I was married 18+ years. Our rule was: don't do anything you wouldn't want me to do. And it worked well for us. For a long time. Until it didn't.
We both were fine with looking at others. We would point out "exemplary" specimins of the opposite sex, for visual enjoyment only. We also played Who Would You Do (x or y?) and had a list of 3 celebs (never people we could actually run into) who we had "free reign" to be with. All in fun; we both knew neither of us actually would go outside the marriage for sex. We were more attracted to each other BECAUSE neither of us were too insecure to be real and honest about our appreciation of other's beauty.

BUT. When the relationship hit big snags, cheating did occur. It was an EMOTIONAL affair on his part. Which for me, for us, was more hurtful, because we were so blase about the physical aspects. I stayed true to my vows for me, not him. I have always done this, and am glad for it, but it is a lonely thing to have to do. I think that being sexual with someone i had no connection with would have been more scarring to me, though. So, hard as it was (for years on end,) I'm glad I did it anyway.
Biology may have a lot to do with SOME affairs. But some are emotional, and that speaks to the lack of emotional connection in the relationship. And all are choices. If you don't want to sneak around, you put it out there. This is what you promised me; you are not holding up your end of the deal. If you don't, I'm going to do x, y, and z. It is not cheating (from my perspective) if you are taking care of your own needs when your partner won't and you have made it clear and honest that that is why and what you plan to do, giving them the choice to rectify the situation.
After our separation, I considered whether i wanted to change my stance on trust, and I decided I didn't. If I date, I think I want my partner to be on board with the same parameters I had in my marriage. I don't think they were bad ideals. I think my ex just didn't have the same level of commitment I did, and there's no way you can know for sure except through the test of time. It's always a gamble to some extent, and for sure, there is no guarantee of anything.

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