When we picture cheating, we likely picture sexy, stolen moments. Titillating trysts in tucked-away hotel rooms and near-cinematic levels of espionage. The cheater is starved in a sexless, even hostile relationship back home — basically forced to cheat or suffer a miserable life. Think about Diane Lane in Unfaithful or Tony Goldwyn in Scandal. It’s this element that makes their onscreen affairs so damn hot.
But a new survey throws cold water on that pop-culture myth: It suggests that many cheaters continue to sleep with their partners the whole time they’re prowling about. A cheater’s main relationship can look an awful lot like a normal, happy one from the outside, suggesting we are far more in the dark than we thought when it comes to infidelity — why people cheat, what it really looks like and what it really means.
The idea that people cheat because they’re deprived isn’t the only long-standing assumption about affairs that experts have slowly overturned. Here are a few myths about sneaking around that no longer hold water:
Myth 1: People cheat because they’re not getting any
Illicit Encounters, a U.K. dating site for marrieds, recently surveyed 1,000 users and discovered that 64 percent of them continued to sleep with their partners while carrying on a side diddle. This means they aren’t necessarily out their scratching an itch a partner can’t scratch. They’re just scratching a second itch altogether (or third, or fourth, as the case may be).
The reasons they haven’t given up on their main squeeze may vary: Four out of 10 surveyed said the amped-up new sex made them more randy than before, so they sought out more sex with their main partner while still dipping into the second well. Another 33 percent said they kept up the sex ruse so their significant other wouldn’t become suspicious.
Of course, if you’re being cheated on, none of those motives are going to make you feel better: Either they’re fucking you still because it’s perfectly good and they still need some outside action, or they’re fucking you even though it’s not so hot anymore — just so you don’t get wise to the truth. Read more