What counts as cheating and what doesn’t during lockdown?

  • Sexy phone or video calls, as well as sexting and exchanging nudes are all considered cheating.
  • Likes on social media, flirty banter in a group chat, and chatting to an old flame fall into the not cheating bracket.
  • Porn is only cheating when it’s paid for, and faithful when it’s free!
  • The results come from a study of 2000 members on IllicitEncounters.com, the UK’s largest extramarital dating site.

It’s pretty clear to us all what constitutes infidelity, however, is it apparent what doesn’t?

The rules of engagement need revision during lockdown as love rats get creative with how they can cheat.

Illicitencounters.com has compiled a list of what is and what isn’t cheating based on suggestions and responses of 2000 of its members.

Sexy phone or video calls
Exchanging nudes
Porn you’ve paid for
Using online dating sites

Not Cheating:
Likes on social media
Free pornography
Flirty banter in group chats
Chatting to an old flame
Sexy thoughts about somebody else
Reading erotic novels

Sexy phone calls and video calls are unanimously considered cheating by men (98%) and women (100%)

A quarter more women than men agree that porn you’ve paid for is cheating.

1% more women (98%) than men (97%) agree that exchanging nudes is adulterous.

Nearly all of the men (96%) and women (91%) do not recognize likes on social media to be unfaithful. Keeping social media in the safe zone for committed couples.

There were a few discrepancies between genders, with 86% of men saying free ponography was not cheating compared to just 74% of women.

73% of men believe flirty banter in group chats is not considered an act of deceit, whilst just a little over half 56% of women agreed.

More women (70%)  than men (57%) concede that chatting to an old flame is not cheating.

Francesca, a member on IllicitEncounters.com said “ I have 2 kids with my ex husband, and I’m currently dating a fella who I met on the site a year ago. Up until a month ago he didn’t live with us. Since he’s moved in, I am finding out lots of things about him that are annoying me. It’s actually made me appreciate my ex much more, and we’ve been chatting casually as of late. My partner doesn’t like it, he thinks it’s cheating, but I haven’t crossed any lines – yet. I’ve got to admit though, I’ve been having a few erotic dreams about my ex and I’m starting to think this new relationship was a mistake.”

Stuart a member on the site said “Me and my wife are both part of a whatsapp group chat where inappropriate comments between friends is the norm, it’s harmless banter. I think porn paid or not paid should be allowed too to be honest, but each to their own. I don’t think catcalling should be considered cheating either, it’s just a laugh isn’t it? It isn’t really cheating if your partner never finds out!”

Sex and relationships expert Jessica Leoni said “It’s about time myths around what is and what isn’t cheating were debunked. We’re going to reach a virtual cheating spike over the next couple of months as tensions are high at home and spouses are looking for an outlet. 

I’m ecstatic that catcalling has made the cheating list, it isn’t acceptable even when you are single! 

It’s interesting to see that watching porn can be on both lists depending on whether it’s free or not.”


IllicitEncounters.com is the UK’s leading dating website for married people and the leading authority on infidelity. With over 1,000,000 genuine UK users since 2004, you’re sure to find your perfect match.

Established in 2004, we have been providing a meeting place for like-minded married and attached people for nearly 12 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.

We’re always more than happy to talk about IllicitEncounters.com – please contact Christian Grant through the details below – but we’re not willing to speak publicly about SaraHartley.net at this moment in time.

Email: presspr@illicitencounters.co.uk

Mobile: 07824 353986

Twitter: @cheatsafer