Netorare or NTR as it is more commonly known is probably the biggest argument/debate within the adult gaming industry; mainly surrounding the definition of ‘NTR’. Some people may believe NTR is when the MC’s partner/love interest is being unfaithful, others believe it is when MC’s partner/love interest is purposefully making the MC jealous by engaging with another person. Some people even believe that flashbacks of the MC’s love interests’ previous sexual encounters (Before meeting or getting with the MC) count as NTR.
The Wikipedia definition of ‘NTR’ is ‘Japanese term for cheating or being unfaithful, used in hentai media’. Whereas the adult site ‘F95Zone’ definition of ‘NTR’ is ‘Designed to cause jealousy by having the romantic interest involved with someone other than the MC’. The Urban Dictionary definition of ‘Netorare’ is ‘A term used for a story theme that focuses on a particular type of cheating/unfaithfulness in a relationship in an adult-oriented real-life video, manga, or anime.’
One running theme throughout these definitions is ‘Cheating’ so it can be safe to say and agree that ‘NTR/Netorare’ always contains a form of cheating. Does it involve jealousy? Previous encounters? Perhaps, perhaps not. In my opinion, NTR is simply just MC’s partner/love interest cheating/being unfaithful, nothing to do with jealousy or a love interest’s previous encounters. Due to there being no clear definition of ‘NTR’ it causes many debates about games in forums, discord servers, etc. about the meaning of NTR and if a certain in-game scene classifies as NTR.
NTR/Netorare also commonly gets confused with ‘sharing’ and ‘cuckolding’. This is probably because they all involve the partner/love interest engaging in sexual activities with other people/characters. The difference is that ‘sharing’ involves sharing your partner with other people and ‘cuckolding’ is encouraging your partner to engage in sexual activities with others as it brings you pleasure, can also include being humiliated/degraded by your partner as you watch or know they are with another person. It should also be mentioned that people also believe that rape/forcing the partner to cheat on the MC, is NTR but I disagree as I believe the cheating in NTR is always voluntary and not forced.
Overall, it’s all down to your preference. So I personally, don’t believe that there can be or will ever be, a set definition for ‘NTR/Netorare’. Whatever you believe/prefer it to be, is up to you.