The truth about Female Infidelity: bonobos, ploughs and the Skirt Club

Have you ever cheated on your partner? Yes, you, Im talking to you. Before you answer,  stop and think. I know you  want to appear morally righteous , and I don’t expect you to give me your truth as you expect me to judge you and  you want to be seen as a nice person . Especially you  as a woman,. You want to be seen as pure and faithful to your vows.  Anything to avoid being called slutty , a ho,  or promiscuous .

Well girlfriends, let go of the shackles , take a deep breath as even if you won’t tell your truth , I’m here to tell your truth about female infidelity. Which is really  about female sexual desire.  Admittedly , I  have not come to this truth  only through my own research into cyber infidelity and via my  many clinical hours working as I do with couples and infidelity.

I came to all   this exciting novel thinking  about female infidelity , from my new online crush, Wednesday Martin PhD.   Wednesday  earned her doctorate in comparative literature and cultural studies, with a focus on anthropology, the history of anthropology and the history of psychoanalysis, from Yale. She is the author of best selling books most notably  Primates of Park Avenue ,  an Instant New York Time best seller.

Actually it ‘s a pretty mutual crush .  She sent me her just released ground breaking book called “Untrue: Why nearly everything we believe about women , lust, and infidelity is wrong and how the new science can set us free”(2018) . Since that time we follow each other on social media, like each other’s posts, and cant wait to meet face to face in March, in New York.

Hmmm, Im wondering.. Wednesday, do you think we are cheating on our  partners with our online crush ? I wonder what they would say.. As you write in your book, the definition of cheating has changed. And this shift  has enabled  us  to get a  peephole into the TRUTH about  female sexual desire.  I thoroughly embrace your   description of   how women now identify as post -binary= they are rejecting heterosexuality/ homosexuality, male /female; true/untrue.

Lisa Diamond, psychologist and researcher ,has written a most important book , called Sexual Fluidity.:Understanding women’s love and desire”  She  has  tracked over the span of a decade the relationships of nearly 100 women  who at one point or another had experienced ‘same-sex attractions.’ The women move from men to women and back again (or vice-versa), their sexual identity as changeable as their desires. Her research adds gravitas to Martin’s book on the exciting revelations about female desire, sexual fluidity and  infidelity. So much sexual fluidity is being exposed in women right now , its pretty breathtaking! Bicuriosity is now taken seriously.

I invite you to check for yourself if,  according to  new definitions of infidelity,  you are a cheater:

  •  Do you have a tight bond with someone but never had sex with them ?  This is called “micro cheating.
  • Is this micro cheating if you are not married?
  • Are you currently or ever sexted someone ?
  • Sexual intercourse with someone
  • Sexual activity without intercourse
  • Emotional intimacy without any sexual activity
  • Cyber infidelity , which entails secret online cyber flirting, cybersexting , cybersex
  • Dancing/having dinner  with others
  • Consuming porn secretly
  • Kissing and hugging others
  • Viewing dating apps
  • Crush on co-worker/neighbour
  • Fantasizing about others than your partner
  • Friendships with opposite sex
  • And most importantly, if you’re self identified as heterosexual and you’re doing this stuff with same sex person /s, is it still considered cheating ?

Another one of my new crushes is Nicolle Zapien,  PhD, psychotherapist and academic, in California. Her new book is called “Clinical Treatment Directions for Infidelity: A phenomenological framework for understanding “.(2018) I like her cited definition of infidelity : ” an act or acts of betrayal of a sexual and/or emotionally intimate nature as perceived by one or both parties of a couple”. She opines that infidelity is defined by each person’s perception and the context in which it occurs. In other words infidelity is messy and a grey area. It all depends on who says what and where you’re at.  Which requires you to have this difficult conversation with your partner/s: what is your definition of monogamy?

Both Nicole and Wednesday highlight the shift that has occurred regarding  female infidelity. Both debunk as UNTRUE age old beliefs and research stating that  men are wired to be promiscuous and women are wired to be monogamous.That men who cheat have multiple sexual partners, never get emotionally attached and always have sexual intercourse. Conversely women have only email or online affairs, always have feelings for the man and have fewer partners than men.

UNTRUE shouts Wednesday. Women have been constrained and slut shamed into this model of propriety. She turns to evolution, ploughs and bonobos  to prove her TRUTHS about female sexual desire and infidelity. Yes, you have to read her book to get what Im talking about:)

Here are some of her research TRUTHS:

  1. Female infidelity is on the rise: there is an estimated increase in infidelity for women , particularly young women . Access to technology which allows women to discreetly find and communicate with partners online,  increased opportunities, more independence and freedom , an  increase  in available knowledge about sexual health and pleasure, and  birth control are some reasons why this is happening.
  2. Women  have evolved to be promiscuous: females benefit from multiple mating. Which is why women love sex!  Religion , men’s entitlement and social constraints and shaming have suppressed this TRUTH.  Martin states that we evolved as “cooperative breeders”. Historically living in groups of people ,  women  mated multiply so children could be raised multiply. It is UNTRUE that women are evolved into  monogamous behaviour. .  Promiscuity in women was a  necessary survival strategy.  She had to be a “sexual strategist”. She could not afford to rely on one man’s sperm   so she gathered lots of sperm from different men. This also  hedged against  infanticide as if many men believed they fathered the child they would be   less likely to kill the  infant. Also  intercourse with multiple males gave women a  better chance of them provisioning her so could then go ahead and  have more babies .
  3. Long term relationships may be tougher for women than for men : Martin cites the work of researcher Marta Meana, who studies low sexual desire in long-term relationships.  Aha! Her research shows that men are pretty happy in a long term relationship if they are having regular sex with their partner. TRUTH- it is the women who report sexual and relationship  dissatisfaction. They get bored with sex in a long term relationship! .
  4. Women are turned on by other women: Welcome back Lisa Diamond! Martin cites the work of  Meredith Chivers, a researcher, who  validates Diamond’s research of women having sexual fluidity. Her research showed that  women get turned on watching a variety of porn, whilst men are aroused by porn aligned with their sexual orientation .  In other words, women need variety and novelty!
  5. Women are not looking for an emotional connection or intimacy. They cheat as an add on to their significant relationships. They want more sex and satisfying sex.
  6. Women like their clitorises. Ask any Bonobo. She will choose to play with a female over a male. Why? Because she gets mutual clitoral rubbing .

A confession : I have yet another crush . Her name is Bryony Cole and she is the CEO of The Future of Sex podcast.  She describes herself as a tech strategist, researcher, and sex and relationship coach. Each episode reinforces this seismic shift technology has brought to our sexuality, Most significantly women’s sexuality. I urge you to get with the program and subscribe to her podcast. Women will feel normalised and men petrified ! I dare you..

In summary Martin’s research points to the TRUTH that women are wired to be sexually flexible and promiscuous. And one way we show this is through infidelity. It is a strategic way of ensuring the continuation of the species.

Women cheat as they feel entitled . They do it for connection, intimacy and for the pleasure of sex. They feel constrained by monogamy , more than men do.

My advice to you as a man  : when for months your woman complains of low desire or a headache , she’s really saying that she is bored with the sex she is having , that she craves novelty, that she is not averse to opening up the relationship and that may include having a woman in her bed. Be open to this conversation. If you want to keep her monogamous alone  in your bed, up your game by listening and respecting her sexual needs.

And Wednesday, let’s meet at The Skirt Club 🙂