Illicit Encounters, the U.K.'s largest dating site for extramarital affairs, surveyed its 970,000 members to see which professions are most likely to cheat on their spouses. Not surprisingly (to me anyway), people in financial services are most likely to cheat. They represent 18 percent of their current users — that's 174,600 people for anyone doing the math. A staggeringly high number, yes, but if you think about it, it sort of makes sense.
Most people that I know in finance got into the field for the money, not because they were passionate about it. I imagine that means they're often bored at work, and if their relationship with their spouse is at all unfulfilling, it seems like circumstances that are ripe for cheating. Not only that, finance people tend to make good money, so they can also afford to splurge on their mistresses/misters. This would make the married man or woman on the prowl that much more appealing.
All this seems to go pretty well with Illicit Encounters' tagline: "Married but feeling neglected? In need of some excitement? Illicit Encounters is a discreet and confidential extramarital dating service for women & men... " The whole idea makes me sick, and the fact that it almost has a million members is just disturbing.
Not far down the list are people in management or human resources with a solid 12 percent represented on this U.K. site. I suppose helping sort out personnel issues every day can get tiresome, so why not spice things up with an affair?
Next we have executives and the self-employed at eight percent. I find it sort of interesting that these two are ranked on the same level, but I suppose it's because both are all about self-starting. It also makes sense that self-employed people find time to cheat. They often work out of their home, so how easy would it be to invite someone over during their lunch break while their spouse is at her/his office?
Next down the list we have engineering and IT/communications folks at six percent. Close behind them are the accountants at five percent, and sales and marketing at four percent. Again, these are all people with super-challenging jobs that seem like they might get dull from time to time. They're also fast-paced jobs that can get super repetitive, so anything to break the monotony (like an affair, or a really good sandwich) is probably welcome.
At the bottom of the list we have government, health care and medical and legal at three percent, advertising/media/entertainment, art/design-related, education and science, trades and services and retired at two percent, and finally those poor souls in customer service and hospitality at one percent. Essentially, these are the public service guys, the creative guys and the guys who have to work hard just to make ends meet, and thus probably don't have much time for an affair. The latter two groups have jobs that are more emotionally fulfilling, so it makes sense that their need for extramarital distraction is much less than, say, bankers.
While all this makes the U.K. look pretty skeezy, you should know that the U.S. has a ton of similar sites which would likely boast some interesting stats. One in particular called AshleyMadison.com has over 36 million members, which puts Illicit Encounters' numbers to shame. That being said, they cater to over 46 different countries, so that might be why they outrank it so significantly. Two things may surprise you about this site: 1.) It's the second-largest online dating site in the world next to Match.com, and 2.) You have to actually buy credits in order to score dates with its members. There's just so much wrong with this I don't know where to start.
However, if you should take anything away from this, it's that a prospective partner's job can speak volumes about his character.
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