Today, a lot of us think flirting via text message is worse than cheating in real life. Surprised? That’s one of the takeaways of a new survey from the Huffington Post, which asked more than one thousand people to share their thoughts on what qualifies as “cheating.” 

And while most people agree that being intimate with someone outside your relationship definitely counts as cheating, a whopping 79-percent of us said sending racy texts or photos to someone also qualifies.

Or, to put that another way: This survey says that when it comes to cheating, most of us think texting other people is almost twice as bad as kissing someone else on the lips, and three times worse than our partner going to a strip club.

What is it about texting that makes so many couples cringe? Dr. Sheri Myers is a therapist who says it boils down to the fact that a lot of affairs start out as “emotional affairs,” which means they involve zero physical contact. Instead, people communicate online, and they develop an extremely close emotional relationship, often to the point where they’re confiding in their online friend more than their own partner.

Dr. Myers says today’s smartphones have made the problem worse, because now we can send secret texts any time, even when our partner’s in the same room. And even though there’s no physical contact, our expert says it’s a violation of the emotional space you share with your partner.

Plus, it should go without saying: If you’re sending racy texts to someone else in secret, then you’re probably considering a physical encounter in the future. Which explains why so many people in this new survey say texting is cheating.