Let’s Get This Straight Once And For All: Sexting Is Cheating

For some reason, modern dating is plagued with one massive question that persists despite the answer being rather obvious: does sexting count as cheating? The answer is yes, of course. Here’s why:

  1. It’s still a form of sex. Just because two people aren’t actually touching doesn’t mean their relationship is non-sexual. Even if sexting were downgraded, at the very least it’s still foreplay. It is called sexting for a reason. There’s a level of intimacy that someone shouldn’t have with anyone but their partner. At the end of the day, sex of any kind is 100% cheating.
  2. Foreplay is the initiation to actual sex. Say sexting was considered merely foreplay. —Consider what foreplay actually is — it’s what leads up to actual sex. Even if the relationship starts out as only sexting, when the lines of cheating begin to blur, things are bound to escalate. Right now it might be strictly on the phone, but soon enough sexters will be getting up close and physical in person, leaving the technology behind.
  3. That attention should be focused on a person’s significant other. No one should be giving that much attention to someone who’s not their partner. Why would someone waste all that time on someone they’re not even interested in? Friends don’t sext each other, so if there’s a sexting relationship then they’re not just friends and it’s not innocent. Duh.
  4. It’s just plain disrespectful. If it’s something you wouldn’t be comfortable with their partner doing, then how can they justify doing it themselves? The rules can’t be bent just to favor one person in the relationship. They should have enough respect for their partner to at least keep their sex life between the two of them — no third party applicants necessary. If there’s really that much lack of respect, what kind of relationship do they even have?
  5. It allows someone to sneak into a private relationship. Why choose a sexual encounter with someone outside of the relationship? That part of life should be sacred between two partners. If someone needs attention outside of the relationship then they’re avoiding intimacy in the relationship. The minute someone sexts someone other than their partner, it makes it pretty damn clear that they aren’t satisfied at home.
  6. Just because it doesn’t involve touching doesn’t mean they don’t want it to. If a person in a relationship is living out their sexual fantasies by texting someone else, then their desires don’t just stop there. They’re imagining being with someone else so on some level they want to be with this other person, even if it’s just physically. Either way, lusting after someone who isn’t their partner isn’t good. Even worse, if they’re sexting, the other person is clearly lusting for them too.
  7. Virtual cheating is still cheating. Just like an emotional affair is still an affair, sexting is still a sexual encounter. It might happen online and not in person but that doesn’t make it any less dirty. Regardless of the fact that physical contact isn’t actually made, the mind is going to a place of sexual stimulation. Maybe physical stimulation is happening too, even if it’s just in the form of masturbating over the sexts.
  8. On some level, there is an emotional attachment. Sex and emotions are connected. If a person is having truly meaningful sex with one person, how can they claim that it means nothing with someone else? If it’s just sexting and there’s no emotional attachment then how can a person feel differently about that same act with their partner? Bottom line — even a sexting connection is a connection and it shouldn’t be overlooked in any circumstance.
  9. If someone thinks sexting is fine, then what else are they doing? If a person can justify sexting, it’s not a big leap to the next steps down the trail of physical, in person cheating. Sexting is like a gateway drug to other forms of infidelity. Where should the line be drawn?
  10. Their partner should be enough. If a person is sexting someone else it’s pretty damn clear that they’re not happy with the state of their sex life in their relationship. They’re sexually frustrated and looking for something more. That doesn’t mean they can turn to someone else to get them off. That’s pretty damn insulting and that’s why a person shouldn’t put a single text out of line.
  11. If there was nothing to hide, then why hide it? No person in their right mind is going to outright tell their partner that they’re sexting someone else. Not because it’s “not a big deal” but because they know deep down that they are doing something wrong. In no way, shape, or form would a partner be overreacting by finding sexting a betrayal. At the end of the day, if it were really no big deal they’d have nothing to be ashamed of.
Kelsey Dykstra is a freelance writer based in Huntington Beach, CA. She has a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing from Grand Valley State University and been writing professionally since graduating in 2013. In addition to writing about love and relationships for Bolde and lifestyle topics for Love to Know, she also writes about payment security and small business solutions for PaymentCloud.

Originally from Michigan, this warm weather seeker relocated to the OC just last summer. Kelsey enjoys writing her own fictional pieces, reading a variety of young adult novels, binging on Netflix, and of course soaking up the sun.

You can find more about Kelsey on her LinkedIn profile or on Twitter @dykstrakelsey.