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The Unfortunate Allure Of Affairs

Couple kissing in black armchair“The allure of affairs is that they’re not bogged down with the realities of everyday life.”

So I’m at home, indulging in one of my true guilty pleasures: the ID Channel. I really shouldn’t be watching this channel. I mean, I really shouldn’t. After all, I’ve got books to write. Deadlines to meet! Luckily my guilty pleasure hasn’t gotten out of hand. So far. I dole it out to myself a little at a time, like candy to a child, so as not to OD on it and fall into an ID Channel stupor.

But anyhoo, I’m watching one of my favorite shows, Wicked Attraction, whose premise is stories about two people who hook up for scorching hot sex that ultimately leads to bad things in the end. One of them murdering the other’s spouse, for example. Interspersed in the story are comments from folks such as the detectives who investigated the situation and noted authorities who lend expertise, such as forensic psychologists. On an episode I watched recently, a forensic psychologist stated the quote above, about affairs not being bogged down with the realities of everyday life, and it got me thinking. Is that what’s so darn enticing about affairs? Is it the escape from the daily grind, the stolen moments of suspended reality where nothing matters except the pursuit and achievement of outrageous, passionate sex? The opportunity to set aside the mundane and wallow like a pig in mud in lots and lots of amazing sex.

The start of a relationship is an intoxicating experience, isn’t it? Chemistry picks up steam, hormones are flying, and the intimate journey is a thrilling, hedonistic process of discovery. There’s nothing tired or boring about a brand new lover, no siree. What’s not to love about a fresh touch on your skin, a new lover’s mouth devouring yours, a sensual exploration of what drives you wild. The mere thought of it gets the  heart pounding and the panties damp. And if that relationship happens to be an affair – no strings attached! There can’t be, right? ‘Cause it’s an affair. One or both of the involved parties is linked with someone else. Someone who would be devastated to learn of this clandestine tryst. So affairs are kept quiet, and secret, which only serves to heighten the dangerous allure. It’s like parents locking the liquor cabinet to a teen. He must have that alcohol, if for no other reason than he’s not supposed to. It’s the wild excitement of forbidden fruit.

When it comes to sex, we like it new. It’s exciting and adventurous, which sadly is another attraction to an affair. It’s a lot more work spicing things up with a well-known lover versus simply taking on someone new. Why is that? Why are some unable to resist the allure of a heated affair while fidelity for others is indeed a sacred oath?

There are those who argue that we humans are simply not wired for fidelity and that the expectation of monogamy is unrealistic. Certainly there’s support from the animal kingdom, where scientists have discovered that animals formerly thought to mate for life do indeed have animal affairs. But animals don’t have the same desire we humans do for things like truth and security. They also may not know the meaning of jealousy. Now, obviously, I’m not a . . . I dunno, coyote or anything, so I don’t actually have inside information. But I’m just sayin’.

In any case, the unfortunate truth is that affairs for many are far too tempting to resist. There’s even a website, ashleymadison.com, for those who like to cheat. Their tagline: “Life is short. Have an affair.” And the worst part – Ashley Madison boasts a membership of over 23 million.

I’ll watch my show because, after all, it’s got that trainwreck element where I just can’t look away. But I’m curious what others think about why affairs are – for some people – impossible to deny. Sound off below ’cause we love to hear from readers. And while you’re at it, be sure to click the little follow button to the right.

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with my webmaster, Alla. {photo credits: Alessandro Bologna}