It seems that one of the major selling points of vacation destinations these days is sex. Between Las Vegas’s promise of total secrecy about everything that happens in a city with more cameras per square inch than any other city, military complex, or high-security prison facility in the world, to the Caribbean islands’ promise of bikini-clad hard bodies around every corner, it would seem that sex is an expectation we should have anywhere we go outside of maybe Disney World or Branson, Missouri—sex in those places would just be weird.

Of course, the implication is that sex is different on vacation—different setting, different mood, and maybe even a different partner. But if you hop on that plane to escape from your daily life for a weekend, a week, or a few weeks, does that give you the right to escape from your committed relationship as well? Is hooking up on vacation allowed, tolerated, or even expected when you go?

How Do You Define Cheating?

When someone is caught cheating, they can get pretty creative in their definition of cheating. It’s not unusual to hear things like “It wasn’t cheating—it was just oral,” or “It doesn’t count because we used protection.”

A fair and generally accepted definition of cheating would be that, if any of your exposed sexual organs come into contact with any body part of a member of the opposite sex, or vice versa, you’re cheating. Of course, these days you could probably take “opposite sex” out of that definition, since your wife is as likely, or maybe even more likely, to hook up with a woman on vacation than a man. A vacation is about new experiences, right?

If you and your partner haven’t laid out specific ground rules, maybe you’ve got some wiggle, wriggle, and giggle room on vacation. In the absence of a clearly agreed-upon definition of cheating, you might be able to get past the incident of mutual groping and kissing on the beach or maybe even the happy ending from the hooker in your car on Hollywood Boulevard (although that didn’t exactly work out for Hugh Grant).

What About “Extenuating Circumstances”?

There are, theoretically, some circumstances that might justify cheating, even if it doesn’t negate the fact that you actually are cheating on vacation. For instance, if your spouse has already cheated on you, especially if they did it on vacation, you are probably well within your rights to stray. If your husband has become a monk and taken a vow of celibacy, getting it on with the hot Italian cabana boy might just end up saving your sanity and someone else’s life.

Some circumstances that might be a little more grey would include alcohol and drugs. There really does come a point where you are so drunk or so stoned that you have no idea what you’re doing, and ironically, that point often occurs while on vacation. Still, good luck convincing your partner that you were so drunk that you thought you were swimming laps alone in the hotel pool when, in fact, you were in a hot tub with two flight attendants.

Have You Been Given a “Hall Pass”?

You’re preparing to go on vacation, your wife kisses you, winks, and says “Have fun, but don’t bring anything back with you.” Okay, maybe she’s saying she doesn’t want anything from the gift shop, but a guy would be perfectly justified in thinking she had just told him to go and live like Caligula for a week as long as he keeps a condom on and gets a penicillin shot in the airport clinic.

Why would a spouse do something like that? Probably because they’ve got the local college swim team lined up for a gang bang the minute your plane hits the runway. With that thought in mind, no, it’s probably not cheating if you have sex on vacation when you have been given a hall pass.

Is Anyone Going to Find Out?

If your underwear falls in the forest and nobody is around to see it, did they really fall at all? Well, these days the forest may be your best bet if you don’t want your tryst to show up on YouTube, surveillance video, or Russian porn websites. There are cameras and cell phones everywhere.

Still, if you somehow manage to pull it off and have sex with someone on vacation and keep it a complete secret from your spouse, fiancé, or life partner, is it cheating? Well, what would your partner say if they found out? If you’re down to the question of whether or not your spouse is going to find out in trying to convince yourself you’re not cheating, you’re on a slippery slope.

A vacation is a great time to get away, but does that include getting away from your long-term relationship? Before you go enjoying all of the local flavor, you might just want to take a look at the details of your own relationship to make sure that you’re not cheating.