Poll Results: What is Infidelity?

Last week, we polled more than 500 of our readers for their views on infidelity. Here’s what we learned.

What constitutes cheating?

Call it practicality or call it desperation: Married men have more liberal views on infidelity than their single counterparts. A full 87 percent of unwed dudes consider making out with another woman to cross the line. Put a ring on guys’ fingers, though, and the figure drops to 78 percent. Apparently, something about having your wife waiting at home makes smooching another broad feel less dirty.

The most dramatic difference between the wed and unwed, however, is on the question of cyber-sex – a.k.a., talking dirty to strangers online. Nearly half of single men say it’s cheating, while only about a third of married dudes think it breaks the rules. Meanwhile, 62 percent of women equate cyber-sex with infidelity, making online chatting by far the least fun way to break up a marriage.

Women aren’t only stricter about cyber-sex: On the question of flirting, only 12 percent of men consider their banter with the girl from accounting to be cheating; according to 28 percent of women, that crosses the line. Meanwhile, two-thirds of men consider that staple of the back pages of NOW Magazine (warning: link not safe for your employer’s or your mate’s eyes), the rub ‘n’ tug, cheating; that figure’s a whopping 75 percent among women, though we suspect this number would drop considerably if you were to call it a “European massage.” As in, “Sorry I’m late, honey. I was just grabbing a baguette, some Gruyere – oh, and a quick European massage.”

Have you ever cheated?

In the least surprising discovery of our poll, a huge number of divorced and separated men – 72 percent – have strayed, according to their own definition of infidelity. Meanwhile, just over half of male readers – 52 percent – have cheated. Here’s hoping, at least, that it wasn’t just with cyber-buddies and masseuses, but a real-life (unpaid) woman.

Would you dump your partner for cheating?

It depends, say just over half (55 percent) of readers. About a third (32 percent) say that cheating is an immediate dealbreaker, but that number drops to 23 percent once they’re committed for life. Interestingly, a slightly smaller number of female readers call cheating a definite dealbreaker: Just 27 percent guarantee a breakup for their boyfriend or husband if he strays.

Are men more likely to cheat than women?

Of course not! According to readers, high-profile philanderers like Silvio Berlusconi and Bill Clinton give the rest of us a bad rap: Just 29 percent believe that men are more likely to stray from the path.

Image courtesy of Katie Tegtmeyer on Flickr.


1 thought on “Poll Results: What is Infidelity?”

  1. I wonder if a wife caught her husband watching porn on the old computer, what the discussion might be like in light of this new information. “Jeez, honey, the majority of men and women do not consider this cheating according to the survey done by Russell Smith,” the wanker may whimper. “Russell Who?….”

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