One in Five People Report Having Been in a Sexually Open Relationship

One in Five People Report Having Been in a Sexually Open Relationship

How many people have ever been involved in a consensual non-monogamous (CNM) relationship before? The results of two recent studies involving nationally representative samples (one from the United States and one from Canada) reached nearly identical conclusions: approximately 20% (or 1 in 5) respondents said they had.

The U.S. study is from 2016 and it was previously covered on the blog here; however, the Canadian study just came out, so here are a few of the highlights from it. 

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How Can I Tell If My Partner Is Cheating?

How Can I Tell If My Partner Is Cheating?

Readers of the blog often send me their questions about sex and relationships, and one that I’ve heard several times recently concerns infidelity and whether there are any reliable indicators or red flags that your partner might be unfaithful. For example, one reader asked: “How can you tell if your man is cheating? What are the signs to look for?”

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10 Facts About Cheating And Infidelity, According To Science

10 Facts About Cheating And Infidelity, According To Science

Infidelity has long been a topic of interest to scientists who study sex and relationships. Over the years, they’ve uncovered a number of fascinating things about how common cheating is, who does it, and why. Here’s a look at ten interesting things scientists have discovered about cheating.  

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When are Married Couples Most Likely to Cheat? The Link Between Infidelity and Relationship Length

When are Married Couples Most Likely to Cheat? The Link Between Infidelity and Relationship Length

I shared an article on Twitter the other day about the prevalence of infidelity, which prompted a response from my pal Dan Savage about how cheating is associated with the length of a relationship. Basically, he wanted to know whether cheating is more or less common when you look at couples that have been together for a very long time. This is an interesting question and one that I’ve actually never been asked before, so I did some digging and here’s what I found. It turned out to be a pretty interesting story. 

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Where Do Our Sex Fantasies Come From?

Where Do Our Sex Fantasies Come From?

What’s the source of your favorite sex fantasy? Did it emerge from a previous sexual experience? Is it from something you saw in porn or in the popular media? Or did it come from somewhere else? It turns out that our fantasies can spring from several different sources. In this post, we’ll consider what 4,175 Americans said when asked where their biggest sexual fantasy of all time came from (note that this survey formed the basis for my latest book, Tell Me What You Want: The Science of Sexual Desire and How It Can Help You Improve Your Sex Life).

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When People Cheat, Who Do They Do It With? Is It Usually A Friend Or A Stranger?

When People Cheat, Who Do They Do It With? Is It Usually A Friend Or A Stranger?

There’s a lot of research out there looking at how many people have cheated, their reasons for cheating, and what “counts” as cheating; however, surprisingly little work has looked at who people are actually having sex with when they commit infidelity. Is it usually with someone they know, or with a stranger? And does this differ for men and women? A new study published in the Journal of Family Psychology offers some answers.

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Changes In Americans’ Attitudes Toward And Experiences With Infidelity In The Last Two Decades

Changes In Americans’ Attitudes Toward And Experiences With Infidelity In The Last Two Decades

Are Americans today more or less likely to cheat on their spouses than they were in the past? And how have their attitudes toward infidelity changed—have they become more or less tolerant of this behavior? A recent study published in the Journal of Family Psychology offers some insight into these questions.

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Our Reasons For Cheating Depend On Our Personality, Gender, and Attachment Style

Our Reasons For Cheating Depend On Our Personality, Gender, and Attachment Style

A recent study published in the Journal of Sex Research identified eight distinct motivations people can have for cheating (read all about those motives here). Beyond simply demonstrating the factors that motivate cheating, however, this study also examined how our personality, gender, and attachment style are linked to our reasons for committing infidelity. Here’s a quick review of the key findings.

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Is Watching Porn a Form of Infidelity?

Is Watching Porn a Form of Infidelity?

What “counts” as cheating on a romantic partner? It depends who you ask. Research finds that people define infidelity in very different ways. However, there are some things that people seem to agree on more than others.

For example, people largely agree that having sexual intercourse with someone who isn’t your partner is a form of cheating (assuming, of course, that you agreed to be monogamous with that partner). The same goes for taking a shower with another person or sending them naked photos. But what about just watching porn by yourself? Do people typically categorize that as a form of infidelity? A recent study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior offers some insight into this question.

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These Are The 8 Main Reasons People Cheat

These Are The 8 Main Reasons People Cheat

Research consistently finds that between 1 in 4 and 1 in 5 married persons in the United States has committed infidelity [1]. Rates of infidelity in dating relationships are even higher. Why are so many people cheating? Surprisingly little research has explored the motivations behind infidelity; fortunately, however, a new study published in the Journal of Sex Research offers some valuable insight [2]. 

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Why Do People In Happy Relationships Cheat?

Why Do People In Happy Relationships Cheat?

There's a common tendency to assume that when someone in a relationship cheats, they're doing it because the relationship is broken; however, this isn't necessarily true. People who are perfectly happy with their partner and their relationship cheat sometimes, too. So why is that? 

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Monogamy Can’t Be Assumed—It Needs To Be Negotiated And Defined

Monogamy Can’t Be Assumed—It Needs To Be Negotiated And Defined

What does it mean to be in a monogamous relationship? It depends who you ask. In the modern world, it has become increasingly difficult to define “monogamy” in any kind of universally agreed upon way. Just think about it: what “counts” as infidelity to you? For example, does sexting someone other than your romantic partner constitute cheating? What about using an interactive pornography site?

It turns out that different people answer these questions in very different ways.

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Once a Cheater, Always a Cheater? Here's What the Science Says

Once a Cheater, Always a Cheater? Here's What the Science Says

Is it a bad idea to get romantically involved with someone you know has committed infidelity in the past? Common sense tells us that "once a cheater, always a cheater." However, it's dangerous to rely on common sense to understand sex and relationships because research doesn't always back it up and also because different people can hold very different "common sense" beliefs. We need to look instead at what science says about whether past infidelity predicts future infidelity,

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Why Stealing Someone Else's Partner is a Terrible Way to Start a Relationship

Why Stealing Someone Else's Partner is a Terrible Way to Start a Relationship

Attempting to steal someone else’s spouse or lover--a phenomenon known scientifically as mate poaching--is a common theme in both TV shows and movies. It happens a lot in real life, too. For instance, surveys of North American adults have found that about half of the respondents report that they have been poached successfully from a previous relationship before [1]! So what ultimately comes of romances that begin with poaching? And is it possible to form a healthy, long-term relationship with someone you've lured away from another lover? Based on the research that's out there, not so much.

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If You Knew Someone Who Was Being Cheated On, Would You Tell Them?

If You Knew Someone Who Was Being Cheated On, Would You Tell Them?

People who cheat usually try to keep it a secret; however, they aren't always successful.

So, let's imagine for a moment that you find out someone you know has committed infidelity. What would you do: keep it to yourself, or share it with others? According to a recent study addressing this very question, our decision to reveal others’ infidelity is a very complex decision that depends upon many factors.

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Would Your Ideal Relationship Be Monogamous Or Open? 1,000 Americans Weigh In

Would Your Ideal Relationship Be Monogamous Or Open? 1,000 Americans Weigh In

Would your ideal relationship be completely monogamous, completely open, or somewhere in between? One thousand Americans adults were recently asked this question as part of a national YouGov survey and the results were fascinating.

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Infographic: Why Infidelity is a High Risk Sexual Behavior

Infographic: Why Infidelity is a High Risk Sexual Behavior

Most people think of cheating as a risky behavior--risky in the sense that, if discovered, it could potentially lead to hurt feelings, severe conflict, and maybe even breakup. However, infidelity doesn't just put the health of a relationship at risk. Research has found that it also puts the physical health of everyone involved at risk because, when people cheat, they don't appear to be particularly likely to practice safe sex. Check out the infographic below for a look at the data.

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Is Infidelity In Our DNA?

Is Infidelity In Our DNA?

Why do we cheat? 

Undoubtedly, there are many possible reasons. For example, sometimes people commit infidelity because they are in unhappy or dysfunctional relationships. Other times, it's because people are going through a mid-life crisis or because they're simply looking for a thrill. However, some scientists have argued that yet another potential reason some people might cheat is because they have a predisposition to infidelity in their genes.

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Seven Things Science Has Taught Us About Infidelity

Seven Things Science Has Taught Us About Infidelity

There is a massive body of scientific research on cheating and infidelity focused on how common it is, who does it, and why it occurs. A recent review paper on the subject, in press at the journal Current Opinion in Psychology, offers a glimpse into some of the more interesting findings that have emerged over the years. See below for a brief taste, but check out the full paper for more, along with a set of helpful suggestions for improving future research on this topic. 

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Infidelity: Cause Or Consequence Of Poor Relationship Quality?

Infidelity: Cause Or Consequence Of Poor Relationship Quality?

Several studies have found that infidelity is linked to both poor relationship quality and divorce. But is that because infidelity is harmful to relationships, or is it perhaps because low quality relationships predispose people to cheating? As it turns out, research suggests that both explanations may be correct.

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