Sit down, Chump Nation, I have shattering news to deliver. This is going to upend everything you thought you knew about infidelity. Are you ready? No? Go pour a shot of whiskey, and brace yourself against a sturdy piece of furniture, as you may feel overcome.
Cheaters enjoy cake.
Yes, according web aggregator StudyFind.com, which probably cut and pasted the press release straight from Ashley Madison, then got all aflutter:
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Western Ontario delved into the minds of users of Ashley Madison, a notorious dating platform specifically designed for those seeking affairs. The results reveal insights that challenge long-standing assumptions about why people cheat, opening a Pandora’s Box of fresh questions about human behavior within intimate relationships.
Fresh questions! No one has before ever asked why people cheat. That’s never a Google search term, or carved on a stone tablet by Moses since antiquity.
Excuse me, aren’t cheaters’ motivations the subject of an entire Esther Perel career? (Answer: “Exuberant acts of defiance.”) Or a predatory reconciliation industry? (Answer: Unmet needs. Dance harder, chump.) No! We need to untangle those skeins anew.
This groundbreaking study, one of the most comprehensive investigations of its kind, unearths a number of paradoxical findings. Perhaps the most striking is that many of those engaged in extramarital or extrarelational affairs reported harboring strong feelings of love towards their primary partners. This seemingly contradictory behavior uncovers a puzzling intersection of emotional attachment and infidelity, suggesting that the reasons behind unfaithful behavior are far more nuanced than previously understood.
So puzzling! So contradictory! People who are perfectly happy in their primary relationships often want extra helpings. You’re just two or perhaps three orifices and they need 14, at a minimum. They love you. In that appliance kinda way. You vacuum and are occasionally fuckable. But please be assured, they’re HAPPY.
(Well, until you discover it, and then your inadequacies drove them to it.)
But now? While they’re skulking about on Ashely Madison filling out surveys, they’re living their best lives. No regrets!
Seriously. No regrets. No bad feelings. No remorse. That’s the title of the study. No Remorse. Sexual Infidelity Is Not Clearly Linked to Relationship Satisfaction or Well-Being in Ashley Madison Users. The work was recently published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior.
“In popular media, television shows and movies and books, people who have affairs have this intense moral guilt and we don’t see that in this sample of participants,” said lead author Dylan Selterman, an associate teaching professor in Johns Hopkins University’s Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences who studies relationships and attraction. “Ratings for satisfaction with affairs was high — sexual satisfaction and emotional satisfaction. And feelings of regret were low. These findings paint a more complicated picture of infidelity compared to what we thought we knew.”
This comes as a revelation? What exactly did you think you knew, Dylan? You should’ve spent 5 minutes over here. There’s a reason we call the remorseful cheaters “unicorns.” They like cake — DUH. It’s the preferred set up — an unknowing chump fully investing in them (i.e., playing by the rules of monogamy), and the cheater out there gorging on exuberant acts of defiance. That’s why they keep it a secret. That’s why they mindfuck to keep the entitlement alive. And that’s why it’s usually chumps who file for divorce — cheaters can’t quit the entitlement buffet.
The study talked with 2,290
bald-faced liars Ashley Madison customers. And you can rely on this data because cheaters only lie to their spouses, never scientists.
Approximately 10% of the sample (85) reported being consensually non-monogamous (while either dating or married). However, many of these participants’ CNM statuses are contradicted by their responses to later questions; see descriptive results below.
Oh, so your wife wasn’t okay with it?
Isn’t it weird how Ashley Madison gets itself into the news cycle with these studies? Kind of reminds me of that one by Eric Anderson”chief science officer” at Ashely Madison who concluded in 2014 that cheating women he observed online, “much to Anderson’s surprise, were not looking to have an affair because they were unhappy in their marriage. Instead, he found that 67 percent of his (small) sample were seeking an exclusive affair because they desired more romantic, passionate sex.”
Oh, and there was that one in 2016. We snarked about it here. Eric Anderson again, author of The Monogamy Gap: Men, Love and the Reality of Cheating. His thesis? Men cheat because really, they love you women. His data set? Interviews with 120 male university students.
I guess we’re all supposed to be comforted by this. Absorbed as we are with cheaters’ happiness, to know that by gosh, they’re not having a sadz. They might bring home Chlamydia, but never a frown.
It kind of blows my mind no one has done a longitudinal study on chumps. Social scientists, call me! Let’s talk about our happiness. You wanna compare data sets? Chump Nation has had, as of today, 7,896,395 unique chump visitors to this site, and an archives with hundreds of thousands of stories. You got, what? 2,000 self-professed liars and some college kids.
Chumps will continue to sit on the sidelines while scientists untangle cheater motivations. I mean, who cares if cheaters are happy or unhappy? They’re unethical.