Over 30% Of Young People Don’t Think Sex Is Cheating


Over one in three young people do not think sleeping with someone behind their partner’s back as cheating, a shocking new study has revealed.

The study, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of IllicitEncounters.com, revealed that 32% of 18 to 24 year olds didn’t count sex outside of a relationship as being deceitful – compared with just 2% of those over 55.

Which of the following activities with another person constitutes cheating?
Ages 18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55+
Flirting/teasing 34% 29% 22% 18% 16%
Sending sexy texts or tweets 47% 50% 50% 45% 44%
Touching/making physical contact 45% 51% 56% 57% 58%
‘Dirty dancing’ 31% 40% 41% 38% 34%
Kissing 66% 73% 81% 78% 68%
Oral sex 67% 75% 88% 95% 94%
Sex 68% 75% 90% 97% 98%

Digital infidelity, such as sending sexy Tweets and texts, was unsurprisingly a major concern for young people. 47% of 18- to 24-year-olds said they would consider such interaction as cheating, compared with just 44% of their parents’ generation.

The survey, showed how attitudes towards infidelity have dramatically shifted.

Of the 4,000 married Brits surveyed, the youngest age group had a smaller spread of results when asked which flirtatious acts represented unfaithful behaviour. Their answers ranged from 31% (‘dirty dancing’) to 68% (sex), in comparison to the large spread of the oldest generation from 16% (flirting/teasing) to 98% (sex).

Spokesperson for IllicitEncounters.com Rosie Freeman-Jones commented: “We have seen a trend of attitudes towards infidelity shifting. Older generations that see a greater disparity between flirting and having sex, young people see all forms of cheating as similar importance.”

However younger Britons appeared more likely to end a relationship due to infidelity.

The youngest age group surveyed were the least likely (17%) to attempt to work through and forgive their partners’ infidelity. The over 55s were the most willing to maintain their relationship with a partner even in the face of infidelity.

The presence of alcohol also sparked differing results among the generations. Almost half of 18 to 24 year olds (48%) said cheating didn’t count if you were drunk, compared to just one in five among the over 55s.

Rosie added: “Older generations appear to be a lot more strict when it comes to cheating. However, they are more willing to work through their partners’ infidelity. This commitment to their marriage is likely to be due to religious and moral reasons, social pressures in their generation and the vast amount of time and effort they have devoted to their relationship.”

IllicitEncounters.com is the largest married dating website in the UK with nearly 800,000 members – approximately 5% of the UK’s married population.


If your partner had an affair, would you choose to end the relationship?
 Ages 18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55+
Yes, immediately. I would not want to stay if he/she cheated on me 21% 24% 27% 24% 24%
Probably, though I would hear them out first 35% 38% 36% 34% 30%
Not if it was the first time they’d done so; only if they’d cheated before 27% 18% 14% 13% 11%
No, I would try my hardest to work through it 17% 20% 23% 29% 35%

The UK’s Leading married dating website IllicitEncounters.com

IllicitEncounters.com is the UK’s largest and longest running dating site for married people. With over 750,000 members across the UK, you’re sure to find your perfect match.

Established in 2003, we have been providing a meeting place for like-minded married and attached people for nearly 10 years. Our members have one thing in common – they are all looking for a little romance outside their current relationship. Whether that’s the occasional bit of flirtatious chat, a regular coffee date, or a full-blown affair, that’s up to them.

For comments, case-studies or more information contact Mike Taylor:

Email: Mike@illicitencounters.co.uk

Mobile: 07824 357512

Office: 020 8819 9936

Twitter: @illicitmike

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