Living Differently

Is it time to rethink sexual morality?

Affairs get a negative press in Anglo-Saxon countries, where they are discussed in terms of infidelity, adultery, cheating, dishonesty, and betrayal. Four-fifths of people in Britain condemn affairs as always wrong. The consequence is an over-reaction to discovery of sexual infidelities, and high divorce rates, leading to serial monogamy across life. For over three decades, about half of all first marriages in the USA have ended in divorce. Britain follows closely, with one-third of first marriages ending in divorce. Yet two-thirds of people in Britain do not regard sex as a central part of marriage, so logically marriage can still permit affairs.

The classic affair is between an older, married man, typically successful and affluent, and an attractive young single woman. This always had the potential to become exploitative or unfair, as the young woman usually hoped for marriage to her lover – a marriage that would never happen. In addition, there was always the ris

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