In a couple of cases, the men I met were married to women who had become disabled and could no longer be sexual, but the husbands remained devoted to them. Physical intimacy with other human beings is essential to our health and well-being. So we have an imbalance, an elephant-size sex with maried, so burdensome and shameful we can scarcely muster the strength to talk about it.
A version of this article appears in print onon Page ST6 of the New York edition with the headline: I am not saying the answer is non-monogamy, which can be rife with risks and unintended entanglements. All rights reserved. They seemed to have convinced themselves. And I was right.
Married sex, for them, often feels obligatory. But the other husbands I met would have preferred to be having sex with their wives. An affair is adventure.