Felicia (not her real name), a forty-something prominent woman, presented to my office mainly because she wanted to talk with me about extramarital affairs. She had a burning desire to understand the reasons married people have them. It was no surprise to learn that she was asking on behalf of herself as she had recently taken a married lover. She had asked her lover what was going on in his relationship and he responded by saying he did not want to be “psychoanalyzed,” basically shutting her down. She was okay with this as she clearly states that she was not in love with this man, she simply enjoyed having sex with him.

Felicia asked me, “Do women cheat because they are bored and men because they are under appreciated?” I explained that both of those reasons are common for men and/or women, but extramarital affairs are complex and often have a number of reasons that belie them. For example, a man with a high sex drive might be married to a woman with a low or decreased sex drive because she is working outside of the home at a very stressful job. She may be taking care of children or elderly parents and, as a result, may be very tired,  (which is the number one reason for low sexual desire). A married man may meet someone at work that he is attracted to and who pays him some attention. It might all start out innocently but can quickly move from attraction to an emotional affair and then to a physical one. Emotional affairs are dangerous because 50% progress to a sexual relationship, a potential disaster for a marriage. However, it was what Felicia mentioned next that was of grave concern to me…

Felicia said that she and the man she has been involved with had been “sexting” each other, which can be very arousing. She said her lover asks her to send nude photos of herself during those sexting sessions and she obliges. She was genuinely shocked when I pointed out the potential risk to her reputation at having sent provocative pictures of herself to her part-time lover. Believe me, I am not giving instructions on how to have an affair but the chances of getting caught are greatly increased with the addition of nude photos to sexting. In addition to that, what if the relationship soured? In that case, her lover may instigate a campaign of ‘revenge porn’ against her.

Revenge porn is sexually explicit pictures/media that is publicly shared online without the consent of the pictured individual. Felicia was so attracted to this man that she never denied his requests regarding rough sex, bondage or sexting. Admittedly, she had not thought out the consequences of her behavior as she was quite caught up in the excitement. I explained that it is NEVER okay to send illicit photographs and that (perhaps) if she did not meet his every demand the relationship may end (although I doubted this), but her soul would be saved and ultimately he would pay her more respect.

I suggested to Felicia that she ask her lover to delete any and all photographs of her from his phone. This was no guarantee they would not turn up elsewhere on the internet, but at least her lover’s wife likely would not see them. I must say, Felicia was very grateful for this advice. Having a “No Pictures Please!” policy – whether you get back to the bedroom or when sexting – is the only way to protect yourself during those times you choose iniquity.

Join me Sunday Night at 8pm on the CKNW Sunday Night Sex Show , when Thomas Panuzio (a National Security Expert) joins me to discuss revenge porn!

Maureen McGrath

Maureen McGrath

Host of the CKNW Sunday Night Health Show on Corus Radio. As a leading women's health expert and Registered Nurse, I understand the importance that sexual, vaginal, bladder and bowel health has on overall health and relationships.

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