Ever Wondered Why Women Cheat? A Married Guy Goes Undercover on Ashley Madison to Find Out

why women cheat

A married relationship expert joins Ashley Madison and learns a valuable love lesson.


“Honey, I have to join Ashley Madison.”

So began the pitch I gave my wife to let me join the marrieds-looking-for-affairs website, AshleyMadison.com. It would be part of my research into women who cheat, why infidelity is increasing, and what can be done to possibly affair-proof a marriage. I proposed to “cheat” on her for a few weeks, to talk to and attempt to seduce as many women as possible, and get a real-world understanding of why women want to stay married but also need some illicit action on the side.

Of course, on my end, there’d be nothing more than conversation. She looked at me straight-faced, unflinching. I searched her eyes for any telltale sign of the Charles-I’m-going-to-punch-you-in-the-face-right-after-I-castrate-you look; nothing. After a long pause, I got her only thought: “No, I get it,” she said emphatically. “It’s a great story. But it’s kinda like asking the newly-vegetarian fox to guard the henhouse, isn’t it?”

I thought about it, and unfortunately her statement wasn’t too far from the truth. If you back me up a few years—sans wife, kids, dogs, published book on relationships, 400,000+ fans following my relationship advice on Facebook—I was a chronic womanizer; a past she knows about, but never experienced personally. To make matters worse, I wasn’t some weak pick-up artist using idiotic dating boot camp approaches that reeked of negativity and douchebaggery on vulnerable women in order to break them down and manipulate them into sex. No… I was far more despicable than that.

Was I looking to get women into bed? Of course, but it was more than that. I worked hard to become the embodiment of seduction. To quickly read the spoken and unspoken clues of what a woman was looking for in a man, and then give her the perception I was that guy. In effect, to become so alluring that she would willingly give herself over, thinking that having sex was her idea. After all, it’s much easier to convince people of things they think they have thought of themselves. It was quite a rush, and as the wake of emotional destruction would later exemplify, seducing women became my drug of choice.

“No, babe … that’s not even close,” I told her, not fully considering the implications of the coming situations. “That was 15… no, almost 20 years ago. And you know that I love you. There’s nothing to fear.”

After another pregnant pause, she consented with a few words of sage advice:

“Don’t. Fuck. Up.”
The Statistics

According to The Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy, nearly 50 percent of married women and 60 percent of married men will have an extramarital affair at some point in their marriage. When you consider that these statistics are nearly double what they were a short 10 years ago, clearly this is beyond an issue; it is now commonplace. But it’s far from a surprise; it was predicted. Futurist Alvin Toffler wrote the best seller Future Shock in 1970, and with matter-of-fact conviction he wrote of “trial” or “temporary marriages”—young people’s first marriages, lasting three months to three years—and of “serial marriages” that would take place after the dissolution of the “trial marriage” at specific turning points in people’s lives.

So, does this mean marriage has “jumped the shark” and become obsolete? Hardly. Marriage is not the issue. Commitment and loyalty or the lack thereof are at the crux of this. After all, marriage is a legal and/or spiritual binding of two people… but if commitment isn’t there and loyalty becomes a matter of subjectivity or convenience, the marriage is already nonexistent. Cheating then becomes a symptom of a secretly failed marriage.

But is it really so black and white, with no grey and no room for mistakes, missteps, or moments of weakness? Do people who cheat want to leave their current marriage? Are they secretly trying to get caught so they’ll have an excuse to get out? I needed answers to these questions (and many others), so I headed where any high-tech junkie looking to cheat on his wife would go: online.

The Business of Infidelity

The advent of the Internet has made having an illicit affair easier than ever before. Meeting Mr. or Ms. Right, The Sequel, is a mere mouse-click for anyone with a credit card. If you’re looking to Hit-It-And-Quit-It, there’s AdultFriendFinder.com, Craigslist’s Casual Encounters or Fling.com (among many others). But sex-only semi-anonymous hookups wasn’t where my investigation was headed, as women looking to merely have sex can meet a man anywhere—nightclubs, coffee shops, Facebook, wherever.

My hypothesis was simple: women who were looking for an extramarital affair with another married man were looking to connect in some way. If both parties were married, they not only started on even ground, but they had something in common—they were missing something from their current relationship. I needed to uncover the motivations behind starting and maintaining an affair.

And affairs are big business. Numerous websites are dedicated to connecting those looking to engage in flagranté delecto sans spouse. AffairsClub.com, MarriedCafe.com, LonelyWivesAffairs.com are but the tip of the iceberg, and all have women and men signing up in droves. The undisputed leader for cheating is AshleyMadison.com, the “Life is short. Have an affair.” website. AshleyMadison has experienced meteoric growth since its founding in 2002, with no slowing in sight. And while founder and CEO Noel Biderman doesn’t condone having an affair, he seems perfectly comfortable with others doing their infidelity thing. Works for some … and now, it was my turn to get my (feigned) cheat on.
“Hello, Ashley Madison! Long time, no cheat!”

I filled out my nickname and relevant info, plopped down my credit card number (discretely billed as “AMDB” to my credit card statement), and then all I needed to do was … wait a second. I was faced with the eternal online seduction dilemma: now what? What will make the opposite sex want me online? What do women want to see on my profile?

Recent reports state that Ashley Madison has a community that is comprised of 70 percent men and 30 percent women. Clearly women have the upper hand with choice, so I needed to stand out against all the other guys. I posted a real picture of me (I was looking to connect in-person, after all), but I listed a fake name (if they Googled my real name, I was sure to be caught). To formulate the right approach, I decided to do something I couldn’t do in the real world: get into the minds of my competition, albeit a little sneakily.

I signed up for a second Ashley Madison account as a woman, “Shelly,” and began checking out the guys’ profiles. Most of the men’s profiles highlighted attempts at humor, asking straight-out for sex, to … uh … romance (“I like walks on the beach.”) Really?! Walks on the beach?! Come on, now … no, you don’t! I mean, we all like walking on the beach, but that’s not why you’re on the site. And besides, the 1970s called, and they want their pick-up line back. In contrast, so many of the women’s profiles were dripped with laments ranging from “lack of attention” to “seeking excitement” to “need someone who pays attention.” Additionally, it was fascinating to see “Shelly’s” inbox fill up in a matter of minutes. I hadn’t even added a picture or completed the profile for that persona.

With a firm understanding of where my competition played—and the miserable approaches of some—I got to work writing something unique, confident, and (hopefully) mysterious and seductive. I set up three profiles to see which would resonate the fastest and which would hit with the most success. “Scottie” was unsure, shy, and a bit weak (“I’m not sure why I’m here.”), “Greg” was the quintessential Alpha Male (“You know you want me…”), and the aforementioned “Cameron” was closer to the middle (“Too many men get comfortable—even complacent—and forget that foreplay starts outside the bedroom… that kisses can start soft with cheek strokes, but end with the back of her hair being pulled in wild passion.”).

Early Success

Online dating is a complicated arena much like ordering fast food, in that what you get is never really what the picture and description promise. And given the demographical split on the site, I was prepared to be searching and waiting for a number of days for interest or responses. To my surprise, Cameron’s profile had 20 messages on his first night.

I responded to a few messages, and before I knew it I was invited to a chat session with “SexyCat” (profile name changed to ensure her anonymity). SexyCat wanted to know all kinds of things, and what I would do if given the opportunity. With my wife watching TV on the couch a mere 10 feet away, here I was talking dirty to a 36-year-old married woman (who’s husband was probably watching TV on the couch a mere 10 feet away from her). SexyCat wasn’t the only one. I discovered that to satisfy their deep longing for passion with minimal risk, many women sign up for Ashley Madison to have virtual sex via chat.

Over the next several days, I had chat sessions of varying length with 33 different women (hmm … it is online … I wonder if they were all women!). In each session, I attempted to take things to the next level—an in-person meeting—but no-go. Most of these women seemed comfortable in getting what they needed online. It was arm’s-length cheating for them (and perhaps one-handed typing). I hope I didn’t disappoint them and that virtual cigarettes were ablaze in post-coital, pixelated afterglow of my cybersex adventures.

I told my wife about my hot chats… and she laughed. We got into a long discussion about the arm’s length approach to cheating these women had, and if it was really cheating. If it was borderline anonymous (read: they didn’t know much about me), it was akin to an interactive romance or erotic novel. I recounted some of the more sexually explicit material these ladies had written, as well as what I wrote in response, and we both said aloud what we have known for a long time: When it comes to sex, women will get into the real detail … so much more so than most men. And with the inherent anonymity of chat, those inhibitions only grow exponentially. But I hadn’t been afraid; I can talk dirty with the best of them.

But Ashley Madison had more in store for me than just chat sessions.

Date #1: “Ashley”

“Ashley” initially reached out to me and was eager to meet. After a brief inbox exchange on the website, we decide to meet for coffee at a cafe in Mountain View, a stone’s throw from California’s Silicon Valley. She was a dead-on match to her picture: a striking 5’8″ blonde. As we headed inside, I caught a glimpse of our reflections in the window and laughed quietly. At 5’5″, I look like Dudley Moore to her Brigitte Nielsen.

She was confident, and as it turned out, a bit of a cheating pro. At 43 and a pure Type A personality—a Sales Executive in high-tech—she’d been married for 22 years and has had several affairs. Ashley Madison has been her “outlet” for the past number of years. I ask if her husband has an outlet, as well, and she was clear that he doesn’t. “He would never,” she said with equal confidence. “He doesn’t have time for this kind of thing.”

As we talked, our conversation turned to the philosophical and intellectual side of life and world events: Descartes, Nietzsche, politics, world history, religion, sex… subjects about which I have no shortage of opinions and personal insight. And I realized her outlet was mental and intellectual stimulation. She was fascinated that I was able to keep up with her, and she flushed, showing signs that this was more than banter for her—it was foreplay.

Ashley told me she loved her husband but couldn’t understand why he had dropped back from their relationship. He was “passion and romance” when they dated, but had become “all work and no play.” She shared briefly that as the Chief Technical Officer of a technology start-up, he was too busy for her, with travel and his company taking all his time. “But he’s always been too busy, ever since we got married,” she lamented. I piled on to her discontent by falsely offering that my wife also has no time for me, but I then asked her: “So why don’t we leave them, then? Why are we here?” She didn’t miss a beat. “I need passion. I need to feel something … almost anything at this point. He has great qualities, but … and we then dropped the subject at her request.

She was extremely intelligent and witty—and she was just as clear that sex was a priority.

“You seem a little green, so let me explain where I’m at. I’m not here looking for a husband, so you don’t need to worry about that. I’m looking for a man to take the lead; to invest his time, but not his emotions. Oh, and your height isn’t a problem.” We both laughed.

Our hour-long coffee date flew by, and under different circumstances I would have loved to continue the conversation. She was strong, funny, direct… but she seemed OK with missing out on what she really wants from a relationship and settling for something mediocre in her romantic life. I left the date thinking I might better understand her on our next date.

Date #2: “Shannon”

“Shannon” read my profile and reached out to me to begin a dialogue. When we connected, she was upfront that she wasn’t yet clear on her limits, so if I was looking for sex today, I needed to move on. I told her I wasn’t clear either, and that coffee sounded good, hoping we could share a bit of time to see how we both felt.

Shannon was interesting: 35, dirty blonde hair, smart, funny, full of life, well-read and educated. She had made the decision to raise her two kids as a stay-at-home mom. She and her husband met in college, and had been together since, but his attentiveness waned after the first couple of years. I asked why she stayed. Her answer: “Because I love him.”

I feel strangely comfortable, so I shared that I hadn’t had an affair yet, and that I’m new to the site and not clear on what to do… or when. She empathized, remembering when she was new to Ashley Madison. She’d had two affairs in the past, but they were strictly for sex, and it left her feeling empty. “Sex is great, but I’m looking for some time together, too. Not dating … but just something new. My husband is a great guy, but he talks to me like I’m stupid half of the time. And I have kids; I don’t want to leave.” We talk more and it’s clear she wants to laugh, to live, to love. I wonder why she stays with her husband.

At the end of our date, I keep things cool and she asks if we can get together again. I tell her that I’d love to (knowing I can’t/won’t), and I ask her to reach me back on Ashley Madison. She’s sent me three messages since… and I answered the last one telling her that I realized after we parted that I couldn’t cheat on my wife… just not how I’m made. She responded, telling me she understood and wished me well.

Date #3: “Lisa”

I found “Lisa” by searching through the profiles. She was an attractive brunette, 5’4″, 39, 130lbs., two kids, residing in the Bay Area. After reading her profile (something I’ve been told many men don’t do with online dating sites), I sent her an inbox message telling her that I really liked her snarky attitude, her bold statements, and her general approach to life (which I had read about in her writing). Her profile stated that she wasn’t sure what she wanted from being a member of Ashley Madison, but she was clear that she wanted to chat with me. We took the chat off the site to Yahoo! Messenger, and within seconds it was clear that she wasn’t after cybersex … she was trying to feel me out. No overtly intrusive questions… just getting to know me a bit. We talked about books, sex, great places to travel, music, sex, movies, sex. After about 40 minutes of banter, I went in for the kill: “Want to grab a bite to eat this week?” I wrote, asking her to lunch. My convincer: “It’s just lunch. 🙂 60 minutes. If there’s no connection, no harm, no foul. And I know a great place in The City. Come join me. ;)” I typed, dripping with confidence. She agreed.

We met the next day at Albona Restaurant in San Francisco’s North Beach restaurant district. It was crowded, but she recognized me instantly from my profile picture, and I had already secured a table. We exchanged pleasantries, ordered a mid-day cocktail (I think I needed one), and began talking—me sprinkling in my interview questions throughout normal conversation. Over the next hour I played the part of the guy who was married, but just couldn’t get into the humdrum of married life. I needed… something. She quickly agreed with me and then spouted answers as I took mental notes.

I asked her why, with all the choices available to her, she had answered my email. Her answer: because of how I phrased things on my profile. Aside from the raw passion I had exhibited, she said I showed “thoughtfulness, intelligence, and a confidence” that came through in my writing… and I didn’t send her a picture of my penis. At 39 with two young kids, she lamented that her marriage had grown cold, and her husband complacent. Her relationship was good in many ways—financially stable, secure, friendly—but it lacked … and she stopped. I probed, “Passion?” and she almost leaped off her seat in agreement. She longed for spontaneity, the freshness that accompanies new relationships, and the effort that her husband had put in 10 years prior.

Midway through the meal, I started flirting with her. The challenge: I couldn’t get my wife out of my head. But as I continued, I found myself returning to the guy I was years before: focused on seduction, listening for clues to her wants and needs. We were now done with lunch, and I turned my attention to how far I could take her. As it turns out, she was the one who gave me the in by asking, “What do you find the most attractive about me?” This question is a pick-up artist’s dream for a number of reasons. Firstly, it speaks to her not having been complimented often enough, as she was fishing, apparently insecure and looking for validation. Secondly, it shows that she wants to know where my head is at; what do I see first when I look at a woman, and how does that relate to her? And thirdly, it’s an inviting question, in that she wouldn’t have asked if she wasn’t interested in me. So, her simple question tipped the scales in my favor.

“You have a great walk,” I told her. She looked at me like I was crazy. “No, really,” I said. “You can tell a lot about a woman by the way she walks and her body language as a whole. Is she looking at the ground, unconfident, or is she standing tall, greeting the world? And, you have a swing when you walk,” I added playfully. She was taken aback—as I knew she would be. A clever man might talk about a woman’s intelligence being a turn-on, but most men don’t usually talk about confidence in this fashion. I moved the conversation from confidence-building to sex, and she followed along, clearly digging where I was guiding things. She was very interested in how I saw her, hungry for the compliments and clearly longing for the passion I started putting out. She reversed the question on herself and then told me what she liked about me, and the conversation tumbled into her passionate thoughts, how I was making her feel: relaxed, free, feminine. At this point, I was in a dicey situation. I didn’t want to sleep with her, but the challenge of having her commit to giving herself over was intoxicating. So, I kept pushing the limits and pouring it on, all the while hoping that my wife would understand the true motivations for my actions.

Fifteen minutes later—an hour-and-a-half after we arrived at the restaurant—I made The Ask: was she interested in heading down the street to a nice hotel and experiencing what I have been describing? I told her I haven’t prepared for this, but connections like this are rare, and that I’m having a hard time controlling myself. I didn’t want to be so forward, but… and I stopped talking, letting my look fall to the floor. This gave her the illusion of being in control of the situation with a choice. A short pause and a coy smile from her told me instantly that she is absolutely hooked, and mine for the taking. She agreed to go to the hotel with a whisper, and leaned across the table to kiss me to seal the deal. And… I froze. My body language changed instantly, and I sat back from the table and put my hand up to stop her advance.

“I can’t.”

“What?” she laughed.

“No, really. I can’t do this.”

“What are you talking about?” she asked, with genuine confusion. With a sigh—and for the first time realizing that I didn’t have an exit from this situation—I explained: “I’m working on a research project on adultery. This is a part of it. I’m sorry, but I can’t cheat on my wife.

I paused and she stared at me in disbelief. I had effectively brought her to the apex of her wanting, and now I was pulling the rug out from under her.

“So, this was all bullshit?” she asked through her teeth, not wanting to cause a scene in the restaurant. I sat motionless, unsure of what to do when she made the decision for me. With a look that would level an army, she seethed out, “Fuck you, Cameron,” and threw what was left of her martini at me. She turned and stormed out of the restaurant.

My heart went out to her. It wasn’t her fault. I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t tempted, but my wife, my honor, my word and my humanity are not worth it, no matter how attractive she might have been. After patting myself dry amidst slack-jawed looks from other diners, I left the restaurant and headed home. I was emotionally spent.

The Fight

As I pulled into my little suburb-of-a-town, I arrived at a local coffee shop down the street from my house, and I called my wife to see if she would join me. She agreed, but when she arrived I knew something was wrong. My thoughts were confirmed when I greeted her. With a smile on my face and my arms out to embrace her, I was greeted with, “Don’t even touch me, I can smell you from here. You smell like liquor and whores.”

Whoa! This was NOT what I planned on, and this isn’t the way our open and honest relationship normally runs. She sat away from me, her arms folded in front of her, sipping her coffee and barely looking at me. I told her the story of what happened: the restaurant, the lunch, the flirting, the advance from Lisa, the cocktail. Her anger intensified.

“That’s bullshit, Charles. No one throws a drink on someone for nothing. What did you do? Just tell me. What did YOU DO?”

For much of the afternoon, she fought with me. Given what my investigation was trying to uncover, and in light of my recent actions—even though they were “allowed” actions based on what we had discussed—I felt I had nothing to stand on. I tried to explain that I didn’t do anything, but she wasn’t buying it. After three hours of not speaking to me, it became clear what was really bothering her when she told me emphatically: “You know, Charles, it’s amazing. I don’t care about your ‘date’. And for all I care, you could have slept with her. But tell me this: When was the last time you took time out of your day and took me to lunch for no reason?”

A Revelation

Her statement to me was an eye-opener, and in polling 250+ women in the days that followed, I reached an important understanding. When an adulterous man is found out, there are many, many women that can get past the sex act itself. But the real problem is where his effort has been going. As his wife sits idle, being supportive, holding down her half of the relationship, house, kids, etc., a cheating man will put boat loads of effort into seducing the other woman: four-star restaurants and hotels, gifts, laughter, spontaneity, passion, sex. From there, it’s a sad realization for his wife that translates to “I’m not worth the effort.” This is a fatal blow to her self-esteem and self-worth, and terminal to the relationship. My wife and I got past it, but I had to relent to the fact that I hadn’t done those things for her recently… and it wasn’t purposeful, it was a mirror into my own accidental complacently (and I’m supposed to be an expert!!!). It’s not that I take her for granted. But in acting like a cheater, I had fallen into my own trap. Accidentally? Perhaps, but does it matter? Isn’t the end result the same?

With all my experience and expertise, I keep learning.


Contemplating all of my experiences with the women of Ashley Madison—chat sessions and in-person dates—several things became painfully clear. First, there isn’t one “type” of woman looking to cheat online. Some were looking to have sex, period. Others were looking to subsidize their current relationship with a human connection… and if it led to sex, even better. But all were clear that they were not leaving their current relationship. These weren’t monkeys getting a grip on the next branch before letting go of the first. They just wanted to feel what they used to feel from the man in their life.

The most common complaint was a lack of passion and effort by the man in their current relationship. It makes sense. When a man begins dating a woman, he puts in tons of effort; he woos her. Once she’s “his,” he stops putting in that effort, but she still longs for it. She wants to be desired, seduced, and connected with on a regular basis. So many men seem to be missing the boat. They start strong, having a decent sense of how to capture a woman at the beginning, but upon entering a relationship they are unprepared for the long haul and investment a successful relationship demands past the dating phase. The situation starts to reek of complacency and satisfaction in mediocrity.

Should the women of Ashley Madison leave their current relationships before starting a new one? Yes… but the sad truth is that these women weren’t looking to start a new relationship. I got the distinct impression that they were filling their needs outside their relationships until such time that he noticed he was disconnected, it became unbearable, or it ended on its own. And until then, they were willing to settle for a half-marriage with a side of passion.

I still feel that cheating is the wrong thing to do… but this is the grey area I didn’t see before.

To the men thinking of getting married: being married isn’t like dating. Marriage doesn’t take “work” per se, but it does require concerted effort and investment in each other, and in you. If you aren’t into it, don’t do it, as you will be setting yourself up for failure—perhaps finding your wife on Ashley Madison. Or worse, out with a guy like I used to be, enjoying passion because you stopped bringing it.

Men in established relationships and marriage need to remember that women are women first and foremost… and wives and mothers second. If a man stops bringing passion and effort to his relationship and stops treating her as a desired woman, he shouldn’t be surprised when she feels forced to fill her needs elsewhere.

Originally appeared at YourTango

More from YourTango.com:

Online Dating Tips For SIngle Men

The Real Reason Older Men Like to Date Younger Women

Relationship Questions to Ask For Long-Term Commitment

Sorry to Break it to You
Photo: Flickr/John Loo 

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  1. Recent reports state that Ashley Madison has a community that is comprised of 70 percent men and 30 percent women.



    Do the recent revelations about Ashley Madison’s female “members” affect the validity of any of this “research”?

    • Justmytwocents says:

      No, I don’t think it affects the validity of his research at all. His study was on why women cheat not why more women than men cheat. It has nothing to do with the ratio of men:women on Ashley Madison . It was to figure out why women, specifically, cheat on their significant others.

  2. Anonymous says:

    So basically, what the writer just told us, is that he’s a sociopath.

  3. There are plenty of neglected men out there who are trying to revive their marriages to no avail. Women can become very complacent and uninterested in their marriage as well, especially after kids…But I know, this was a piece on ‘why women do it’ right, but in the process it risks drawing a half of a picture.

  4. This was an interesting read. It’s interesting that the author had to go through all of that effort to learn a simple lesson my father taught me when I was about 18. “Never stop dating your wife.” He told me to make sure I never let her feel that I had lost interest. Yes married life changes things, so you have to make that much more effort to make her feel special around all of the daily challenges and the complacency that tends to go along with marriage. My wife and I have dates on a regular basis. It keeps things fresh.

  5. Keorapetse says:

    Many people have spoken about this and its contents; what I mean is the subject and your findings. In the many different ways that I have read about these things, I have never read one that was placed in such a manner.

    But you see, sometimes even us men need some degree of feedback from our women and this is too often never spoken off.

    This is a great article and I am thankful of it.

  6. I do think this a valid research synopsis. I suspect if the author met thousands of potential partners the reasons would all be the same. Basically it boils down to an increased heartbeat for life, a quickening of the pulse of anticipation, and just knowing you’re alive.

    That’s why people who judge others for not following the rules are so, so wrong. If you get a bit of happiness from doing something out of the norm, assuming not hurting yourself or others, then why should they have any right to shove you back in a box of quiet desperation? So yhey can be validated for their own choice to livelike that too? Now maybe they’re ecstatic about being in a box, and just wanting to show how you can be really happy too. But i highly doubt it.

  7. what a fantastic, insightful piece, Charles. But…at what a cost. To quote the late Bob Marley, “The biggest sin a man can make is to awaken a woman’s love with no intention of loving her back.” I am worried about your soul, my friend.

  8. A great conclusion to this. Put in the effort. Men cheat, women cheat. It’s mainly for the same reasons. Lack of effort in the relationship on the part of BOTH.

    Very rarely is it just one who has quit trying, courting, flirting and putting energy into the relationship. If men and women put in an effort, even after jobs, houses and kids come in to the equations, I think many of them would be surprised at the newly ‘found’ passion that reignites in their relationship.

    We put time, effort and energy into every aspect of our lives that we want to be great. Why do we think our romantic relationships deserve anything less?

  9. Why does this say it was published today (8/19/15) when clearly from the comments it was published, and aggregated here, a year ago.

    I remembered it, as soon as I started reading. And I thought to myself it wasn’t worth much the first time, and surely worth less the second.

  10. “The most common complaint was a lack of passion and effort by the man in their current relationship.”

    Once again it seems that if a woman cheats then the man did something to deserve it. How arrogant and how typical once again that we never encourage cheating women to take responsibility for their actions. Just blame a man, it’s easier that way.

  11. I will tell you I sort of felt pissed off at the way you made your research (you ended up hurting someone you loved and that was kind of selfish) but it actually hit the spot!
    However you would be surprised about the ammount of men that search for affairs for that reason to, validation.
    I use to work with an ex-sexworker, as a psychologist, and I found out many men go to strip clubs to end up TALKING to women there. This woman in question is very smart, attractive, and a great listener, which is why her costumers kept coming while she worked, rich, old, classy men where her main costumers. Also with patients I’ve noticed men tend to cheat when they feel rejected, worthless, etc. and it’s a feeling that can come from childhood and go on until the person is an adult (specially because these people has a tendency to keep chosing people that makes them feel worthless).

    Same happen to women, I’m not too surprised with your findings, but I think in the end it was good for you to understand that, that PEOPLE in general, need some time and the effort. It’s very frequent that married couples start taking less care for the other person, it’s like “I love her but I don’t feel like there’s a need to give her a present every month or taking her out every weekend” but that’s the kind of things that keep a relationship fresh. I find it logical that the Fireproof book is soooo successful, since it talks mostly about doing things for your spouse, showing the love again, bla bla bla.

  12. Anonymous says:

    So what if the wife gives it up when ever?? You have great dates all the time married for five years stong have three kids and you just want to be notice. I’m a male by the way. I have not cheated however have been in situations that could have led there. What u am trying to say why can’t women try to bring spark back why do men have to?? Why can’t my wife be that sexy little boss she used to be why do I always have to start the first kiss get on top do all the work pay the bills and what do I get dinner in bed. Yeah yeah I know, you just might say hey it’s your wife talk to her about it; done it no change. I want a person with goal and ambitions! But like all have said before I don’t want another relationship I want the one I have but it will never change

  13. Draconian says:

    Figures that this article appeared on YourTango. It purports to heap all the blame for women cheating on men. Just imagine if this was an article stating reasons why men cheat and placing the blame on women. It would incite an angry mob of women and the author would probably be chased off the internet.

    How about, instead of having an affair, you talk to your husband about what’s on your mind? You can’t expect people to be mind readers. Because he may think that you’re happy and the marriage is going great.

  14. First and foremost. want to say well done to the author.
    what an awesome experience.

    Consider: “why would a sane person cheat on their spouse except for some kind of dissatisfaction with the relationship?” and “what kind of dissatisfaction can there be except one that is emotional? – and not filling a ‘need’ in some sense?”

    I like this article – especially the color in the descriptions and how it brings it back to home with the tale jealousy (of the author’s wife) and finishes with a nice moral message.
    I don’t believe the message is at all wrong, because I do sympathize with women who are neglected in their marriage and feel that the article makes a good point by extolling men not to take their woman lightly.

    however I feel that the message delivered is actually a little biased.

    I think that Cy has a point when he indicates that women’s self-reporting is probably not the best guide as to ‘why’ they cheat;
    Women reporting that their partner “doesn’t satisfy ‘needs’/time/effort/passion/affection/etc” may or may not be reporting totally reasonable belief – and even if so – the one-way blame may simply not be the whole picture – and the real reason ‘why’.
    I believe that people can be very complex, and relationships even more so; I believe women can cheat for a variety of reasons, I just pause before heaping blame on men – who apparently “miss the boat”.

    After-all signing-up to a service like Ashleigh Madison is necessarily a positively conscious choice …to deceive…

    personally I would like to be the kind of person who will meet the needs of the person I would like to be with
    BUT……I would also like to find myself someone who is trustworthy – who wont betray me (and their words) even when things don’t feel so great.

    (the first is a challenge, but the last one is genuinely difficult)

    for curiosity: I would like to see if there is a converse article written about “why men cheat” written such as to generally place the blame on the women.

    • There are many articles like that saying women are the ones to blame when men cheat. It seems like most guys commenting on these articles agree with it. In fact, even many women buy it.
      Or sometimes they just blame no one but nature and biology.

  15. Mr Supertypo says:

    In my opinion, the responsability of the cheating falls on the cheater alone. No excuses the cheater, man or woman is to blame. Period.

  16. Interesting discussion indeed. I kinda pick Tom Brechlin and Cy as polar opposites and, guess what, you are both right of course.
    What’s right for you Tom is right for you and I hope you find/have found a fine lady who is of like mind to live happily ever after.
    Personally I’m more in tune with Cy’s view of the world. The primary issue is jealousy and it’s root in ego and ‘ownership’ of anothers soul/spirit. You cannot cheat on someone who has given you the gift of personal freedom and who has chosen to banish the (wholly negative) jealousy emotion from their life. For me the gift of freedom engenders a powerful sense of loyalty and vastly diminishes any desire I might have to stray.
    I went on AshMad years ago due to exactly what was described above, a sense of hopelessness that the rest of my life was doomed to sexual/sensual mediocrity. I went online to find out if my ‘wants’ were considered as unacceptable by others as they were by my (now) ex.
    The most unexpected, and yet with hindsight the most blindingly obvious, outcome happened…
    I was in a distressed relationship and I found myself talking to women in distressed relationships. Far from trying to fuck each other, we ended up mutually counseling each other. Open, frank, caring discussion took place and i can proudly say I helped save at least two relationships.
    I also learned that the general consensus of my situation was that my wants and needs were entirely reasonable and my partner was being entirely unreasonable.
    I’ve moved on, learned sooo much. i’m still single now, but feel so blessed.
    I might add that i’ve been on AdultFriendFinder since too. Whilst others might be there for hookups, I’ve learned that it’s not whats between her legs that fascinates me when compared to the wonderland of what’s between her ears. I have met THE smartest and most fascinating women on there who are destined to be dear friends for life. Some I have consummated, some not. Namaste to all of them.
    In a nutshell it all leaves me wondering why, oh why, are we not given the tools/skillset to be open and honest about our wants and needs and to be open and non-judgemental about those of our prospective partners? (Assholes and sickos excepted).
    We teach our kids about sex (if they are lucky) i.e. the bits between the legs.
    But what about sexuality…the universe between the ears!
    We could do so much better!

  17. Vivienne says:

    Wow, all of these comments are interesting. Found this article while researching articles about erotic intelligence. Charles, I thought your research project was brilliant and kudos to your wife and to you for learning something. Although I am not married, I can tell everyone that without a doubt every man I have ever gone out with has cheated on me. Both long term and short term relationships. I have pondered the “why” question many times but still don’t know. And no its not because I with hold sex or deprive them of emotional love. In fact, I am quite the nympho. But I have come to realize that if I want a relationship with a man, then I will have to tolerate it, and educate him about safe sex. The last man I went out with was at least open about it and said that he wanted to do some on line dating. So I said “good luck with that” and I also said that I was happy he told me and that it leaves the door open for me too!

    • The problem is that most men will not be open and let you know the door is open for you as well lol. In fact, most will never let you know and will want you to still be 100% faithful to them while they are cheating they even get angry when they find out you have been cheating, even if they did even more and before you ever started!

  18. Smithster says:

    There are a lot of flaws in this ‘study’, and this results in the whole thing being anecdotal and the results impossible to verify. For a start, the method is a lie, and it isn’t a neutral lie either – it’s a lie with a potential benefit attached. I find it peculiarly narcissistic and naïve that you went into this lying and then assumed you were being told the truth. If these women were interested enough in you to want a face-to-face, they’re likely to be telling you what they think will make them appealing to you. “He doesn’t pay enough attention to me” sounds a heck of a lot better than “My poor self image requires continual conquest”. If you’re looking for honest answers, you start by removing bias – and that means benefit. You also did not ask a key question, or at least did not think it important enough to include: have you tried talking to your partner about these problems? If they have not, then their stated reasons for being there are suspect. If you’ve tried and failed and this is the course of action you’ve chosen because it was either this or leave, fair enough. If you’ve not even tried and you’re blaming your partner for behavior you’ve given them no opportunity to correct, you’re a fool or you’re lying about your reasons for being there (you’re really there for the thrill). Sure, we’re not all emotionally mature and we prefer to avoid confrontation, but someone doesn’t eagerly jump into cheating when they’re genuinely in love with another person and want to preserve that relationship. If they’re eager and happy to be there, they’re in this for themselves and themselves only – but they’re not going to tell you that because it doesn’t paint them in a good light.

    I also agree with those who took you to task for putting your wife in this position. You should’ve seduced her and been honest about your ‘research’. I hope you’ve not done some permanent damage to her trust in you. I don’t care how honest you felt you were in writing about this subject, all I’m seeing when I read this is ‘Schmoozer’.

  19. Tom Brechlin says:

    When cheating articles appear here and in other places, one of the first things that come to mind is how these spouses would handle their mate having a physical disability that would limit their ability to perform sexually? Or how about a mental disability? Is that reason to step out on their spouse? Cheating person = jerk, moron, scum bag.

  20. Tom Brechlin says:

    It’s a sad state of affairs, no pun intended. Married people cheat because they are simply not committed to their vows. There is no good reason to cheat on your spouse. There is no gray area to cheating, cheating is cheating. If there is abuse in a relationship, then you get a divorce. What I found amazing is that these women would go so far as to say that they “love” their husbands. If you “loved” your spouse, you wouldn’t cheat on him/her. Why do women cheat? Why do men cheat? Because they’re jerks. As a society, what a sad state that we’re in that there are sites that take advantage of infidelity and profit from immorality.

    And to Cy who said “Trust me, one woman is not enough for any heterosexual man….just trust me on that.” You couldn’t be more wrong. And I say this for the countless married men who have never cheated on their wives. Make all the excuses you want, in the real world, the moral world, it’s not so.

  21. “A cheating man will put boatloads of effort into seducing the other woman….”

    Yup… true true….having been on the receiving end of that, I can say that his efforts were over the top….and, yet, he could never escape his family responsibilities entirely…it all comes back to bite you in the butt in the end…..

    As I look back, I am amazed at how lonely a person who is married with kids can be….his level of desperation to woo me was astounding….sometimes I wonder what people are thinking when they get married….perhaps monogamy was never in his plan…

  22. I loved this article to the point that I discuss it in my newest YourTango post about the 5 Reasons The Other Woman Slept with Your Man.
    It inspired me.
    Heres my follow up to your article:

  23. This is a great example of a “bragging without bragging” piece. Sort of like:

    “Yes, I’m an excellent seducer of women. I can have them eating out of the palm of my hand anytime I want. Lucky for my wife I only use these skills for good and not eee-vill.”

    A pick-up artist, but only in the interest of research, of course. Oh, well that’s different. [?!]

  24. Your wife is a saint!!! If my husband came up to me with that I’d break his face for him! How she was able to sit and laugh about her husband talking dirty to other women online I will never know. Reading that he had even been tempted for a split second would have had him out on his ass so quick! I salute her!

    • Not only should you salute her but you should look up to her and aspire to be like that. You wanna keep your man from wanting to cheat? Bring another girl into the picture and give him 3somes on a regular basis. Before you get angry about that, think about it hard. A happy man is a happy relationship, and that’s the only way he can truly be happy outside of cheating. Cheers!

      • Cy, your posts make me laugh… I usually just chuckle as I pass them by, but this one I have to comment on. I spoke with my husband about the idea of a threesome once, as I was quite keen.

        His response : Why would I want to have to please two women? I find that one keeps me more than busy… I kept prompting as I already had someone lined up, but he flatly refused. I of course respected his feelings, and he stayed happy….. crazy men huh?

        • wellokaythen says:

          I know. I prefer to disappoint one woman at a time, not two at once.

        • Very p-whipped response from your husband. Most likely it’s a confidence issue on his part and he’s probably content just jerking off on his own time. Trust me, one woman is not enough for any heterosexual man….just trust me on that.

          • Josh K. says:

            Well, that also could be said about the gay male in general (one man is not enough), about the lesbian woman in general (one woman is not enough) or the heterosexual woman (one man enough is not enough).
            But hey, one person IS enough for everyone, if you know how to be not that hungry. And if you want an open relationship, you don’t need threesomes… you can have sex with other people, but only one at a time. Even more when you take into consideration that most people still have jealousy.
            Many people are truly monogamous, I know I am. I have had a threesome only once, with a past girlfriend and another guy, and well, that is so much better when you can focus on someone and that person is also focusing on you. Nothing better than that.

      • Supra deluca says:

        No gender differences there, pretty boy. Many women also want to have 3somes with hot guys. Even better if they also fuck each other, I love that. Of course, some women also want 3somes with other 2 women, a man and a woman, some men want 3somes with 2 guys, 2 girls, a male and a female… I just believe it is too overrated, and that men, of course, still feel a lot more comfortable to ask for it (even though they will, as always, only care about their pleasure and wants). Heck, many women still feel ashamed of their sexual desires for their own husbands. I don’t believe 3somes or orgies are the only way to happiness in a marriage, lol.
        But in the end, people that are sincere won’t cheat. And many people are 100% happy being monogamous, both male and female, believe me.

    • “If my husband came up to me with that I’d break his face for him!”

      Goodness. I was hoping the moderators would be more sensitive to threats of domestic violence. Perhaps the gender of the assailant and gender of the victim determine the rule?

    • Theorema Egregium says:

      Whoa! I really hope this threat of violence gets deleted by a moderator! It is really out of line. Unbelievable. I hope your husband will find a way to break free of you. Poor guy.

  25. I have performed this experiment over the years and have been more open earlier. I started between marriages when checking out the growing online dating scene and found married people there pretending to be unattached. Using Ashley M. was a good play. However, because some person creates a new way to get rich on other’s brokenness is no reason to sensationalize the underlying problem – not all marriages are healthy marriages and we often seek outlets to soothe our damaged psyches. I have never invested cash and have only twice met my virtual playmates; with no sex. Moreover, a few of my cyber meetings developed into ongoing virtual friendships because of my honesty and my clear interest in communication about relationships and ideas rather than sex. Most women I have encountered who just want sex dropped me quickly. Your article dabbled with the emotionality of the encounter, but most cheaters I have “met” are people looking for something missing that goes beyond the “meet” and they often learn what it is eventually and grow up a bit more from it. Even in cheating, there is a level of human integrity and validation. Leaving a jilted lover only wearing the remains of her martini is a wary sign of smoldering disingenuousness. The cyber adultery scene is an odd place, very much unlike the real adultery scene – the one that goes on between neighbors, friends of friends, coworkers, church members, and in-laws. Your conclusions are good, but the article comes off as a bit of a generalization of a narrow field and homage to a mid-life crisis. There are wolves, ex-wolves, and wolves in sheep’s clothing out there waiting to take advantage of some random broken heart, always. I may see it that way because I never was a pick up artist, but I have been truly interested in the virtual world of cheating because it is not really about sex. It is about finding what is missing. I think that some people exchange the rush of endorphins for finding what they miss in relationships. Substitution is not substance. There are also honest, kind, and happy people who fall in love with the right person after making commitments to someone less appropriately matched to them. I have found that this is an uncommon occurrence. Most people are still searching and substituting. This is the sad part of all of it.

  26. onlycheatingurself says:

    charles, i’m fascinated by your “experiment.” I agree with what Erin said – that you might have been able to get these answers from women without misleading and engaging them in their self-destructive behavior. you were a bit of an enabler or a predator in a sense. on the other hand, you may have exposed some truths for them, and obviously for yourself. so I’m conflicted.
    I am one of “those” cheating women. Not trolling on websites, or picking up men in bars. but getting involved emotionally and sexually outside of my marriage. And there is some truth in my husband owning some responsibility for what has happened in our marriage. But he is not responsible for my acting out. Now, 3 years into recovery for sex and love addiction, I see that my motives were much deeper. I was in struggle and emotional pain. And indeed I wanted to find that “spark” – to find the spontaneity, the excitement, etc. But no one else is responsible for giving me that. I can only give that to myself, and NOT by seeking it outside of myself and my commitments. My responsibility in the marriage is to bring that spark to our relationship and to ASK him to bring it too. The problem is often that men and women don’t honestly share their feelings with each other. They build up resentments when their spouse doesn’t “read their mind” and give them what they need.” If we ask for what we need and we are not getting it, then we can have an honest conversation about where the relationship is going.
    So why don’t we do some research on that? why don’t we talk about why it’s so hard for us to ask for what we need in a relationship and to ask ourselves how we can be responsible for our own happiness without hurting ourselves and others? Because an affair is only cheating OURSELVES out of a life of personal fulfillment and happiness.

  27. Thanks for the interesting article. I printed it to read and decided to take it home that night and give it to my partner. His first questions was. How come you have been to the site Ashley Madison… Then I had to calm him down and say I found the article through facebook…LOL He read the article and demanded we go out for dinner. Not a bad result… I can definitely see how relationships get the bored/overworked/oldhat/ factor and that we have to make ourselves sometimes pull over, buy the flowers or power drill and remind our other half that we do love them… 🙂 I enjoyed my kangaroo steak and wine very much. I hope you have been spoiling your girl since you got in trouble. We all like to be spoiled now and then…

  28. Barbaric says:

    I’m not buying the details of what happened at the coffee shop when you’re wife showed up, but I do thank you for the insight. I will say, however, that sometimes we men stop making the effort when we stop feeling any reciprocation…she’s not making the effort either. So, maybe a little, “I’m not feeling the love, babe…” discussion is in order.

  29. So, I read this with interest … and seeing the varied responses here shows just how readily people are willing to push blame. Did you ever ask any of the women if they had discussed their concerns with their spouses? My feeling is that a lot of these relationship issue stem from a lack of communication, suppressing feelings and not talking about them until they either explode out (as in your wife’s case … how long had she been feeling neglected without saying anything to you) or just give up and search out other alternatives. In each of your examples, the real value that the women found in chatting an meeting with you, as I read it, was being able to have the conversation with you, which was the stimulation they had been lacking. Had they taken an active role with their spouses in attempting to revive that primary need of stimulation?

  30. “I hope I didn’t disappoint them and that virtual cigarettes were ablaze in post-coital, pixelated afterglow of my cybersex adventures.”

    Why would it matter?? I thought this was just for research?

    You have a heavy ethical question here Charles. Other then the adultry. You put your wife in a completely crappy position. She says “no” to your article idea, she’s the bad guy that’s denying your research and work. She says “yes”, you get weeks of fun and flirting where you hope you virtually pleased other women and physically pleased them up to the point you decided was the point of no return. You put her in an impossible position because you were thinking about your research over your relationship with your wife. You made her be the “fall guy” for the choice because you didn’t want to deny yourself the fun idea for your article.

    The truth of the matter is you easily could have gotten the answers to these questions by being open and honest with women. Guess what? Women are very open to talking about these things. You could have directly asked them why they cheated. You could have even made a profile on Ashely Madison and been honest that you were doing research about what pushed a woman to feel like Ashely Madison was an option for her. You could have made a post on Facebook. You could have done it through twitter. You could have posted something on craigslist even. But you used this method because you didn’t just want to know why. You wanted to experience it yourself. You wanted an excuse to have some fun in your research.

    By the way, I do find it interesting that men out number women 70 to 30 on this cheating website.

    • OirishM says:

      I agree for the most part with this. The methods employed here are utterly unethical – even if cheating is also unethical – and like many of the lines used, come across as trying entirely too hard.

      I wouldn’t put too much stock in the gender disparity though – as with online dating I suspect women have more success IRL to the point where they simply don’t need to use an online service.

      • wellokaythen says:

        “I wouldn’t put too much stock in the gender disparity though – as with online dating I suspect women have more success IRL to the point where they simply don’t need to use an online service.”

        I was thinking the same thing. Just because women are in a small minority on Ashley Madison doesn’t mean that married women cheat far less often than married men. You could think of membership on the site as “people who need that site” and not “people who want to have affairs.” I’d be curious to see the stats on how many married women cheat compared to married men. (I’m willing to believe that men cheat more often than women. BUT, they’re cheating with SOMEONE….) For that matter, how many cheating married men are cheating on their wives with women who are also married — probably a greater percentage than most people want to accept.

    • Charles J. Orlando says:

      I hear you, Erin… but you are making some assumptions. Firstly, let’s address what you quoted above. You quoted a part of my article out of context, but the *very next* line addresses your accusation, and it begins: “I told my wife about my hot chats… and she laughed.”

      Secondly, there were a few discussions about my writing this article. If you need to believe that I would disrespect my wife to “have some fun” (as you put it), that is your prerogative… but it’s inaccurate.

      Were there other ways to accomplish my goal and get this data? Potentially… but my goal wasn’t to ask women to fill out a survey. I was looking for real/raw reasons… not where someone was on-guard or prepared to answer questions… just the raw motivators for their actions… and going undercover was—in my thoughts at that time—the best way to accomplish it.

      Rest assured… I wouldn’t do it again… as hindsight is 20/20.

      • You could still pretty much see the raw motivators without having virtual sex or meeting them in person, I guess. I don’t see much different, by your article, in what they said to you online and what they confessed to you in person.
        Your wife accepted because she didn’t want to be the bad guys. But at(some) a point(s) you also made her insecure, nervous and angry. In fact, you also even felt tempted, you risked a lot there. I can’t even imagine what she could have felt, after all of what you did and the anxiety that all of that definitely caused her, reading your article and knowing you in fact desired the other woman to that point. Bizarre.

      • Charles, what assumptions have I made? You *said* how you hoped you didn’t disappoint them. You talked about your attraction and some amount of temptation. I didn’t make that up. How does the fact that your wife, and possibly you which you don’t say (which does bring in that question of ethics if you were laughing at the women you wanted information from), laughed about the “hot chats” undermine the fact that you said hoped you pleased these ladies too?

        I do think you disrespected your wife to “have some fun”. But not in the context you may be thinking. I think you wanted to push the line as far as you could, right up to the point *you* considered too much.You didn’t consider how your wife would see it or how the other women you picked to interact would. It was a game for you. And that is probably what bothers me most about your piece. It lacks sincerity. I read a fair amount of ego about *you* in your piece. You cheekily talk about how you use to treat women and through-out the piece you comment on the other women and how they are attractive. This article wasn’t about finding out why women cheat. It was about *you* and your interaction with women who cheat.

        I certainly don’t think you cheated. But there is an entire gray area in your story you don’t distinguish. How I think you disrespected your wife was putting her in that position to begin with to be the bad guy denying your article or being the “cool chick” saying “sure, honey, I trust you”. You put your desire for a fun and new spin on an article over your relationship with your wife.

        And I see men sometimes engage in this behavior forcing women into difficult positions that back us into a corner. Let me explain what I mean. Sometimes I think men want to push the limit up to the point before the breaking point and then wonder why their female partners are having a hard time with certain things they want to do. I relate this to men who want to go to strip clubs sometimes.It’s not necessarily cheating if a man goes to a strip club and tells his partner but it’s not exactly the most loyal of actions either. It’s the same gray area you’ve fallen into here. What ends up happening is a man may say, “I really want to do this it’s going to be a lot of fun. All ask my partner so the responsibility is not mine.” She is backed into a corner. She doesn’t want to be the bad guy but she’s not totally comfortable with the idea either. She tries to be the supportive partner, “Sure Hunny, go to that strip club”, or in your case, “Sure Hunny, write that article.” Then while the man is at the strip club or you are out on your “dates”, the female partner is at home left wondering what is happening while questions fill her mind. Questions she may never have answers too. This is common behavior I see with men. They want to be trusted but they also want to push the line right up until the tipping point. And ultimately, it leaves the women in a tough position. Honestly, you shouldn’t have forced that choice on your wife. You should have recognized that it was a fun idea but being that you are married, there was absolutely a more ethical way all around to go about your article.

        By the way, none of my suggestions about hoping on Facebook, Twitter or anywhere else suggest you had to ask them to fill out a “survey” and be clinical about it. Although you probably could have asked them the same questions you asked on your “dates” and actually questions with much more depth to get to the root. There was a woman that had a blog site up asking men who were allowed to participate anonymously why they went to strip clubs or liked porn. She was flooded with sincere answers from a very diverse mix of men. You could have taken that approach.

        • Jeez, is it lonely up there?

        • Erin, you’ve nailed it. This article was all about the writer, who unwittingly exposed some very nasty character flaws.

          • Valerie says:

            Erin, you described exactly the issues with this article and, by extension, the proliferation of self-anointed experts who compromise our ability to find answers to human behavior reputably. This “research” project was an act of self-indulgence and one that violated all the ethical tenets of true research. Any IRB reviewing protocols would reject this proposal for the very reason that the harm to the participants in no way is justified by the findings. That the author took (perverse) joy in putting his wife in a no-win corner and going back to his (again self-described) glory days as the answer to so many women’s prayers, while also inflicting emotional stress on at least one of them, is an egregious ethical transgression add-on.
            I hope our “expert” will consider hitting up some library databases of the research of Laumann, Gottman, Whisman and Synder, etc., instead of women in coffee shops. As several posters have noted, it is not terribly challenging to elicit answers from people regarding this topic, and none of what was conveyed in the article has not been found, with better protocols, in existing literature.

    • I guess a lot of men in this website might be in fact single, but trying it with married women as well.

    • Erin, sweetheart, “asking” will never get you the answers. Women will just respond with what they hear from movies or their friends. The fact is women as creatures are not designed to cheat. They are designed to have babies, hopefully with one man. It is a man’s natural instinct to cheat, hence the site is 70/30 (and I doubt even 30, probably closer to 10) . Whatever man you are with will always be thinking about other women, whether or not you or he likes it. It’s our nature.

      • Cy, BabyCakes, I’m not exactly sure why you visit GMP. Other then to attempt to condesend to women (me in this case, nice try but no cigar. I’m not letting you get away with that junk) and diminish men the way you have. The men who are here, I think at least, what to be better men. If you don’t care to be a better man, then what exactly are you doing here? This website pretty much stands up against every stereotype you just made about men and women. I’m not sure if you really are *that* clueless and you really believe what you’re saying or if you are just trying to pull some chains. Either way, spreading your level of ignorance about men and women doesn’t help anyone and I feel sorry for you that you have created a very limited perspective of what both men and women are capable of.

      • In nature, it is mostly females who cheat. Most females in monogamous species cheat and have babies with (mostly very younger) males other than their male mates. That is because biology wants females to vary, so the genetic pool will stay strong. Also, most orgies happen around a female and many males – she usually accept the strongest first and then take the rest as well (so her chances to get pregnant is elevated and not wasted, as females only get fertile for a short period of days).
        I think you wanted to say it is nature instinct for males to feel predisposed to mate around, and that is true for many species. But even then, you are looking at it the wrong way (I believe biology is not your strongest point): males are naturally more inclined to be sexually active, but nature does NOT want most males to get to copulate multiple times. That is not good if many females have babies of a small number of males, or if a female have babies with the same male over and over again. That is why females (even the supposedly monogamous) usually vary all the time and why males are instinctively predisposed to fight and compete with one another – so the strongest will get hurt and eventually not be able to get to be the first one to copulate ever again, lowering his chance to fathering.
        We, as humans, are designed to mate for short periods of time. That is why we stay “in love” for almost the same (a little more) time that of a pregnancy. And yes, female humans are better off having each baby of a different human male.
        But seriously, hear what you just stated: that human females, as creatures, are not designed to cheat, but males are. But, tell me: if humans are creatures that actually mate for life (females supposedly, in your dreams, staying faithful to males and having only his babies), males are mating with what females? If all females are already with their male mates the males could only be cheating on their mates… with females that already have mates! And eventually, these females WILL get pregnant with children that are heir mate’s. Come on, logic is not that hard lol. Your failure is embarrassing.

      • In nature, it is mostly females who cheat. Most females in monogamous species cheat and have babies with (mostly very younger) males other than their male mates. That is because biology wants females to vary, so the genetic pool will stay strong. Also, most orgies happen around a female and many males – she usually accept the strongest first and then take the rest as well (so her chances to get pregnant is elevated and not wasted, as females only get fertile for a short period of days).
        I think you wanted to say it is nature instinct for males to feel predisposed to mate around, and that is true for many species. But even then, you are looking at it the wrong way (I believe biology is not your strongest point): males are naturally more inclined to be sexually active, but nature does NOT want most males to get to copulate multiple times. That is not good if many females have babies of a small number of males, or if a female have babies with the same male over and over again. That is why females (even the supposedly monogamous) usually vary all the time and why males are instinctively predisposed to fight and compete with one another – so the strongest will get hurt and eventually not be able to get to be the first one to copulate ever again, lowering his chance to fathering.
        We, as humans, are designed to mate for short periods of time. That is why we stay “in love” for almost the same (a little more) time that of a pregnancy. And yes, female humans are better off having each baby of a different human male.
        in fact, just hear what you just stated: that human females, as creatures, are not designed to cheat, but males are. But, tell me: if humans are creatures that actually mate for life (females supposedly, in your dreams, staying faithful to males and having only his babies), males are mating with what females? If all females are already with their male mates the males could only be cheating on their mates… with females that already have mates! And eventually, these females WILL get pregnant with children that are heir mate’s. Come on, logic is not that hard lol. Your failure is embarrassing.

  31. Had to make a comment here as I get very philosophical about this sort of subject. First off, to the author, I have to give you props for the amount of work you did and it was a very entertaining article but there is one giant flaw: you are basing the reason for them cheating off of what they told you. The “not enough time” thing is a common excuse. So is “he cheated on me” etc. etc. Bottom line, it is not in a woman’s nature to cheat so the fact is, she doesn’t even know why she does it in the first place. You can’t blame her because she knows not what she does, therefore if it is anyone’s fault it is the man’s for not having his woman situation under control. That being said, I have taken it one step farther. I have made a conscious decision to love any female that I am with less than she loves me. That way it doesn’t hurt me if she cheats, she only hurts herself….walla, problem solved.

    • But if it is not their nature, why are they doing it? hmmmm… and how could you meassure her love for you and “love someone less”, if love is the ultimate feeling? hmmmmmmmmm… and if she loves you that much won’t she not be able to cheating because, well, it is not her nature? HMMMMMM LOL!

  32. Well u can paint anyway u wish to paint it. Bottom line, sane Women have affairs because they are not being emotionally fulfilled by their husbands. Men have affair for entirely different reasons.

  33. In my experience it is almost always the women who starts cutting back on the passion bit first. It goes from sex several times a day, to once a day, to once a week, in the blink of an eye. And lots of small stuff goes with it….suddenly they dont want that or like that etc etc. Just a huge onesided cooling off and winding down of sex and all that goes with it.

    The man never has a clue why and is not given any clues either. What does become very clear, quite quickly is that it is not within his powers to stop this decline and trying (trust me, there is plenty of effort put in to the trying bit) just makes it worse.

    Then and only then, comes the inevitable reaction from the man. Either he leaves, not able to foresee the rest of his life sexually frustrated, or he replies in kind, whith a capitulation to the the new state of affairs combined with a cooling off on the “effort” and “seeing her” and “hearing her” and “paying attention” to her side.

    After spending some time in this state of frustration, both parties will be susceptible to having an affair.

    • Josh K. says:

      … and they stop wanting that much sex because of the lack of passion. A lot of times, it is really just inside of her, and not much her husband can do about that.
      That is a real problem in many cultures. Not many women (or men) are monogamous for that long. In fact, it is in our nature to mate for just a short period of time – the period our “passion” lasts, a little over a year. To make it worse, women are still sexually castrated – but the emotional side keeps being strong -, not experiencing all they wanted before marriage. So when the passion in the marriage declines, it is even worse to put up with that.
      In the end, cheating is a choice.

      • “Sexually Castrated”? I think you’re stuck in a ‘Time Warp’. I mean, maybe 30 or so years ago, but trust me, most brides today are wearing white out of a sense of tradition.

        • Josh K. says:

          Unfortunately I am not. I get your point, but the fact is: many, many women still feel castrated to a certain extend and will not sexually experience everything she ever dreamt of. Not even because she couldn’t get it, but because she refrains herself. I mean, ask the females around you.

      • One of the few posters on here I agree with to an extent. What is the real problem? Monogamy, it goes against our nature as human beings. That being said, what is really the problem with cheating? Jealousy. An emotion created by…you guessed it…the expectation of monogamy. How to do away with it? Rise above jealousy, and bring 3somes into the picture. Nobody wants to admin that jealousy in itself is the real problem, NOT cheating.

        • Josh K. says:

          And I disagree with you entirely. You said MEN (and men only) are not designed for monogamy, but the reality is that BOTH males and females are monogamous FOR A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME. After that, they part ways and mate again with other male/female.
          And no, that is not in our nature to love 3somes nor the ideal way to fix jealousy ahahaha! In fact, if most people are jealous that will just make everything worse. There is not even any real need to threesomes as well: one can have open relationships and have sex with other people without having their partners to actually see them with other people, that is usually the best scenario. And again: our nature IS to be jealous for that period of time that we are in love.
          I see how three(or more)somes could be good for females who want to get pregnant and not miss their fertile days, so she gets to have more than one male at once to get a higher chance to get pregnant, but that is just bullshit in the end: she could just have sex with one male at one time anyways and unlike females of other species, our society does not approve of women having babies without knowing who the father is. We have morality, boy, we do not live in the jungle anymore.

  34. OirishM says:

    Wow, those lines actually worked? That’s depressing.

  35. Honestly I wasn’t really looking for an answer to the titled question when I opened this article but once I started reading I was pulled in by who you were and the role you played to get these women. The confidence but not arrogant/aggressive man. That was most interesting part to me.

    ” I worked hard to become the embodiment of seduction. To quickly read the spoken and unspoken clues of what a woman was looking for in a man, and then give her the perception I was that guy. In effect, to become so alluring that she would willingly give herself over, thinking that having sex was her idea.”

    Personally, I would like to understand that mind more, what drives it, the desire, the power, and the addiction. A lot of women especially after a break up, going straight to these relationship/motivation speakers who tell them everything they want to hear and they are seduced by it. They (motivational speakers) become the standard to which any potential person entering their lives must be measured against, however they(motivational speakers) are an illusion.

  36. Can we make a movie out of this story and share the profits between all the readers? (Regardless of our actual opinion of the article! Though I think it was very interesting, entertaining and amusing).

  37. Jphn Anderson says:

    I know a couple. They were married for about 12 years before she decided to have an affair. When it was discovered, her excuse was that he didn’t have any time for her. The interesting thing is looking at this “he didn’t have time for her thing”. Essentially he was concerned with supporting his family. He worked opposite shifts with his wife for child care purposes and put in 40+ hours / week. They jointly made over 100K / year. They went on vacation every year. She liked spending money and that became the hobby she took up to pass the time. If you went to their basement, you’d see bags of clothes she bought for her and the children with the tags still on, never even worn before being donated to Purple Heart.

    His reaction to her spending more money was we need to get more money. He started working 60+ hours / week. He earned almost 100K a year on his own. That made his wife feel even less attached. The children were in school and she had an affair with a coworker. A person she spent considerable time with and whose schedule matched hers which facilitated going out. When she told me her side of the story. I told her that instead of having the affair, she could have just talked with her husband. That didn’t go over well.

    To this day, I wonder if they had spoken and worked out a budget. Maybe a vacation every two years instead of every year. A trade of expenditures for time with her husband, might have saved the marriage.

    • You are right! A lot of this issues can be avoided with a conversation. He does not have time for me is just an excuse someone would give to himself just to justify their behavior. But it does happen as you stated, happens quite often. Now, the conversation could have been started by her, or by him; it takes two to tango. So he also had a little guilt still… Just my opinion.

    • Talking never works. If he had decided to live more frugally, to work less and live with less so as to be there for his wife, do you know what would have happened? She would have thought him a looser, a bad provider, and definitely not attractive. She would have had the affair just the same, blaming his lack of ambition.

      • “Never” is a strong statement. And I wonder why you say that? Sounds like you’re getting at the idea that no one (or at least very few people) know how to listen with respect/care/concern/compassion/etc.. it’s a broken world we must live in that fosters such cynical sentiment….

  38. This is just crap. Yeah right, a husband who is just “too busy” for sex? And you’re a relationship expert?

    Oh please…

    • Doc Holliday says:

      Uh..yes. Both my partner and I have had some financial difficulty over the winter, and he has been preoccupied with paying rent rather than partying. We haven’t had sex in a month because of his stress levels, and, often, when we do, he feels insecure. Believe it or not, not all men are “hardwired” to be pleasure-seeking monkeys.. :/

  39. #notbuyingit says:

    Oh you are SO full of shit. This is a bunch of self serving bullshit. You loved the thrill of every moment of this “experiment”. And I’d bet you damn sure did something you didn’t fess up to. It’s your lie…you can tell it any way you want to.

    • Charles J. Orlando says:

      As I replied on Facebook when you posted this comment, Melinda… I’m sorry that you see it this way. I wrote an honest accounting of my experience — real and raw. I, like all of us, am imperfect. And expert or not, I am still just a man. So, if you sleep better at night falsely judging what I wrote… I can’t control that.

    • Pedalfly says:

      #notbuyingit your comment is not helpful at all, and not in the spirit of this site. Perhaps the author did have an affair? Is that your business? Does it make his article invalid? Do you have anything constructive to add otherwise?

      In my opinion this was an excellent and honest post by somebody willing to bare his raw experiences, including the ensuing and humbling fight with his partner. I appreciated the openness and lack of false humility. Well written!

      • I thought it was well written, too, and objective. There were a couple of times I thought, what if he would have run into a Fatal Attraction type chick, think that was that first wake up movie about psycho women, I remember. I have encountered stalker type guys, and and really jealous men in a life time, a few times, but not for long, as I knew how to get away from them fast. Maybe the first one, or two, when I was younger, not fast enough. I have no idea why men try to control women, or women men, in any way. I have told my daughters, and I meant it, that their Mom has never fought over a man in a lifetime, nor will she, and even at my age, will I ever. There are way too many men. I find it so odd, why men, feel the need to control women, or even try to, even at mid age, I see it. I think, by reading this article, and study, it makes a great project idea, to do what the author did, and to do it as a female, and compare stories. I am not saying I will, but it would be cool to see the comparison. Kudos for sharing. Why kick the messenger, for what your speculation, or any or ours may be, it is something enlightening. Peace.

  40. People have affairs because something is broken within them, not because of the actions of their partners.

  41. wellokaythen says:

    I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume for the sake of argument that this really happened and is not some sort of “one-handed typing job.” If so:

    Apparently women have affairs for a lot of the same reasons men do. There is no “reasons why men have affairs” that’s distinct from “reasons why women have affairs.” If there’s a difference, it’s in degrees, not in kind.

    • Theorema Egregium says:

      Not even in degrees, if statistics are anything to go by.

      The only difference is public perception. When a man cheats, he is to blame. When a woman cheats, her man is to blame.

      • WestCoastBestCoast says:

        Oh bs. When men cheat, people still judge their girlfriends/wives. The overarching assumption is that she didn’t do enough to keep him happy (particularly in the bedroom – the assumption is never that men might want emotional connections, just sex, which is of course nonsense). It’s always assumed that the wife is refusing sex and so her husband is seeking it out elsewhere.

        • FlyingKal says:

          Yes, I agree it’s usually assumed that the wife is refusing sex.
          But it’s also usually assumed that she’s entitled to do so cause he’s not doing enough or even making an effort to satisfy her needs.

          • There is one big difference. If you wrote an article about why men cheat and made the wives the ones responsible there’d be a lot of angry voices demanding your apology.

            That’s not to say your analysis is wrong, just that you’d have to be either some kind of masochist or a troll to do such a thing.

            Although WestCoastBestCoast isn’t wrong – in private, the “other woman” certainly will blame the wife. Same as the “other man” will blame the husband (I know, I’ve been the other man before now), because that’s how we justify it to ourselves.

          • Josh K. says:

            Well, if you meant she is refusing sex because he is not making an effort to satisfy her needs in bed… I believe she is totally entitled to refusing sex.
            In fact, everyone is entitled to refusing sex because of anything or nothing at all.

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