A friend and I were talking about cheating this week and it got me thinking. I realized that nearly everyone I know falls into one of four categories when it comes to being sexually faithful… or not. Here they are:
- Loyalists. These men and women are faithful for the long term. My partner falls into this group, as does Nancy Reagan. These people are happily monogamous for their entire lives. They find a good thing and stick with it. The men in this group, scientists have discovered, carry a gene called the vasopressin receptor gene. It apparently controls the likelihood of a man straying. Tiger Woods, for example, does not carry this particular gene. Nor do Gene Simmons or Jesse James, apparently. But my partner, he’s got a long one. J I’m sure there’s a female equivalent of the vasopressin receptor gene, but scientists haven’t identified it yet.
- Serial Monogamists. These people are faithful for the short term. By short term I mean less than five years. But they are faithful, over and over again. Personally, I think this is the most common group. As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t think long term monogamy is natural, although it’s a choice a lot of us make.
- Philanderers. These men and women are unfaithful for the long run. They are typically in a long term relationship, but without their partner’s consent they repeatedly stray. They are unlikely to ever leave their partner, usually for financial or social reasons, but they aren’t at all interested in being faithful.
- Allergic. These people are unfaithful for the short term. Meaning, they can’t sustain a long term relationship and they aren’t faithful in their short term relationships. They’re always looking for the “next best thing”, and they perpetually believe the grass is greener on the other side of the fence… despite having jumped the fence repeatedly and found the same grass.
What about swingers and polyamorists, you ask? They can still fit into one of these categories. They have their own rules and standards, and if they stray from their own rules they are being unfaithful.
Where do you fall? It’s a good thing to know because it will help you create and maintain agreements that are in integrity. Knowing your own—and your potential partner’s—type is a pretty useful tool.