Sexting Vs Sex: How Men And Women See Cheating Differently

by Lauren Martin

Cheating, like hooking up, has grey areas. What some consider digressions, others consider minor offenses. What some see as the end of a relationship, others see as un-punishable misdemeanors. What some see as harmful, others see as playful.

In my experience, women are much more traumatized by emotional offenses, whereas men have a harder time getting over physical ones.

A woman might find it easier to move past his drunken one-night stand than she would if she caught him emailing, texting or direct messaging someone. It’s the thought that goes into emotional cheating. Whereas, we can all understand how drunken mistakes don’t take much thought or planning.

Men, however, are much more threatened by physical relationships. Other men infringing on their "territory" is much more damaging to them than some stupid texts and flirty messages. Which is worse? Which is more hurtful? Is there such a thing as a worse cheat?

There's no denying men and women evaluate cheating on different scales. What men consider cheating, women may just consider a mistake. What women consider cheating, men may just see as playful flirting. There are, of course, some instances, when both parties just think you're a f*cking cheater. Let's look at the differences.


When a guy sees his girlfriend jerking off to porn, it’s hot. When a girl sees her boyfriend jerking off to porn, it makes her feel inadequate.

Is having sex to a woman on a screen really having sex? It’s sex with yourself, isn’t it? Some women contend that it’s a betrayal, looking at other women instead of looking at them. Men, however, see it as a natural release for when they can’t be with their women.

Buying someone a drink

When a woman lets another man buy her a drink, it’s poor taste. When a guy buys another woman a drink, it puts a bad taste in her mouth.

Some men might argue a woman can get as many drinks bought for her as she pleases, as it means they don't have to spend the money. At the end of the night, however, he also knows that no matter how many drinks they buy her, she’s always going back with her man.

A woman, however, understands what a drink means. She knows that her man isn’t buying another woman a drink because she’s thirsty.

What you don’t know doesn’t hurt you

Men can live by this rule, most women can’t. In fact, most women know that what you don't know is just something you will find out. Because everything always comes out.

Men can live with what they don’t know. They don’t think about what ifs and hypotheticals. If they don’t have to imagine it, think it or contrive it, it’s all good.

Women, on the other hand, will come up with scenarios that are always way worse than "what they don’t know."

Black-out hookups

To men, a drunken hookup is just as bad a sober one. To women, drunken nights are about as serious as drunken talk… there’s nothing real there.

Women can forgive transgressions in the bedroom much more quickly than they can forgive sought-after emotional relationships. You may have cheated, but you didn't betray them completely.

Facebook messages/text messages

To women, words can be more powerful than actions. To men, actions always speak louder than words. It’s the classic case of emotional versus physical cheating. Spending half a day talking to a woman is going to hurt your girlfriend more than spending 20 minutes (if that) in the sack with her.


Is it cheating if it’s helping out a friend? Is it murder if it’s self defense? These can be hard questions to answer, but to some women, there is no such thing as “bro code” when it comes to getting with another woman.

Men take the same stance when it comes to their women helping out a friend. You can flirt, but if you go back with him, then you’re not doing it for her anymore.


Exes are only exes until they're not. Both women and men take the same stance on this. If you’re talking to your ex, then clearly he or she is not exactly an ex anymore. This ex is noq a present person in your life. You don’t have to have sex for it to feel like a betrayal.

Best friends of opposite sex

I think it’s safe to say that women don’t trust men with girl friends anymore than guys trust girls with guy friends. It’s one of those “I told you so” cheatings that doesn’t make the person feel any better saying it.

Social media

Friend her once, shame on you. Poke her twice, shame on me. There’s only so much online flirting a woman can take before it’s unforgivable.

So your man may “like” Barbara Palvin’s Instagrams or accept a friend request of that hot girl from his high school. When he’s direct messaging and creepily poking, liking and commenting on pictures, then there’s a problem.

Women will forgive a lot, but they will never forgive a shady inbox with flirty messages. You may as well just have sex with them. Because that’s what you’re trying to get, isn’t it? Isn’t the groundwork just as harmful as the erection?