Cheating means different things to different people. For some, it’s a flirty encounter or a lusty text, while others have far more liberal approach, seeing only the most blatant forms of adultery as valid, like sleeping with someone else.
According to new research, it seems that half of young men fall into the latter category because, unlike 73 per cent of women, they don’t class kissing as cheating.
The same number also said they didn’t think cyber sex counted either, compared to 75 per cent of women, who did.
Dating coach James Preece suggests that the findings might be in line with the different ways men and women typically broach intimacy.
“There’s no way round this though,” he tells The Independent, explaining that regardless of your gender, if you kiss another person and don’t think you’re cheating, it indicates a fundamental lack of respect for your partner and the relationship itself.
“If you don’t care enough about your actions or how your partner will react, then you are with the wrong person,” he adds.
The survey, conducted by BBC Radio 5 Live, included data on 2,066 British adults.
True to what one might it expect, it found that 91 per cent of people would consider sleeping with someone other than their partner as cheating.
But the lines become blurred when it comes to more nuanced forms of intimacy, such as browsing on a dating app, which 40 per cent of respondents said counted as cheating.
The survey also asked people for their views on sex education, which is set to undergo its first revamp in 17 years, with no mention of cyber-bullying, LGBT+ issues, consent or pornography included in the current syllabus.
Clearly, it’s time for an update as 47 per cent of people said their school sex education didn’t prepare them for their sex lives.
5 Live’s Anna Foster said the findings shed light on the importance of improving sex education and tackling some of the taboos surrounding certain issues.
“Whether it’s the stiff upper lip or the ‘no sex, we’re British attitude’, as a country we’re just not comfortable talking about sex,” she said.
The findings come the same day the radio station launches its #sextakeover, when Foster will be joined by celebrity guests, including activist Munroe Bergdorf and TV star Vicky Pattinson, to discuss contemporary attitudes towards sex and dating for a special two-hour show.
“We’ll be talking about sexual health, relationships, sex and society and the future of sex,” Foster added.
“We’ll be joined by some big names, a live audience and special guests to get the conversation going.”