubt my soldier would be either

  76. This is a disgrace to our service members and their families. Fire that journalist who can't seem to get her facts straight. Infidility violates the UCMJ and service members can be released from duty for this. I have been a military spouse for 24 years and my husband has been deployed 7 times. Have never heard of this. Post something worth reading.

  77. I really think something is foul. My wife told me about all the sex going on and this upset me. When she came back she was not the same. I trusted our army family to lookout for her. I lost my wife and best friend. It has been over a year I could not get her to tell me what happened. She has left me 5 times in 3 months. The chaplain apparently used her position to have a relationship with my wife. The chaplain married when she got home to a man. My wife says she changed. Her commander has stonewalled me. As a vet and a mil spouse I feel let down.

  78. its called swingers, geez. you people act like this shit hasn't been around for the last 40 years.

  79. Your response is much more to the point than mine. I wish I had seen yours and just said "ditto" before replying!

  80. I completely agree and publishing this article gives the spouse community to speak up and debunk this stereotype that some in the civilian world have regarding Military families. I do suggest you make the same comments on the original author's column as well so that you can debunk it there as well.

    Does cheating happen, yes it does and those involved suffer for it. Some work through it and find themselves stronger. But for the most part I believe that most married couples work hard at their marriages and their vows. And that is what we need to let the public know. I'm sick and tired of those who only write negative about our Military and their families. Let's emphasize the good and debunk the myths.

    Thanks for this article because it does show what most Military families feel about this type of information.

  81. Wow. Seriously? You might want to come down off that high horse you're on before you get a nosebleed.

  82. Jendem – Thanks again for taking the time to chat off-line with me. I do appreciate it and respect your opinion. Clearly, this is a difficult topic and not something we deal with often…

    Agree – Marriage is tough, no matter what. I just hope people don't have the perception that this type of "agreement" is customary practice in military circles.

    "Celibate for your freedom." Love it!

    Thanks again…

  83. Agree with you totally on every account.

    Why is it always the people who choose to participate in abhorrent behavior get the most press? How about all the wives out there that are faithful and remain so through deployment after deployment… only the perverts get acknowledged.

  84. LOL, I meant to say "his article gives the spouse community a chance to speak up and debunk this stereotype that some in the civilian world have regarding Military families. I

  85. I too had to bite my tongue to keep back the first thought of "Maybe its a Navy thing". But we were stationed at Ft. Eusits in Newport News just north of Norfok for over 3 years and some of the Navy folks from there lived at nearby Yorktown and a few on Ft. Eustis with us, and I still had never heard of this. Your reponse is very well written and makes the all the arguable points in a subjective, as well as polite, yet firm, way. Bravo

  86. well, we have been living in about 20 min outside of norfolk for 7years and never heard of it….yes, it would be appreciated for everyone to keep navy jokes to yourselves. I get tired of hearing them. No, not a nasty fad here.I know lots of spouses, yes, some have cheated and i don't condone that at all. I couldn't even imagine being that intimate with someone other than my husband. It is just plain wrong on so many levels. why get married if you can't keep your pants on and your legs closed? I just don't get it.

  87. Agree Justine. This is one troops' issue and by no means reflects the makeup of the entire Military. I suggest this poster go to the base and get help, there is plenty available these days so there is no excuse for her not doing so. Go to the base hospital and from there they will direct her where to go or go to Military One Source and look for services there. Of course there is always this troops command to talk to.

    Whatever the case or your choice of what to do, this is not the norm for our Military families.

  88. I agree, There is a ton of info, and you can get free counseling, for jus you or together.

  89. You are so right!!! When i got married 15 years ago, i was told not to go to any clubs because i will be considered as such. As i ease on going to clubs i surely find out the hard way what really goes on in the military community.

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