We know, it hurts. But we’ve all been there.
Cheated on. Lied to. Forced to spend lonely nights on the losing end of a 12-pack, trying to make sense of it all.
The short answer? It doesn’t exist. And even if it did, it wouldn’t make you feel any better.
The long one? For that, we asked nine real, live, sex-having women why they sought out some extracurricular activity.
And here’s what they told us.
Zosia, 32, Print Manager
Coupled up and annoying everyone on the train
“Every time I have cheated or lied, it has been an attempt to sabotage a relationship — in essence screwing it up on purpose before I inevitably did it myself (which I assumed I would). I saw myself as not good enough, so my reasoning was to beat him to the punch and be ‘bad’ before he figured out I wasn’t good enough anyway. Not accepting love or feeling you deserve love can be a real fucker.”
Eve, 29, Real Estate Broker
Got this boyfriend
“When another man has made a move that isn’t my boyfriend, I may have had some contributing factor (99.9% innocent flirting). So if somebody tries to steal a kiss or a lewd comment, etc., I won’t tell [my boyfriend], assuming I don’t think it’ll come out. It’s not worth the fight, or the bubbling testosterone, in my opinion. However if your guy is going to come face to face with that guy, you owe him the honesty. Don’t make a schmuck out of him.”
Frances, 32, Creative Consultant
Married and stoked about it
“Integrity is a personal mantra, so I legitimately can’t remember a time I was ever dishonest or cheated on my partner. At least not in any significant way that would be interesting to you. I do make a killer wingbitch though: I am happy to turn my ring around and get my girls laid … I mean, er, into a significant, lasting, loving relationship. The best thing about being married is that you have legit ZERO shame. I can go up to David Beckham and ask if he wants to get in a threesome with my friend because I don’t really give a shit if he rejects my offer.”
Layla, 31, Graphic Designer
Living happily in sin
“When I was in a relationship that was dwindling and I knew he was getting action elsewhere, I felt ZERO guilt having some fun experimenting with other guys and girls. I [also] lie about occasionally smoking cigarettes because I need a bad little secret.”
Nikki, 45, Dermatologist
Met someone. We’ll see.
“That flighty saying about women being able to handle just about anything — except being bored … that’s true. Plus, you can’t trust anyone, so why not? Even salt looks like sugar.”
Lily, 27, Marketing Coordinator
Single, some days more than others
“I was in denial about being in a relationship with a guy I didn’t actually like at a time when I wasn’t really ready to be in a relationship. Not a proud moment but a learning opportunity, because in actuality I was just cheating myself out of doing the hard work required to actually be committed to someone, to figure out what I want, what I value and the type of person that complements that.”
Otto, 35, Magazine Editor
Coupled up and in it to win it
“I have cheated for a bouquet of reasons including the following: revenge, sabotage, boredom, spite, apathy, desire, curiosity, fear and just pure thrill. Some were mistakes. Most were not. Either way, it got me here. And I like it here. And for that, I’d do it all again. Exactly the same. Wouldn’t miss a beat.”
Victoria Simon, 26, Artist
Single and satisfied
“I dated this guy for a couple of years to whom I was unfaithful a couple of times. I never went all the way home with someone else while we were dating, but I definitely crossed the line of fidelity on two particular occasions. Both times it happened, said boyfriend was traveling to his hometown (which he did often) and being overly aloof (which was also not uncommon for him). I would go days without hearing from him and when I did, the conversations were brief and made me feel like I was being a burden to him. When it all boiled down, my actions were a result of feeling neglected and unwanted. The infidelities were an ego boost during a weak moment when I was feeling totally disregarded by my own boyfriend. Though what I did was shitty, I maintain that he was not faultless in the situation. I never told him about either incident, and we ultimately parted ways (for unrelated reasons).”
Mona, 28, Content Strategist
Feelin’ out the scene
“I was in a totally dysfunctional and unhealthy relationship a bit back. I found out that my boyfriend of three years had developed a sexual and emotional relationship with another woman, and was understandably devastated. After some time I decided to ‘take him back,’ but the trust was never there again as I eventually started casually hooking up with other guys behind his back. Even though my relationships were purely sexual and not emotional like I perceived his cheating to be, I used his dishonest behavior as a justification to do the very thing that hurt me most. If he could cheat, why couldn’t I? Subconsciously, I was probably trying to get him back and make him feel the way I felt when I found out about his relationship.”