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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Grandmas Having Affairs: Scratching the Four Year Itch

Why do married grandmas older than fifty engage in affairs? Why would they risk everything —families, jobs, lives —for a night or two (or more) of passion and fun? To many people, the very thought of a nation of hot-and-bothered old cougars jumping bones is simply repulsive. But, it seems as if lately, grannies are "doing more for themselves" and the "MILF" connotation has extended its age qualifications to "OGILF" -- Old Grandmas ILF.

And, now, information has surfaced that claims Mother Nature is the culprit who makes grandma cheat. At a recent lecture, Dr. Helen Fisher, noted biological anthropologist, proclaimed that the ladies have affairs because they are biologically hard-wired to have them. The horny women simply can’t help ourselves.

Fisher says anthropologically and biologically speaking, women need to procreate. She continues to explain that women usually don’t have affairs because they no longer love their partners. Instead, Fisher contends there is an ancient human tendency to partner and re-partner, which she calls the “four year itch.” Here is a brief explanation of the "itch":

"A long time ago, it was assumed that if a child lived to see age four, he or she would survive. The biological parents were then free to move on to new sexual adventures, and the child would be passed on to the group, at which time the “it takes a village” mentality would kick in.

"This dates back millions of years to a time when men and women were equal on many different levels —economically, socially and sexually. Some gathered, some hunted, but there’s one thing they all did, rather frequently, too —they had sex.  They had to! How else could the human race survive and thrive?  The only way to secure the future was to have lots and lots of sex, with lots and lots of different partners. And, boy, did they ever!"

(Barbara Hannah Grufferman, "The #1 Reason Why Men and Women Over 50 Cheat (It's Not What You Think!" AARP Blog, October 11 2012)

Esther Perel, author of "Mating in Captivity” explained the psychology behind it all. Perel says that very often, women have affairs because they have lost something or someone in the previous year or two.  Perhaps someone close to them died, or left home, or they lost a job.

Even more profound, Esther Perel found that women especially can feel as though they’ve lost a part of themselves, and by having an affair, they can reclaim it. So, women are presented with a mixed bag of biological and psychological tendencies to cheat.  None of them, according to both experts, are immune. They just naturally want to "scratch" the "itch" of their libido to compensate for their lost pieces.


Male infidelity, estimated at between 50-60% of all males across a lifetime, has remained relatively steady. But female infidelity has progressively increased, to the point where current estimates put it between 45-55% for lifetime risk of infidelity by a woman, and some researchers suggest that female infidelity may one day rival male cheating. 

In recent years, more people view infidelity as common, understandable, even normal and expected. In a survey by the AARP, only around 22% of respondents felt that infidelity was wrong, compared with a rate of 41% when this question was assessed in 1999.

Has grandma infidelity dramatically increased or has the fact that older females cheat just come to light? After all, women through history have used power, privilege and wealth to pursue infidelity in situations where they did not have to fear social consequences for being unfaithful. But, historically, women simply did not have the freedom to be openly unfaithful. Today, women are much more "up front" about their sexual preferences and their freedom to acquire feminine desires.

 Cougar looking for fun

Also, it's not a secret that females live longer. Many older women are financially independent, and they look better than ever (think: Restylane and retinols). Plus, older women understand younger men carry less emotional baggage, try harder at romance, and exhibit refreshingly equitable views on gender roles. ("He does his own dishes!")

 Beauty in aging = hot grandmas.

Is evolution a major blame for hotter senior females? As women decline in fertility, their sex drive gets a supercharge in order to maximize their remaining baby-making chances, new research from the University of Texas at Austin reveals. At what age do women make love most frequently?

University of Texas psychologist David Buss wrote a recent article in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, with the help of three graduate students -- Judith Easton Jaime Confer, and Cari Goetz. Buss, Easton and their colleagues found that women in their 30s and early 40s are significantly more sexual than younger women.

The study shows women in the low-fertility group (ages 27-45) were much more likely to report having more sex, wanting more sex, and having more (and more intense) sexual fantasies. "If you're trying to maximize your remaining fertility, it makes sense to seek out a younger partner because his sperm is healthier," says lead researcher Judith Easton.

 (John Cloud, "The Science of Cougar Sex: Why Older Women Lust,"  
Time Magazine

The study cites the age group 27-45. Yet, doesn't everyone believe the 50's are the "new 40's"?
Easton also claims women ages 27 through 45 report  they are more willing than younger women to have casual sex, even one-night stands. In other words, despite the girls-gone-wild image of promiscuous college women, it is women in their middle years who are America's most sexually industrious.

The authors also note that there are some alternative explanations for why women in their 30s and early 40s might be more sexual. Many of them may simply be more comfortable with sex than women in their teens and early 20s. Still, that raises the question of why they are more comfortable: perhaps evolution programmed that comfort.

And, isn't age 50+ considered in 21st American society to be the new 40's?

My Take

OGILFS, MILFS, and cougars are having lots of sex in and out of wedlock. At this time, for many reasons, couplings of older folk lack wedding vows and legal licenses that serve to sanctify and pledge faithful behavior. With desires and needs as constant considerations, it stands to reason more older women are having affairs. Perhaps, more of these women than what we think have been doing this for ages. 

Romance, convenience, lust, freedom, missing pieces -- what does it matter to the transgressor the cause of an affair? It seems the effects are much more important. What do the barometers that measure human cost and societal value read? Do older sexual out-of-partner connections show skyrocketing readings in pain, misery, happiness, or joy? I'm sure one might find evidence that the sexual freedom has produced both tremendous benefits and unspeakable injuries.

And, in one way, I do believe sex relations, in all their glory and depravity, have become believed to be an important part of the "hard-wire" of all females in any age group. The no-longer-innocent young and the recharged old have shown more hardcore devotion to pure sex, physical satisfaction without romance. Sexting and Trojan twisting and female chemical enhancing and friendly media fucking -- all contribute to stimulated sistas.

The truth is it is easy to deny any seemingly logical reason for a woman to have an affair; however, Puritan standards produce some pretty scrambled brains. Coupling and coexisting through an ape-like four year itch also seems immoral and detrimental to family structure. What is a horny old gal to do? Maybe vibrators and porn films are less dangerous options than open marriage affairs.

I do think that anyone who believes sex is purely for procreation and marriage likely lives a sheltered, incomplete existence. Yet, I think a whore is still a whore, and an adulterer is still an adulterer. I've given up on understanding sex. It's like appetite. I understand the concept and feeling of both, yet I don't know why my stomach and my dong long for the stimulus.

Happiness Is a Warm Gun

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