The infidelity gap is closing, chaps: there's a fair bit of Bovary about, so get used to it...
Well, here’s a bit of welcome news (or possibly unwelcome news if you’re a married, but monogamous, man): a new survey tells us that women are closing the infidelity gap.
Every 80 seconds a British woman joins AshleyMadison.com, (motto: Life is short. Have an affair) which calls itself a ‘married’ dating site. It’s only fair to ponder whether it’s not also a dating site which might lead to becoming quite swiftly ‘unmarried’, too. It has over three-quarters of a million UK members and 18 million worldwide. The survey goes on to tell us that of those temerarious women, 73.1% feel neglected by their husbands, 57% feel that an affair makes it easier to stay in marriage and 32% report that since having an affair the sex they have with their husbands is better.
The site’s founder, self-styled ‘King of Infidelity’ and ex-sports (so is that where we get that awful misappropriation of the word ‘cheating’ when it means ‘infidelity’?) attorney Noel Biderman, is apparently on record as saying that he would be ‘appalled’ if he ever discovered his wife availing herself of this site’s services. Come off it, Noel, le patron ne mange pas içi?
Returning to that 57% who said that having an affair makes it easier for them to remain married: unfortunately Noel gives this a rather depreciatory spin by adding, “The reality is that many people can’t leave their partners for financial reasons and women in particular are usually reluctant to sacrifice their family life.” OK, so in the same way that having sex in the gulag is probably better than not having sex in the gulag, maybe it would sweeten the bitter pill in a glum sort of way.
And the 32% who reported better sex lives with their husbands since their affair? But, hey, just a second please, what about the other 68%? I can’t help wondering whether for them, after a bit of playing away and comparing their spouse’s humdrum amatory efforts with those of the new chap, a sort of terminal dissatisfaction, a bit like dry rot, would not begin to set in.
Feeling neglected by their husbands and not having their emotional needs met was the most common motivation for women being unfaithful (73.1%). Are there really any big surprises here? Wasn’t it ever thus, that men became bored with the same old, same old sex and women got fed up with being unloved and taken for granted?
Perhaps not. Apparently for 67.2% of the women surveyed (we’re not told how big the sample was), an unfulfilled sex life was the reason for their adultery. ‘Men typically reach their sexual peak in their 20s, for women it’s later, in their 30s or 40s when they feel more comfortable with their bodies. This discrepancy is one reason for the lack of sex that these women are feeling. Everyone wants to be desired, who can blame these women for looking elsewhere?’ Well not me, guv. Except now we’ll have to change the lyrics of Makin’ Whoopee to ‘He feels neglected, and she’s suspected/Of makin’ whoopee.’
And finally, it seems that intelligence, or at least education, is playing a part in all this Madame-Bovaryesque activity: 64% of the women were educated to degree level with the majority working in admin (PA’s and receptionists) or the health sector, including nurses. Ah yes, nurses. I’m sorry, but what sort of man could ever resist a nurse? I mean, look, even the NHS has a dating site these days…