Sexual Fantasies: ‘The Normal Bar’ Finds Fantasy-Infidelity Link

Excerpted from the book THE NORMAL BAR. Copyright © 2013 by Chrisanna Northrup, Pepper Schwartz, and James Witte. Published by Harmony, an Imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc. The Normal Bar is the world’s most extensive survey on romantic relationships, polling over 100,000 people and collecting over 1 million data points. The survey was conducted in 2011 using a powerful interactive survey tool called OnQ with the help of media partners The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, AARP, iVillage, & AOL. According to the Normal Bar data, total fidelity of mind as well as body is the rare exception. It’s not abnormal to be tempted to stray. However, for many people, this temptation poses a moral dilemma. In Western society, men and women prize the freedom to mingle freely, yet this easy access to members of the opposite sex can raise anxiety in our partners and in ourselves. No one is policing our every movement, so we have to be responsible for our own reactions when our hormones start percolating. For some, this responsibility is a real burden.Why are fantasies about sex outside one’s primary relationship so common? In part because lust is the key to our species’ survival, as it is for most animals. Geese are the only species we know of that pair only once during a lifetime; if one mate dies, the bereft partner stays unmatched until death. This is not a great model for repopulating the species, so humans have developed a strong sex drive that isn’t limited to one partner. Being able to imagine sex with alternative partners prepares us to start over in the event of death or divorce. In a sense, then, we need those fantasies of infidelity. On the other hand, because we’ve promised to be faithful, and because we know the likely and unpleasant consequences if we break that promise, most of us constrain ourselves to looking without touching.Read More…
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Sexual Fantasies: ‘The Normal Bar’ Finds Fantasy-Infidelity Link


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