Susan Shapiro Barash told The List that women, in the past and still today, “have grown up in a culture where eternal love is imperative and an achievement.” For women today and in the future who still believe in this idea, “the affair is an option”.
Women have affairs, Barash notes, as ways to explore themselves — without the accompanying guilt. In “A Passion for More” she describes four types of affairs: empowerment affairs, sex-driven affairs, love affairs, and self-esteem affairs. Empowering Affairs is about possibilities and options. If sex drives the affair, it’s understandably passion at its core. Love affairs, on the other hand, often catch women off guard, and self-esteem affairs boost women’s confidence and rekindle the spark in them. What the four types of female affairs have in common is that women take agency by choosing lovers, not just letting their romantic fortunes go to the winds. When a relationship disappoints, Barash adds, “the ‘other man’ is an option.”