Mimi

All that is
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2012-03-04 12:55:42 (UTC)

The title of this book should..

The title of this book should really be Cheat's Charter. It is a hoot, and would appeal to readers of lads' mags, if they could only ignore the ponderous sociological jargon designed to show high intellectual aims. Anderson argues that male sexual cheating is ubiquitous; that men cheat "because they love their partners" (although what he actually means is "despite loving them"); that women should understand and accept this; that western rules of fidelity and monogamy impose intolerable and irrational constraints on men's innate, lifelong, somatic need for sexual exploration and adventure; that almost all men become sexually bored with their partner roughly two years into a relationship when they decide they need more diversity and novelty; and that open sexual relationships are the only solution – for men at least.

Anderson is an American sociologist who specialises in sexuality and sport, partly because he is gay and was a distance runner as a teenager. This explains why his study of cheating behaviour and rationales relies on interviews with 120 male university students aged 18-22, but focusing on American soccer stars. These young men are athletes at their physical peak, who live in a utopian sexual marketplace, with young women often throwing themselves at them, just as some young women groupies in Britain seek to sleep with all members of top football teams. By defining cheating broadly enough to include kissing, touching and flirting, he finds that four-fifths of these young men cheat on their partners, especially when they are playing away from their home base. He claims that pretty well all young men, heterosexual and gay, will cheat sooner or later if they possibly can, and that opportunity and deniability are the primary factors.

His argument has some support in the recent national sex surveys showing that men want sex more than women do. The result is the male sex deficit, as I call it in my book Honey Money – male demand outstrips female supply, overall, in the heterosexual community. Anderson does not really have an answer to this problem, because he effectively ignores women, and relies heavily on his knowledge of gay cultures. It works for them, so why not for heterosexuals too?


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