1. They have emotional “affairs.”
Whether he’s messaging a former flame to wax nostalgic about the past, or getting to know a 20-something Kansan bombshell who happens to share his interest in anime, things can get intimate quickly when you interact with someone often enough on an emotional level. A lot of men write off their non-physical relationships as benign, no matter how close they get, simply because the in-person component is missing. The questionable aspect of nurturing an emotional connection, either over the Internet or in real life, is that doing so requires time and energy that could conceivably be spent with a man’s actual partner. Plus, it’s tough to ignore the possibility that things might get too personal, even from a distance. It’s not like love hasn’t sprouted all across the Internet already.
2. They plan dinners with female friends that could easily be lunch dates.
When scheduling plans to meet up with a female friend, a man faces a simple choice: Request getting together for coffee or lunch, or suggest drinks and/or dinner. Sometimes, a man chooses the latter when the former is just as feasible. Why? Because afternoon meet-ups are safe and boring, and few people are willing to get stupid and tipsy midday. It’s fun to booze and flirt with a female pal sometimes, and it seems harmless enough, even it means skipping dinner with the ball and chain.
3. They buy drinks for strangers.
At some point most men will end up having a cocktail or a beer at a bar by themselves, either because they’re traveling for work, or they decide to stop off for a moment of peace on their way home. If an attractive woman happens to be sitting a few seats down, sending her a drink might seem like the generous, gentlemanly thing to do—a simple way to earn a smile from a hot stranger. Next? An invitation to join him for a second drink or a nightcap down the street so he can engage her in conversation, stare at her cleavage, and dust off his inner lothario for a bit. Things might end right there, and they may not.
4. They maintain relationships with office wives.
It’s nice to have someone to gossip with about colleagues, to vent to about your boss, and to confide in day to day. Since only those who understand your working environment can appreciate certain aspects of your daily life, it makes sense for anyone to develop a close personal relationship with one of their fellow employees. When such a bond is formed with a member of the opposite sex, however, the inter-office relationship can start to seem remarkably spousal. As innocent as a man’s intentions may be to start, he probably spends a large percentage of time with his female coworker slash wife. Keeping things purely platonic with an office spouse isn’t always simple.
5. They share their favorite porn with other women.
Pornography is ubiquitous, and we know that tons of men and women watch it at least once in a while. That said, most of us aren’t in the habit of discussing our exact porn watching habits in everyday conversation. The man who shares his favorite X-rated video(s) with a woman who isn’t his significant other probably justifies doing so as flirting at arm’s length—as a way to be sensual with someone he’s attracted to without ever touching her (but maybe touching himself while he envisions her masturbating to his fave smut). When a man reveals what material he uses to get aroused, he divulges part of his personal erotic profile. A relatively innocuous act, perhaps. But how long can a porn swap between adults go on before things escalate?
6. They reveal their sexual dreams and/or fantasies to female friends.
We all entertain dirty thoughts about our celebrity crushes, hot colleagues, old partners, and even our dads since our brains aren’t equipped to screen for incest while we sleep. There’s no such thing as a “bad” thought, right? Just bad actions. So why shouldn’t I share my dirty thoughts with the woman who played the lead in my hard-core dream, a man might wonder. Why not flatter a woman if she’s the type to respond well to a little naughty talk? Many would argue that there’s a significant difference between entertaining dirty fantasies and detailing the particulars to another party, but not the man on a mission to push a boundary.
7. They hire virtual girlfriends.
Does having sex with an artificially intelligent robot qualify as cheating? It’s tough to say, but we’re not quite there yet as a society, technologically speaking. Still, there are plenty of ways men can use tech to get sexy. A few options include paying for the “girlfriend experience” through a service like GirlfriendHire, dropping tokens on My Free Cams, and dicking around on Craiglist. These days, a digital fling isn’t out of anyone’s price range.
8. They go all out at strip clubs.
Women tend to think of hitting up a strip club as a single sport, but there are so many variations in how a man might approach a visit to a nudie bar. He might wander in casually for a steak dinner and a few drinks so he can play spectator for an hour and skip the lap dances altogether. He might head over late night with a bunch of buddies and let them go wild as he sits, sipping his vodka tonic, happy to get drunk and watch others squander their money. Or he might go on a bender himself, spending an entire paycheck to motor-boat a lady’s breasts over and over. Some men come in their pants while naked women grind on them at a strip joint. Others don’t. Whatever their preferred strip club style, however, men tend to agree that strip clubs are an acceptable form of entertainment, whether or not they have girlfriends, who may or may not share the same philosophy.
9. They get “happy endings.”
The truth is, it’s not all that (ahem) hard for the average man to justify paying for a happy ending. A rub-and-tug can seem like the natural extension of an intensely relaxing massage specifically designed to release tension. It’s not like there’s any emotion involved in booking a basic spa appointment. Plus, spas are about health and wellness! It’s easy to see why a man who pays his masseuse to jack him off would feel mostly renewed rather than guilty. Or is it?