Adultery : An Analysis of Love and Betrayal

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Despite the so-called sexual revolution, adultery remains a dangerous adventure, promising romance and threatening ruin. In "Adultery", hundreds of British men and women interviewed by Annette Lawson openly reveal the temptations and tribulations that led them into and out of this romantic labyrinth. The author argues that today the West's myth of romantic marriage, in which love and sexual exclusivity are bound together, competes with the myth of me, an equally alluring tale of liberating self-development. This contest occurs amidst a "talking revolution", where honesty, not honour, is the code of value. Consequently, women, released from traditional constraints, feel freer to engage in conventionally masculinized forms of casual sex; while men, affected by the great premium placed on open communication, now respond to the need for intimacy and affection in sexual relations. Annette Lawson argues that the "masculinization of sex" and the "feminization of love" have profoundly transformed the nature of adultery. In this study of adultery, British people in both traditional monogamous and "open" marriages discuss frankly their senses of guilt and shame, their strivings for power and control, their compulsions to tell all and their impossible struggles to juggle marriage and infidelity. The author shows that adultery is not only a story of liberated sensuality and distraught families but a poignant attempt to live out a tale of rebellion, conquest and more

Product details

  • Paperback | 461 pages
  • 128 x 196 x 36mm | 340.19g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford Paperbacks
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • bibliography, index
  • 0192852264
  • 9780192852267

Table of contents

Part 1 What is adultery?: what is adultery; marriage lines; changing the contract; keeping faith. Part 2 The liaison: the debate; the when, the where, the how, and the who; pleasures and pains; this telling business; power and control. Part 3 The end of adultery: the end of the affair; a new story?show more