Why Men Cheat
“It is unnatural for any one man to sexually desire only one woman.”
Why do men cheat? A lot of women have pondered on this question with great frustration. The answer however is so profoundly simple that I suspect the reason many have failed to appreciate the utter simplicity of it is largely because they are needlessly looking for an answer much deeper than the obvious. However, science shows that the simplest answers usually suffice.
Ladies, the first thing you need to understand is that this article is being written by a man, from an entirely objective perspective. I’m not going to take any sides or validate any behaviour. As best as possible, all I’m going to present here are the facts. I will of course inject my opinions as well.
But I’m sure you already knew that.
Dudes, before you flame off, please examine your feelings. Search your thoughts, padawan. You will know these things to be true. I’m going to make some very general remarks that might take some of you by surprise – but please note, I’m well aware that there are exceptions to every rule.
You don’t need to remind me.
What is Cheating?
When it comes on to romantic interests, men and women view cheating differently. For most men, cheating is defined as sexual infidelity. For most women, cheating begins long before sex even enters the picture. Men and women have these differences of opinion because of how their brains work.
For women: Straying Thoughts
We all know that men are more logically inclined and women more emotionally so. Therefore it should come as no surprise that women are more likely to forgive a cheating man so long as he isn’t emotionally involved with the woman. The rest is all up to her level of tolerance and long suffering.
In fact, women tend to draw the line at flirting or any other emotional display of affection or interest – even if it is innocent. I’m sure some women will have an issue with the last part of that sentence. Many women don’t think flirting can be innocent at all. They consider it a serious breach of confidence.
However, most of the times when a man flirts, it’s not with an explicit view to get laid. It’s more driven by the same instinctive urge to pursue just for the sake of pursuit. I do admit that flirting can be dangerous – particularly in marriage. However, the thrill of the hunt is not something men will ever tire of.
For many women, it’s the very thought that counts as cheating – even though this is inherently preposterous. If thoughts count as cheating, then every man cheats every day, on average of once every 6 minutes with every even remotely attractive piece of ass wrapped in a short skirt or form fitting jeans.
Because women don’t have this trigger in the back of their minds, firing off every time someone of the opposite sex walks by, they tend to impose such standards on men. Women need to remind themselves that men don’t think the same way they do. In fact, men view cheating in a whole different context:
For men: Property Violation
At the back of their minds, even if they don’t say it explicitly (and I’m sure I’m going to hear from a few outraged men at this), once a man has had sexual intercourse with his girlfriend or his wife, she becomes his property in a sense. She becomes an extension of his ego. It’s like a dog marking his territory.
(This is concordantly why many men don’t think a husband can rape his wife – but I digress.)
Now before you women run off and say “see? I told you! all men are dogs!“, please consider for a moment that women belong to the same species of animal that men are. If all men are dogs, then that unwittingly validates the use of a certain derogatory expression that is used to describe some women.
But that’s not the issue here.
The issue is that men are instinctively territorial. Once he has claimed a woman as his own, whether or not the woman has feelings for the other guy she slept with, men are inclined to see sexual infidelity as a violation of territory. This breeds a far more powerful emotion than that of hurt: Vengeance.
This is why men are more likely to express raw, unbridled jealousy in the face of infidelity as opposed to hurt. Because now it becomes an issue of dishonour – not so much an issue of emotional infidelity. It’d almost in the same category as if someone scratched his car, or parked in his spot at the company lot.
I kid you not.
Now I’m not saying that men don’t get emotionally hurt by cheating. We do. The issue is that we often see it as such a bruise to our ego, that the actions of the cheating woman become second to the desires to hire a ninja to off the Joe Schmo that nailed her. So we want to get even, not comforted.
In less civilized times, men were less likely to break down and cry when another man sleeps with one of his women. In fact, this would often become a cause for war, (and in some cases, annihilation). The only difference between then and now is that we’re wearing business suits instead of chain mail.
Humans are animals
Dad: I’m divorcing your mom this summer. Kid: But you just met!
Search the animal kingdom. There are an extremely low number of animal species that have been noted to exhibit any kind of distinct monogamous behaviour. The most prominent example of course, is that of the Emperor Penguin of Antarctica. There are not many other comparable examples.
Of course, technically, this isn’t monogamy as much as it is a necessary function of reproduction. The male Emperor Penguin braves the harsh winter season protecting the one egg laid by its mate so that the females can run off to feed themselves before they drop dead from starvation.
This is necessary in the first place to facilitate mating while they waited on the males to come to meet them for the grand mating orgy. While mommy is away, the male Emperor Penguin must keep the egg warm and wait for mommy to return so she can bond with the new born hatch-ling.
She takes over from there, while the males now take their turn to run off and feed themselves. This is after their long fast, protecting the egg with their body warmth from the ensuing winter storm. You might be wondering: Why am I mentioning all of this? How is it relevant? To demonstrate a very simple point:
Emperor Penguins are only monogamous for one year.
This includes the total time it takes to get the kid birthed, hatched and bred. After once cycle of this, they change mates. If you take the harsh winters and the great distances the Emperor Penguin has to face down in order to survive at all, they are no less promiscuous than any other animal in the kingdom.
Promiscuity is a genetic survival mechanism designed explicitly for the purpose of maximizing the survival of any species. No animal in the kingdom is stupid enough to be monogamous by choice. Humans invented the idea of monogamy as a means of population control to facilitate sustainable social development.
At the end of the day, humans are animals. We live in zoos where the rules are dictated by social laws of the super-ego. It’s a society of pretentious order relatively void of sexual anarchy. Society can put as many restrictions on raw animal instinct as it likes – but it won’t stop us from being any less an animal.
Males were designed keep the species alive
This king has many wives. Humans weren’t so different once.
The sex drive many men experience early in their boyhoods is a part of nature’s design to keep the species from going extinct. You will find a corresponding alacrity for sex in the males of most animals. Primates, canines, cetaceans, avians, crustaceans – you name it. Males want sex – and lots of it.
In fact, some of you may recall some time ago where I wrote about the Caveman instinct as a now useless bit of genetic code (Click here to read that post). Therefore this near treacherous desire for sex in men should come as no surprise. Understanding the animal kingdom gives deeper insight into this.
So am I saying that the reason your husband or boyfriend cheated is because he is an animal? Not quite. What I’m getting at is that the incredibly intense drive for sexual intercourse in men is perfectly, 100% natural and that nature intended for it to be that way originally. Given this obvious reality, it is unnatural for any one man to sexually desire only one woman. ‘Sexually’ is the key word.
What women probably don’t understand is that this desire is so intense, that it’s like an infinitely recurring decimal sitting in the back of our minds slowly driving us mad. Every man experiences these desires. We have just learned, through social engineering and some cognitive dissonance to boot, how to tame and control these propensities for the good of mankind. *cough*
Why do men cheat?
Bill sampled the succulent lips of this nimble number.
Let me be abundantly clear: Men don’t cheat because of an obnoxious wife or a nagging girlfriend. It’s not because his mistress is prettier or sexier. It’s not because she’s a nicer person or because of a loss of interest. So asking your cheating boyfriend these questions is a pointless waste of time.
Men don’t cheat because they’ve “fallen out of love” (women are more likely to cheat because of that). It’s not because of a “lapse in judgement” (we are quite cognizant of what we’re doing – unless we’re drunk) or because of weakness, or boredom or desire for adventure, or to get even. Simply put:
Men cheat for the same reasons dogs chase cars – because they can.
Yes, it’s that simple. More specifically, opportunity defines cheating. Allow me to elaborate: Men are very much aware of the fact that they can’t have every woman on the planet and dogs are very much aware of the fact that they can’t stop any car they haven’t tinkled on that’s driving through their urine defined territory. Rather, the function of infidelity represents a conflict of interest.
We humans are sexual creatures. Sex is always on our minds. We don’t have sexual seasons or need to wait for a female to be in heat or the occurrence of a full moon. We have sex so long as we are in the mood. So long as we’re feeling healthy, men are always in the mood. So sex is relatively inevitable.
However, we are quite aware of our unspoken social contract. It states that once we are in a relationship with someone, we should be faithful to that person and them alone. Unfortunately, this flies right in the face of our genetic imperative. So we obviously have a very serious conflict of interest here.
The instinct to cheat represents a war between a powerful genetic imperative and a binding social contract that goes directly against it. Our genetic imperative states quite simply to “be fruitful and multiply”. Now that we have 6 billion people on the planet (and counting), we no longer need the imperative, and yet, here we are, looking at the fine pair of legs in another skirt walking by.
When men cheat
Mark Sanford admits to an extra-marital affair – June, 2009
There are only two things that ultimately controls when men cheat:
Men will cheat so long as an appropriate opportunity presents itself. By “appropriate”, I mean an opportunity that is compelling enough that will also allow for the relief of that sexual desire without the repercussions that might be experienced through social engineering (i.e. getting caught).
So don’t think that the reason a man hasn’t cheated is because of religion, or because he’s happily married. He just hasn’t been presented with the right opportunity yet. Without the right opportunity, most intelligent men would never cheat. So if you’re still faithful, pray you are not tempted with the right opportunity. That’s the only thing separating you from infidelity.
I know some religious married men out there are reeling at this right now (or rolling their eyes). If so, I laugh (scornfully, even) at your naivete. I don’t care how strong a man claims to be. For every man that lives, there exists a woman out there in the world that is sexually compelling enough, that given the right opportunity, he would enjoy it with mind bending exuberance and alacrity.
You just haven’t met her under the right conditions yet.
If you were to travel a thousand miles away from the prying eyes of your wife, kids, family, friends and pastor and you had the opportunity to Benedict (pun intended) with a woman who doesn’t even speak your language, who you know you would never meet again, (or so you think), you would. Just ask Governor Mark Sanford. He got an opportunity and he took it. Ole!
I know you can’t wait to get to the end of this to flame on, but I ask you to consider this one thing: Have you ever met a woman out there that is more sexually attractive than the one you’re currently involved with? Since I already know the answer is ‘yes’, I can tell you with great certainty that you haven’t been presented with the right opportunity yet. Let’s hope it stays that way.
2. Social Engineering
If there were no angry wife to deal with, no disappointed socially engineered kids to pander to, no outcry from friends, from church members, no public embarrassment or shame to contend with, no divorce or rendering of your estate in half to pay for, men would cheat wantonly and indicriminately.
This is why most men enjoy their single life.
Marriage is a function of social engineering. It serves a very useful and (somewhat) effective purpose: Population control. Yes sir. Marriage was originally invented as a way for a man to declare ownership of a woman – that was back when polygamy was cool – not now that monogamy is law.
But if men could still marry many women, the population explosion that would result flies against every sense of sustainable development. However, if we had invented an effective means of contraception long before we thought of marriage, the world would be a very different place today.
Of course, I’m pretty sure the feminist movement of the 1950’s would have put an end to that sooner or later. (Thank God for feminists!) While I could admit that it is more honorable for a man to be seen with only one woman, I could also admit I’m only saying that because of my social engineering.
Now that things like diplomacy, education, equal rights for women and marriage have roughly stabilized the number of men and women in the world, polygamy would no longer be practical. If you consider the fact that men slightly outnumber women in the world, it could even mean an act of war. (Men can be so childish, that we’ve started wars for far less significant things).
Infidelity and Religion
Don’t even mention religion. Religion is little more than a psychological placebo. But not even that can stop a man from cheating. While some christian circles have gone as far as to say that “God has let us down” (dear atheists, try not to laugh too hard at that article), I doubt that God even cares about such.
While I was growing up as a christian, I’ve heard Pastors declare that:
- They don’t allow young girls to travel in their cars
- They don’t counsel young girls in their flock
- They have prayer meetings for women separately
- …the list goes on.
If these men of God were so trusting in the “power of the lord” to save them from temptation (as the Lord’s prayer would seem to suggest) then why would they make such a big deal about keeping those hot young females away from them? Oh, that’s right. The book of James chapter 1:13-15 suggests that we are tempted by our own desires, not by God. He’s so hands off in this case.
That’s fascinating to me, since Christians would like to think that God intervenes in our lives when we need him most – except when it comes to things like satisfying a sexual desire that he created in the first place. But it makes sense to me that God wouldn’t contravene his own commandments.
I mean, what kind of duplicitous “loving” God would give people the powerful urge to have sex and then forbid them to do it? Oh right; the same God that placed Adam and Eve in a garden and forbade them from eating from the one tree at the center of it all. Makes perfect, logical sense to me. Not.
Look, let’s be reasonable here. Pastors are just people like anybody else. If they are men, then the rule of opportunity applies as well. The holiest of men have fallen from grace because of the powerful allure of the loins of a woman. It has nothing to do with their faithfulness. It has nothing to with God. It has nothing to do with a 2,000 year old mythology that ensnares their minds.
Sex is just more powerful than God or any other imaginary friend. The Book of James made that abundantly clear. We humans are responsible for our own actions. We are biological machines designed for one thing: Procreation. Without it, we’ll cease to exist. It’s just that we’ve created a social construct to advance our species that also goes against our biological imperative.
How do we fix this?
I wrote sometime ago that we still carry around useless DNA – genetically induced behaviours that no longer apply in today’s world. At our basest instinct, we are all still cavemen. It’s just that the world is very different today from it was two million years ago – ultimately rendering this DNA obsolete (or at least, until another world war plunges us back into the dark ages).
This ultimately means that we can’t fix this – but we can control it. Now you don’t need religion to control your sexual urges. In fact, unless you’re of a particular type of mind, religion will be absolutely useless to you. You’ll need a far more powerful incentive – and I can give you a few to get you started:
1. Self Preservation
Herpes is nothing to smile about.
It seems pretty stupid to name one of these incentives “self preservation“, right? I mean, what could a man possibly need to preserve himself from by scoring up a plethora of women? Well, some STDs are pretty lethal. A significantly larger population means that there is a correspondingly greater opportunity for the occurrence and spread of dangerous organisms.
This is one of the lesser known laws of biology. There is a population threshold at which organisms survive best. Once over that threshold, the incidence of pandemic disease increases exponentially, because of a more thorough iteration through the many permutations of DNA. In other words, the more people there are, the greater the likelihood of the occurrence of disease.
Fidelity reduces this probability by several orders of magnitude of mathematical complexity. Keeping only one woman under your belt means that the probability of the occurrence of bad DNA is limited only to inherited disease, not communal ones. Since the probability of the occurrence of the latter is greater than the former, one woman relationships are much, MUCH safer.
2. Cost Effectiveness
Every woman has a cost. No sex is for free. Whether the price of the sex ranges from a Coors™ Light to a ticket to Venezuela, every ounce of vagina has a price tag. Even if you’re rolling in it like Eliot Spitzer, the paltry 80 grand you spend will cost you some employment opportunity. There’s always a cost.
The question is, is this extra vagina cost effective? Don’t laugh, I’m being totally serious. Even if you fly half way around the world to score with a lusty African diva, is being an HIV infection medication poster boy worth it? How do you like being featured on a herpes hit list after your tryst outside state lines?
Even if there is no cost associated with disease, there is a psychological cost. When you cheat once, your wife probably won’t know, but you will. If you got away with it once, there’s probably nothing stopping you from trying to get away with it again, and again …and again? …and then you get sloppy.
When men get drunk with the power of their penis, they start to think they can’t get caught, and that’s when people like Spitzer get outed. The only person who could get away with openly cheating on their spouse were men with absolute power, like King Henry VIII. He was a bad ass of biblical proportions – literally! His grandson was editor of the King James Bible!
However, such kingdoms are largely long gone. There is only one man with that kind of power today, who openly enjoys his wives. That man is the famous King of Swaziland, and he has many, many wives. See more here:
Men with power like that will have no trouble having multiple women out in the open. There appears to be some kind of psychological precedent (that men are actively aware of) where they seem to attract more women by virtue of the number of women they already have at their disposal. Strange, but true!
This is especially true for men who wield a great deal of power. It doesn’t have to be the kind of power as is exhibited by a political figure. It can simply be the power to exhibit raw sex appeal. For some reason, women are overwhelmingly attracted to this – although that’s nothing a little education can’t fix.
But even the King of Swaziland has to maintain those wives and each one of them comes at a price. Sure, he’s wealthy and can more than afford to do so. But do cheating men realise that it is not economical to keep more than one woman? Your penis and your pocket may be at odds with each other.
It’s not only large companies that have to think about downsizing in these harsh economic times. You may have to think about downsizing your harem too (*gasp!*). Then you have to factor in the cost of each and every love child you inadvertently fathered on your merry way to Fish Town. It gets pricey fast.
3. Emotional Fallout
This now famous micro expression is not of sorrow – it’s of shame.
You bastert! How could you? *smack*
Most men who cry after having an affair are not usually crying because they’re sorry for cheating. They’re more likely crying because they got caught. Shame is a far more powerful deterrent to men from cheating than the sudden realization that they committed the ultimate act of romantic betrayal.
So cut the BS, Mr. Spitzer. You don’t fool us.
If nothing else can deter you, then consider the shame. If it’s not the shame of being a two-timing, bastert (misspelling intentional), then consider the shame of facing the people who look up to you – like your kids. Cheating on your kids’ mother is an excellent way to raise a young pimp (if a boy) or a young whore (if a girl). If you don’t have any kids, then for humanity’s sake, don’t have any.
It’s not just the woman and her children that are hurt, but it’s also the people who respect you. When you spend your career going after illicit government officials who pander to prostitution, or you spend a lifetime charring hellfire and brimstone at fornicators in your congregation, you’re going to cause a hell of a fallout (pun unintended) when your infidelity is inevitably discovered.
Even if you’re not in a position where you think you have nothing to loose, what do you think is going to happen when you cultivate a mentality that abhors the respectability of women? You will grow into an insatiable dirty old man; a 60 year old boy chasing after women who could be his daughters.
From the looks of it, men in this position are never happy (and they rarely live very long) because they keep thinking just like an alcoholic; that the next woman will be his last – as if there is such a thing. Men who are serial cheaters are not the type to fall in love with a woman. They fall in love with novelty. In other words, they’re addicted to the emotion of starting a new relationship.
That brings us to the most powerful incentive:
4. Quality vs. Quantity
This is my personal favourite. When I think about the sanctity of a relationship, I think about it as a cult of two. When a man truly loves a woman, the real value of the relationship is the uniqueness of what she brings to the table. If a man should take the time to really appreciate the full value of the woman he has chosen, it significantly reduces the appeal of seeking another.
Think about it.
What’s the one thing that your girl can do for you that most other women out there could not? If you can’t answer this question, then you might want to start thinking about it now. For while having a strong emotional bond with your woman is great, sexual desire should never be underestimated.
All men would do well to remember this: Sex with all women feels exactly the same. The difference is only a perception that lives inside your head. Concordantly, this is why men seem to prefer the emotional experience of having a new lover as opposed to the emotional experience of stability.
They’re like children constantly craving the newest toys. The craving is not for the toy. It’s for something new. Therefore, men who cheat are not so much in love with their wives as much as they’re in love with the novelty of having a new lover. If this is how you think, you will never be satisfied. Ever.
However, an inability to break an addiction to novelty is more a function of an inability to value quality over quantity. When men are unable to derive quality, they seek quantity to make up that deficit. If you could find one woman who could satisfy all of his relational needs, you will never develop the need to seek another, since the deficit would have already been adequately filled.
But wait a minute: Does this mean that a straying husband is the wife’s fault? Far from it! Men are not children to be coddled by their wives. They are intelligent human beings with the capacity to think for themselves. The real problem is that out thinking a powerful biological imperative is hard to do.
Hard… but not impossible.
If all else fails, it is better to end the relationship with the old lover before starting anew. While the emotional fallout from this is inevitable, it’s nowhere near as tumultuous as having your infidelity being found out surreptitiously. Just ask former presidential Candidate, John Edwards. Although, the less that is said about that act of infidelity, the better. His was particularly vile.
The Dog Hearts
These men know nothing about sexual fidelity. Absolutely nothing.
If all else fails and you really are a heartless, gutless, yellow bellied, two-timing, back stabbing, dirty double-crossing, mother[censored]ing, son of a whore, then please do the rest of the world a favour and get a vasectomy. At the very least, you won’t perpetuate your ruinous DNA to mankind.
While I do admit that some men really are dog hearted (like the men who cheat on perfectly wonderful women – whether they be wives or otherwise), even they can see the hurt that they cause. Some men really are dogs in the truest sense. They are completely devoid of any emotional capacity.
Such men are not quite as rare as I’d like to admit. There are parts of the brain (specifically, the amygdala), which are notably less developed in such men than others. These men are the true dog hearts – the ones who could develop such conditions such as satyriasis (aka coitophilia, or sex addiction).
There’s not much you can do about men like that. That’s a function of genetics. They would have sex with their own female relatives (however slightly removed) if they could. These are men who simply do not have the capacity to inhibit their own indiscriminate socially destructive sexual behaviour.
…not without professional help.
What about women?
Now, I am perfectly aware of the fact that women cheat as well. In fact, women are far better at covering up their infidelity than men, simply because they are better at hiding those micro expressions that insinuate lying. Men only appear to be bad liars because women are phenomenally better at it.
What I don’t get is the women who go after men who they know are married. Is the power trip of one upping the old lady really worth it? Surely there are more constructive ways for a woman to certify her sex appeal without destroying someone else’s marriage. Thank god for Karma (is that blasphemous?).
Every mistress from Monica Lewinsky right back to Rielle Hunter certainly knew their lovers were married men. Yet, it is not these women who received the brunt of the flak – I suppose because they were approached by these powerful men. Never the less, the media will not spend too much time crucifying these women when these powerful men make a much more sensational sell.
With that said, there is only a small subset of women out there with a libido equivalent to that of a man – not quite enough to develop a whole discussion around. However, when a woman cheats, that’s usually the end of the relationship since women rarely cheat purely for raw sexual reasons.
Women don’t quite get as much pleasure out of sex as men do. The only exception is her lover knows what he’s doing, or she is one of those rare women whose g-spot is placed deep enough inside the vagina to get direct penile-vaginal stimulation. So the motivation is not usually for the sex. Rather:
Women cheat for emotional gratification.
That’s the complete package. Men usually cheat for one half of the package (particularly younger men). Therefore, if your girlfriend cheats on you, there’s usually no recovery in sight. Your relationship probably ended long before you even realised it. That might not even be something worth fighting for.
But is cheating really worth it? In my mind, it’s easier to doge pots, pans, an icy stare and china ware than it is to dodge the social and emotional upheaval that will ensue when you’re found out. I mean, this is precisely why men rarely invest in kitchen ware anyway. But make no mistake, you will be found out.
It is as inevitable as day follows night, shining a penetrating light on the hidden incidences that transpired before. Gentlemen, know this: We may at one time have been slaves to our biology. However, we are humans. The key thing separating us from lower animals, is that our biology can be enslaved to us. Anything less would render us as nothing more than dogs of a different breed.
I beseech you therefore brethern, by the gift of life afforded us as champions of the human race to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, wholly and acceptably to the one woman who would love you as your reasonable service. Ante up your game, or step down. This new world is for men, not animals.