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To Sext or Not to Sext…

To Sext or Not to Sext…

Thanks to the Weinergate scandal, the ever-popular topic of sexting has once again come to light. Upon initially hearing of the scandal, I had a heated discussion with my parents on the subject of sexting.

One side thought sexting wasn’t cheating, it was merely an avenue that perpetuated distrust. This side said it is not any different than going to a strip club, looking at a “Playboy” magazine, or watching porn because there is no real physical activity taking place. Even Mr. Weiner being married wasn’t a factor, since no intimacy had occurred in reality; it just created suspicion in his marriage, a permanent lingering question mark in his wife’s mind.

The opposing side thought quite to the contrary. This side vehemently voiced sexting was blatant cheating because this was a person he was acquainted with—even if only in the digital world, had conversations with, exchanged pictures with, on the other line, not a random adult magazine or film. Mr. Weiner was not just disrupting the norms of a committed relationship, it was a marriage, and with a child in the mix.  He knew he was cheating, or he would have been open with his wife about it, no? This side also proposed the thought that sexting is definitely considered cheating by younger demographics because of their immersion with technology and social media on a daily basis.

Now which side were my 46-year-old parents and which was argued by my 25 year-old-self? I bet you would guess my parents were the latter opinion, AMIRIGHT?! Nay, they were not.

Color my young, progressive, self-described “edgy” self, well…surprised. I’m not some puritanical individual by any means, but to me commitment is just that, something you commit to. I, like any young, progressive, self-described edgy person, had to conduct a Facebook poll (duh!) to see if there was anyone on my side of the fence. To my surprise, all but one person that replied said they did in fact consider sexting cheating, whether it was just dating or it was something legally binding, like marriage. I think I was really on to something when I said that due to our inundation of social media, our generation as a whole has redefined relationship parameters. Normally our generation gets blamed, but I think we did something pretty important—despite our contact with technology we have actually stuck to our guns to not allow relationships to be compromised, in fact we’ve allowed relationships to be more possible and far-reaching than ever before. Now it’s to be said that not ALL people in our generation (and beyond) will believe this or maybe some individuals do allow technology to affect their lives in a more comprehensive way, but I’d like to think the collective “we” know we’re better than that. That we deserve more than that out of life and our relationships.

 So here’s my open letter to all you beautiful, young ladies and gentlemen out there…

Dear loves,

       Don’t feel pressure to compromise your beliefs on sexuality and the portrayal of it via any means, regardless of whatever side of the fence you’re on. If you want to sext, you should be in a committed relationship or at least make sure BOTH participants are not attached to anyone. Sext all you want, more power to you, but always, always, always keep in mind the prowess of social media (personal plug: please don’t be the next Kim Kardashian, we definitely do not need another) and the nature of human beings to SHARE things to OTHER human beings. We’re better than airing our private lives to America or the digital world, darlings. We used to rely on our families, stand strong with our morals, and have the gumption to be different, unique, and strong. Don’t let Tweets, Facebooking, Tumblring, Google+ing, etc. muss all that up. Don’t contribute to the degradation of our culture (we get blamed enough for that already as a generation) and keep those standards for yourself up. Beautiful, loving, and healthy relationships are out there. It’s not a nostalgic fantasy, but a real and tangible thing, if you want it! And you have to work hard for it, there’s no getting around that.

 Go find one, darlings, because YOU are beautiful, strong, and deserve someone committed to loving & respecting you—all of you—in the digital or the real world.

xoxox,

H.L.

See Also

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LD POLL: Answer in the comments below! 

What do YOU think about sexting?

  • I think it’s cheating when married only.
  • I think it’s definitely cheating whether you’re married or dating.
  • I think it creates distrust, but it’s not actual cheating.
  • I don’t know- I’m just here for the Weinergate jokes.
 

Cast your vote below AND tweet us @litdarling!

Featured image via H.L. Fuller Productions

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About H.L.

H.L. is a photographer and teacher hailing from the great state of Texas. She attended the University of Texas at Austin where she majored in Radio-Television-Film and focused on U.S. Latino & Latin American media studies. During this stint, H.L. worked for HerCampus Webzine, where she had her brief love affair with writing editorials and being an online photographer. After living and loving Austin, she returned to small-town Texas to teach young people…scratch that…trying to teach young people and not letting her classroom become a real life version of the “Hunger Games.” Returning felt more like coming on to the set of “Hart of Dixie,” where H.L. feels like she brings big city knowledge & fashion to this small, but sweet, town. Her other loves include sweet tea, Jane Austen anything, Paris, bicycling (complete with basket & bell), LOTR, and folk music.

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View Comments (3)
  • My initial reaction before was that it was definitely distrust, but that it could be considered a form of “mental cheating”. Obviously it is still distrustful, but I think I’m leaning more and more toward cheating the more that I think about it. It is definitely an action that would be deemed unfaithful to your spouse/significant other, and honestly, I feel like I’d be more hurt discovering a long string of textversations that may or may not have been going on while I was sitting in the same room than I would be by walking in on them doing the tango. I guess what I mean is, while actual, physical cheating could be considered a “crime of passion”, I see the sexting more as a form of premeditated cheating that the person had plenty of chances to discontinue, but chose not to over and over again.

    • Thanks so much for the comment Travis! Love how you put it–“sexting more as a form of premeditated cheating that the person had plenty of chances to discontinue, but chose not to over and over again”…that statement definitely makes you stop and think about your POV on this topic! I’d have to agree with you that those “textversations” are building an intimate foundation, whereas the crime of passion of “doing the tango” may not even be AS intimate as a ongoing relationship between two via cellular means!

  • Travis, you really did sum it up! :)
    I think also that it not only being a version of mistrust, but one of the many (paranoid) concerns can be “well, if they’re like that through technology…. what’s going to happen if they meet/ through physical interaction?”. A paranoid “potential”, so to speak. I understand that in some cases for people, it can be a lot of fun (never experienced this myself though, been on the other side of “finding the partner sexting someone else”), but it can cause a lot of damage and bring up many trust issues within a relationship. Hell, in some cases, if someone’s broken your trust once, it’s never exactly the same again.
    Travis, you’ve really summed it up well! Definitely agree with it being hurtful (finding a long string of sexual texts), and a form of premeditated cheating that could’ve been stopped but wasn’t. In the end, I think it all depends on the relationship and how it works, some people agree, some don’t. However, it would be interesting to find the reason of the ‘sextee’ (i.e. why they’re doing that, they have a partner?) and what their thoughts/ feelings would be if their own partner could do the same.

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