In short, women are usually interested in sex that includes or at least hints at some sort of emotional or relationship connection, while men are typically seeking a purely objectified sexual experience.
Both scientific and nonscientific research confirms this dichotomy. A nonscientific study conducted by Undercover Lovers, a UK-based extramarital dating site, may be even more enlightening.
Among women who stated that they were actively cheating, 57 percent reported feeling love for their affair partner, while only 27 percent of the men said they felt love for their mistress. This type of information furthers the conclusion that women who cheat are much more likely than men to be seeking an emotional bond, and that they may in fact feel such a bond even if their affair partner does not.
Tech-Sex Once upon a time infidelity partners were limited to your circle of friends and neighbors, and people you met via work, at a party, in a bar, or at a swingers club. Today, however, the playing field is - thanks to digital technology - quite literally endless.
No longer is the pool of potential partners limited to people physically encountered in day-to-day life. And once again our cultural stereotype - that men love gadgets and technology and therefore are much more likely than women to engage in infidelity using these devices - is somewhat off-base.
In fact, women today, especially the younger ones, are just as involved as men with digital technology. In many cases they are more involved. Texting and social media are prime examples. Women text more than men, and they are much more likely to utilize social media Facebook , Instagram, and the like. And women typically post not just more often, but more openly. For the most part, women are seeking online what they seek in life - meaningful emotional connection.
And if the digital connections they find come with an element of sexual stimulation, so be it. Ashley Madison, a website and smartphone app specifically designed to facilitate extramarital affairs, currently has more than 21 million members, up from 14 million less than two years ago! Ninety percent of the males and 70 percent of the females on AM state in their profiles that they are married. Reasons Women Cheat Even though most women who engage in relationship infidelity understand on some level that what they are doing is potentially harmful to both their relationship and their partner, they continue with the behavior.
Below are ten common reasons for female infidelity. Women with low self-esteem, depression , unresolved childhood trauma , and other similar issues may seek validation through romantic and sexual activity. Sometimes women feel betrayed by their partner usually either financially or sexually , and they use infidelity as a way to retaliate.
Typically, women seeking revenge are not secretive about what they are doing. Sometimes women feel more like a nanny, maid, mother, or financial provider than a wife or girlfriend. They may use sex outside the relationship as a way to fill the emotional void. Some women miss the exhilaration of meeting, flirting , dating, and forming new relationships.
They find their ongoing, stable partnership boring so they chase the emotional high of finding and bonding with someone new. Lack of Sex at Home: As mentioned earlier, women are sexual creatures. They usually enjoy the physical act of lovemaking as much as men do, and they also enjoy the feeling of being wanted, needed, and desired.
Sometimes women are much more sexual than their partner. If so, this can be problematic. Rather than end the relationship, they may seek a little sex on the side as a way to meet their physical needs. Lack of Intimacy at Home: Even if a woman is getting enough actual sex, that sex may not be fulfilling her desire for emotional connection. The simple truth is women, much more so than men, feel connected and valued through non-sexual emotional interactions such as gift-giving, being remembered, and talking.
If these things are not happening at home, they may seek a connection elsewhere. When their partner inevitably fails them, these narcissistic women will sometimes turn to someone else. Lack of Female Social Support: A big part of healthy womanhood involves supportive female friendships and a sense of female community.
Some women, especially those who experienced maternal abuse or neglect, undervalue this while concurrently overvaluing the attention of men. This can lead to infidelity.
Wanting to Leave a Relationship: Some women find it easier to cheat, forcing their current partner to end the relationship, rather than ending it more directly or assertively.
Some women engage in a never-ending stream of sex and romance as a way to self-regulate not feel uncomfortable emotions and the pain of underlying psychological conditions such as depression, severe anxiety, low self-esteem, and unresolved childhood trauma often sexual in nature.
What Does It All Mean? Relationship infidelity can be incredibly damaging on many levels. Interestingly, it is usually not any specific sexual or romantic act that hurts the most. This is doubly true when infidelity continues past the initial discovery, as it often does. And there are more types of infidelity than just sexual.
In fact, financial infidelity the keeping of financial secrets is very, very common. For many women who cheat, stopping the behavior is more difficult than they expect. This is because their reasons for doing what they do are usually long-buried and complex. Many women need the assistance of a skilled psychotherapist to parse through the layers of trauma, abuse, and neglect that drive their extramarital activity.
If the woman turns out to be a sex or love addict, then more specialized treatment will be needed, such as that found in programs at the Sexual Recovery Institute in Los Angeles and the Center for Relationship and Sexual Recovery at The Ranch in Tennessee. Twelve-step support for women dealing with sex and love addiction is also helpful, and best found in Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous.
Sadly, even when skilled therapists are involved, some couples are unable to overcome the damage and loss of trust caused by infidelity. He is author of Cruise Control: Jennifer Schneider of both Untangling the Web: The Effect of Technology and the Internet on Sex, Intimacy and Relationships, along with numerous peer-reviewed articles and chapters.