Adultery makes the world go round

 Madame Bovary’s approach and the Coolidge effect


One of the biggest conventional lies is that human beings are monogamous creatures. This is the basis for the oppression of women.

Male polygamy was, and still is, more acceptable than female polygamy. In some countries, mainly Muslim, female polygamy is punished by death even to this day.

In Greece adultery stopped being a criminal offense in 1982! In Texas till 1974, a husband who would catch his wife red-handed with another lover, could kill them with impunity!


The reason that female adultery was considered a crime (or misdemeanor or –at least- “sluttish”) is that it poses threat to the crowning conquest of the male sex: The certainty of fatherhood.

But no matter the prohibitions, the adultery of both sexes is a synonym to the human species. Did I say “human species”?

Of all the primary species, only the orangutans are monogamous and this is due to the geographic isolation of the pairs. Gorillas have “harems” and chimpanzees have societies of free sex.


Monogamy was (and still is) forced upon modern people via social mechanisms, for instance various prohibitions (religious, moral, legal).

But this system, monogamy, clashes with the biological reproductive system of the sexual ape, which is the man’s.

Males have a bigger penis than all primary species, in comparison with their body, and the second biggest testicles, after chimpanzees.


Females are absolutely sexually adjusted.

Their breasts are much bigger than they need to breastfeed.

Their backside is much more developed, in relation to their body, than any other animal and their pelvis are much smaller – always proportion-wise.

Their vulva is more “on display” and the lips of their face are so enlarged that bring to mind a vulva – and let’s not talk about the lipstick they use to emphasize their “femininity”.

All these things indicate that the reproductive system of the human species should be somewhere in between the polygamous one with the “harems” of the gorillas (a stage than humanity went through somewhere in time) and the free polygamous system of the chimpanzees.

Anthropological studies are in accord with this observation: The early homo (habilis and erectus) lived in societies of free sex. Also in the primitive tribes that were found in the 20th century, polygamy was the rule.


It seems that everything changed when the early societies of private property came into being. Men then withdrew women from the free sex thing in order to preserve – strictly – their fatherhood (and their property, since in that way they made sure that their animals, tools and land would be inherited by their sons).

Just because monogamy was forced by society instead of being a product of the procedure of evolution, and since polygamy offered and still offers a biological advantage to the adulterers, the lack of many “legal” partners was offset by the Good Old-fashioned Unfaithfulness.


The main difference between the two sexes is “economic”; the sperm is “cheap” whereas the ovum is “expensive”.

A man can fertilize hundreds of women every month, but a woman can be fertilized by one man only. After the fertilization, she must wait for at least nine months until she is able to get pregnant again (in the meantime men are on the loose).

The assertion that pregnant women “glow” and have an increased lust for sex during pregnancy is not a fable devised by the magazines. In this way, namely sex, women try to keep the father of the child close to them, at least until they give birth.

As if this aforementioned difference is not enough, women have an age limit of fertility, the menopause, practically in the middle of their life, maybe because they live much longer than their anthropoid ancestors have predicted.

On the contrary, a man can procreate (theoretically at least) till his death by old age.

Finally, women are much more responsible for the upbringing of their children than men (and this is not a human feature exclusively, it is a trait of all mammals by default).

All these things “force” women to search and invest in “more permanent” relationships, namely with men who can provide security, mainly financial.

(Even though this fact is on the wane in western societies, when women are financially independent, where women select men according to their genetic advantages: youth, beauty and intelligence.)


Women are humans (in case some of you are unaware of it). Therefore, they want to experience “something more” than a tedious marital relationship, especially if this relationship is the result of a meeting of financial security standards. Since polygamy is no longer allowed, they go very often for “the Bovary approach”.

If you haven’t read Flaubert’s novel (your loss), here is succinctly what it is all about: Emma Bovary is a young woman who gets married to a decent (but middle-aged and boring) doctor and she cheats on him with a handsome youth.

This approach shouldn’t sound strange to Sanejoker’s female readers. Many of you have done so, most of you have daydreamed about it and surely all of you know of a “Bovary”.

The paradox is that the adulterer chooses unconsciously to get pregnant by her lover. I’m not referring to the book’s heroine but to the majority of women.


The researchers Baker and Bellis have found that the amount of sperm that remains in a woman’s vagina is related to whether the woman had or didn’t have an orgasm and to its duration.

Going further with their research, through questionnaires, they came to the conclusion that among the “unfaithful” women, only 30% of the conjugal orgasms belonged to the prolonged orgasms, which increases the possibility of fertilization, whereas with their lover the percentage climbed up to 70%.

Moreover, consciously or subconsciously, adulterous women made love with their lovers during the fertile days of their cycle.

Therefore, even though they might make love more often with their husband, they were more likely to have their lover’s baby.


And how do husbands counter this strategy (without resorting to the usage of a chastity belt)? They produce more sperm.

Baker and Bellis (them again) found out that when a man is with his wife all day long (and therefore he controls her), he produces significantly less sperm than when he is not at home.

(Of course a man would give a simpler explanation than the conclusion of this survey. When a man is with his wife all day long, she gets on his nerves so much that sex with her is the last thing he is interested in.)

One way or another, the “more sperm” approach seems to have no effect, since surveys conducted in England showed that one to two out of five children don’t belong to the supposed father, namely the guy who feeds them. This is not a small number. 20- 40% of the children belong to another father.

Especially when the years of marriage, as well as the children they had from it, add up, so the possibilities are increased that a baby will be born “somewhat different”.

(“The baby has the eyes of my great-grandfather, my darling”)

This phenomenon doesn’t apply to today’s England only; adultery is a worldwide cultural constant (something like war, minus the guns).

Human nature is polygamous.


It is a biological fact that patriarchal ethics have attempted to stifle its existence by prohibitions.

And so the “overt” polygamy is replaced by the “covert” adultery.

The law imposes monogamy de jure but society allows polygamy de facto. By means of unfaithfulness and adultery.

Or, simply, just because polygamy offers more pleasure.


To wrap it up, let’s mention the Coolidge effect.

The American President John Calvin Coolidge was shown around a farm along with his wife. The First Lady watched a rooster mating with a hen and she asked the attendant how many times a day a rooster could do this.

“Up to a dozen times” was his answer.

“Tell that to the President” was her caustic comment.

Then the President asked the attendant.

 “Same hen every time?”

“Oh, no, Mr. President, a different hen every time” he replied.

“Tell that to Mrs. Coolidge” said the President triumphantly.


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Translated by Alexandros Mantas

Edited by Jackie Pert