- Have an affair because you’re bored
This is a natural reason why people jump in and have an extramarital affair. Both men and women, both gay and straight couples, and humans of all sexual orientation get bored from monogamy and they hit a point where an extramarital affair presents itself.
Esther Perel, best selling author and psychotherapist gives insight into the long lost feeling of desire that an affair can re-ignite. (1) "Contrary to what you may think, affairs are way less about sex and a lot more about desire," Perel continues. "Desire for attention. Desire to feel special. Desire to feel important. The very structure of an affair — the fact that you can never have your lover — keeps you wanting. That in itself is a desire machine."
- Discreet dating sites make it easy
The online world is opening up a whole new world of discreet dating options. For those who are open minded and conscious about judged and ostracized, a discreet dating app might provide an easier outlet for connecting online and lowering intimidation levels when talking to strangers about an incredibly vulnerable subject.
In a 2015 UK study at Open University, Psychology academics explored the addictive qualities of internet infidelity in an anonymous survey among 20 to 73 year olds. (2)
“psychology lecturers Dr Andreas Vossler and Dr Naomi Moller allowed participants to write in detail about their experiences with internet infidelity. Findings revealed that the Internet made covert contact with another person easy and had a dis-inhibiting effect, making it easier to engage in behaviour that might be avoided in real life.”
- Happily married and having an affair
A beautiful, happy, and deeply in love couple is still susceptible and often ready to engage in a discreet affair. This theory is quickly gaining notoriety among researchers and psychotherapists, most notably, as referenced above, is Esther Perel and her now famous book tours and TED talks about infidelity. In a recent article for the Atlantic, Perel summed up this thought very poignantly, “In session after session, I meet people who assure me, “I love my wife/my husband. We are best friends and happy together,” and then say: “But I am having an affair.” (3)
Other researchers are hopping on board, like Eric Anderson, a professor of masculinity, sexuality and sport at the University of Winchester in England and the chief science officer at AshleyMadison.com. Anderson co-authored a recent study of 100 heterosexual females between the ages of 35 and 45 that found 67% were seeking more passion, A.K.A Sex.
“But, the most surprising finding is that none of the 100 women were looking to leave their husbands, says Anderson. (4)
- Pay for Play
Free dating sites are always attractive for people looking to have a passionate affair, but with discreet dating there has to be a common interest that takes precedent, the secrecy of the affair has to be top of mind, which is why paying to communicate with other people with just as much to lose is invaluable. Free dating sites can attract more trolls and people who are not serious, and so paying allows for more discreet and specific options to emerge in the dating pool.
In a consumer reports interview, Harvard University of Economics lecturer Scott Kominers reiterates that intention is key.
“That’s the real issue—how happy are people with their interactions on the dating sites.” (5)
- Discreet dating is for lonely people
The stereotype is that mostly married men are the scum of the earth who can’t keep their seeds planted in one place. Just reading that sentence feels indecisive and devoid of depth. Yes, like many stereotypes there is a measure of truth to many men being likely to cheat, but the reasons don’t have to be purely sexual.
Louanne Cole Weston, PHD, has found a pattern in her years as a marriage and family therapist. She finds that many men turn to cheating as a way out of a broken marriage.
“Sometimes a man will say it was a moment of conviction in which he felt that things would never get better between him and his wife, a sense of hopelessness.” In other words, not all men are scum and cheating is a complicated thing. (6)
- Married Women are trying it
Cheating wives, yes there is such a thing and it is becoming very common. According to Perel’s book, ‘A state of Affairs, Rethinking Infidelity,’ the number of women having extramarital affairs has risen 40% since the 90’s while for men it’s stayed the same. Clearly our culture is changing.
Alicia Walker, PhD, and author of ‘The Secret Life of The Cheating Wife’ is a powerful advocate of empowering women to seek discreet dating if they are unhappy with their sex lives.
“our ideas about what women are supposed to be, and the realities of women’s sexual pleasure appear to conflict. For the women surveyed, settling down with their “best sex ever” was immature. Further, foregoing better sex and settling for lesser sex is what we expect from a responsible, adult woman. Our ideas regarding women and the role of emotional connection in sexual satisfaction may be too simplistic and not representative of the complexities and nuance of female desire.”
- Find Pleasure again
Another cliché is the uninspired marriage lulls that come with time. Of course, an affair re-ignites the pleasurable chemicals in our brains that were so exciting in the early stages of attracting a new mate. Simply put, those feelings of excitement are an overwhelming reminder that you are alive.
David J. Ley, PHD, writes in Psychology Today about the intensity of these feelings and how discreet dating unquestionably amplifies them if you’re in a routine marriage.
“Sex with a new lover is often described as incredible. A male with a new lover is able to have more sex, for longer, more frequently and vigorously, and he ejaculates harder with more sperm in that ejaculate. His body attempts to compete against any other men his new lover might be sleeping with and acts like the body of an alpha male, flooded with testosterone. A woman will become intensely orgasmic, her body responding sexually and physically to a new man in ways she often has not felt in years. When she is at the most fertile point of her cycle, a woman may find herself attracted to men she would normally avoid. She may be drawn to men who have an edge of aggression and dominance who would never truly commit to monogamy or being tied down.” (8)