FREE NEXT DAY SHIPPING WHEN YOU SPEND £30 - ENDING IN T & C's Apply Dismiss

Snogging, flirting, porn: what exactly ‘counts’ as cheating?

What counts as ‘cheating’ to you and
your partner? The definition is going to depend on the kind of
relationship you have, and what your agreed boundaries are (if you
have any!). But thanks to results of a survey this week released by
relationship counselling charity Relate, we can have a dig into what
other people consider ‘cheating’, and how the definition might be
changing across the generations…

I love it when new surveys come out.
While they’re rarely offering a guaranteed scientific insight into
the human mind, they can definitely help us identify trends in the
way people think and talk about sex.

This week, Relate (the ones who run
relationship counselling services across the UK) released the results
of a survey they ran with over 5,000 people. If you, like me, are
intrigued to see the detail, you can read the full report –
Let’s
Talk About Sex: the state of our sexual relationships in the UK today

– over on the Relate website. For now though I just want to focus
on one of the stats I found most intriguing: what people count as
cheating.

Cheating: snogs, porn, sex and more

Naturally, Relate see plenty of couples
who are dealing with cheating. Relate counsellors identified affairs
as the number one strain on relationships observed in the counselling
room. Unsurprising, given that people are more likely to seek outside
help with their relationship when something significant has happened
– and most of us would count cheating as something pretty big.

Relate quizzed people on a few common
scenarios, and asked them if they’d consider it ‘cheating’ within
their own relationships.

  • More than 20% of people thought going
    to a strip club counted as cheating.
  • More than 80% thought sending sexually
    explicit texts was cheating – a similar number to those who thought
    kissing counted too.
  • Over 30% counted flirting as cheating!

I find these results really interesting
– in my own relationship only one of those things would be a
definite ‘no’ on the cheating front: going to a strip club. I go to
strip clubs both with my partner and occasionally without him (with
friends, not on my own. Not sure I’m yet brave enough to even go to
the pub on my own let alone a late-night venue like a strip club).
For the others, it would strongly depend on the context and the
situation: I’ve happily watched my other half snog other people, but
I’d probably be upset if he did something like that behind my back.

Does porn count as cheating?

But the most interesting stats for me
were all about porn. Let’s face it, in my line of work it’s not just
important but
vital to watch quite a bit of porn. If my
partner was unhappy about it, chances are we’d be so incompatible
we’d never have got together. And the other way round? Well, he’s
long been a fan of porn, and I couldn’t bear to take that joy away
from him or make him hide it from me. I really enjoy walking in on
him having a lubed-up wank to something amazing: I find it incredibly
hot, and I’d be miserable if porn was suddenly off limits in our sex
life.

That’s not the case for everyone,
though, as the Relate figures showed.

When asked if watching porn alone
counted as cheating, 20% of women and 11% of men said yes. Younger
people – perhaps because they have grown up in a time when porn was
quickly and freely available online – were far less likely to
consider watching it to be cheating. Less than 10% of them said it
was, compared to 30% of people aged 65 and over.

Do you consider watching porn to be
cheating? This report really challenged my ideas about what I’d
consider ‘most’ people think: I think thanks to fab companies like
SexToys.co.uk, and my fellow sex-positive bloggers, I live in a bit
of a bubble where porn is concerned. Every day I see the benefits of
it – whether watching it alone with my favourite
vibrator,
or watching my other half watch it while he plays with the latest
Tenga kit. Or even
finding tips and tricks from porn that we’ll try out ourselves later
on: I have porn to thank for lots of ideas around technique that I’ve
used in
strap-on
play, for example.

But whatever your thoughts on porn, one
thing that’s really clear from the Relate info is that everyone has
different conceptions of what counts as ‘cheating’ – all our
relationships are different, and individual needs are different. So
one of the best things we can do to build stronger connections is
talk about our needs and feelings. And yes, maybe sometimes challenge
our own and our partner’s perceptions to find out the best way
forward.

Do you think watching porn counts as
cheating? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *