Sexting: is it cheating?
One of the biggest questions and debates in the modern dating world.
My overall answer is that it depends. On your relationship structure, boundaries, consent, and ability to communicate all of the above with your partner. As soon as you start hiding something from your partner, no matter your relationship structure, I’m inclined to say, “Yes, there is some kind of infidelity occurring here, regardless if physical interactions take place.”
Below are a few scenarios that can help you determine what sexting other people might look like in various relationship dynamics:
Scenario 1: You’re in a monogamous relationship and received consent from your partner to sext others outside of your relationship.
Answer 1: You received consent, and they’re aware that it’s happening, AND are accepting. This could change with time, which is also something to be mindful of.
Scenario 2: You’re in a monogamous relationship and are sexting others behind your partner’s back.
Answer 2: So your partner thinks you’re exclusive and you’re hiding the fact that you’re sexting other people? You’re fulfilling your sexual needs outside of the relationship. If it really isn’t a point of contention, it wouldn’t need to be kept a secret.
Scenario 3: You’re in a non-monogamous relationship and established with your primary partner that you can both participate in sexting with other partners.
Answer 3: You’ve both discussed sexting within the terms of your relationship, received consent, and are on the same page. Cool! Go for it.
Scenario 4: You’re in a non-monogamous relationship and haven’t discussed boundaries with other partners with your primary partner. You feel a need to maintain secrecy about your sexting habits from your primary partner.
Answer 4: I feel that there is an assumption that those in non-monogamous partnerships can do whatever they want, to whoever they want without discussion, but these relationships require just as much communication and consent as monogamous relationships (although degrees and individual dual comfort levels may vary). For me, I could see this both ways depending on one’s relationship structure.