Sex Diaries: At What Point Does Texting Count as Cheating?

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Editor’s note: Virginia Plain is the pseudonym of a twenty-something woman living in New York grappling with a less than ideal sex life. Check out her first post here, and check back next week for more. 

Recently, I had the enormous pleasure of attending a concert for a band I thought I would never see live. I’ve loved this band since high school and they had broken up a few years ago, so the fact that they were coming to NYC was beyond thrilling. I invited my two best girlfriends. And not my boyfriend.

Now, reading over the comments from last week, I feel it might be important to clarify something off the bat: I’m not a big talker. Neither is my boyfriend. I was that kid that when her parents asked how her day at school was almost always responded with “fine” unless something truly monumental had happened.

While this is fine when things are good, it is, obviously, extremely problematic when there’s an issue needs addressing. Trying to muster the courage to actually bring sex up with my boyfriend took weeks. I’d be lying if I said his sort of terse response surprised me. We really don’t talk about anything except maybe work and friends. But not the relationship. The thing is, even if I don’t want to hash out all of my feelings at length, I would, at the very least, like to be able to talk about them sometimes. And I hope he feels the same way. It‘s hard to tell though.

Related: 13 Signs He’s Cheating On You (That Should Have Been Obvious To Me)

Of course, this weighs on a girl. I’ve been feeling so annoyed around him that when the concert tickets went on sale I didn’t even think about inviting him. He likes rap music anyway, and frankly, I didn’t want him there to potentially mar a night that I’d been waiting for since senior year. For one, blissful, rock-filled night I wanted to enjoy myself and be free to bang my head and wear gold pants (I did both).

After staking out our spots on the balcony, the opening band came on. And I sort of fell in love with the lead singer. A muscled, hair-flinging spandex-clad throwback from 1982, this guy was everything my boyfriend isn’t. Confident. Seriously good on guitar. Sexy as anything. In a weird way, I felt like if I were a guy, this is so the guy I’d be. I wouldn’t have to change my hair at all.

Throughout the evening as the other bands played, I’d see him circling around, talking with fans and friends. After the show, I actually met him. And we talked for over an hour with my very loyal roommate standing by. When his manager beckoned him back to the tour bus he asked for my number. My heart skipped a beat. I gave it to him without really thinking. I knew a few things about him at that point: a.) he’s only 21, b.) he’s from California, and c.) he’s on tour. When would I ever see this guy again?

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As my roommate and I made our way back to the apartment, I was confident in the fact that I’d never hear from him. We feasted on drunken midnight snacks, and I basked in the glory that a very handsome and very tall rock god thought I was pretty enough to ask for my number.

An hour later, he texted me.

I was shocked. Elated. Confused. We texted back and forth, it was all very tame and sweet and filled with emoticons (hello, he’s only 21) until four in the morning. Finally I told him I had to go to bed and passed out. But not before dancing around my room and waking my roommate up to tell her what had happened.

I know this is probably a bad idea. I get that. But I sort of don’t feel terrible at all. To be honest — and I realize this is extremely not P.C. to say — I don’t think there’s a girl alive who doesn’t feel some validation when a man tells her she’s attractive. I know you’re supposed to love yourself for who you are and embrace your body as it is and all that, but I’m calling bullshit. No girl punishes herself at the gym and spends scads of money on waxing just to feel one with herself. She’s hoping a guy feels one with that beautifully manicured, toned vagina too. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Related: In A Long Term Relationship, Is Bad Sex A Dealbreaker?

After years of feeling like some sort of urchin with no sexual value, the fact that a very attractive guy is clearly into me feels nothing short of a miracle. I do have value. I am worth it. Maybe it’s sad that I needed some random guitar player to tell me that, but in a way I don’t care. I thank him; it was something I needed to feel.

So my question is: is this cheating? Nothing happened at all besides me handing him my number and some very harmless texting. I know that if my boyfriend was doing this with some girl, I’d be heartbroken (maybe that’s answer enough), but part of me feels like it’s a grey area. There won’t be any kind of sexual situation — he’s somewhere in the Midwest now (I guess). Is it still bad?

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