Married men and women cheat on their spouses — and that’s no surprise. A 2004 University of Chicago study found that 25 percent of married men had at least one extramarital affair. And, in a more recent American Sexual Behavior study, 14 percent of married women had cheated at least once, compared to 22 percent of married men.
Those numbers are expected to rise in the coming years. One reason is that sexual mores have relaxed, with husbands and wives redefining what they think it means to cheat. Flirting with a stranger or kissing someone outside the relationship might be an acceptable way of keeping things exciting for both parties. Open relationships are also much more common today than when our parents and grandparents were married.
But perhaps the most significant reason for the rise in cheating is technology, which now makes discreet hookups of any kind easier than ever.
Gay app Grindr was the first major-name mobile app for this purpose, and it was eventually followed by straight versions Blendr and Tinder. They use your phone’s GPS to locate nearby hotties looking for a little action. For those already carrying on affairs, the TigerText app (supposedly not named after Tiger Woods) allows you to send text messages to someone else’s phone with a deletion timer, so you don’t have to worry about whether or not the other person deletes your sext message or naughty photo.
Ashley Madison is probably the most well-known affair website, boasting more than 21 million anonymous members on its home page. However, now there’s Married Hall Pass, a new website that’s become hugely popular in a short time. This is due to the company’s sexy member profiles (quantity doesn’t always mean quality, after all), and unlike the generic name Ashley Madison, Married Hall Pass doesn’t shy away from what it’s selling.
So why would someone use one of these websites?
Eric Anderson of The Washington Post wrote about cheating myths and said, “though 78 percent of the men I interviewed had cheated on their current partner, only a handful said they cheated because they were near the end of their emotional relationships.” As for women, AskMen listed 10 reasons why women cheat, and 8 of those 10 involved physical or emotional needs that their husband or boyfriend wasn’t providing.
On a site like Married Hall Pass—where the intention is obvious— there is a simple understanding: You’re not looking to break up with your spouse, you’re looking to fulfill whatever’s been missing in your relationship. It implies that these will be discreet encounters, allowing one to feel freer and more at ease with the affair. And for men cheating on their wives, it theoretically removes the baggage one can face when wining, dining and bedding a single woman who may suddenly fall in love — even though she understood that this was supposed to just be a hook up.
Whether or not countless mobile apps or websites like Married Hall Pass and Ashley Madison are the wave of the future remains to be seen, but with this country’s growing sexual liberalness you can be sure they’ll be around to serve married men and women for a long time.