Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Infidelity and A Biology Lesson

Infidelity is fairly common.  Studies estimate that between 50-60% of married men and 40-50% of married women, have at least one extramarital affair. The majority of those men have more than one affair.

As you might expect, I read a lot about infidelity and I listen to what people have to say about it. What perplexes me is how men who have multiple affairs are characterized.  The author of one famous sex study speculates that men who have  multiple sexual extramarital affairs throughout their life probably suffer from "deep emotional pain and dysfunction."  

Seriously? That's just crazy.

Let's back up a bit and take a look at biology.  Men have a biological need for regular sex. It has been scientifically validated.  It's not a myth, it's not speculation, and it's not just something the teenage boys say in the back seats of cars (right after, "I love you" and "Of course I'll respect you tomorrow") to get their girlfriends to put out. There are many sources that document this, but here's a decidedly unscientific one that explains the biological process in layman's terms from a Christian perspective. I picked this one so my Christian friends will understand that faith does not exempt you from the demands of biology.  Yes, this is how God made you. On purpose.

Why? It's about preservation of the species. It's much more complicated than I have space to explain here, but if men had the same sex drive as most women, the species would likely have become extinct long before now.

That's not all.  Men are drawn to healthy, young women because of a reproductive instinct, whether or not they intend on reproducing. Men in their 40's or 50's who go nuts over women in the 20's are biologically predisposed to this.  It's not a failing of society or due to the ugliness of their wives or due to the fact that they are sexually deviant perverts.

Women don't want to believe these things.  We want to believe that if our husbands want or (gasp!) have sex with another woman (god forbid a younger woman) that there must be something wrong with them or with us (no, not us, it's them). If they have multiple sexual affairs, they must have a sex addiction and they need treatment to cure them of this abnormality. 

That thinking is completely and totally off base.  I'm not saying that there is no such thing as sex addition, and I'm not saying that men are incapable of controlling themselves.  What I am saying is that men who are monogamous are fighting against their own biology to stay that way. Those who don't get their sexual needs met at home will probably try hard to hang in there, but the odds are very high that they won't be able to fight the urge to get sex somewhere.

Women think, "If he has sex with another women, that means he doesn't love me." Bullshit. When we're teenagers, the message that "sex isn't love" is forced into us as a technique to try to keep us from having sex as teenagers, but when we're married, suddenly sex is love?  Nope.  Last year around this time, I wrote a post called 10 Tips for Wives To Keep Your Husband from Cheating. For the most part (except for tips 9 and 10) it's about sex.  Why? Because for the most part, the reason he stepped out was about sex.  For most of the others, it's about tip #9. 

Not only do we women tend to make men feel like perverts because of their natural sex drive, but we work hard to "tame" them, then we complain that they are not "real men."  We want to be in control at home, then we complain that he won't take charge. We swoon over their aggressiveness in the pursuit of us when we're courting, then we spend decades trying to squelch that aggressiveness. In our early years of marriage, we complain that "all he wants is sex" and we push him away repeatedly and then in the later years of our marriage we complain that "he doesn't want me anymore." 

We fall in love with and marry a man, then we spend the rest of our lives doing our best to make him as much like a woman as possible.

And then, after all that, we expect him to stay faithful when everything in him (biologically and emotionally) is screaming at him to go out and fuck the shit out of a young honey who treats him like a man and who lets him behave like a man (and likes it).

Wake up, Ladies.

And as for you men.... Stop letting your wife beat you into submission.  Educate her. Love her enough to push back and not let her be fooled by what the women's movement and the media have told her for years. Taking charge is not abuse.  Whoever got women believing that should be publicly flogged for it.  

We are all paying for it.


Anonymous said...

First off, I welcome back the regular blogging - missed your stuff.

Second, what you have written here is really great. It's pretty much all true, I can say as a monogamous male that I very much would go outside my marriage for sex if I wasn't getting it at home.

I have no issue writing that because I have been saying that to my wife for years - and I would expect the same from her if I put my penis away except for birthdays and holidays; which she also knows.

Too often people look at cheating and think the cheater is a jerk. In some cases yes, in others if not most, I would say it took two people to get to the point where someone went outside the marriage.

And don't even let me get started on men becoming submissive/slaves to their wives... this is your blog afterall.

Octavia said...

Absolutely true to my own sentiments 100%. The contradictory influence before and after marriage is enormous. I have family whose over-reaction for feminization leads me to think they're part of the browbeating pandemic.

As for my own relationship, my wife and I are happily married 10 yeas. Sex is a huge part of our lives, and not just because I'm a blogger/photographer. My sex drive is enormous compared to hers and we both recognize that fact. There are times I crave more than she's willing to provide but we live in a digital age where I can find any number of ways to entertain myself if she's not interested. That's a choice she and I have made. While we do entertain others outside our marriage, it's never without our mutual consent. It's not a method for everyone, but it works for us.

Marcus said...

Thank you professor Kat!
(no seriously, thanks)

This is completely right on.

I know this pattern first hand all too well.

You are my hero :-)

Ryan Beaumont said...

A painful but sobering read for your's truly!

WestsideTori said...

As an honest feminist, I have to say that I agree with you. While the feminist movement has resulted in great progress for women in countless ways, including promoting equality in relationships, you rightly observe that quest has made many women think that men can ignore their biological drives if they truly respect us.

You're also right that so many women whip the alpha out of their men and then lose respect for them. That hasn't worked out well for anyone.

But what about this--
If it's understandable biologically that men will cheat if they're not getting sex at home, how do you explain women needing alot of sex when there is no such biological imperative?

I'm learning a lot from all you bloggers; thanks!

Anonymous said...

What a well written, instightful piece and a great followup to 10 tips. I couldn't agree more. I'll send this to my wife as well

Ben said...

Well stated. I'll send you some research in the area of evolutionary biology that gives some interesting background to your points here. On example. Among mammals that are completely monogamous,males have relatively small testes relative to body weight. In mammals that are completely the opposite, males have large testes relative to body weight. It is all about sperm production and maximizing your chances of producing the winning ticket in the fertilization race. Where to humans fall? Well, we fall slightly to the "fucking around" side.