Katy Guest: Delusionists do it with a mobile phone

Our writer has no sympathy for men caught sex texting
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The Independent Online

I don't know how the sample group was selected when The Big Sex Survey decided to poll 2,000 adults about their sexual experiences recently. The results, which have been released ahead of the Really channel's new TV show Sex Rehab, revealed that one in five people has starred in a home-made sex tape; 3 per cent of men own a sex doll; and nearly half of UK adults have sent explicit texts or online messages to someone other than their partner. Thirty-five per cent included mucky pictures in these messages. Did the researchers accidentally poll only male celebrities?

Ask a random sample of reasonable adults whether e-cheating is really cheating and for 99 per cent of them the answer is clearly, "Well, duh!" The other 1 per cent will reply, "What are you wearing?", but y'know he's on tour, bored and lonely, and after all it's only a bit of a laugh, isn't it? Such was the response of The One Show's gobby Manc comedian, Jason Manford, when he was caught out exchanging unimaginative sexual banter with a young fan he had run into on Twitter.

In the uncommonly prudish language of the British red tops, Manford asked the girl to send him pictures of herself topless, and then described performing a sex act while looking at them. In this case, the peculiar term is unusually appropriate: for when a well(ish)-known figure picks up a stranger in a public online forum, knowing that there is approximately a 100 per cent chance he will be found out, the subsequent exchange must surely be a "performance".

Last week Manford quit The One Show "to ease the situation surrounding newspaper allegations", because just as poor Ashley Cole and Vernon Kaye and other famous men who can only be known as Mr Super-Injunction have found, it is absolutely the newspapers' fault that their wives are heartbroken and their children ashamed to show their tear-streaked little faces on Facebook. Manford has at least admitted to being "a dickhead", and accepted that there is no excuse for what he did. His wife is standing by him. As are his one-year-old twins. And the baby that is due to be born in three weeks. Ouch.

If you have to ask whether sex texts are really cheating, well I'm afraid you'd better be rich or famous, because you stand very little chance of hanging on to a partner otherwise, you duplicitous moron. I'm not even going to give points for effort, this time, to the first person who pipes up that texting a stranger has nothing to do with physical contact. It has everything to do with sharing a mutual sexual experience with another human being who is definitely not your partner. And if it's not wrong and it's not cheating, then why is it a secret?

In related news last week, midwives revealed that increasing numbers of women are suffering from tocophobia, or fear of childbirth. Which is a bit like saying that people are scared of putting their genitals in mangles, or of prodding hungry lions with sticks. Is this a surprise? What's not to fear about bending your body irreparably out of shape over nine long months, enduring a day or two of unimaginable agony, and then being up to your ears in snot and poo and unthinkable other bodily excreta and trapped at home with a parasitical car alarm in tiny, human form, while the man for whom you are doing all of this performs sex acts for other women because he is feeling lonely, overwhelmed or bored? I wouldn't call this a phobia, exactly. Isn't a phobia an irrational fear?

May I make a suggestion to Mr Manford, Mr Kaye, Mr Cole and others like them? The next time you're away from home, feeling lonesome, unloved and in need of some excitement, try this for an exhilarating and avant-garde sexual experience: text your wife.