"New York Magazine" this week ran the results of a survey on the sex lives of New Yorkers. I always enjoy hearing what other people are getting up to and seeing how I compare. Most of what they reported wasn't very surprising: lots of people cheat; men think they have more sex per month than they really do, when you compare what they report with what their wives report; most men have been to a strip club. Eh, yawn.
But some of the findings gave me pause. For instance,
1. men reported having had way more sex partners than women (male average: 35, female average: 6). Is someone lying? Or are all the ladies Mary Sues and the gents cheap lotharios?
2. When asked "what constitutes cheating?" more people thought "online flirting" was cheating than thought "in person flirting" was cheating. Is that because online flirting is committed more purposefully--in writing? Does that make it somehow premeditated? In person flirting is just a casual everyday occurrence? And I wonder how they defined "online flirting." We all know what people get up to in the comment sections of blogs, so Lord knows what goes on in private emails. An affair of letters was once considered potentially fire behind the smoke. Somehow the internet doesn't seem as fraught, but then again, I could be totally wrong. Maybe I'm behind the times, haha.
3. 23% surveyed said that "fantasizing about sex with someone else" constitutes cheating. REALLY?!? I think that's a bunch of b.s. Let's go at it from a law perspective. To commit a crime, in general, you need all its elements: the mens rea (the intention or knowledge of wrongdoing) AND the actus reus (the actual guilty act). In this case, there's really no actus reus, is there. No. I was shocked to find that so many would consider that cheating...
and then, on a related note, what about non-consensual role-playing, like if you use abject flattery to trick your husband, who's really an amazing mimic, into talking to you in his best sexy sardonic Alan-Rickman-as-Snape voice, until he gives you a sudden sharp look of comprehension and then clams up, and won't talk to you for awhile even in his own voice? I mean, he cottoned on to you before any real damage was done right? That's not cheating, is it?