Like it or not, both men and women cheat. It’s not right, but it is what it is.
What I’m so tired of hearing though, are these worn out excuses that pander to the idea that it’s so much more harder for men not to cheat than it is for women.
Excuse me, but women have pulses, which means we’re not dead to the world and all the temptations in it. We are living and breathing it all in through our lens just like men are from their vantage points.
People have existed throughout our history not only in monogamous relationships, but within polygamous ones too (both polygyny, the practice of having many wives/partners, and polyandry, the practice of having many husbands/partners).
Also, guess what (get ready to clutch your pearls or grab your nuts) — women have always had strong sexual desire/impulses too.
Men and women are obviously different, we’ve been reared according to our biology and societal constructs that have dictated the ‘norms’ for both ‘manhood’ and ‘womanhood’ since birth.
We’ve been conditioning men into believing they are ‘naturally’ more promiscuous and adventurous, whilst conditioning women into believing they are ‘naturally’ more coy and faithful. Like the irritating, widely accepted staple of assigning the colour blue to boys and pink to girls.
There are many scientific studies and so called breakthroughs every year, trying to determine once and for all whether humans have gendered brains or unisex ones. But regardless of those findings, have we drifted so far that we’ve forgotten that we all have free will?
Once upon a time, during a relationship in my twenties, I went to the cinema with a male friend — who I had a history of sexual chemistry with but had never acted on it.
Now, for a little further context, I have a penchant for dark skinned, Black men, wearing white t-shirts/cream jumpers/sweaters (I just do). So, of course my friend who was a dark skinned, Black man, rocked up to the cinema that day wearing a white t-shirt.
Well, I have no idea what film we watched, but I do remember putting great effort into keeping my eyes glued on the screen, because glancing at him — felt like staring at the sun without shades or a hand held fan.
Although the sexual tension between us was the third wheel that day, and despite the fact that he was single and had made sure to tell me that as well as mention that he didn’t normally try and go for women in relationships — but I was his exception to that rule, nothing happened.
Do I deserve a medal or some kind of congratulatory gift for not cheating, no. I did what I was supposed to do, because I was in a monogamous relationship and the terms and conditions of that relationship didn’t include a ‘friends with benefits’ clause. Also, I didn’t want to cheat anyway, so there’s that.
Let’s fast forward a few years down the line from my hot day at the cinema.
I was single, yeah — woe is me, shit happened, we broke up. ‘Thank you — next.’
So, I have a friends birthday dinner to attend one night. Guess who I called up a few days beforehand to invite them as my plus one? That’s right, my dark skinned, Black male friend — who knows how to wear the fuck out of a white t-shirt.
This time, he turns up in a cream woollen jumper. Seriously, I shit you not. You know the kind you might see on those stereotypical perfectly poised pictures of a farmer worn under a bottle green jacket with jeans and boots in some crappy catalogue or billboard poster.
At that point I would have thought he was deliberately trying to get under my skin with his clothing choices, but I had never told him about my penchant — so I had to lay this one on the Universe and just give a wink to the stars.
Anyway, the script had flipped — because he was no longer single, and was living with his girlfriend.
I asked if his ‘Mrs’ was aware he was out with me and if she was aware of our ‘history’ — to which he replied ‘yeah, she trusts me.’
After the dinner, we made a stop at a bar for a drink — just the two of us. You can go ahead and see this point as the fork in the road, the point where we went left when we should have turned right.
Minutes later, he puts it on me by the bar.
We weren’t drunk or in love, we simply chose to surrender to our sexual impulses and fell into temptation.
During our PDA (Public Displays of Affection), his ‘Mrs’ rang him and he told her he’d be home soon — then we carried on for a little while longer before saying goodnight and going home, separately.
Now, I’m not going to sit here and say I’m proud of messing around with a ‘taken’ man — and I’m sure he would admit it wasn’t his proudest moment either. We both made poor and inconsiderate decisions that night, but the point is — we chose.
It shouldn’t have happened, but it did.
We have the power to choose how to act on the information available to us. Personal responsibility is a thing for both men and women, despite biology and evolution, our upbringing or our current environments, we’re all out here facing the world.
If you believe it’s harder for a man not to cheat than it is for a woman, I’m going to need you to look directly into this flash light *flashes camera light* and wake up.
Failing that, can we at least agree that being human is exhausting?