Sunday, August 23, 2015

Why Do Men Cheat? Why Don't Women?

The men who were caught cheating in the great Ashley Madison reveal are not receiving too much sympathy.

This morning Naomi Schaeffer Riley suggests that they deserve our contempt, not so much for using their real email addresses, but for imagining that the world is filled with horny housewives who are just dying to cheat on their husbands.

As feminists have been telling us for lo these many years, women want sex just as much as men. It’s one of the principles that has led young women to the hookup culture.

Riley suggests that any man who bought the idea is a sucker, and not in the good sense of the word:

But the Ashley Madison service itself proves men are suckers.

Not simply because millions of men who were trying hide from their wives decided to use their real names and e-mail addresses in signing up for an adultery website — though that wasn’t exactly the mark of genius. It’s because they thought that there were millions of halfway attractive, married women out there just waiting for a hot proposition from a married man so they could be unfaithful.

There aren’t. And chances are there won’t ever be. It’s hard to know how many people were users of the site are real (it sounds as if some were signed up by friends or enemies as practical jokes). But even taking the numbers at face value, the ratio is abysmal. There were about 28 million men and 5 million women in the account list, while the credit-card information belongs almost entirely to men.

Ashley Madison confirms what we already know about infidelity. Men are much more likely to engage in it than women. And men are much more interested in casual sex than women.

To suggest otherwise is either a male fantasy or a feminist one.

In all fairness, there’s another side to the male or feminist fantasy, one that deserves some emphasis. Namely, Ashley Madison promised that men who want to cheat can do so on the cheap… without paying very much of a price. In principle, a married woman brings is less likely to expect a relationship. It used to be called free love and perhaps it still should be.

Riley emphasizes the point:

But in article after article and book after book in which women who engage in casual sex are interviewed — take the Vanity Fair article about Tinder earlier this month — the women are not happy. They don’t like the lack of relationship, and they don’t even like the sex. They are always desperately hoping that casual sex or even drunken sex will turn into something more.

While we are offering an in depth examination of cheating husbands, we turn our eyes to Liz Jones, writing in the Daily Mail. Jones is a quirky writer, in a rather droll British style. Fair enough.

One finds it difficult to imagine an American writer blaming women when their husbands cheat. But, as a wife who has been betrayed by a cheating husband, Jones has a right to her viewpoint:

That’s all very well. But what no one really examined was that maybe men are cheating for one very good reason. Us. Women in long-term relationships.

We are just awful! We are only appreciative of and loving towards men when forced: due to financial dependency, children who need supporting, functions that need attending.

Behind the scenes, though, men know we are sniping at their shortcomings.

I only know one woman who has a good word to say about her partner, and even she told me over dinner that her husband, when instructed to book a mini break, got the dates mixed up – so when they arrived at the hotel it was fully booked and they had to decamp to a B&B.

I don’t know one woman who isn’t in charge. There is even one of us in the new Jonathan Franzen novel: a feminist who insists that her husband urinates sitting down.

All of which doesn’t make for great sex, which is why women escape to books like Fifty Shades Of Grey, and men cheat.

It gets worse. Jones continues, apparently describing some of her own behaviors:

But, really, what man would want to have wild sex with a woman who, when he pours non-organic milk on her muesli, yells at him from the garden.

Or who tells him not to use the shower for 24 hours after the cleaner has been, as ‘I paid her good money to get rid of your water marks’.

Or steals his sperm. Or fills the fridge with so much food he becomes fat. Or writes in the national press about his ‘male-pattern cellulite’.

I am not sure that I want to offer an opinion about whether feminists make good wives. If it is true, as it might be, that certain women feel nothing but contempt for their pathetic excuses for husbands, perhaps it makes sense that so many married men are cheating.

Of course, Jones has a special kind of expertise in this area. Her ex-husband cheated on her. She divorced him and threw him out. The most amazing part, she opines, was that such a pathetic excuse for a man could have found a woman to cheat with.

She showers her ex-husband with withering contempt:

When my husband cheated on me, I blamed him entirely. I wasn’t jealous, exactly: I felt a frustrating lack of control, and incredulity that anyone else would find him (penniless, lazy) attractive. I threw him out of the house, divorced him, and didn’t give him a penny.

He had to slope off to a basement bedsit in Camden with rats. I think he’s now back living with his parents.

His career didn’t do too well after we split up, not because he wasn’t clever and talented, but because I was a colossus, straddling the media. When he wrote a piece about me in the Evening Standard, I phoned the editor who commissioned him and yelled: ‘Just back off, OK! Back right off!’

Ah yes! Somehow or other modern men and modern women have found themselves at war. It’s not just another version of the old war between the sexes. It’s a new, ideologically driven war, driven by feminist contempt for men.

Of course, men were cheating before feminism. If feminism, by some miracle, were to disappear tomorrow, men would still cheat. Perhaps fewer of them would do so and perhaps they would be more discreet about it, less like Bill Clinton, Anthony Weiner and their avatars,. Have you asked yourself why such men would take such great risks, if not to humiliate their wives.

Jones suggests that men are avenging themselves on their insufferable wives. Clearly, their indiscretion, the near-guarantee that they would be caught, makes it more like an act of revenge. If you really want revenge, you wife has to find out. 


Ares Olympus said...

re: Jones suggests that men are avenging themselves on their insufferable wives. Clearly, their indiscretion, the near-guarantee that they would be caught, makes it more like an act of revenge. If you really want revenge, you wife has to find out.

Yes, a fun conceit for women to believe. Maybe feminism has finally reversed the gender roles so now women are strong and aggressive, and men are dishonest and passive-aggressive?

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...
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Anonymous said...

Jones: "When my husband cheated on me, I blamed him entirely."

Of course you did. And then you circled up with all your friends who validated what a great catch you are, what a great person you are, and what a dirtbag he is. Yet you never fully believed all that, did you?

It's so easy to criticize, and so challenging to be responsible for your own life.

The question is: why are women so "insufferable" today? Do they believe their own press? Is it really feminism? I'm not sure. But something's afoot... nobody's happy, and everybody's looking for SELF-fulfillment. That doesn't leave a lot of room for anyone else. This postmodern culture of materialism and relativism is a subjective prison of meaninglessness.

I don't say this to chide or ridicule Jones. What I am pointing out is there are no widely-respected societal institutions that challenge the dark elements of the human condition. Everything is reactive, like the legal process and criminal justice system, for example. Our society celebrates mediocrity so we all feel better about ourselves. Yet deep down, we know it's a lie. We're slugs with enormous creative capacity, and we seem content in our sluggishness. It's a conspiracy of passive misery validating itself. Self-congratulation as a way of life. Our thinking goes unchallenged. We've dumbed down the intellect so far that we now have expansive academic disciplines that promote victimhood, rationalize sloth, and celebrate debauchery. No wonder we care so much about Cecil the Lion and protect Planned Parenthood. We hate ourselves, and each other. Decadence does not spawn happiness, it just manufactures more lustful delights, numbing us more. And the Glowing Box is the perfect delivery system to evangelize this lifestyle.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Let's understand that Jones was being ironic when she said she blamed him. In her article she blames herself and the wives of the men who cheat.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Oh, I'm sorry. I guess my irony meter needs to be recalibrated. Seems that I'm missing a lot of this lately.

And I blame myself for that. I may be a bit humorless of late. Something to work on.

I stand by my last paragraph. When we look at ourselves as the source of our experience, we get responsible for our own lives. It's a high bar, but we're all too aware of the alternative.

Anonymous said...

When I visit Naughty sites, I'm inundated by Tons of ads from women in my area who want to Get It On with me.

They Never mention money. But how many women solicit sex with anonymous men without being paid?

Millions of middle class families have gone bankrupt, lost their homes & jobs. I'm confident that a Huge number of women in them have joined The Oldest Profession by dire necessity. And/or a nice chunk of cash.

Does anyone in the media mention that? I read a lot. I've never seen it mentioned. -- Rich Lara

Sam L. said...

If a married man cheats on his wife, unless it's with another man, then a woman is involved.

Ares Olympus said...

Ummmm... Rich Lara, I wonder if your explorations have discovered a standard bait&switch marketing scheme? Its pretty easy to put up a random sexy picture, and a sexy fake name, and fake location city close to whatever IP address you're using.

What comes after the clickbait, I can't guess.

Maybe a chat session with a local burglar who wants to know when you won't be home? Or maybe a larger blackmail scheme (with your sexy-chat) if you're married? (It's relatively easy these days to track down who you are and where you live on minimal information along with your IP.)

The bigger ones may even outsource their sex-chats to India so even a 5% success rate of can make the scamsters a fair living. But I would bet the chance of finding a local sexy, desperate, and willing woman on the other side of the ad something lower than 5%.

priss rules said...

There's a simpler explanation to all this from the sage of the age.

priss rules said...

Cheaters will cheat.

In some cases, the wife is really warm and supportive. So, why do men cheat? Because they find their nice wives to be so boring. It's like in the movie TWICE IN A LIFETIME. Ellen Burstyn's character was so supportive of Gene Hackman's, so he went off with a more 'exciting' woman.

In other cases, the woman is a really 'ball-buster', so the man might look for some kinder and gentler woman.

Also, there is cheating-for-thrills where the man feels nothing for the woman he's having an affair with. Indeed, it might be a one-time thing.
But in other cases, the cheating is more serious because he really falls in love with the other woman.
In some cases, the man falls out of love with his wife and falls for the new woman.
In other cases, he continues to love his wife but madly falls in love with the new woman.

At any rate, one thing our society needs is Vito-Corleone-ism. The problem is too many guys don't grow up. Emotionally, they remain at the level of teenagers, if that.

Usually, when a woman nags at her husband, it's not really over trivial stuff like shower stains. Rather, she has no respect for him as a person, therefore finds faults with everything he does. When you look down on someone, everything about him or her seems irritating.

If a woman were married to someone like Vito Corleone, she would easily overlook his minor faults since he would be impressive overall.
But when a man is a punkass fool, she will be irritated by all his faults as reflections of his overall poor character.

Our culture is pop culture and pop culture is youth culture that stunts male emotions from putting away childish things and becoming a real man.

Man must lead. If men mature, women will follow. The reason why so many women are trashy is because so many men are trashy. Feminism turned into mondo trasho because feminists eventually came around to acting like the clowns in ANIMAL HOUSE. Men act like apes, so women act like apesses.

Pogo: I never said I was a diplomat said...

There are vanishingly fewer reasons for men to get married.
What's in it for them? Not much that I can see.

Part of feminist ideology is misandry.
A man should inquire of a woman he is interested in if she is a feminist.
If yes, politely depart. Nothing good can come of it.

priss rules said...

"There are vanishingly fewer reasons for men to get married.
What's in it for them? Not much that I can see."

This is where nationalism and tribalism come in.

The problem with modern man is he has no larger sense of community through space and time. He sees himself as an individual, and marriage is all about his lone happiness or some such.

No, marriage is more than about individual interest. It is about continuation of the line, survival of the tribe. It is about ancestry, and it is about living through your children.

Jews understood this very well. Sure, Jews got married for happiness and individual fulfillment and all that. But they also saw themselves as members of a community, a culture, a heritage. It was for the continuation of this community through space and time that Jews got married and had children onto whom the identity, culture, territory, and values were passed down.

So, marriage is bigger than any individual. It is about receiving the torch, carrying the torch, and passing down the torch.

All groups need to revive their sense of identity, territory, and culture. When sex is seen merely as pleasure or individual fulfillment, its meaning wears off. But if sex is seen as a process of continuation of life and culture, then it carries greater meaning, and then marriage carries greater meaning.

Of course, it would be dreary if people got married only out of a sense of duty and community. There is a need for individual freedom and choice. We can balance individual needs and cultural obligations.

At any rate, individual freedom gains greater meaning when associated with the larger realities of identity and culture. It's like an individual Christian, an individual Jew, an individual Chinese, or individual Russian finds greater meaning in his individuality than an individuality without identity or loyalty. Individual freedom is a good thing, but it must ultimately serve something larger than itself.
In time, ideologies come and go. But identities last.
It's like Russia was Russia before the revolution, during the revolution, and after the revolution. It is Russian identity that lasts and should last. If the identity goes, all is lost. A Russian who gives up his identity and culture as a Russian can be a free individual but for what ultimately? If he accepts his Russian identity, he can feel a sacred connection with the line of his people, and he can look upon his children and descendants as future bearers of the torch. And that makes life meaningful.

n.n said...

It seems unlikely that progressive feminists believe that women are equal to men, but rather that they want to force establishment of equivalence with some purpose. The individual confusion, wrecked relationships, alienated children, and planned parenthood are either collateral damage or the intended outcome.

Dennis said...


I can relate. That is exactly why I have to disengage because I start acting just like the left leaning person I used to be. At some point women, and men, have to understand that marriage requires one to become aware of the needs of their respective mates. When something like sex become a bargaining tool then it no longer has a meaning within the context of marriage. In the past it was why a mistress was an accepted idea by a significant number of married women in many cultures around the world.
I note that there is the equivalent of a Viagra pill for women which in many ways recognizes the lost of interest that many women suffer. One cannot bond as a couple if there is little bonding. I suspect that many a wife does want to have a satisfying sexual life with their husbands, but the requirements of living get in the way.

Anonymous said...

Ares O. You are surely correct that some Sex Come-Ons are scams for something else.

But, with due respect, your estimate of only 5% is drawn out of thin air. I'm sure it's far more.

There's no way of knowing for sure. Nobody has bothered to study the matter, far as I know. And nobody seems to want to find out the truth.

I DO know that the Ashley Madison scandal has reached every corner of Washington DC. With sex.

I'm confident that many of the ladies are middle class part timers. -- Rich Lara

Leo G said...

Argh! Recent studies are finding that the "cheating gap" is disappearing. Women are cheating as often as men now

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Leo G @August 24, 2015 at 2:20 PM:

Isn't equality great?

Leo G said...

IAC - you betcha!


Maria Cooker said...
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Anonymous said...

Women definitely Cheat much more than men do today, and it is a known Fact.

Anonymous said...
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Amanda Morrison said...
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