The most common reason being it is convenient and alluring. One night stands fall under this group.
It’s difficult to pinpoint any particular reason for affairs. To know the motivational factors, it is important to understand the types of affairs:
Situation-specific affairs: These are not premeditated. The most common reason being it is convenient and alluring. One night stands fall under this group. Alcohol is known to aid this.
Short-term affairs include:
A.) Conquest affairs: ‘The more women I have the more feathers in my cap’ concept.
B.) Anger/revenge affairs: These are indulged in to either hit back at a partner or in haste to placate anger.
C.) Pre-divorce affairs: ‘I want to know if I can function without my partner’ or ‘I want to test new waters before I venture not danger zone again’ criteria at play here.
Long-term affairs include:
A.) Marriage maintenance affairs: If one of the partners is for some reason unable to actively participate in sex, the other partner seeks his release elsewhere and at the same time remains in the marriage.
B.) Hedonistic affairs: Here the focus is only on sexual pleasure.
C.) Cathartic affairs: The persons involved in this kind of an affair vent their angst on the extramarital partner. This kind of an affair is resorted to if one’s own partner does not understand his or her partner’s emotional need.
Need-based affairs: These kinds of affairs are resorted to in order to meet a specific need. These needs can be intimacy reduction; indulgence in certain acts like oral sex, anal sex etc; and reassurance of one’s sexual prowess during mid life.
Men’s motivation for having affairs by and large leans towards sexual variety and excitement, while women tend to look more for emotional returns. The forbidden fruit syndrome and the novelty factor are other operative factors.
Each context needs looking into and customised in order to arrive at a plausible reason and then a possible solution. While an affair does replenish a little something towards that end, it definitely is no way to resolve issues that have been shoved under the carpet.
The writer is a sexologist. Mail him at email@example.com