S'pore women '5th most unfaithful in the world'

Singapore men are the most promiscuous in Asia, a recent Durex survey has found.

But these men might want to know that while they are out having fun, their wives or girlfriends won’t be taking this lying down.

The same poll by the condom brand ranks Singapore women as the fifth most unfaithful in the world.

The survey, which polled 29,000 women in 36 countries, ranked Ghana first, with 62 per cent of women admitting to cheating on their boyfriends and husbands.

Thai women were second on 59 per cent, Malaysians third on 39 per cent and Russians fourth on 33 per cent.

After that come our not quite prim-and-proper women at 19 per cent.

Listing Singapore men as the most promiscuous in Asia, the survey said they have an average of 16 partners in their lifetime.

Mrs Florence Lim, who has been the director of the Methodist Welfare Services for 25 years, said that women stray when they lack emotional support from their husbands or boyfriends.

Stressing that this unfulfillment causes them to be unfaithful, she added: “They need a man to be their soulmate.

“It’s more complex now – they are not looking for men to provide for them.”

Mrs Lim said that divorce is no longer seen as a stigma in society, so women are more liberated.

Ms Tara Barker, editor-in-chief of The Singapore Women’s Weekly, has seen a fair share of women confessing their infidelity.

She noticed that women are more likely to be emotionally unfaithful, rather than sexually unfaithful.

Ms Barker cited the example of a woman who wrote to the Share a Secret section of the magazine about her experience of engaging male escorts to go shopping with her.

This was simply because she liked their attention, which she could not get from her husband. She wasn’t seeking sex, Ms Barker said.

‘It’s the attention’

“It’s the attention. Women miss the attention. Men don’t understand that little gestures make a big difference.

She needs him to spell it out,” she added.

Ms Barker said that women’s unfulfillment from their husbands is nothing new.

“This was the same problem in the 30s. Women were saying, ‘He’s not noticing me’.”

But women in the past didn’t have as much opportunities or exposure as the women of today.

“They had no money, so they just had to ‘tahan’ (withstand in Malay),”Ms Barker said.

Women are also more willing to talk about their infidelity nowadays, she added.

One of them is Karen (not her real name), a former sales representative with a multinational corporation.

She was flattered when the American regional director at her company told her she “was the most beautiful creature he had ever seen”.

Karen, then 27, had just given birth to her younger daughter and was not feeling at all beautiful.

“We flirted but nothing happened until a retreat on Sentosa. Both of us had one drink too many and ended up in my hotel room,” she said.

“Unfortunately, my then husband chose to drop in to surprise me. He was the one who was surprised and to cut a long story short, I got thrown out of the house and lost custody of my two daughters,” she said.

Happily remarried and living in Hong Kong, Karen, now 40, said that it was all about the attention.

“If my ex-husband hadn’t worked long hours or had told me I looked nice, I might not have ended up in bed with my American boss,” she said.

– Additional reporting by Judith Tan

audtan@sph.com.sg

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