Can Side-Chicks Be Beneficial to a Marriage?

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Affairs. They happen all the time, whether we like that reality or not.

A recent poll said that 74% of men would cheat if they knew they could get away with it. 68% of women say they would cheat if they knew they’d never be caught. 22% of men and 14% of women admit to having an affair at least once in their marriages.

As you can imagine, many people end up cheating while on business trips and with co-workers. In 3% of cases, children are borne out of affairs.

The statistics can be depressing, especially if you hope for a faithful relationship where you can trust that your partner’s word is his/her bond. But these same statistics also lend credence to the view that monogamy is unnatural. Some people vehemently believe that monogamy is unnatural and unattainable. I personally feel that’s a pessimistic outlook, but maybe I’m wrong.

In fact, maybe cheating can be beneficial to a marriage.

I used “side-chicks” in my title, because from my experience it’s much more likely for men to have on-going side-chicks than for women to have ongoing male lovers. Although perhaps women are just more discreet about it… (And would we call these lovers “side-dicks”?)

Anyway, I have a writer friend who was quite candid with me some years back about having a lover. I was a bit baffled. We were sitting in an airport waiting area and she disclosed her “happy little secret” and I was shocked at her candor and guiltless attitude. I asked if she was considering leaving her husband, and then she was the one to look shocked. Why would she? She was happy in her marriage, and had a side-piece to fulfill her other needs.

Were those needs simply physical, or perhaps for a thrill? I don’t know, because I didn’t ask. Though I’m fairly certain her husband wouldn’t be happy about it—hence the secrecy.

That said, some spouses don’t see infidelity as a cause to end a marriage. In fact, some encourage it.

I recently saw a video made by a woman who said that not only would she not be upset if her husband had a side-chick, she actually encouraged it. Among her reasons was the fact that after a day of taking care of children/home and/or working outside of the home, she was too tired to think of sex. So she actually relished the idea of another woman taking on the responsibility of “servicing” her husband.

For her, sex after a hectic day is just one more thing to do when she’s too exhausted to feel sexy or intimate. She gets to have her marriage and home intact, and her husband gets his physical needs met so he has no complaints. For her, it’s a win-win situation.

A side-partner can be the answer to unequal sex drives. The partner who wants more sex can get it outside of the marriage, and the person who doesn’t want the extra sex doesn’t feel the pressure to perform. This kind of agreement can allay any sort of stress over disproportionate sex drives, thereby keeping the marriage out of jeopardy.

Personally, such a view diminishes the role of sex when it comes to intimacy—in my opinion. Sex is more than just a physical release. It’s about connecting with another person on a deeper level. So I wouldn’t want to have a side-piece nor for my spouse to have a side-chick. I enjoy intimacy with a partner and wouldn’t see sex as a chore to be passed off to someone else.

But if either partner within a relationship wants a side-piece, I think it’s only fair to discuss this before getting serious. This would classify as open-marriage, even if only one person is stepping out. Cheating is not the fair thing to do. Being open about your needs and coming to a mutual agreement is the only respectful thing to do.

It’s easier said than done, but cheating brings with it a whole host of other problems. Anger, betrayal, hurt. Disruption of the family unit.

These are not things your partner deserves, especially not one you vowed to love, respect and honour until death. A side piece is not your “right” because you want more sex than your partner does. But perhaps with your partner’s blessing, you can have your cake and eat it too.

You must keep in mind, however, that a side-piece might end up wanting more, or you might end up falling for that person. A side-piece can still destroy a marriage, even if your partner knows about the person. When it comes to long term sexual intimacy with a person, there’s always a risk of the heart getting involved.

What are your thoughts? Do you believe that side-chicks/dicks should be an option for marriage couples? Do they truly help a marriage?

Kayla Perrin is an internationally acclaimed, award-winning USA Today and Essence best-selling author, with 46 books in print. Perrin is best described as passionate, fearless, motivated and self-driven to excel at whatever she pursues.

1 Comment


    Jean-Claude M.

    January 12, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    I always find the assertion that “monogamy is unnatural”, especially its frequent appearance as a justification of infidelity, as unhelpful as it is misinformed. Marriages, like our other social institutions, have evolved and will continue to do so, for better or for worse. Resistance is futile!

    The more relevant question is whether monogamous relationships in this century can realistically handle the demands and expectations put on them. Partners are increasingly expected to provide the support and affirmation that once came from peer and social networks (best friends, confidantes, soul-mates, etc), plus intellectual stimulation and, of course, earth-shaking romance. And that’s before you factor in parenting, homemaking, careers and filial obligations (care-giving, etc).
    In this context, an extra-marital affair is about much more than a groin-affair and prescribing a side-chick or dick is an easy way out of the complexities of today’s monogamous relationships, with the potential to leave people as unsatisfied with the side-dish as they were with the main dish. Sticking with kitchen metaphors: my digestive problems may be more satisfyingly resolved by reevaluating and restocking my pantry rather than simply switching to takeout menus.

    Anyway, Kayla, always a pleasure to read your column. Cheers!

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