Ever sexted with a woman who’s not your partner? Followed an ex on social media? Shared secrets with a “work wife”? Many women would call you a cheater, our exclusive poll found. And a gender gap appeared: Women are more likely than men to call given behaviors cheating. Fair warning, men. (There’s even a term for these less egregious forms of cheating: microcheating.)

What’s clear: Lust and temptation are eternal, and modern life makes it easier to succumb. Of course, intercourse and oral are considered cheating by nearly 100 percent of men and women. Kissing? For 95 percent of women and 81 percent of men, yeah, that’s cheating.

But beyond that, it’s complicated. Watch porn? She’s probably OK with it. Log on with a camgirl? Not so much. And cheating is not just a guy thing: Plenty of wives and girlfriends cheat, too.

There’s new thinking about why we cross the line into a real affair. Therapist Esther Perel sets out to bust myths in her new book, The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity. Such as: that an affair means the relationship is bad — or the cheater is. The motive is often a yearning for a lost part of your identity. “It isn’t so much that we’re looking for another person,” she notes in a TED Talk, “as much as we are looking for another self.” Other myths, she tells us: that men cheat out of boredom and that a marriage can never recover from infidelity.

Marty Klein, Ph.D., a California therapist for more than 30 years, says many of his patients want to make marital sex as exciting as affair sex. “It isn’t a realistic comparison,” he says. But you can learn from cheaters. Treat your partner like a paramour: Prepare for sex (prioritize, visualize), be present (savor it), embrace novelty (break your normal routine), and make your partner feel attractive, desired, and excited.

Infidelity is when you secretly do something meaningful that you know your partner doesn’t want you to do, says Robert Weiss, L.C.S.W., author of Out of the Dog House. We asked some 1,600 men and 800 women which behaviors are cheating. Beyond the obvious (intercourse, oral), opinions vary. So ask your partner.

Men’s Health

WATCHING PORN BY YOURSELF VS. WATCHING A CAMGIRL BY YOURSELF
Conflicts over porn are skyrocketing, Klein says. Often she’s upset about something else, and porn may fuel that. Explore what she’s dissatisfied about sexually. Be curious, caring, and honest. Talking about sex, not porn, “gives you a better chance to create change,” Klein says in his book His Porn, Her Pain. And don’t promise to stop looking unless you’re sure you can. It’s better to productively quarrel than lie.

Camgirls: Is It Considered Cheating When You Watch Them?

Men’s Health

DINNER WITH SOMEONE YOU’RE ATTRACTED TO

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HAVING A WORK “SPOUSE”

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KEEPING YOUR DATING PROFILE

Men’s Health

SEXTING
Technology gives us lots of ways to cheat — and to get caught. (Texts are what trip up most cheaters, says therapist Paul McCandless, M.F.T.) Your “mistress” may be your phone: She may feel like it interrupts your time together, one survey suggests. So put it down.

Emotional Cheating: What It Is And How To Tell She’s Doing It

Men’s Health

SENDING RACY PHOTOS

Men’s Health

FOLLOWING AN EX ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Straying on social media, like messaging an ex, is linked to lower relationship satisfaction among married couples, a study found. The more personal a message, the more risky it is, says McCandless. “If the level of discourse is, ‘Gosh, sounds like you’re having a hard time with your wife,’ that’s a red flag.” Even worse: You’re not telling your wife about the exchange.

By Jerilyn Covert