Sexting Doesn't Count As Cheating, Says More Than A Third Of Brits

When it comes to what counts as cheating, I didn't think there was much grey area. But it looks like I was wrong, because according to a new survey there's a pretty big divide when it comes to whether or not sexting counts as cheating. Law firm Slater and Gordon thought it was necessary to carry out the survey because they noticed their clients were citing adultery in divorce proceedings even though no extramarital sex took place, according to Metro UK. They conducted a survey of over 2,100 men and women to get some insight into what people actually consider being unfaithful. And I was pretty surprised.

Thirty-five percent of those surveyed — so more than one third — did not thinking sexting was cheating. Huh? I mean, it has sex in the name. It's obviously sexual, or else it would just be "texting." Without a pun or anything. I assumed that it would be no brainer that sexting isn't OK.

But Amy Levine, sex coach and founder of Ignite Your Pleasure explains why this might not always be the case. "A lot of people consider cheating to involve actual physical contact," she tells Bustle. "They don't necessarily think of an emotional connection or "digital" interaction as infidelity. While sexting can be considered a form of fantasy, I would say it crosses the line because it's usually connecting with someone else by building anticipation, stirring desires and elevating emotions."

But some people — 35 percent— still think it's OK. Rup Rai, a family lawyer at Slater and Gordon, says, "What some might consider a harmless bit of fun – like sending flirty messages or explicit pictures, others consider to be detrimental to their relationship and cause as much hurt and upset as physically cheating."

No kidding. Here's what else they found. But first, check out our video on sex positions to last longer:

Bustle on YouTube

1. Most People Agreed That Photos Were Worse Than Sexts

I don't know if this is better or worse — I mean, they're both bad to me. If you're messaging someone "I'm imagining your peach all over my eggplant" (I'm great at sexting) or sending a photo of said peach (or said eggplant), they all seem pretty bad. Maybe I'm missing something, I get that photos are more exposing, but I just think it's all kind of awful.

2. 8% Are Doing It

Giphy

Eight percent of the respondents reported to sexting someone other than their partner. Which is disappointing, but considering how common cheating is, it's not really a surprise.

3. 1/3 Of Extra-Marital Sexters Say It Led To Something More

Out of those who admitting to sexting, a third of them said "that they felt it led to more ‘compromising’ suggestions, such as sex," according to Metro. If you're already texting about it, then why wouldn't you just do it?

Still not sure? Levine says to consider this: "The cheating litmus test: you're texting or sexting with someone and you don't want your girlfriend/boyfriend/fiancé/wife/husband/lover to find out."

Images: Fotolia; Giphy (3)