Sexting is not cheating, say one in three Britons


More than a third of Britons do not think sexting another person when they are in a relationship is cheating, new research has revealed.

In the past year more than 8% of people admitted to sexting, defined as sending flirty messages or explicit images, to someone that was not their partner.

While 35% of the 2,150 men and women surveyed in the online poll said they did not think sexting another person constituted cheating.

Tess Daly and Vernon Kay

Law firm Slater and Gordon commissioned the study after finding their clients were increasingly trying to cite adultery in divorce proceedings even though the law would not allow for it.

While adultery is responsible for just under 40% of divorces in the UK, the grounds for divorce citing adultery dictates that extramarital sex has to have taken place.

Rupi Rai, family lawyer at Slater and Gordon, said: "With more people having access to social media and advances in technology, we have seen a rise in the number of clients coming to us who think their partner has crossed the line and committed adultery, but not in the traditional sense.

"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.

"The research is a real warning to couples about being careful not to cross that line."

Explicit photos were considered by the majority to be less acceptable than flirty texts, with 62% of respondents saying they would feel very guilty about sending one.

Of those polled, 34% of men compared to 49% of women, thought that sexting was cheating.

And over a third of those who had admitted to sexting someone outside of their relationship also said they felt it led onto more compromising suggestions such as sex.