BY GIN SEXSMITH
You’re angry. You’re lonely. You’re bored. You’re drunk. Four possible reasons why you recently picked up your phone and fired off a flirty message. Yes, we all do it. But, what if the recipient was an ex, and you’re far from single?
There was a time where getting in touch with your ex would involve a lot more planning. Now, social media has made it so that you can have a convo going with your ex while hooking up with your current squeeze.
The simple “what’s up?” from your staring back at you would be harmless, even boring, coming from nearly everyone else on your contact list, but coming from an ex mixes things up again.
It’s just messaging, right? Whether a message about your feelings or how you want to act on them— you know that by sending the first text message you’ve potentially entered the greyest of grey zones: technocheating.
For some, techno-cheating would be ranting to an ex about your new relationship troubles, while for others it would be classified as something strictly physical.
To me, techno-cheating is like “real”-cheating’s innocent cousin. We live in an era of constant connectivity. We can send a message across the world on a whim.
That adds a lot of temptation, if you ask me. To play devil’s advocate, I’m going to suggest that maybe sexting with an ex isn’t as bad as it’s played out to be.
If it never escalates past a “what- I-would-do-if-you-were-here-rightnow” could it not just be seen as venting instead of a betrayal? Maybe it’s a relationship stabilizer?
But, no matter which way you look at it, the question still stands: why do we message our exes?
I think you can look at it two ways. On one side, it’s less dangerous because it’s a “been-there-donethat” deal. There’s less temptation to actually act because you’ve seen the goods, and for one reason or another, the flame burned out.
BUT, the same ‘been-there-donethat’ attitude can bring on a sticky situation if you’re the type that thinks “meh, [potential fuckee] is already on my list, what’s wrong with one more time?”
Like nearly everything we do: messaging exes is subjective. Maybe you’re horny, and your partner neglected that and fell asleep which left you less-than-flattered and frustrated. I’m all for open communication, and I think techno-cheating should be discussed early on in a relationship when boundaries are being made. But, my guess is that even the couples who do talk about where they stand on emotional and physical cheating probably neglect mentioning what they’ll be doing with their phones.
Even though you’re in love, when you’re blinded by annoyance, an old contender’s appeal seems to triple by the second. And let’s be honest, there’s nothing more stress-relieving than the thought of hitting the sheets with a sex god when your current partner has you rattled beyond belief.
We can’t deny that cheating creates a shit ton of drama. And the argument over what is, what isn’t, and what category of cheating your fooling around falls into, could go on for hours What it boils down to is the controversial idea of monogamy. Much to my mother’s disapproval (“maybe you’re meant to be a swinger, honey”), and my boyfriend’s unease, I often wonder if we’re even meant to be monogamous.
If we were would we get such a thrill from the thought of cheating? If we were would we even toy with our relationships in any way? Probably not. Call me crazy, but in my mind, I equate monogamy to bras. Society says we should wear them, so we do.
But are they restrictive as fuck? Yes. I’m not trying to be cynical, I’m just trying to ask something new. I’m iffy about love at first sight, but I definitely believe in love. I also believe that no relationship is easy.
I firmly believe in companionship, and that everyone needs that one person to be their shoulder to cry on and all that stuff, but does emotional love always have to be bound to physical sex? Is having something ‘purely physical’ with a previous friendswith- benefits or a sexy ex all that bad?
How do swingers do it? Maybe I should sign up.