And the whole article is below. An interesting take on affairs!
Here’s a Valentine’s Day special report, just for you. The dating website Illicit Encounters recently commissioned an opinion poll in order to publicise its crepuscular activities. The company was set up to cater specifically for married people who wish to cheat on their partners and undermine the institution of marriage.
It does terribly good business, among the distrait and disaffected middle-aged. According to the poll, one in three married people wishes to God that they hadn’t tied the knot. Go on, have a look among your friends and see if you can spot them. Her with that slight look of desperation in her eyes, the front of the black Hobbs dress a little lower than is really decent, him with the scary rictus smile and the jackhammer in his briefcase.
The survey also asked respondents if they would be unfaithful for a sum of money — and if so, what that sum of money might be.
Almost all the middle-aged people said yes, yes, too right, bring it on. But there was a gender split on the amount of cash: the women said that they would do the dirty on their partners if paid £250,000. The men said they would do the same thing for about a thousand quid. That probably tells you more about the way in which men and women think about sex than any number of longitudinal scientific surveys, or lengthy and appallingly written theses informing you that gender is nothing more than a social construct of an oppressive patriarchal state.
A thousand quid versus a quarter of a million. It has the ring of truth about it, no? There was a time when I would have been unfaithful for a bag of McVitie’s Mini Cheddars, especially those new Branston Pickle-flavoured ones. Or even half a bag. But be assured those days are long gone (my love).
The most revealing stuff, however, was not the male/female split, but the vastly different attitudes between age groups. The younger generation, the people under 30, were far less prepared to cheat on their spouses. Or get up to weird stuff in the bedroom, come to that. Overall, we were revealed to be quite prudish people — almost half of those surveyed had not considered making love with the lights on, for example. My eyesight is so bad that I need the lights on all the time, so I can be sure about what I’m doing. Turn the lights off and I’d probably find myself doing press-ups on the bedroom floor for 2½ minutes.
But I digress.
The point is that the younger the respondent, the more prudish — or fundamentally decent, you make up your own mind. And by way of illustration, the overwhelming majority of Illicit Encounters’ members are — how can I put this — of a certain age. The young, by and large, want no truck with any of it.
Now you might argue that young people feel less of a need to do really pervy business with masking tape and staple guns and are less inclined to cheat on their partners because the whole gamut of sexual experience is so wonderfully new to them, it simply isn’t needed. Maybe.
But it ties in with several recent social surveys, which suggest that the young do not drink alcohol anywhere near as much as their parents do, and that they are beginning to eschew drugs, and believe that studying for their exams is really important. In other words, they are living what we might call decent and responsible lives.
This is sometimes presented in the media as evidence that the young generation are boring and conservative, but I suspect that this is because we have become accustomed to equating youth with wildness and reckless abandon.
For a whole bunch of reasons it would seem that the young have reverted to how they were before 1950; before the pill, before rock’n’roll, before drugs became ubiquitous; before the championing of anti-authority values. My generation — the baby-boomers — were the anomaly, and an embarrassing anomaly at that.