Ashley Madison Survey Reveals How And Why People Cheat

Cheating
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Cheating. Adultery. Stepping out. Having an affair. Two-timing. Infidelity. Extracurricular activities.

We have a number of words for it, and an equally plentiful number of excuses for doing it. A new survey from Ashley Madison, the infamous online dating service that caters to extramarital encounters and claims more than 56 million members worldwide, has uncovered the most common reasons people cheat on their partners.

Ashley Madison teamed up with YourTango to ask 1,300 male and female respondents about how and why they partake in their illicit affairs. You may think the answer is simple - one too many drinks, and suddenly otherwise-attached strangers are hooking up in a grungy bar bathroom - but in fact, the act is often more premeditated than that.

Forty-four percent of male participants admitted to cheating on a partner, while 55% said they had at least thought about it. Twenty-seven percent said that if they were unhappy in a relationship and wanted to cheat, they would proposition a friend or co-worker. Twenty-three percent favored meeting a stranger at a bar or while traveling.

Female respondents reported less instances of cheating, both actual and imaginary. Thirty-nine percent said they have cheated on a partner, while 35% confessed to contemplating it. Like their male counterparts, more women said they would approach a friend or colleague if they wanted to cheat (28%) while a smaller number preferred the stranger strategy (17%).

As for the big why, the primary reason partners cheat is that oft talked-about spark - more specifically, the lack of it.

Seventy-eight percent of those surveyed blamed a lack of sex for their affairs. Another 31% said they had active intimate lives, but the sex was boring. The rest of the reasons were decidedly less salacious, like working too much, having kids, and a lack of trust.

Ashley Madison, of course, thinks the solution to all that unrequited lust is a no brainer: have an affair. The company claims that 54% of their members said adultery enhanced their marriage by providing satisfaction and excitement without having to leave a partner.

Paul Keable, VP of communications for Ashley Madison said: "The universal desire and inclination to have extramarital affairs is a lot more common than people might think. As our data has shown, monogamy is not our natural state and infidelity is part of our DNA."

A healthy dose of skepticism should leave you questioning whether Keable’s on the money about monogamy and whether an affair can actually make your marriage happier, but we’re guessing your partner won’t be too pleased if you use these stats as a defense of your wiley two-timing ways.