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.

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  1. 461

    WHat about the man who “looks” on match.com or any other dating website, but doesn’t “act” on it more than “conversation”> THAt’s ok? Or the fiancee who displays calendars of nude women because he “admires” the female figure and “how hard” they work on themselves? I have a ton more examples that have destroyed my confidence becuase Ive never felt good enough. Where is the proverbial line drawn?

  2. 462

    I also get very very sad when I read some of the texts…..
    AMY ..darling…you wasted your life !!!!! You living in the same space but separately with your sexually incapable husband. .,,,,,OMG !!!! For what reason in gods name ????!!! Is it financial? Are you very conservative so you don’t dare to get divorced bc omg what are your neighbors and friends gona say ???!!
    FEELING BETRAYED – YOU MUST GO AWAY FROM THAT MAN!!!! Don;t be sheepy woman!!! My god ! You discriminate all of us women with your text !!!! ARE ONLY WOMEN suppose to look good ?????!!!!!! What about your/our husbands who treats you like that ??? Is he perfect ??? You must never think like that !!!! Don’;t fall for the stupit male retorics !! and what society is doing with all those bilboards with half naked women who look perfect ! Its all an illusion anyhow ! YOU have to start behaving in the same way towards your husband. Let him find some hot looking guys in your telephone or google history ! ONLY THAN you will se how he is going to react ! He needs to know that there are also hot guys !! BE SMART!!!

  3. 463

    So I guess since women are more emotional creatures it’s ok we have relationships with other men. We just cant help that we’re wired for relationships. Its our primitave nature. Ha honestly I’m pretty tired of the excuses men will give to justify their behavior. Society has really messed us up. I used to take loyalty and respect much more seriously until I realized men have a very different take on it. I don’t feel bad for being flirtatious or talking and hanging out with other guys. I’d rather have a more loyal/ respectful relationship but honestly i’m not gonna put in more effort than my partner. Reap what ya sow buddy.

    1. 463.1

      Well, like it or not, this is a result of the Sexual Revolution, which has evolved into hook-up culture. Both men and women are both responsible for it, and victims of it. Like you said, ” Reap what ya sow.”

      It is a logical fallacy to think that men don’t want a relationship based on loyalty, respect, trust, and love. Men WANT that, but they do not see that they can get it. This is again, a result of the sexual revolution. Also, the way women monkey branch from one relationship to the next, also sows distrust in men. Every last one of us has been with a woman, and thought she was the one we wanted to spend the rest of our lives with. Suddenly we are being avoided, and long story short, it turns out she met somebody else, and is now exploring that possibility.

      Yes, I know some men do this…likely more so with the top 20%, as they have so many more dating options, but in my experience, most of the victims are men in the 40 to 80% range. Makes it hard to trust when women’s mantra is that it’s her body and she will do with it as she pleases…and men are under no illusion that all she has to do is go to a party, or club, and she can be in another man’s bed that night. Sets up a bad power dynamic that is not conducive for men being happy in a relationship either, if she is forcing him to trust her on faith alone.

      People always like to lament where we find ourselves, regarding relationships, but NOBODY seems to want to do what it would take to fix the mess.

  4. 464

    again i have to comment on few people wirh comments far above . Nicole you are right , i fully agree. How long more are we going to pretend that women are some overly emotional creatures who are one-dimensional and let their husbands/boyfriends treat them like they are nothing!! And when are women going to finally be set free to tell how they really feel!!!?? Jane you probably are elderly person as i sence lot of conservative opinions from your side like “respectfull women would never go to male strip club” and so on….Why all this ??? Women should be able to enjoy men bodies without any prejudices and nonsences . Just like man do. Let us break up with fake traditionalism that women are whores if they lust men other than their husbands. For god sakes, our husbands tell us all the time they lust other women, you said it yourself. Lets face it….men and women are not much different..Jane remember that all this putting down of women has been put to force by MEN long time ago back in past. Because they took over the power of society and they formed public opinion on women in order to protect themselves and ensure power and enjoyment for themselves. Let us women finally be what deserve: free in every sence of the word!!!

    1. 464.1

      Maja, you are full of false stereotypes. First, you tell Jane that she must be elderly to hold conservative views? I have news for you, there are some very young, very beautiful women who are conservative. In fact, I have been to many rallies for both sides. I have news for you…I found far more young, and beautiful women in the conservative groups.

      Further, I totally believe that you can never be happy with just one man. Research has shown that many men, even after sleeping with another woman, are capable of fully committing to just one woman. However, I don’t believe that’s true if he has literally lived the PUA lifestyle, and slept with many many women. I do think there is a breaking point.

      For women, the breaking point is sleeping with a second man. Any man who has slept with a few virgins, as well as many other non-virgins, can attest to there being a big difference in how he women bond to him. Now, for the players, the way virgins bond to them is a problem, because they don’t want that much bonding, loyalty and commitment.

      This is not to say that some people can’t make a relationship work, even when both parties weren’t virgins when they met. But, there is still a difference.

      I don’t think this is something that is unknown. I think it has been known forever, and this accounts for why societies have tried to shame women into being pure, sexually. If anything, I think they were very aware of these things. They had less fun activities to fill their time, and so people were able to concentrate on other things…like human nature.

  5. 465

    why are my comments removed ??

  6. 466

    Lisa do you also agree on this :
    “Women would be perfectly content with the same man forever, as long as he mixed it up in the bedroom a bit”??
    I joined this blog quite by chance, did not know what is was and who Evan was.
    But I instantly new it was a man who replied on women’s questions.
    I think Evan is trying to fool us women a little bit …..

  7. 467

    My intention was not to say to Jane that she is conservative. However, my first guess was such because I read in several of her posts things that made me think “Oh, shit, this could be my mom “(who is now 70 btw)… I am perfectly aware of the fact that there is huge pool of young women thinking this way. And actually through addressing Jane, I tried to call up for attention (at least in this blog) of all women!! I am 45 and I have a son, so I am not a men hater. However, from all this posts of Evan and other man (not only in this blog) I only here “self -celebrating”storied like : We men this , we men that … EVAN says in one of the posts: MEN can enjoy life outside relationships, MEN can separate sex from love, etc…etc… Now are you able to say that this is not a stereotype ???!!! I know many women who perfectly enjoy their lives, and who have lovers (so just for sex) because at this point of their lives they don’t need anything else. There is another post of me in the thread above, where I told my own story. I have been in the relationship for 5 years, with a very good man, whos was treating me in a very nice way. He never gazed at other women (believe it or not). But still one evening I met a gorgeous guy and ended up in bed with him , because I realized that evening how “hungry”’ I was for something new, fresh, handesome and excellent in bed!!!! I can’t even explain it. It just happend. And I heard similiar stories from several of my girlfriends, they all were very bored with their partners. But I guess this is all repeating of what I already said. The point here is -Evan supports this all the time – ONLY MEN HAVE THE NEED FOR VARIETY, ONLY MEN SEE BEAUTY , MEN are somehow always smarter than us ! THAT IS PUUTING DOWN OF WOMEN! That is what I am trying to say . ….and I loved Big Mike btw..

    1. 467.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Way to misrepresent what I do on my own website. Keep up the great work.

  8. 468

    oh ja ..I need to add one more thing: after having few lovers (so no relationships in the meantime), I realized that men are much more emotional and volnrable than they will ever admit. After a while being with me, few of them got attached and they wanted relationship with me. And I didn’t want that. There is a lot of showing off from men’s side that they are some kind of “emotionally independent creatures “ who are in a steady relationship just to make their girlfriens happy, and the rest of the time they are GREAT HUNKS that “gaze and undress with their eyes“ other attractive women even when their girlfriend is around. WELLLL, you know what !!! NOBODY need these kind of guys, at least me not. Because from my life experience those are VERY INSECURE, UNEXPERIENCED guys who NEVER had sex with any woman, except their own girlfriends/wives. The REAL HUNKS, the ones that are cool guys, who were with may women (lovers or relationships) DON’T behave like this! NO WAY! As they know how a women feels, they know what a woman needs, they know how to make a woman feel special ! They know how to satisfy a woman.
    Believe me, I know those boyish kind of guys again “that gaze and udress other women” as few of them are my friends… And I also know very well, that my girlfriends who dated them, were never happy with these guys….As somebody said in the thread above –and this is , believe me, one of the smartest comments in this blog – THE GUY WHO DOESN’T HAVE A FILTER for these kind of things, is going to spill it out also on other aspects in life . This is very much true !!

  9. 469

    @ Maja,

    Let me see if I understand this. You GLORIFY cheating by women, while condemning even looking by men? Really? You see no hypocrisy in this? I get the impression that you positively CELEBRATE adultery, at least in yourself, and I gather, in any woman! Of course, you absolutely condemn even a semblance of it in men! Nice double standard there, Maja. But then of course, you have an absolute right to do as you please, never mind ethics, or much of anything else, because, after all, you are certain that any man who dares even glance at another women is (your words) “sexually incapable”. That’s not a conventional term, but you sure like to sling it around. Do you have any objective criteria for that, or is it just a favorite insult of yours? After reading your posts, I’m led to wonder if perhaps the real problem might be that you yourself have either a remarkable libido, or an equally remarkable case of frequent anorgasmia.

    At any rate, I am not especially impressed by the sexual “exploits” (real or imaginary) you have regaled us with so gleefully in your several posts here. However, I do believe you have demonstrated that you customarily behave yourself in a manner every bit as undisciplined, unrestrained, unethical, and of course, unfiltered, as any of the men you complain of. Congratulations (I think).

    1. 469.1

      Thanks Buck. I was going to respond to Maja’s icky post, but you covered it for me.

    2. 469.2

      I sort of expected that one (or more) men would fire back at me like you did. I don’t blame you. Let me first say few things you understood in a wrong way: I am not glorifying cheating- neither of women nor of men-, but I am also not condemning it, not only because it happened to me but also because I heard other girlfriends of mine having the same experience and because it is inevitable, it seems . My point was cheating is done by both men and women. Women are forced to hide it, they don’t even tell their best girlfriends sometimes. Men are always free, they can do what they want, they go around showing off. You guys sit together (even if you are not close friends) and comment on women passing by “oh look at that butt, oh look at those breasts” – even if you are married, or have a girlfriend. But women are deprived of that freedom. Women are so indoctrinated by society that they can not say almost anything that is in their heads. Because they are whores when they do so, and men are Casanovas.. You know I am tired , soooo tired of this male retorics….. The world has double standards, Buck, not me !!
      So, I meant, regardless of our sex, variety is something that sooner or later each and everyone of us will start needing. Once when I was very devoted to my boyfriend, and he was devoted to me, when we were young and when the chemical spike between us was happening, the time two people should procreate and have babies. None of us needed porn to get us excited to have sex!!!
      I never thought I’d cheat. But it happened…. After this event in my life, I became curious, very curious, so I started talking to other women. And to my surprise I revealed a totally different world from the one I thought existed between men and women. I had about 10 different men in my life. With only two of them, or lets say three, I felt like a real woman, I felt satisfied both as person and sexually. So I said one time during my running training (group about 10 women)- “Oh my god I can’t find a real good guy, I want to enjoy good company, good sex, and all of that, but somehow 80% of the guys can’t do anything in bed “ . And to my greates schock, the only comment all of them had was that they thought so too! But my point was not to put down men, I wanted to say something else. There is almost no difference between men and women. The science has brought out many evidences for this. It is also very stupid to think that we are so different, it is so unlogical, we are both the same beings on the same planet, and the only difference are our reproductive organs. Women get bored in the same way men get bored. Unfortunately .. it isn’t easy, long term relationships. What I am trying to say, monogamy isn’t natural. I am not blaming men, you understood it wrong. but women have the same problem, they have even stronger sexual urge. We have our devastating premenstrual syndrome, when we need to have lot of sex because sex acts like a therapy , like an ‘’inside massage ‘’ that relieves the syptoms of crazy hormonal rollercoaster. But nobody ever said anything on this, NOBODY. Because it is only MEN, MEN, MEN and than again MEN. Well, I am tired of this, really tired. Another comment of Evan was “men can separate love from sex “ ..HAHAHA, women can not !!! not true. He also says in another blog “men can be happy without having a relationship” !!!! HAHAHAHHA- why is he than married for more than 10 years??? if I understood well??? Does he still separates sex from love ??? Every now and than if you know what I mean…:)
      Another comments of his to a question from a girl Emily on why her boyfriend masturbates with porn:
      “If you want your partner to stop masturbating, you should probably not date men or you should have sex every night. Otherwise, it’s pretty predictable that good, monogamous men will keep pleasuring themselves to images of other women. There is nothing for you to be threatened by unless he has low character and is actually cheating on you with a live person.”
      Do you guys know that also women have problems to get horny after some time in a relationship. ??? Do you think for us is easy !!!??? Have any of you ever wandered how it is to be a woman ? have you ever talked to your girlfriends about how they feel , what they want, are they happy or not ? Oh of course not, because you are busy with “gazing and undressing “ other attractive women …
      All BS to my opinion. And many other things that I read on one of his blogs just insult my inteligence.
      perhaps he should also read more. here are some of the websites: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3283433/A-majority-American-women-lust-men-despite-relationship-say-makes-want-partner-more.html
      Furthermore, just to clarify, I have quite a libido, but I would say not in excess, just normal, and I also don’t have any problem having an orgasam.
      My message was about equalilty, not about attacking men or glorifying women who cheat.

      1. 469.2.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        I let this through but you can leave now, Maja. Feel to work on your reading comprehension skills elsewhere.

  10. 470

    no problem Evan .

  11. 471
    Christine Burke l

    I have to say I’m so tired of even therapists defending men ogling. Here’s the real truth. Men haven’t grown up. And society feeds into it with the sex sells mentality. Women feed into it if they make themselves overtly sexual in dress, etc. And they excuse it with men r more visual and yada yada yada. According to that mentality men have no self control and can set no boundaries and should not be expected to. Nice cop out. Here’s the real truth. The men who do this and the men who defend it never grew up. And never learned to control their thought life. Chances r real good that if they don’t act in it that’s simply because they r ogling a woman that wouldn’t give them a second glance and well they know it. But they still stare. And we sometimes excuse it. If he is a good man and so on, he will respect his woman and learn a new habit. If he doesn’t, whether he ever cheats or he does not, he is still guilty of disrespect at the very least. And should be called to task for it. Hey

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