In a new study on sexual behavior published recently in the journal, Archives of Sexual Behavior, researchers point to several factors that play a role in cheating. A couple of those factors are sort of no-brainers, like unhappiness in a relationship and high sexual excitability, but a third factor may be somewhat surprising. Researchers say that people who have high levels of sexual performance anxiety — those who worry a lot “about their ability to stay aroused or orgasm” — are up to 8% more likely to cheat that those who don’t have performance anxiety.
“People who score high on this [trait] may feel less pressure when they’re engaging with a person who doesn’t know their sexual history,” study researcher Kristen Mark, a doctoral candidate at Indiana University, told LiveScience.
So, do these findings surprise you or worry you?
Yozi June 21, 2011, 12:14 pm
I think this makes sense. If your worried about sexual performance then you probably aren’t feeling like you’re in the moment and like you are really connecting with your partner. If you don’t feel connected to your partner then maybe you’d seek connection elsewhere. There’s a bunch of reasons why someone might have performance anxiety though. It could be a problem that someone carries into all of their relationships or it could be a problem that is unique to their current relationship.
TheOtherMe June 21, 2011, 12:21 pm
…”people who have high levels of sexual performance anxiety …are up to 8% more likely to cheat…
Well then I guess we should all reassure our partners that they are the most satisfying lover ever, win-win !!
PFG-SCR June 21, 2011, 1:16 pm
Hopefully they already know that! 😉
sweetleaf June 21, 2011, 12:26 pm
I’m not currently in a relationship or anything, but I DO find it easier to just go out and bang someone VS the person I’m in a relationship with. If I REALLY like a guy a lot, it’s very hard for me to feel comfortable with my sexual self. Whoa, that was very personal to tell y’all, but I think you’ll be pleased to know that I’m in therapy and this probably all stems from childhood abuse. It’s probably that way for most of that 8%
PFG-SCR June 21, 2011, 12:49 pm
I found that factor surprising when I read it above, but the way you explained it made me understand it. Thank you and good luck with this.
sweetleaf June 21, 2011, 1:26 pm
It’s like it’s hard to trust people that I love, but I am WAY too trusting with strangers.
PFG-SCR June 21, 2011, 1:37 pm
Is it that you’re truly trusting of strangers, or you just don’t have to deal with the emotional aspect and intimacy because they’re strangers?
sweetleaf June 21, 2011, 1:46 pm
Why am I paying for therapy when I’ve got you guys?? That is a very good question PFG!
thyme June 21, 2011, 3:35 pm
sweetleaf, I feel something similar, and up until I read this, I kind of thought I was alone. I only enjoy/want sex when I’m single or just starting to see someone. When I’m in a serious relationship, I never want it. I just go through the motions because he wants to. Once I get really invested in a relationship, sex just stresses me out and I never feel like doing it. The thought of sex doesn’t turn me on. I feel really guilty about it. I’ve never been abused, so I don’t know what the hell is wrong with me. I’m not in therapy, but I probably should be. Do you go to a sex therapist or a regular therapist?
β-G-Blocker June 21, 2011, 12:50 pm
The fact that the article is referenced from a Faux Newts website makes me wanna go: BULLSHIT. As in… “They are insane”
sweetleaf June 21, 2011, 1:25 pm
Experiencing this first hand though, makes it more believable to me. I mean, I’ve never cheated, but I do know that when it comes to dating, I’ve put some guys through hell with my insecurities and discomfort. but I’ve been able to have a one night stand with no issue at all. It’s kinda strange.
SGMcG June 21, 2011, 1:52 pm
I wonder if within that third factor they make distinctions in sexual performance anxiety. Specifically, do they note if the anxiety stems from the inability of the CHEATER to stay aroused or orgasm as opposed to disprove an inability/lack of skills of the one who is CHEATED on to have become aroused or orgasm. I can fully support any study that takes it back to the cheater’s insecurities and I’m all for this excellent counter to the cruel rationale of “frigid bitch syndrome” that most cheaters I encounter seem to adopt.
SpaceySteph June 21, 2011, 6:30 pm
Crap, total thumbs down by accident. Move along, nothing to see here.
plasticepoxy June 21, 2011, 2:58 pm
I think it makes a lot of sense. If it’s a throw-away experience, who cares if you can have an orgasm or stay aroused easily? You can put your possibly-unknown, never-to-be-seen again partner through their paces and MAKE it happen and not feel like you’re setting the tone for your sexual relationship. I think that would make it easier to remove the give-and-take aspect that makes sex stressful. If you aren’t going to see your partner again, maybe it’s easier to not care whether they’re enjoying themselves. Or it’s easier to pretend that it’s never happened before. 🙂
And if you choose to have an ongoing cheating ‘relationship’, you have a relationship based on selfishness, secrecy, etc, which can enhance the sexual aspect.
KL June 21, 2011, 5:31 pm
And the cheater may be drinking before the one-night stand and can blame the booze for any sexual issues, or just blame nerves because they’re nervous about having a one-night stand…
Chiara June 21, 2011, 3:32 pm
I’m assuming this means cheating with a one time bang as opposed to having a long term love affair with another individual…
Nothing is expected of you; there isn’t anything to compare your session to. You’re not emotionally invested and therefore don’t worry about being judged.
A lot of my articles defend cheaters (well, that sounds bad…) defends the complexities of life..(better).. I want to steal it and investigate further
oldie June 21, 2011, 4:44 pm
What a waste of an article. Proclaiming a huge difference of 8% more likely to cheat, a tiny, almost unrecognizable blip, that almost certainly isn’t even statistically significant. Get a relatively small sample size, divide it up any way you like — lefty/righty, tall/short, blonde/brunette, blue/brown eyes, wears sneakers/dress shoes, long hair/short hair. You’ll find a ton of ‘differences’, some larger than 10%, almost none of them due to anything more than the inadvertent nonrandomness of your sample size or the poor methodology in picking a random sample to survey. So, if your husband/boyfriend selected totally at random had a 20% chance of cheating, this survey says that chance goes up to 21.6% if he feels sexually inadequate. You should be quaking in your penny loafers.
Christina June 21, 2011, 10:20 pm