Could You Forgive A Same Sex Affair?

Well, this is interesting!

A psychologist at The University of Texas at Austin has come up with some fascinating data on infidelity and who stays and who goes after a SAME SEX affair. According to the recently published study men are TWICE as likely to stay with a girlfriend who has cheated with another woman than with a woman who has cheated with another guy.

On the flipside, only 21 percent of women were likely to stay with a man who had a same sex affair (versus 28 percent who could ‘handle’ a more traditional affair)

I have my own theories as to why this is the case and they are rooted in social acceptability. Let’s face it, girl-on-girl sexual imagery is everywhere and used to sell everything. Look at Katy Perry’s breakout hit from a couple of years ago.

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Kissing a girl was something she did on a whim in a bar and the best part about it (outside of the fact that she liked it) was the cherry Chapstick. You see, fun, light-hearted, non-threatening. Then there’s this advertisement for a hotel in Las Vegas, also with its share of girl on girl imagery.

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I don’t think it’s an accident that you get the impression there will be naked Twister later in this spot. And if you notice, the homoerotism is limited to just the women in the spots.

Now it turns out there might be more than just Madison Avenue thinking at work here. According to the Austin researchers, men were more threatened by an affair that could cast doubt on the paternity of their offspring. But if their girlfriend slept with another woman, on a basic level, the men often saw the sexual possibilities beyond the betrayal. (I call it the porn effect!)

As you can see, though not thrilled with either prospect, women whose mates had same sex affairs, were more inclined to read that as a sign that he was not happy in the relationship, either physically or otherwise and see his behavior as a precursor to him leaving.

For me personally, I guess I mirror these findings; I could see myself more likely staying with my partner if he had an affair with another woman, as opposed to another man. And crazy as it sounds, Buff probably falls in line with these findings too.

But what do you think? Do you agree that the reason a man would STAY after a same sex affair and LEAVE after a heterosexual one is rooted in nature – or influenced by society? And what about the women? Would you stay with your partner if they had a same sex affair? Start commenting everyone…

Rene Syler is a wife, mother, breast cancer advocate and television personality whose burning desire to tell the truth about modern motherhood led her to create GoodEnoughMother.com. When not spending time with her family or burning something for dinner, Rene travels the country as host of Sweet Retreats on The Live Well Network and Exhale on Aspire.

15 Comments

  1. Michael Chagdes

    February 2, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    I’d have no problem forgiving this sort of thing…wouldn’t take it personally since I don’t have the same equipment, etc etc…hell, there wouldn’t even be a need for my partner to “cheat”…if the intent was to be simply frivolous and casual all she would have to do is ask “if I minded”…a small part of me is actually excited by this…of course, this is all academic as there is no way in hell my wife would ever go that route…getting back to the original spirit of Rene’s question…if my wife screwed around with another guy would I have a major problem with that ?…hell, YES !…another woman ?…honestly, not so much. :)

  2. Wanda Reese

    February 2, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    No. For me, gender would have nothing to do with it. Infidelity is infidelity. I would leave.

  3. Rae S.

    February 2, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    H*LL NO I wouldn’t stay. I would hit the ground running if my guy slept with another man. I’m no Terry McMillam, who would try to make it work. If he’s into men he will always be into men. There’s no turning back as far as I’m concerned. The idea of being socially unacceptable, safety concerns and ultimately in the end I can’t give him what he wants sexually, would be the reasons I couldn’t and wouldn’t stay with him.

    On the flip side, I’m all but certain, he would not mind if I slept with another women and would stay in the relationship hoping to join the two of us. LOL! Can somebody say double standard, PLEASE!

  4. M.E. Johnson

    February 2, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    What Rae S. said.

  5. David Freeman

    February 2, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    There’s definitely a double standard both in nature and modern society. (Can anyone say “porn effect”? Funny Rene!) But for me, I’d do some investigating before I acted, (after being really hurt and initially pissed off either way.) But I’d firsy try to find out what led to it. Did I turn her away from being open and honest with me? Did she feel I was not putting enough energy into our relationship? What led to the behavior? Has she come to the realization she’s gay? In modern socially convoluted society, people act out for a plethora of reasons. I don’t like to REACt mindlessly, I prefer to ACT Thoughfully. It would all depend on whether or not I felt there was enough basis of trust and affection or even the wish, to rebuild the relationship.
    Bottom line is there is such an assumption of trust on both sides right now, that I don’t worry about her traveling to Vegas w/ her single gf’s and I could go to the superbowl with my buddies and not have her think twice. I find if you consciously work on your life..together, then you build a life, and a strong basis of trust, together, to ensure each parties needs are if not being perfectly met 24/7 that at least any problem is acknowledged and a plan of action is made to work on anything left incompletely fulfilled with an aim towards filling the leak, wherever it may be in the relationship.

  6. Faun Reese

    February 3, 2011 at 12:01 am

    A man finding about his wife participating in a same sex affair would more than likely be like, “Honey, can I watch”…or even like, “Can I join?” A woman finding out her husband had done the same thing to her would be like, “Oh…hell-to-the-no!”

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  8. Pam R

    February 3, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    I think the things I would’ve said have already been said. But I still wanted to just give an Amen to those who said they would leave, the double-standardness and the fact that if he caught his woman in the same sex he would def stay!!!

  9. Dave

    May 23, 2011 at 10:17 am

    Forgive? Hell, I want to JOIN!!!!!!! LOL

  10. Dave

    May 23, 2011 at 10:17 am

    Or at the very least, WATCH! LOL

  11. Rene Syler

    May 23, 2011 at 10:19 am

    @Dave: I’m gonna shoot you!

  12. Jennifer

    May 23, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Yes I would forgive but that doesn’t mean I would stay in the relationship/marriage. Some couples can survive it but mine didn’t survive an opposite-sex affair and with good reason. I’ve forgiven my ex-husband but I couldn’t stay with him … even for the kids.

  13. keith

    May 23, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    I actually agree with Dave…forgive me lol

  14. Charles

    April 8, 2013 at 11:29 am

    Unfortunately, I think this is wrong on many levels.. Being that the legislation has passed for same sex marriages, I foresee much more acceptance from men being with other men. It is not a matter of being gay or lesbian either.. There is a term called Bisexual. For me, it wasn’t about the plumbing. Sure Im attracted to both, and Im married with a son. I love my wife to the end of the earth, However her complete rejection to the person she fell in love with is what is tearing the family apart. Not the fact of who I cheated with. People have many reasons for cheating, weather it be attention, sexual pleasure, money. But attacking someone just because you dont agree with it is not right, you are depriving yourself of true love. You know that there will never be someone that can replace that love and you will never forget it. People are too quick to run away from their problems versus staying and fixing them, and cheating may show weakness for sure.. but running away after that is even more cowardly. Now adjusting yourself to your partner is what makes things work. Having an open mind makes things work. I have every opportunity right now to be with the same sex.. only in my case, I don’t strive for that lifestyle. I strive to have a family with a women, and hopefully that women is just as much a freak as I am.. THAT is the key to making things work. You will forever adjust yourself for the person you love… so how is this any different?

  15. Charles

    April 8, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Plus who is to say that a women cant satisfy those “needs”? She may not have six pack abs, but like I said before when you love someone truly… you will adjust yourself to fit that persons needs. The one thing that even an affair cant replace is what you feel for the person you fell in love with. Sex is sex. But when you invest time and energy into a person you should be willing to make it work. Trust me when I say I have seen it first hand, my family is far from perfect.. but we make it work that is in our blood as Americans. Acceptance is hard but it depends on how hard that person fights to get the acceptance from people they love.. and back to the point, if you TRUELY love someone you should accept them for who they are and stick by them, because telling the truth about something like that means that the person really does love you and wants you to love them for who they are. And that they are willing to put so much effort forth to try to make it work. Im still “straight” enough to still like the idea of my wife being sexual with another woman.. Only because I understand how different the two types of sex are. In the end it matters who you want to be with at the end of the night Doesn’t it?

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