What Do Men Get Out of Looking At Other Women? (And Why Do Men Cheat?)

What Do Men Get Out of Looking at Other Women? (And Why Do Men Cheat?)

Dear Evan,

What is it that men get out of looking/gazing at beautiful women, nude or otherwise?

I have read on other websites that men actually get a chemical “high” in their brain when they see an attractive woman and that is why they are so drawn to look at other women even when they are in love with another. I’m wondering, from your perspective, what you think it is. Are men sexually “turned on” when they see a beautiful woman naked and automatically fantasize about having sex with her or is it more of just plain old admiration for the beautiful female form with no arousal? And, if it is sexual arousal, does that happen only in seeing a naked woman (magazine, strip joint, porn) or does that happen when you see a beautiful clothed woman as well? I have always been very curious about this as I think it is very different for women. –Cat

Dear Cat,

Thoughtful and provocative question, and I’m going to attempt to tackle it even though I’m no therapist, historian or biologist.

First off, I want to acknowledge that everything you wrote, in my estimation, is true.

Men, regardless of relationship status, get a chemical high in seeing attractive women.

Men can appreciate the female form, either clothed or naked.

Men, regardless of relationship status, get a chemical high in seeing attractive women.

Men are aroused by images of clothed or naked women (but not as much as you’d think.)

What I’d like to add to all of those ideas is that none of that should affect your relationship…unless you make it affect your relationship.

In other words:

GOOD men, regardless of relationship status, get a chemical high in seeing attractive women.

GOOD men can appreciate the female form, either clothed or naked.

GOOD men are aroused by images of clothed or naked women (but not as much as you’d think.)

Without covering the entire landscape of debates about DNA or evolution or propagation of the species, here’s my take on the whole thing:

Men, since the beginning of time, were designed to spread their seed.

Because monogamy lowers the chances that our genes will survive, men are not, by nature, monogamous creatures. We choose monogamy because we deem that it’s more beneficial to have love, stability, and a nuclear family than to have lots of children running around with our eyes. But make no mistake, monogamy is a choice, not a natural state.

Men can watch porn, fantasize about other women, and still be great husbands and fathers.

Anyway, in my estimation, the male sex drive has nothing to do with kindness or personality or compatibility. It is entirely based on physical attraction, which we feel instantly with the release of dopamine, serotonin, and testosterone. This is why men can know if they would sleep with you in less than five seconds.

As far as what’s physically attractive? I think it’s largely based on societal reinforcement. Most men, for example, agree that symmetrical faces with small noses and certain hip to waist ratios (thin waist, wider hips) are considered attractive. Naturally, there are some men who like older women or heavier women or women with one leg. There’s a lid for every pot. Still, a lot of men still want to try on the same lid, who just happens to be 20-30 years old, have stunning features and is built like a Barbie doll. Moving along…

Next, I’d like to assert that a man’s sexual tastes and feelings of attraction don’t disappear because he is in love with another woman.

His intense feelings for his girlfriend may lessen his desires to look elsewhere for sex. But once those intense feelings of chemistry go away (as they usually do after 18 to 36 months – just long enough to conceive and raise a young child), his attraction will still spike every time he sees an attractive woman, in some form or another.

The more self-aware men understand this intellectually, and relegate those spikes of attraction to what they are – biologically programmed bursts of pleasure. We give ourselves doses of this pleasure when we’re walking on a beach, when we’re at an outdoor concert, when we’re at parties, and especially when we’re on the Internet. I’ve heard that 30% of the internet is porn, and if this is the case, it should be no surprise.

Men crave variety. This is normal. It’s all about whether he acts on this desire.

Men can admit attraction to favorite celebrities, and still be great husbands and fathers.

Men can watch porn, fantasize about other women, and still be great husbands and fathers.

Men can go to bachelor parties, go to a strip club, and still be great husbands and fathers.

I know this because I’ve done all of the above and I know I am not alone.

And since the value of my marriage is far greater than the value of sleeping with a stranger in Paris, I remain faithful, even though I’m attracted to other women everywhere I go. It would never even occur to me after 300 dates and nearly 10 years as a dating coach that there’s anyone out there who’d make me happier for the next forty years than my own wife.

That doesn’t mean in some alternate universe that I wouldn’t like to be able to have my cake and eat it, too. That’s essentially what alpha males do – get married and keep sleeping with other women. John Edwards, Bill Clinton, Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant – we can probably make a list of most politicians, athletes and rock stars.

Men would be perfectly content having missionary sex with a new woman every night.

So why do men cheat?

Because they’re perpetually attracted to new women.

Because they’re high profile, rich, ambitious men who are desirable to these women.

Because they’re so important that they don’t think the rules apply to them.

Because they travel a lot and are frequently exposed to temptation.

Because they don’t value their wives as much as the thrill.

Because they don’t rationally calculate the value of their losses. So Tiger sleeps with a waitress in a Denny’s parking lot and he loses a half billion dollars, his wife, his kids, and his golf mojo. Somehow, I don’t think he considered that with his pants around his ankles.

This is just a long, roundabout way of saying that, in general, men want variety.

I recall a study that said the exact same thing.

Men would be perfectly content having missionary sex with a new woman every night.

Women would be perfectly content with the same man forever, as long as he mixed it up in the bedroom a bit.

The results didn’t surprise me in the least.

Once again, I am not defending men. I am explaining men. Not every single man on the planet. Some men only have eyes for their wife. Some men are attracted to other men. Some men couldn’t conceive of having sex with a woman he didn’t love.

These are perfectly normal men, but they are also exceptions.

So even if we establish that men are driven by sex, it’s far from the whole story, as evidenced by the 50 million married men in the United States.

Simply put, men want love, too. Even if we still like to look elsewhere.

It’s far better to understand and accept these qualities in men than to shame them, insult them, or tell them that they’re wrong for being this way.

As long as he treats you well and doesn’t take action on his desires, you’ve got a good man whose desire for you is stronger than his real sexual impulse to be with someone else.

9
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Comments:

  1. 1
    Clare

    I have to say, this was a major growing up point for me, when I read Manslations by Jeff Mac, and looked at the evidence, and realised that, yes indeed, most men are on some level sexually attracted to most attractive women. Even the devoted man by my side.

    It actually was a liberating realisation for me. It meant that, no, I don’t have to worry about that attractive busty blonde at the party, because she doesn’t mean any more to him than the tall, willowy brunette with the short skirt. Other attractive women are a fact of life, might as well get used to it.

    Now that I know this, actually, how men’s minds work, I am vastly grateful and smile warmly to myself every time there’s a gorgeous woman around, or on television, and he keeps his thoughts to himself for my sake :)

  2. 2
    Nicole

    Why are so many women invested in the idea that women aren’t visually stimulated?  I love seeing attractive men with nice bodies.  It doesn’t have anything to do with whatever man I might be with, nor would it make me cheat. And I think that if it turns on your partner before he comes to bed with you, or if you watch it together and get ideas all the better.

    I’m really annoyed that we keep acting as though women are these overly emotional creatures whose delicate female eyes don’t respond to dirty, dirty porn (or at least romantic real sex) and nicely built/hung nake male bodies.  I’m pretty pissed off that the new movie Magic Mike does not have male nudity.  All of those perfect bodies and no one goes full monty.  What is up with that? I actually got to a strip show where the men, who were really attractive and really well-endowed, took it all off, and I’d be the biggest lying liar from Lying-ham if I said that it didn’t turn me on.  I think every woman in that room (ranging in age from 21 to elderly) was turned on by what their eyes saw.  I’ve never gone to a strip show again b/c in most places, men can’t go full monty (and it’s a big load of crap and a waste of time).

    We might be conditioned to say it’s bad, and that the women are exploited (even though female porn stars make more money than their male counterparts), but a lot of that is socialization.  Women aren’t supposed to like looking at dirty pictures and dirty movies and they like to label everyone who does as being a pervert and a cheater.

    I found this article and the fact that women and men have the same physiological response to these images is not a surprise.  Nor is it a surprise to think that women will either deny it or insist that it is indicative of negative pathology.

    I THINK (thanks to a male friend and a documentary that I saw) that that  there IS more female produced porn that is more about the romance and the idea that women should be pleasured and less “wham/bam” than what turns a lot of women off.

    But I’ll be the first to say…I’m a woman, I have eyes, and my eyes like seeing attractive men and no they will not fall out at the sight of an attractive man who is working hard to please a woman.  TMI but the internet makes me okay admitting it, and I have other friends who totally agree.

    There is stuff that turns men on, and stuff that turns women on, but I think a lot of it is more production value and story line and less that women dont’ have eyes and don’t like to see it.  We just like to see it played out differently.  But some men like that more romance oriented porn too.

    Now clearly, there is stuff that is and should be illegal. But legal adults have legal, consensual sex that is filmed is not the problem, and it’s not a sign of some mental defect if you like seeing it sometimes (which isn’t the same as the people who can’t leave their computer and get fired from work b/c they can’t stop looking for even a few minutes).  

  3. 3
    Sophia

    This is so sad, it makes me not want to date anyone and be single forever…

    1. 3.1
      Lisa

      I agree! Sometimes I think I would be much happier single and penniless than having to fret over every attractive woman he smiles at or flirts with! This article makes it seem men are incapable of being a respectable man with respect for his wife! I think it is sad that they cant control themselves because psychologically they have a penis and very little will power! It is very degrading to me when my husband and I are at a beauty salon and I am trying to make myself beautiful for him. Does he appreciate the hours it took me to do my make up? No, he barely comments. But he acknowledges any other attractive females makeup or jewelry assets. It is and should never be acceptable. I will definitely not be getting with another guy for long time if ever when I get divorced. My life will be so much more peaceful without this stress and I will be able to love myself at last! Good riddens to controlling, nasty men!!!

      1. 3.1.1
        Gabe

        You totally missed the point of this article…good luck.  As a man I am just shaking my head…
         

    2. 3.2
      Jenna

      Same here Sophia, same here :( 

  4. 4
    Nicole

    Oh, sorry to double post but I should mention that at that show, a table of older women rushed the stage, tackled one of the dancers, and scared the hell out of him.  The bouncers had to pull them off (he was insanely good looking) and he was clearly shaken.  I’m sorry he was traumatized but it was kind of hilarious (and I apologize for that b/c no one would be able to laugh if that was done to a female stripper).  They took him DOWN to the floor.

    Yeah, but let’s keep believing that women are so offended and repulsed by male nudity outside of their own bedrooms.

  5. 5
    Elaine

    I think the main reasons I used to get upset when I saw my man ogling attractive women is because 1) It’s was okay for him to look, but I couldn’t; 2) They would often cheat with these other women, but THAT was okay because they’re “genetically programmed” to; and 3) I liked to think I was special to him; special enough that he wouldn’t want to hurt my feelings by so blatantly staring at a beautiful woman in such a way that the words, “Damn, I sure wish I had her instead of you” could be heard by everyone in the room, even though he hadn’t actually uttered them aloud. I’m 43 and I’ve dated probably 30 men in my lifetime who have done one or all of these things, and I realize now that this is simply how they are, so guess what? My turn!  I have zero qualms about flirting in front of my dates or cheating on boyfriends. I feel bad for any man who might actually want a monogomous, loving, nurturing, supportive partner as I did all those years, but you have no right to complain when a woman cheats. MEN are the ones who have made us this way. Do unto others, boys. Do unto others…. 

    1. 5.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Elaine – You’re still missing it.

      I didn’t say it’s okay for him, but not for you.
      I didn’t say it’s okay to cheat based on genetic programming.
      I didn’t say it’s okay for a man to blatantly ogle to the point that it’s embarrassing.

      That’s what YOU experienced.

      My point is that you can have a “monogamous, loving, nurturing, supportive partner” who still appreciates other women’s beauty.

      I know this because I am that partner to my wife.

      And I can assure you that the answer to cheating men is not to become a cheating woman. Learn to accept good men; don’t become just like the bad ones.

    2. 5.2
      Lisa

      @elaine I agree Elaine! If they want to cheat and lust with there eyes but act like us women who do that makes us women slutts and men are high fived as players or mackers I think is just wrong and sexist! True, us women do have hormones and eyes, too! But another thing we have had for far too long is respect to not make them uncomfortable. I find it so wrong that my husband will find it perfectly ok for him to stare and I mean a long stare or flirt right in front of me in public and then look at me because he knows it makes me uncomfortable but be offended if I decide to say forget it and check out cute guys online. He will literally grab the cell out of my hands. So when women are jealous, it is because we are insecure and men are basically controlled by whats in there pants? Are we really that weak minded? We need to say no, we deserve the same respect they do. At one point, women had no rights. In some ways, men are still supremecy in the mind. When us women want some rights given men at birthright, we are called feminists and it still has a bad connotation to it! We do a lot for this world including bringing life into this world and honestly we deserve the right to be his one and only if he wants us to have eyes only for him

    3. 5.3
      Jeff

      You need to finish your statement: Do onto others as “you would have others do ONTO YOU!

  6. 6
    erica

    I am a woman. I turn my head when I see a hot shirtless man jogging down the street. I have a mega crush on a few sexy rock stars. I still have the magazine of a shirtless Ryan Reynolds from two years ago.
    My boyfriend has porn, he like ScarJo and he sees pretty women in public.
    We love each other dearly. He is handsome and sexy, and I let him know that often. He tells me I am beautiful and sexy and also what a great person I am, often.
    I am not afraid of him leaving me for a porn star – or the waitress. Because we trust each other with the look but don’t touch rule. 
    I think the problem women have with men’s behavior in this arena is their own sefl-image and self esteem. Look, just because your man like a gorgeous actress does not mean he thinks she is better than you and that you need to meet some standard that society has created.
    You do need to be yourself, take care of your health both physically and mentally. And, when you do meet a great guy that loves you for you, trust him.

    1. 6.1
      Anja

      Beautiful Erica. Every woman who read this article, should read what you just wrote, because you wrote the truth.

    2. 6.2
      Megan

      This comment helped a lot. Thanks 

    3. 6.3
      KiKi

      I think other women should try porn out… its actually a HUGE turn on for women. This helped me understand the porn thing…. because its watching sex, not just the hot woman. I don’t care if my boyfriend watches porn, I watch it too. However, if he actually wants other women, I just don’t want to be in it. If he actually wants to have sex with other women, he shouldn’t be with me. Yes I find other guys hot, yes I am flattered when one flirts with me and maybe I have a flash of a thought like he may about some woman being naked but if those thoughts are indulged upon, I don’t think that is cool. Use porn as an outlet, not your co-worker. 

  7. 7
    Jennifer

    Nicole #2- I can relate to everything you said, from liking porn to thinking that male ‘strippers’ that don’t take everything off are a waste of time :-)

  8. 9
    SalsaQ

    @Sophia
     
    Evan also said
    Once again, I am not defending men. I am explaining men. Not every single man on the planet. Some men only have eyes for their wife. Some men are attracted to other men. Some men couldn’t conceive of having sex with a woman he didn’t love.



    Sophia, not every man is like that. There are some who would never seriously think about having sex with a woman outside of a committed love relationship. If I insist on one of those men, I make my dating pool smaller. Another option is to learn to feel safe with a man who is in the majority of men, most of whom who won’t cheat on me even while physically desiring other women from time to time. The trick is to tell those men from the ones who will cheat.
    The third alternative is to give up on dating and learn to be content being w/o a significant other.  Having a dating or life partner is one part of life’s richness, but not the whole of it. In our culture we are not accustomed to thinking about the option of going solo and never having an intimate partner. This is a legit choice for some and there are resources and communities out there for people who choose that path.

  9. 10
    Susan61

    I have no problem with a man who looks at beautiful women and appreciates them.  I look at beautiful women all the time.  I am amazed at the cornucopia of beautiful women everywhere in my city and think it’s like being a kid in a candy store for men (unfortunately I don’t feel women have the same luxury…..at least not in my city where eligible single women outnumber men).  Beautiful men also turn my eye.  Women who are highly jealous and insecure will have a big problem as I do believe men just have to look, that’s how they are made and there is nothing wrong with that.  
     
    But if I was on a date with a man, I would not stare at another man or find it difficult to concentrate on my date’s conversation at dinner because there was a hot blond 20 years my junior sitting at the table behind me.  When I was out on the dance floor with said date, I would not find it difficult to pay attention to my date, and be constantly looking at the younger hotter women on the dance floor.  This happened to me with the last (very good looking) guy I dated, he was 49 (I was 47) when this happened.  You would think he’d have enough maturity to look in a discreet way and not ogle to the point that he made me uncomfortable.  Needless to say, it did not last, he dumped me and continues to try to meet and date women 10 -20 years his junior.  
     
    A man can look discreetly and still be respectful to his wife, date, friend.  Ogling younger hotter women when you are in the company of a woman you are having a date or relationship with is just plain rude and bad manners.
     
    My ex-BF and I used to talk about what women were hot, and it did not bother me because I knew he was not going to cheat.  I am confident enough to know that there are always going to be younger, hotter women than me and the smart thing as a woman to do is to accept this fact and also express appreciation for female beauty. 
     
     
     

    1. 10.1
      Lisa

      I am sorry for your experience but unfortunately if something like that was to happen to me I would probably never date again. I do suffer low self esteem already so if I am out in public and my husband gets interested in another woman or touches himself, it sickens me. I usually walk away when he starts doing it too much and I have started walking off many times. It basically tells everyone around him, he’s not worth my time and he looks bad in the end! Usually when I do this he screams out my name and I ignore him. We used to get into arguments but I find this gets to him more and tells him I am very uncomfortable. It is one thing to just see women and be friendly. It is another to make both her and me very uncomfortable. He had a sex addiction in the past too and I found him pants dropped and gettng off to an old friend. He said he was sorry but it is hard when you realize your man is addicted to women there mouths and sexuality. Dont ask why I didnt leave then. Like I said, I had insecurity issues of my own. He is 10 years older than me and still more immature. I guess I figured an older man would show more maturity. He learned much of his habbits in the army and is better so I guess I should be happy but now he feels like I control his behavior and mind. I just dont feel like much of what he did was appropriate and we are likely getting divorced soon. I didnt want to change him but I just feel it is disrespectful as I would if I were to flirt with every male waiter I saw. If I am married, we become one soul. What hurts one person, should hurt the other and that’s just how I feel. It is a touchy subject but it is something that we all need to discuss and resolve as a society!!!

    2. 10.2
      TheForgottenOne

      @Susan61
      “(unfortunately I don’t feel women have the same luxury…..at least not in my city where eligible single women outnumber men)”
      So, what city do you live in again?

  10. 11
    Goldie

    I notice beautiful/handsome/cute men, women and dogs, and encourage the man to do the same. If this leads to him cheating on me with one of them, his loss. Never happened so far, though. Same goes for strip clubs and porn.
     
    @ Nicole #2 – love your comment! :D

  11. 12
    Jane

    Hey, anyone read Eric Anderson’s book, The Monogamy Gap?. Open your mind and check it out before responding to this post, (you can peruse a few pages on Amazon), as it sheds a great deal of light on the subject. Anderson admits that he only writes for men and though his book deals mainly with men, he acknowledges that much the same may be said for women. Sorry Evan, but I disagree with the study that claims that women can be perfectly content with the same man forever…. we’re only socialized to think we would be content with that.  The desire for sexual variety goes both ways. Here is a quote from a review of the book that sums it up: “Anderson suggests that monogamy is an irrational ideal because if fails to fulfill a lifetime of sexual desires. Cheating therefore becomes a rational response to an irrational situation”. He has some outside-the-box suggestions about how to re-tool relationships so they don’t end in breakup or divorce due to cheating. Much of the book is hard to argue with. I didn’t write it, but it is great food for thought. Marriage is failing in many societies worldwide and this book offers some hope.

  12. 13
    helene

    When I’m in a relationship, I will frequently point out hot women (and occasionally men) to my partner when we are in a bar, restaurant or even a shopping mall! I think this “partners in crime” approach works very well as it then becomes a secret pass-time you share (ogling gorgeous people) rather than something he has to feel ashamed about. I think men greatly appreciate this sort of approach, and the confidence it implies on your part makes you very sexually appealling to him. I would never ask him to compare us (nor, to be honest, would I tolerate it if he said”yeah, her tits are much better than yours”) but in fact it often leads to the opposite scenario – the more often you say “check out that girl with the amazing ass” the more likely he will reply, “there’s some pretty great ass right here,” and give yours a squeeze.

  13. 14
    Karl R

    Elaine said: (#5)
    “you have no right to complain when a woman cheats. MEN are the ones who have made us this way. Do unto others, boys.”

    I’ve been cheated on before. (And I’ve never cheated on anyone.)

    So if I follow your line of reasoning, my fiancée has no right to complain if I cheat on her, because women are the ones who made me this way. I would just be doing unto my fiancée what other women have done to me.

    I think your reasoning is flawed. You are responsible for your own infidelity, regardless of how many men (or women) have cheated on you in the past.

    Elaine said: (#5)
    “I feel bad for any man who might actually want a monogomous, loving, nurturing, supportive partner as I did all those years,”

    As a 42 year old man who found a monogomous, loving, nurturing, supportive partner, I can offer you an observations.

    If you were truly a monogamous partner, you wouldn’t try to use other people’s infidelity as justification for your own infidelity. You would respond to infidelity by leaving and continuing to search for a partner with more integrity.

    Elaine said: (#5)
    “It’s was okay for him to look, but I couldn’t”

    Why couldn’t you?

    My fiancée and I are both allowed to look at other people. We’re both allowed to dance with other people. We’re both allowed to flirt with other people (within reason).

    As long as the same rules apply to both people, it’s possible to have a healthy relationship.

    Elaine said: (#5)
    “the words, ‘Damn, I sure wish I had her instead of you’ could be heard by everyone in the room, even though he hadn’t actually uttered them aloud.”

    Everyone in the room doesn’t have telepathy. More importantly, you don’t have telepathy either. Therefore, that voice you heard was your own insecurity talking, not his actual thoughts.

    Even if the men were ogling enough to be boorish (which was likely the case), your interpretation of their thoughts sounds incredibly insecure. Good partners don’t tolerate that degree of insecurity, because they don’t have to.

    Nicole, (#2, etc.)
    I find your attitude a lot healthier than Elaine’s (#5) or Sophia’s (#3).

    helene, (#14)
    Good advice, especially the final sentence.

  14. 15
    Mia

    I roll my eyes whenever women say all men are cheaters or only want sex with a variety of random young women. It’s not true — there are plenty of nice nerdy devoted guys out there. Most women just don’t want to marry them. 

    BUT, when I was younger and dumber I had affairs with married men and men in ltrs. Nearly every woman I know has been propositioned by, if not outright hooked up with, an attached guy in a years long relationship. And these were not blatantly sleazy player types – nobody ever would have guessed, bc they seemed like good guys that are real husband/bf material. In my case, they got to be with a woman way younger, more appreciative, and more sexually enthusiastic than their wives. It’s also very common to see middle aged married women let themselves go, get frumpy, stop putting out, nag the guy, prize the kids over him, and not make him feel appreciated. 

    Other women are at risk of being cheated on down the line if they too much fall into the stereotype you see in movies of the woman the guy is “supposed” to marry – generic girl next door type with generic aspirations, made him wait six months for sex, no original style or high sex drive but she’s nice and would be a good mom. Maybe she was hard to get. And, eventually, I believe men crave someone more real – not just hotter, but more intellectually challenging, quirky, and not predictably fitting the mold.

    So Evan sometimes paints too rosy a picture of men, but this is never something I’ve worried about, once I felt I was with a good guy– you’d drive yourself crazy if you did.  

  15. 16
    Ruby

    There’s a big difference for most us between feeling attracted to other people and acting on those desires. There’s a big difference between stealing a glance at an attractive person when you’re with your partner, and ogling them. There’s a big difference between occasionally looking at porn and being addicted to it. Of course, we may often reign in our desires out of respect for our partners.
     
    My happily married male friends have volunteered the information that the idea of sleeping with a stranger holds no appeal for them, although that probably doesn’t mean they don’t find other women attractive. Actually, I know more females who have either cheated, or thought about it, than I do men who have. I also think that people cheat on their partners for reasons other than simple physical attraction, although that is a factor.
     
    There’s a big difference between fantasy and reality. For many of us, appreciation of other attractive people while we’re happily partnered, remains in the realm of fantasy. If my boyfriend tells me that he has always found Elizabeth Taylor attractive, that’s not likely to bother me. If it’s one of my best friends, that’s a different story.

  16. 17
    Sasha

    Every since I was a teenager, I have seen attractive men (and sometimes women) and I always wonder and fantasize what it would be like to have sex with him (or her). I am in my 40s now and although I don’t love having sex w/ my partner, I still think about having sex w/ that cute new check out guy at the grocery store and every other cute/handsome man who crosses my path.
     
    I am not my partner’s type and I know this. I lose on that count. He isn’t my type either. In a lot of ways. But, you work with what you’ve got, I guess…
     

  17. 18
    Helen

    I wonder why the title of this entry is what it is. Men looking at other women is not the same thing as men cheating; they may not even be related.

    People look at other people. People notice when other people are attractive, whether you’re a man or a women looking at a man or a woman. There is no shame or sin in this. It’s as others have mentioned above: what matters is not whether men (or women) look, but whether they act on on that attraction. The vast majority of the time (given how many attractive people exist), they don’t.

    So let’s relax about this. Eye candy is a pleasure, just as works of art and beautiful natural scenes are a pleasure.

  18. 19
    Chau

    If you see a hot guy near you, you’d at least take a few glances at him.
    If you see a car crash in the middle of the street, you’d stare at it.

    If you see a nerdy guy cruising down the street on his unicycle, you’d stare at him.

    If you see a small cute dog skipping down the street, you’d keep looking and want to pet him.

    Basically, if anything is hot…weird…strange…unusual…different, you’d look at it too. No biggie.

    As long as your man doesn’t keep ogling at a woman in front of you, it’s no big deal.

    But if you feel disrespected and you let him know it, he’s gotta stop.

    Simple as that.
     

  19. 20
    Keri C

    Women would be perfectly content with the same man forever, as long as he mixed it up in the bedroom a bit.

    I can’t relate to that. I really loved my ex boyfirned of ten years and yet I still got bored with him in the bedroom. Women cheat more or as much as men do nowadays. I think some women like variety as well but are more quiet about it.

  20. 21
    henriette

    I find it perfectly acceptable and healthy when a guy appreciates other women, but there are some basic steps he can take to ensure that I feel okay with it.  Eg.

    1. If you talk about other women being attractive, make sure you balance it out by  occasionally telling me how attractive you find me, too. 

    2.  If you ogle other women when you’re with my friends, they will think you’re a disrespectful dick.  

    3.  A surreptitious glance is cool.  Leering is not.

  21. 22
    Clare

    helene @14
    I really liked your post. I think it’s far better to bring the looking at other people out into the open, and try to approach it like a mature adult rather than get upset about it. My boyfriend knows a few of the famous people I’ve got a crush on, and vice versa, and every now and again we’ll tease each other about it. It feels so much better than getting annoyed about it.

    The security expressed in that actually seems to lessen the need to ogle.

    I really do appreciate a guy who feels that discretion is the better part of valour though and doesn’t openly ogle or comment on other women’s attractiveness, not because he thinks you’ll shame him for it but because he’s being considerate. *That* is a good man :)

    And I loved your last line! Comments like that make us feel like a million bucks!

  22. 23
    susan

    Chau got it in one. It’s the respect thing. Again.
    A former BF i had used to delight in pointing out women – particular body parts –  he found attractive (often my friends) .  I found it amusing to start with but the novelty wore off quickly – not least becuase he put more effort into describing their ”assets” than mine.

    Similarly I can appreciate a nice male body as much as the next girl, but I would NEVER go on about it to a partner.  Especially if they had any insecurity about their looks.  it’s just plain mean.

    As for the comment about men who enjoy porn can still be great fathers and husbands.  Yeah well, maybe, but for me that is a total dealbreaker.  A guy who wants to get off on porn is not the guy for me.

  23. 24
    Tom

    Susan @ 24
     
    “men who enjoy porn can still be great fathers and husbands. Yeah well, maybe, but for me that is a total dealbreaker. A guy who wants to get off on porn is not the guy for me”.


    Well that pretty much rules out pretty much every single guy for you so. I’d say nearly all men get off on porn; it’s just a matter of admitting it to you or not. I’ve never met one man in my life who genuinely doesn’t watch porn even a small bit, and I’d be reluctant to believe one who said he didn’t.

    1. 24.1
      kep

      My husband, when were dating confessed he was addicted to porn.  I was devastated!  He did everything to quit bc he couldn,t bare to hurt me.  He has been faithful not using porn.  But is a struggle for him.  But he feels it is morally wrong.  He is the most honorable person I’ve ever known.  Not always succeeding, but always trying.  Married 10 years.

  24. 25
    Nadia

    Nicole #2, Thanks for posting! I agree with you a hundred percent. When I first started dating my boyfriend, he was muscular and fit and this caught my eye. Four years later and 25 pounds heavier and I feel gypped. My hunch is that it behooves both of the sexes evolutionarily to find a fit mate. My hunch is that it also behooves women of the human species to find multiple partners during ovulation so that there is a true survival of the fittest in those little swimmers. That’s exactly what animals do and why they produce offspring by more than one male. I think there’s a lot of social nurturing that has taken women away from their nature.

  25. 26
    Heather

    Susan,

    I know how you feel.  I’m not a big fan of porn, myself.  I “get” why it exists, I “get” what EMK is saying.  But still.  It makes me uncomfortable if a guy I am dating, is often looking at porn, talking about it, etc.  It makes me wonder well gee, what am I to you, chopped liver?

    I told my BF that if he’s occasionally looking at it, fine.  I’m OK if he goes to a strip club with his buddies, I’m not HAPPY about it but I’m not going to cause drama about it either.  But if it becomes a regular thing, well, that may be a problem for me. I’m sure that guys who occasionally look at porn or go to strip clubs or fantasize about hot women, do make good partners and parents, but when it starts getting to the point where it’s all the time, I draw the line there.  Especially if it’s hard core porn, and ESPECIALLY porn with underage girls.  That is an immediate dealbreaker and one where I might need to contact the authorities. 

    I’m OK if my BF looks at other women occasionally but if he goes on and on about it, I’m not going to be happy.  I don’t ogle men in front of him, so he cannot ogle women in front of me.  No double standards allowed in this establishment…..  :)

  26. 27
    Elaine

    @Evan #6: I didn’t mean to imply that YOU said it was okay…it was the men I was with who held the double-standard.

    @Salsa #10: You state “The trick is to tell those men from the ones who will cheat.” Please tell me how to do that, because I’ve never met a man yet who has informed me he was going to cheat. What’s your sure-fire tipoff that he’s a cheater? Every single man who cheated on me came across as the most honest, sincere, sweet, wonderful human being…sent me flowers, left me little notes, swore he’d NEVER do that to me, blah blah blah. My sure-fire tipoff is if he has a penis…so far I’ve been 100% accurate with that one.

    @Karl #15: When you have been cheated on and lied to again and again and again and again and again…it gets old. Until I was 38, I was as monogomous as the day is long so please don’t try to turn this on me by saying I’m not a truly monogamous person. I DID “respond to infidelity by leaving and continuing to search for a partner with more integrity.” But how many times, honestly, does a person have to touch a hot stove and get burned before you say, “Geez, you think they’d learn by now, dumbass!” Doing the same thing 30 times and expecting different results is the definition of insanity…why doesn’t it apply here?

    Regarding your statement “As long as the same rules apply to both people, it’s possible to have a healthy relationship,” I wholeheartedly concur. The men I have been with have made it clear, however, that I am not allowed to abide by the same rules, usually with a belt to the mouth or immediate dismissal.

    And finally: “Therefore, that voice you heard was your own insecurity talking, not his actual thoughts.” You were not there. You did not see the looks of pity coming from the majority of people in that room. And where the HELL do you think insecurity comes from? As @Henriette #22 says: “If you talk about other women being attractive, make sure you balance it out by occasionally telling me how attractive you find me, too.” Would it KILL you to tell me you appreciate the effort I went to to look nice for you? I’ve never even had a BF “like” something I’ve posted on Facebook let alone tell me they think I’m pretty.

    I wish people would stop spreading the fallacy of fidelity and teach us how not to care. THAT’S advice I could actually use!

    1. 27.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Elaine – Sorry you’ve been so hurt, sweetie. But fidelity is not a fallacy. About 20% of men cheat and about 14% of women cheat. That means the vast majority of relationships are faithful. And if you keep choosing men who cheat on you (or HIT you, as you’ve implied), the only thing that’s clear to me is not that all men are liars, cheaters and abusers, but that you have a TERRIBLE radar and questionable confidence for consistently choosing such low-character men. If you believe that good men and fidelity are impossible, I can promise you: no good, faithful men will want to walk in your door. Get thee to a therapist. There’s no good dating advice for someone who holds men in such low esteem.

  27. 28
    Helen

    Elaine 28: I would agree with Evan’s advice about therapy, not because there is anything wrong with you, but because someone from the outside who is trained to help others could provide you with valuable insights on how YOU can take control in your relationships, at least your part in them; and how you can avoid becoming so hurt in the future.
     
    Beyond that, Elaine, I hope it’s not out of my place to suggest that maybe it would be a good idea for you to take a little time off dating, and instead devote that time to seeing men as friends and as regular human beings with struggles, hopes, motivations, etc., as all of us do. Take the pressure off yourself and off others from the “romantic relationship” side, and enjoy getting to know people (men and women) in a much more relaxed way. I think that will restore some of your faith in humanity, including in men, which would give you a much more positive view of dating in the future, and toward men in general. That can only provide good outcomes.

  28. 29
    sarahrahrah!

    @ Mia — #16
     
    “And these were not blatantly sleazy player types – nobody ever would have guessed, bc they seemed like good guys that are real husband/bf material. In my case, they got to be with a woman way younger, more appreciative, and more sexually enthusiastic than their wives. It’s also very common to see middle aged married women let themselves go, get frumpy, stop putting out, nag the guy, prize the kids over him, and not make him feel appreciated.
     
    Yeah.  Shame on those wives who let themselves get all “frumpy” after having their alpha males’ enormous babies.
    And you would know that they supposedly “stop putting out,” nag the guy, prize the kids over and not make him feel appreciated because…. the cheater told you  these things? 
    Wow.  An Ivy League education and you actually believe the most common lies that men tell women to get them to sleep with them. 
     
    @ 24, 25, 27, etc.
     
    On Porn:
    Tom, I wonder how you know that *all* men consume porn?  I’m especially curious because I know of some enlightened men who choose not to use it and I also know some men who identify as sex addicts who go to support groups, etc. in order not to use it.  For them, porn consumed their time, attention and relationships, had adverse consequences and often led to other sexual acting out that resulted in the loss of the partner they loved. 
     
    More and more studies (a balanced article summarizing some of them is here:  http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolution-the-self/201206/internet-porn-its-problems-perils-and-pitfalls ) are showing that porn is not only highly addictive, but that it’s use can negatively affect relationships. 
    Here is the thing about lust in general:  it’s a sign of health to have some, but chasing it won’t quench it.  In fact, the more you pursue, the greater the craving for it will become.  Not unlike other addictions or how anger works.  Therefore, it’s good to be prudent and try to reign in one’s passion (if they are strong already), rather than trying to free them up through the use of porn, strip clubs, etc.
    Having been married to a man who was immersed in porn and affairs, I have to say that I think that it is healthy and normal for people to visually appreciate the opposite sex.  However, if you get the impression that your boyfriend is getting a lot out of those visual exchanges and/or seeks to flirt with those beautiful women he encounters, pay attention to those signals and trust your gut over the advice of the article here.  That may be one of the few clues you get if he’s very good at compartmentalizing his life.

  29. 30
    Elaine

    @Evan #29: Where are you getting your statistics? According to the Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy, “Absolute figures on this are hard to come by, especially as people who answer surveys on infidelity are notoriously unreliable in their answers! Statistics identify that approximately 60 percent of married men and 50 percent of married women will, at some point in their marriage, have an extramarital affair.” In my personal experience I’d have to say it was closer to 90% with the men I have dated, suggesting that survey respondents do indeed fib on this subject. And just because you haven’t cheated yet doesn’t mean you won’t. You might not, but you don’t KNOW that. I also think the fact that almost as many women now cheat is a fascinating testament to how sick and tired we are of you guys having your cake and eating it too. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. And what a sad world we ALL now live in because you guys can’t keep it in your pants.  Oh, and all six years of therapy did for me was to keep my hopes up that there were good guys out there. About 15 men later, I finally gave up.

    1. 30.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Elaine – I’ll take my statistics over yours:

      http://womansavers.com/infidelity-statistics.asp

      22 percent of married men have strayed at least once during their married lives.

      14 percent of married women have had affairs at least once during their married lives.

      I’ll also take my positive attitude over your negative one.

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