Perfect Buds

The If-Busters

Late Bloomers

Early Bloomers


Sexual Explorers

Sexually Dissatisfied Wives

Overcoming Rejection

Why Sacrifice Pleasure?

A Way of Classifying Sexual Identity

How Pleasure-Claimers Get Better Orgasms

Some Observations from the Survey

Monogamous Women

"My husband and I take a weekend away from the kids four times a year, even if we can only afford to check into the local Days Inn. One of the most erotic hotel weekends we ever had took place when I was six weeks from delivering our last child and couldn't have sex anymore. We masturbated each other. He bathed me, rubbed lotion into every crevice of my skin. He even shampooed my hair and sucked my toes dry.

-a Maryland housewife , age thirty-six

            Depending on the survey cited, anywhere from 30 percent to over 50 percent of married women are having, or have had, extramarital affairs. While  the infidelity statistics vary, experts  generally agree that women's sexual  behavior in general, and particularly in this area, has changed more than men's has since the early Fifties when Kinsey first surveyed sex in America.  In recent years, we've been inundated with stories about wives who cheat and why they do it.  Reading those  numerous  stories one occasionally gets the impression the faithful are an undersexed minority.

            Some women do remain monogamous because of religious beliefs or family and social pressures fear of the consequences if they're caught, or simply because they have little interest in sex. But other women stay in the marital bed because the sex is so good there.

            "I am not morally opposed to adultery," says Nan, a forty-year-old computer programmer who has been  married for nineteen years. "One of my friends is married to a man she won't leave for economic reasons, but they haven't had sex in two years. If there were no sex in my marriage, for whatever reason, I would find it elsewhere. I can't imagine living together a life without sex!

            "Fortunately, we have, and almost always have had, a good sexual relationship. Every long-term relationship will have its ebb and flow of desire, and we've had a few low points, like when I was pregnant both times and then after the babies were born, and when Jeff lost his job a few years ago. During those times, we were so consumed with other issues, we didn't think about sex as much. Or, at least, one of us didn't think about sex as much.

            "But, we always get it back! Sex works well for us for two reason. One, we have a strong physical attraction to each other, even after nineteen years. Two, we are both willing to experiment, even to do silly things. Years ago, when our firstborn was only nine months old, we made love in her wading pool. We'd both lived in the Midwest, away from major sources of water, all our lives, and making love underwater was a fantasy we'd shared. Late one night, we were sitting in the backyard sipping wine and talking about that pheromones and fantasy , among others, and one of us, I don't remember which one, said, 'There's the water!' So, we did it.

            "I think a lot of wives lose their husband's interest sexually because they get stuck in  sexual  ruts. They won't go much beyond the missionary position, and they think sex belongs in the bedroom, after the kids are asleep, with the lights out, when everything else is done and they're feeling happy with their husbands. What they  don't get is how much you can improve your life by being open to the moment. Sometimes we've even had great  sex when we weren't particularly happy with each  other in other ways.

            "Sex to me isn't connected to whether he remembered to stop at the market on the way home."
Who Is She?

Married women made up 34.2 percent of the total observation from survey group. Nan, like 62 percent of these married respondents-or just under 20 percent of the total group-has been monogamous  throughout  her marriage and is satisfied with the relationship. I defined the happily monogamous wives by these  obvious and simple criteria:

  • They are married.
  • They are not having-nor have they had in the past-an extramarital affair.
  • They report being satisfied with their sex lives. 

            I expected to find several clear differences in the  backgrounds  of the monogamous wives and the ones who'd had, or were having, extramarital  affairs, but I found only one area in which they significantly differed.

            Not surprisingly, happily monogamous wives had fewer partners before marriage than most  adulterous wives did. Nearly half  the monogamous wives had never had another sex partner, though they had dated other men before marriage  and, in all but a handful of cases, had  had sex with  their husbands before  marriage. Yet, happily monogamous  wives were also less likely to have been virgin  brides. Six percent of the  wives involved in affairs were  virgins  on their wedding day, compared to 4 percent of the happily monogamous group.

            The real surprise, to me at least, was  that happily monogamous wives are far less career-oriented than the other wives-with less than 10 percent of them holding management or professional jobs.  While  slightly more than two-thirds were working, or had worked at some point in their marriages, more often they have jobs rather than careers.  Several wrote to say they credited their  happiness in part to fitting their own schedules around their husbands more demanding careers.

Their Shared Behavior Traits

Their  secondary economic position does not, however, carry over into the  bedroom.  Like other pleasure claimers, they generally have healthy, positive  attitudes about sex, sharing these common behavior traits:

  • The ability to separate sex from the rest of the  marriage.
  • Sexual confidence.
  • The willingness of communicate their needs and desires to their partners.  If  anything, they seem even more willing than other assertive women  I've interviewed to take the responsibility for making  sex good for both partners.

            In addition, the monogamous women, who report  they initiate sex about half the time, say:

  • They make sex a "priority" in their marriages.  From the  beginning, they were determined that both the marriage and the sex would thrive.
  • They accept  the natural cycles of desire without feeling threatened  by temporary periods of waning.
  • And, they put high value on being sexually free with their partners.  In other words, they are willing to experiment  with different sex practices , positions , and settings. The monogamous wives recounted  stories of sex in unusual places as often a single women did, and they were often the ones who suggested the  variations.

Next >>

Sexual Victims

Discarded Women

The Clock Women

Independent Women

Revirginized Women

Monogamous Women

Second-Chance Women

Surviving the Droughts

Wives Who Have Affairs

The Saboteurs of Pleasure

Conclusion: Your Sexual Turning Point?

The Women Who Doesn't "Need" an Orgasm

What Does She Know About Sex that You Don't?