THE wind in Port Elizabeth is blowing single ladies right into bed – with married men.
According to new research from extra-marital dating site AshleyMadison.com, the Bay comes in second only to Pretoria in the number of mistresses it boasts.
"As the definition of marriage continues to evolve, women are deciding to pursue relationships with men who are already married, rather than seeking out lifelong commitments of their own,” says Noel Biderman, CEO and founder of the controversial dating site for married people, AshleyMadison.com.
Over 37.8% of the resident Pretoria females seeking a married man on the dating site are actually single themselves.
When it comes to the suburb that boasts the most mistresses, Waterkloof wins hands down as being the "home-wrecking hub”.
Second in line, the ladies of the "friendly” city are living up to Port Elizabeth’s nickname.
Only 0.1% behind Pretoria, 37.7% of the city’s single women are looking to get between the sheets with someone else’s man.
"Not every woman is in pursuit of a white-picket-fence lifestyle, relationship of permanence, children, mortgage and scheduled date nights,” says Biderman.
"Many women are seeking adventure and, on a service like ours, encountering older sophisticated men with the same ‘no strings attached’ mentality that creates the perfect match.
"Also it is very evident that this is not just a female thing; there are an increasing number of single men on AshleyMadison.com, connecting with married women . . . we refer to them as ‘MISTEResses’.”
Nelson Mandela Bay psychologist Dr Dolf Muller, who deals with marital and family therapy in his work, said married men may be more appealing to single women because they were older, more sophisticated and well-off.
"You can look anywhere and you will find that more people are looking to try something exciting. The level of adventure-seeking is on the increase and people are looking for that element of thrill, whether it is something they are allowed to do or not.”
Muller said infidelity was the biggest problem facing couples being counselled today.
Family And Marriage Society of South Africa (Famsa) Port Elizabeth programme manager Marisa Harris said while the organisation did not deal with mistresses, she said infidelity was also the main problem affecting the couples it was counselling.
"We get the end-product of these mistresses. Infidelity is the main issue affecting our couples, followed by a lack of communication and then other problems. There are also definitely more couples coming in than five years ago,” she said.
Harris said while many marriages could not survive an affair, the couples who go to Famsa are willing to work towards saving their marriage.
"Obviously it takes hard work but we do see positive results. Many people also assume it’s only the men who cheat, but we believe it’s more a 50-50 split. When men do it it’s because they say there is a lack of physical intimacy, but with women it starts with an emotional relationship.”
See below for the complete list of cities where wearing a wedding ring is no deterrent.
CITY: % SINGLE:
Pretoria 37.8% Port Elizabeth 37.7% Pietermaritzburg 37.2% Cape Town 36.6% Vereeniging 36.5% Durban 36.0% Johannesburg 35.8% Soweto 34.1% Benoni 30.8% Tembisa 28.8%