Consensual sex between two people, where at least one is currently married with someone different, than the one they engage in sex, with.



When one or both partners, in a married relationship, go outside the marriage, to seek sexual gratification with someone other than their spouse.

Does not require both parties to adultery, to be married, just one.


Derived from the Late Latin word 'adulterare' which means: to alter, corrupt.

In Ancient civilizations, the concern was for purity of the blood line, and so adultery was more confined to apply to female, and not the male partner.

While Males could seek sexual satisfaction from other woman, or men, including slaves, the woman who did so, was considered to have committed a crime.

History (Legend): In some early writings, the views of the male escaping any culpability for adulterous relations, were questioned.

Some considered it unfair, for the male to escape any consequences, for their ownactions, while solely penalizing the female partner.


In some countries, adultery was/is considered a crime, though even in those countries where it isn't, it has legal complications, such as in divorce.

In the more traditional Islamic Countries, the onus is still on the woman, rather than the male.

Some regions, consider Adultery to merely be a consensual form of rape, with similar consequences for the guilty parties.

Practice (Associated Acts):

Traditional English common law, classed adultery as a felony, though the definition of adultery was often different in various locations.


In a global sexual survey, by Durex (condom maker) they found that 22% of respondents admitted to having a sexual relationship outside of their marriage.

Many other terms exist, to describe this act, however fornication is considered NOT to be one of them.

This is mainly due to the criteria of where one must be married, in order to be committing adultery, or associated terms

Other meanings

While many western countries now have 'no fault divorce' in which adultery is no longer a crime, or cause for divorce, the US Military Law, still lists 'adultery' as being 'conduct unbecoming'.

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