Sex for Revenge? Sure

Okay, get ready to have the bejesus scared out of you. David M. Buss and Cindy M. Meston, professors of psychology at the University of Texas, have a new book called Why Women Have Sex: Understanding Sexual Motivations from Adventure to Revenge (and Everything in Between). They interviewed more than 1,000 women about why they did the deed, and some of the reasons the women gave were, according to Buss, "borderline evil." The scariest reason of all: to give someone an STD.

"If you asked me in advance if I thought a woman would have sex in order to give someone else a sexually transmitted disease, that's not something that would pop into mind," says Buss. "But even though it's a very infrequent motive, those can have large and far-ranging consequences."


Other reasons women gave for having sex -- because it felt good, because the person turned them on, or (oh, right) to have a baby -- were more standard. But Buss says the reason he and Meston started this project was that they realized women are more complicated than that.

"We are both researchers who have studied sexuality for some time," says Buss, "and we realized that there's this huge gap in the literature. People had assumed the reasons were fairly obvious...but once we started delving into the topic we realized that sexual motivation was far more complex."

Some women had sex to get back at a cheating partner. Others had sex with their best friends' partners because the friends had similarly betrayed them. Women said they had sex to get promoted, to get closer to God, and to get mates to take out the trash.

Women also reported having sex to "lure [a man] out of a relationship." Buss calls the phenomenon "mate poaching" and says it's a "surprisingly common mating strategy."

Maybe we're jaded, but we're not too surprised by the mate poaching or, frankly, any of the rest (except the STD spreading). But we suppose someone needed to do some real research on what anyone who's seen Melrose Place already knows.

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