Would all men cheat?

Just when we’d (almost) forgotten about David Beckham’s affair in 2004 with Rebecca Loos, a new scandal has arisen for England’s golden boy. Former prostitute Irma Nici claims that Becks paid $10,000 for a night with her in 2007. Yet how many people can say they are truly shocked by this?

The list of musicians, actors, TV stars and sportsmen playing away from home appears to be growing rapidly. So why exactly are so many men cheating on their partners?

The comedian Chris Rock once said: ‘A man is only as faithful as his options’.

This may have been uttered in jest, but begs the question: would the (happily married) average Joe turn down Megan Fox if she led him upstairs from a lonely hotel bar and he knew his wife would never find out?

Most (attached) guys would find it hard to answer this or brand it an ‘unrealistic’ question. Admittedly, it may be unrealistic to use the example of Megan Fox, however the underlying issue remains: Can men temporarily discard their morals when faced with a situation of extreme temptation and perceived ‘invisibility’?

Some might suggest that a woman is only safe from infidelity if she is the ‘best available option’. However, is there really such thing as a ‘best available option’ or would men be drawn to ‘any available option’ given the chance.

A biological theory has been put forward known as the ‘Coolidge effect’, which suggests that all mammals renew excitement to mate when faced with a new mating partner. An example is the rat. If you put a male rat in a cage with a female rat, there is an immediate frenzy of copulation – however the male rat soon tires of that particular female. After a while, he completely ignores her. However, if you were to exchange the original female rat for a new female rat, the male rat would demonstrate the original intense enthusiasm to mate.

The phrase ‘love rat’ seems appropriate here, particularly with regards to the many adulterous male celebrities who monopolise the front pages of tabloid newspapers. Being in the limelight, one could perhaps understand how famous males are spoilt for choice when surrounded by some of the world’s most beautiful women. However, in most cases, the identity of the women they cheat with is the biggest shock. Rather than swapping pillow talk with one red carpet beauty for another, celebrity cheats frequently choose women who (to put it mildly) are anything but desirable. Out of the many affairs Tiger Woods had, one of the longest was a 14 month exploit with an average-at-best-looking diner waitress called Mindy. What could have tempted him to choose mediocre Mindy over his beautiful Elin?

Beyond this, many celebrities have chosen to sleep with prostitutes. Wayne Rooney cheated on Coleen with a 48-year-old grandmother dressed in a rubber catsuit.
Why men frequently choose to cheat with such seemingly ‘undesirable’ women remains a mystery. Perhaps they are actively seeking polar opposites to their high maintenance wives and girlfriends?

Everyone may have different reasons for looking elsewhere, but most people cheat as there is ‘something missing’ in their own relationship and it easier to look elsewhere rather than trying to address existing issues. On top of this, if someone feels they can get away with it, they won’t be able to resist taking advantage of the opportunity.
Admittedly there are gender differences in cheating, with a greater proportion of men being unfaithful. This is not to say that men are the ‘cheating sex’ and women are the ‘faithful sex’ as a lot of women do cheat too.

Many men do however blame their infidelity on evolution, suggesting they are biologically programmed to cheat. A man’s natural instinct is to ‘spread the seed’ to produce the most offspring. However, as with all urges, we potentially possess the strength, willpower and intellect to control them. For example, when a man is angry with his boss, under heightened stress, he may declare that he feels like ‘punching him’ – though in the majority of cases, he wouldn’t actually go through with it otherwise he’d lose his job and end up in court. Similarly, a lot of men would understand that giving in to an urge to cheat could lose him his wife and children – so he’d be able to resist.

It is important to understand the differences between pleasure and ultimate happiness – and in the case of cheating, one moment of pleasure could quickly destroy fundamental happiness, so this ‘pleasure’ is effectively annulled in the longterm. Sex is a natural act whereas committment is a spiritual act and due to people having different levels of spiritual maturity, some find it much harder to overcome the biological instinct.

The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer once suggested: Der Mensch kann wohl tun was er will, aber er kann nicht wollen, was er will. (Man may indeed do what he wants, but he can’t choose what he wants).

So, can natural instincts take over emotion? Yes, and it takes a stronger person to control them. There are many faithful men out there, and they possess the ability to subdue their raw instincts. It takes a controlled and rational man not to give into these primal urges and to face his problems – either by fixing a relationship or getting out of it.

Some say that one of the best ways to predict what someone’s going to do in the future is to look at what they’ve done in the past. A lot of the time this is true, but even the world’s biggest lotharios (Russell Brand) can change their ways when they find the right girl.

Men are easily tempted and if they can get away with cheating, a lot of the time they will. So girls, the most important thing is to be alert, keep your man happy, and make it VERY clear he won’t get a second chance if he does…

© 2010 Alicia Drewnicki

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