Opinion: Sexting Isn’t Cheating, No Matter What Anyone Says

I get that this is an unpopular opinion and I can see why, but I’m firmly of the belief that sexting is not cheating no matter what way you look at it. Don’t agree with me? Consider this.

  1. It’s just words on a screen. Unless your partner is following up sexting with actually having sex with the person on the other end of the message, it’s not real. It’s words on a screen and that doesn’t mean anything. Sure, it’s not ideal and your partner could initiate sexting with you if they want to spice things up/you’re open to that sort of thing, but at the end of the day, it’s like a fairytale, not real life.
  2. You can’t get/give an STD from sexting. Last time I checked, words don’t allow you to pass on STDs like herpes and gonorrhea. When a partner cheats by actually sleeping with someone else, they run the risk of getting and then passing on any number of diseases your way, and that’s not only scary, it’s a serious breach of trust. As long as it’s kept in digital format, you’re safe.
  3. Your partner is still with you. Even if they’re sexting someone else, you’re the one they’re in the relationship with. You’re the one they come home to at the end of the day, the one they’re actually having sex with, so is sexting really that big of a deal? I don’t think so.
  4. Having all your needs met by one person might be impossible. Humans aren’t necessarily monogamous creatures by nature, so the idea of having all your needs met by one person is kinda insane if you think about it. What if you’re going through a period of low libido and are really anti-intimacy and they’re feeling like a horndog? Sexting is a pretty innocuous way of letting them get their frustrations out, I think.
  5. There are things that are more sacred than sex anyway. If sex is the most sacred thing in your relationship, I feel like you’re doing relationships wrong. I get that many people feel that sexting someone else is a huge violation of trust, and I absolutely agree. However, that doesn’t automatically make it cheating. Unless your partner is getting up close and physical with someone else in the flesh, I think we need to draw the line somewhere.
  6. It might be indicative of bigger issues. If your partner is sexting someone else behind your back, there are clearly bigger issues at hand that need to be dealt with. Your ability to trust your partner is one, as is their inability to communicate with you openly and honestly about the things they feel they need that are lacking to make them look for it elsewhere. If you can’t get on the same page and work on the issues that led to them sexting someone else in the first place, it’s probably time to say goodbye.
  7. Let’s be clear here: I’m not saying it’s OK. Just because I don’t categorize sexting someone else as cheating doesn’t mean I don’t believe that it’s fine to do. It’s completely wrong and can be really hurtful and devastating to the person it’s happening to—I know I’d be really upset if I found out my partner was doing it. That being said, I wouldn’t label my partner as a cheater for doing it—I’d label them as a coward and a total a-hole.
Bolde has been a source of dating and relationship advice for single women around the world since 2014. We combine scientific data, experiential wisdom, and personal anecdotes to provide help and encouragement to those frustrated by the journey to find love. Follow us on Instagram @bolde_media or on Facebook @BoldeMedia