The premier service for extra-marital affairs (as well as general cheating shenanigans), Ashley Madison, holds a certain reputation.
Which is pretty fair, given the duplicitous nature of going behind your partner’s back for a bit of side action. But it’s like they always say – some of the most intimate details about someone are often divulged on the pillow.
Between July 25th to September 12th of 2019, Ashley Madison surveyed over 2,000 female participants from across ten countries on a variety of topics ranging from infidelity to everyday sex.
Here are some of the more fascinating insights.
The average number of affair partners for married women
- Mexico – 10
- US, Canada, UK, Chile – 6
- Australia, Brazil, Argentina – 5
- Spain – 4
- Colombia – 3
Global average: 5.7
Why women seek out affairs
In terms of the evolution of women’s sex lives, they rated them according to the following:
- Before they got married – 6/10
- While with their partners – 4/10
- During the affair(s) – 7/10
So what exactly makes sex during an affair better?
- 45% explained it was the freedom to experiment more sexually
- 42% cited the increased frequency of sex
- 39% were caught up in the novelty of it all
- and 38% wanted to explore their sexual fantasies
Do women just lose interest in sex?
The notion that women are inherently less sexual than men could not be more wrong. Women don’t actually lose interest in long-term relationships or see it as a chore. Not according to the research, anyways.
- 44% stated the primary reason for cheating was a desire for more interesting and frequent sex (in other words, put in the work, fellas)
- even more interestingly, 95% of married women have either gone through with, or considered going to, a sex party
So is it a matter of growing bored by monogamy?
There’s a growing assertion that we may not be designed for monogamy. If we examine history more closely, the idea of marriage originated as more of an economic move that traditionally favoured the male when it comes to gendered power. But that’s an issue to explore for another time…
Survey participants determined that:
- 5 years was how long it took for them to notice a decline in sexual frequency
- 6 years was how long it took for them to notice a decline in sexual quality
- 7 years was how long it took before they engaged in their first affair
- and when prompted whether they had become less attracted to their significant other, a majority 64% of married women responded yes
Reclaiming their sexuality by prioritising pleasure
It’s also no secret that in the entire sexual dialogue perpetrated by societal norms and gender conditioning, women have been given the short end of the stick for some time. To the point where only 25% of women can achieve orgasm during vaginal intercourse (conservative numbers) and 5% have never orgasmed altogether. Dismal. So one may interpret subverting conventional fidelity as an ad hoc means of rebellion. Of reclaiming their sexuality.
- 64% felt sexually neglected in their relationship
- 47% rarely or never received oral sex
- 40% rarely or never achieved orgasm with their partner
- and 43% were only staying in the marriage “for the kids”
The question of guilt
We finally arrive to the matter of guilt. Do women who cheat feel any remorse whatsoever or do they view this as just a necessary component of modern living? Read on, eager beaver.
- 37% viewed an affair as morally wrong though do not feel guilty
- 31% viewed an affair as not morally wrong, nor do they feel guilty
- 25% viewed an affair as morally wrong and do feel guilty
- 7% viewed an affair as not morally wrong but do feel guilty
As for who the would-be culprits let in on the secret within their inner circle, 55% of participants confided in a friend. And 16% even confided in their spouse. As you do.
What this all means for the marriage
Surprisingly enough, the marriage doesn’t simply end at the occurrence of an affair. At least not in the case of these 2,000+ married female survey respondents. In terms of the immediate impact:
- 32% reported no change
- 31% reported less tension
- 22% reported a happier overall marriage
As a bonus tidbit of affair insights:
- 22% revealed their one rule when it comes to engaging in an affair is “… never getting emotionally involved…”
- 64% claimed they were no longer attracted to their partner post-affair
- but an unexpected 74% claimed they still loved their partner
And there you have it.