There’s no doubt about it – over the last couple of decades the UK has become a far more sexually adventurous and liberated society, that has been reflected in a great number of surveys looking into how many of us engage in extramarital affairs. Once upon a time the fairy-tale ideal of a marriage – happy or not – being exclusive for life was the only mantra out there, even though there’s no doubt that most people didn’t believe it. ‘Keeping up appearances’ was what the marriage game was all about, with the consequence of literally millions of unhappy, unfulfilled and sexually frustrated partnerships. Thankfully the latest UK infidelity statistics suggest that we have thrown off our shackles (and put on our furry handcuffs!).
When it comes to matters of the heart it’s essential to approach all such surveys with a pinch of salt, for people take such questioning more personally than any other. This is understandable, after all who doesn’t imagine themselves as a sexual Venus or Lothario? However the good news is that there is an unmistakable trend that suggests a staggeringly high number of married people – of all ages – have, or are, engaged in some form of extramarital affair.
It’s worth clarifying here that by extramarital affair we aren’t considering sending work colleagues the odd racy text, or even measuring it with a drunken snog with a stranger in the back of a club. Nope – by this we are looking at the real deal, the introduction of a shadowy third person into a person’s love life, which remains unknown to the matrimonial partner. After all, this is what an affair is really all about. Taking an aggregate of a number of surveys, at the very most conservative estimate it is fair to say that over the course of a marriage – regardless of whether it lasts a lifetime or less – 50% of women and 60% of men will engage in an extramarital relationship at some stage. For some people these are merely a flicker of a few weeks, and for others they may continue for many years, if not even decades. Likewise, it is extremely common that once the pleasures of an extramarital affair have been enjoyed once, that a person will look for more partners in the future. As only a tiny percentage of affairs ever end up leading to a new marriage, this suggests that the overwhelming majority of those seeking such a thrill do so as an educated and informed lifestyle choice. Thanks to social media and the ubiquitous nature of the internet it has never been easier to arrange hook ups while keeping them tightly under wraps, and on current trends there’s no sign of Britain slowing down in enjoying the sexual liberation that this has brought to the fore.