Writer Defends Adulterers, Calls the Rest of Us “Holier Than Thou”

If you’ve listened to Howard Stern even once over the past decade (that’d be Em, not Lo), then you know that one of his most loyal advertisers is the Ashley Madison Agency — the online dating site that caters to married people with the tagline “Life is short. Have an affair.” Charming. On and off over the years, we’ve thought about reporting on Ashley Madison, but every time we did, steam would come out of our ears and we’d realize that our entire article would consist of seven words, most likely typed in all caps: “Stop cheating you slimeball pieces of shit.” Just because the site sounds like it was named by Nora Roberts, as Jezebel so brilliantly notes, doesn’t mean it’s any less sleazy, immoral, unethical, or just plain wrong. Fortunately not everyone is as “narrow-minded” as we are; Melanie Berliet, a writer for Vanity Fair recently investigated the site to find out why men cheat, which involved interviewing men who said things like “I’m a big believer in monogamy through adultery.”

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130 Comments on "Writer Defends Adulterers, Calls the Rest of Us “Holier Than Thou”"


1 year 9 months ago

Speaking as an English guy living in London I can honestly say that it is really hard to maintain a monogamous relationship for a long amount of time. I managed 12 years but then I saw many of my friends having a bit of fun and it seemed to brighten their day and I thought ‘why not?” I am not proud of my attitude but it means that I am more likely to say with my wife.
I now have a longterm safe marital affair with a married woman I met on a business trip – it will never annoy either of our marriages.

Mary
1 year 10 months ago

“What are you supposed to do if you still have a healthy sex drive and desire for sex which your partner does not share? Divorce them? Coerce them?”

The whole point of divorce is to leave an unhappy marriage, so yeah? If you can’t fathom being faithful to your spouse for whatever reason, then you should seek an honest resolution, either through counseling or divorce. Or just don’t get married in the first place. Absolutely no one said a bad thing about open relationships, and in fact several people (including Em and Lo) made it quite clear that non-monogamous relationships are fine as long as everyone involved knows what’s going on and agrees to it. The very essence of cheating is dishonesty, and that’s what makes it unquestionably wrong. There’s nothing self-righteous about condemning it because it’s an incredibly selfish and hurtful thing to do to someone. If you want to have your cake and eat it too, find a partner who you know won’t have an issue with you having sex outside of the marriage. They do exist, and they’re relatively easy to find nowadays. But trying to force your preferences on someone who insists on sexual fidelity isn’t doing them a favor, it’s being an a-hole of the first degree. Lies and secrecy do not a healthy relationship make.

Skano
2 years 1 month ago

People in happy, fulfilling relationships don’t cheat. Keep that, rather than old fashioned words such as ‘duty’ and ‘loyalty’ as your mantra. There are probably millions of marriages out there that are, whilst not abusive, physically or emotionally unfulfilling for one or both partners. We live in a society that embraces sexual freedom and choice, where sexual innuendo and imagery is everywhere, but we still cling to the belief that being in a long term relationship somehow switches of the parts of your brain that find people other than your spouse or partner attractive.

Monogamy is not a universal norm, and, even in societies with supposedly strict codes of sexual fidelity, there have always been practices society turns a blind eye to. There are many traditional cultures that have allowed, or even embraced and encouraged, non-monogamous relationships and sex with other partners than your spouse/main partner.

Sexual desire is an inescapable part of our human nature, and there are thousands of people trapped in relationships where their partner is unresponsive to their sexual needs. What are you supposed to do if you still have a healthy sex drive and desire for sex which your partner does not share? Divorce them? Coerce them?

I’m not saying we should all run out and cheat, just that maybe we should try and be a bit more understanding and a bit less self-righteous and actually think about how we treat our partners and how we respond to their sexual desire or lack of.

5 years 10 days ago

… I am one of a married people you know. I’m a successful businessman who has great family, two beautiful children and a great career. My marriage became sexless around fifteen years ago as my wife had no desire for sex and I finally gave up after years of begging. Being completely frustrated, five years ago I started looking through married dating sites and eventually began having an affair with a woman who was also in a sexless marriage. I was not looking for a new partner every day, neither I was interested in leaving my family or breaking somebody else. Our five-year monogamous relationship likely saved both our marriages…

AMY FLYNN
5 years 7 months ago

James say’s it all for us women & men. If my husband of 16 years cheated I would be devastated but I would still like to know and have a choice weather to stay and fix our relationship or leave because the cheater WILL be found out sooner or later.