Why Men Cheat

by : Gregory Lions

'Big, little or short or tall,

Wish I could have kept 'em all,

I loved 'em every one'

- T.G. Sheperd, I Loved 'Em Every One

I thumbed through the New York City Yellow pages under 'Escort Services'. There were twenty-five pages! 'Escort' is just the way businesses get around saying 'prostitutes'. Clearly, the world's oldest profession is alive and well here in the Big Apple. I even feel I can safely say that not all the men who patronize these services are single.

Cheat is a silly word It's culturally centered. It implies that we've violated the rules of the game of fidelity. First off, take a look at the current divorce rate: 1 out of every 2 marriages fails. Why? Marital infidelity is the biggest reason. There are other cultures that openly allow a man to have more than one wife; the Muslims. One of the richest men on the planet today, The Sultan of Brunei has 100 wives! Right here in the United States, polygamy is openly practiced in Utah.

We exist as human beings on two levels; with bodies and minds. We attempt to enforce a set of Puritanical moral codes that contradict our physical desires. This is just another of the many ridiculous hypocrisies people try to impose upon themselves and others.

If we would only be honest with ourselves, then we'd acknowledge the fact that we are sexually attracted to more than one individual. This is not a violation of any love promise made to one woman, it's just instinct, that pre-loaded software package in our brains. On the purely physical plane, we have instinct and hormones constantly influencing our thoughts. This combination comes into play when a man sees an attractive woman walking by. She stimulates his senses. He doesn't know what she's thinking he only sees her physical attributes. They make him feel good.

He has fantasies of what it would be like to kiss her, to feel her body against his; to make love to her. Seconds after, a second thought, guilt, may come barging in. 'I'm a married man' or 'I've got a girlfriend' or 'How could I betray her like that?' It's absurd that a man should feel guilt for something over which he has no control.

Let's not forget movies, television and printed media. James Bond, the ultimate womanizer, immediately comes to mind. What about these soap operas that millions of women sit glued to their televisions watching? The appeal of most of them is in watching the main characters have affairs. Now there's a show on Fox called 'Temptation Island'(which should really be called 'Sexual Survivor') where young couples are placed on an island. The men and women are separated to opposite sides inhabited by horny singles whose sole mission is to seduce these committed people. The ratings for this show have been phenomenal! And how about that riveting drama in the tabloids as well as mainstream newspapers that unfolded in the White House a few years ago? You remember, Bill Clinton and 'I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky' Monica Lewinsky?

With the advent of the Internet, a whole new definition of cheating exists: Computer love affairs, the infidelity of your text. Men can cyber with women and vice versa.

Here is where the distinction must be drawn. Physical performance vs. emotional betrayal. Which do you think is more important? A man can patronize a hooker, and once he's completed the sexual act she becomes just a vague memory. He doesn't want to grow old with her. This is a very important point since men and women have fought, marriages have crumbled, and so much emotional agony are left in its wake.

The bottom line, is that men are and will continue to be attracted to other women and yes, women have and will continue to be attracted to other men too. When we can accept the reality, then maybe we'll have become more mature as a society