For a dating site that profits from infidelity, Illicit Encounters has certainly developed a fondness for double-crossing their members. I get that publishing insightful research is good for brand recognition and all, especially when a publication like Playboy reports on it, but there’s something inherently rotten about degrading your own members to amplify your brand and cheating on a grander scale.
They do this a lot; so far, they’ve told us people who like rock music more than any other genre are more likely to cheat, that cat owners are more likely to cheat than dog owners and that nine in 10 women will sleep with a guy after a first date if she’s drunk.
Anyway, even though I’m not a member of any cheating website nor have ever done it, I will share with you the fruits of Illicit Encounters’s most recent data dump (I refuse to call what they do “research”), because a lot of y'all probably do cheat—or have partners who cheat. It’s 2017. Let’s be real.
Believe it or not, the most common day for cheaters to do their thing is Monday, as if you needed any more reason to hate the beginning of the work week. What’s worse, it seems as if homewreckers choose to cheat the minute they leave the damn house. Like, as soon as these people fulfill their familial or relationship duties over the weekend, they hop right back on the cheater train.
On average, Illicit Encounters reports that around 600 messages are sent on its website every hour. However, on Monday, around 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., this number more than triples to some 1,900 messages. And that’s during just that one hour.
“With a wife and possibly children to commit to, meeting up with your secret tryst over the weekend, or even communicating with them, can often be impossible,” Illicit Encounters’s Christian Grant says without a shred of remorse. “You don’t have the time, and you’re likely spending plenty of time with your wife and kids all day, so the risk of your mistress’ name popping up on your phone for all to see is far too great.” Gross.
Grant believes the website is so active on Monday mornings is because members take advantage of the first possible opportunity to communicate with the other wo/man. For many, that’s during their morning commutes.
But let’s back up a second: Does swapping messages with some distant avatar online even constitute cheating? A recent study by Desert News and YouGov noted that more people may be cheating today not because there are more apps and sites to do it on, but rather the word cheating has become so damn subjective.
For instance, the results of that survery found 63 percent of participants thought “actively maintaining an online profile” constituted cheating, while another group defined cheating as “regular sexual relations with someone other than your partner.“ As you can see, this word exists on a spectrum. But while cheating can evidently be considered many things, it’s safe to assume that if you’re a member of a website like Illicit Encounters, you’re cheating. So whatever insights their membership provides, while immoral, is legit.
What makes cheating in modern relationships less tolerable is that societal attitudes regarding open relationships have never been more progressive. Cheating is difficult, harrowing and secretive. If you want to fuck other people, opt for an open relationship. If anything, it’s more honest.
They’re also shockingly common. Research published in Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy of almost 9,000 participants discovered more than two in 10 people have had some sort of “non-monogamous relationship,” which the study described as "any relationship in which all partners agree that each may have romantic and/or sexual relationships with other partners.” This openness was particularly popular among gay and bisexual participants.
But, fair warning: If you’re hoping an open relationship will better your sex life, I wouldn’t bet on it. Another recent study found that people in monogamous relationships are actually more sexually satisfied than polyamaorous people.
Though the numbers weren’t drastic, it really makes you wonder if the grass is really greener when you part from tradition. Regardless, no matter how progressive future generations become, cheating should never be considered, especially when so many healthy alternatives are available.