Explosive findings | 

Women more likely to cheat than men and for sexual reasons, new research reveals

‘Women don’t like sex less [than men] — but they do get bored of sexual sameness’

FILE PHOTO© Getty Images

Neil FetherstonhaughSunday World

Women are more likely to cheat than men, a new study has revealed which also explodes some of the myths as to why they do.

Science is also finding that women struggle more than men when it comes to staying faithful in relationships and the myth that women cheat for emotional reasons while men cheat for sexual reasons is also being overturned.

And according to a growing body of research, many women in long-term relationships are sexually adventurous and have secret lovers.

One 45-year-old woman from Melbourne, described her experiences with cheating.

“Even when your marriage is good, you still miss that rush of feeling so excited you can’t eat or sleep when you’re having such an intense time emotionally and sexually with a new person. That’s what I kept going after, and what I couldn’t say no to.”

It just one example of how the view that it’s mostly men who cheat because their partners lose interest in sex is outdated.

New findings suggest that it’s actually women who struggle more with monogamy because they get bored in the bedroom.

Women crave sexual variety and while some stifle their desire, others will be unfaithful.

Referring to this new research as “the great correction, Wednesday Martin, an anthropologist and author of “Untrue,” said:“Women don’t like sex less [than men] — but they do get bored of sexual sameness.”

After interviewing dozens of sociologists, sex researchers and anthropologists for her book on female infidelity, Martin added: “The new research is correcting false notions that women have lesser libidos, that women are more naturally monogamous and that it’s easier for women to partner for life.”

While males may have higher levels of spontaneous desire, women take the lead for responsive or triggered desire.

“Spontaneous desire is when you suddenly think, ‘It would be nice to have sex.’ It comes over you like hunger or thirst,” says Martin. “Responsive or triggered desire occurs when something suggests the idea of sex to you — you’re watching or reading something, or a partner initiates a sexual encounter — and you get turned on.

“For that type of desire, women’s libidos are every bit as strong as men’s. We’ve internalised this idea that men are the randier sex and that’s untrue.”

Martin highlighted research by Missouri State University that revealed how a group of women used the Ashley Madison website specifically to cheat.

“[This research] explodes several of our most dearly held notions about female infidelity: that women cheat only when they are unhappy in their marriages; that unlike men, they seek emotional connection, not sexual gratification; and that women just ‘stumble’ into affairs,” says Martin.

“The women studied went on the site, created a profile, vetted candidates, met them in person and ‘auditioned’ them. This was a very intentional process. They wanted to find partners for sex.

“They reported being in sexless or orgasm-less marriages and they simply wanted what they couldn’t get at home. But most were otherwise happily partnered or married, and these affairs were a way for them to remain in their primary relationships. So, there goes the myth that women who cheat are unhappily married.”

Another critical piece of research from Dr Marta Meana at the University of Nevada found that “institutionalisation” in a long-term partnership dampens women’s sexual desire more than men’s. Men who have regular sex with their partners are more satisfied sexually and with their relationship, but it’s not the same for the women, she says.

“Now sex researchers are entertaining the possibility that women simply need variety and novelty of sexual experience more than men do,” Martin says.

Another study by biopsychologist Meredith Chivers at Queen’s University, Canada and her team invited men and women to watch porn while they had monitors on their bodies to measure their sexual arousal.

Straight men were mostly turned on by images of heterosexual sex and women having sex with women, but the heterosexual women had a more varied “arousal menu.”

“Women’s bodies responded to men having sex with men, women having sex with women, men and women having sex and images of an erection. We traditionally think men get turned on by everything and the truth is that a woman’s body responds to more sexual stimuli,” says Martin.

However, Martin stressed that sexually frustrated women are not always unfaithful as women who can talk frankly to their partner about their desire for sexual variety and adventure can avoid the inevitable boredom that besets many long-term relationships.

“Women start providing service sex. ‘He wants it, I really don’t but I will get it over with.’ Then women get into the cycle of thinking, ‘I guess I don’t really like sex.’ It’s actually that they’re not liking sex with the partner they’ve been with for many years,” she explained.

Today's Headlines

More Real Life

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices