Alicia Walker

Have you ever wished you could sit down with a cheater (whether your partner or somebody else) and ask them what the heck was going on in their minds when they cheated? Why they did it, what they thought, or what it said about them or you? Now you can.

Using a sample collected from the online dating service Ashley Madison, Alicia M. Walker interviewed men about their experiences and perceptions regarding their participation in infidelity. What she found was as fascinating as it was unexpected!

Contrary to gendered social scripts, the men in this study described their motivations for outside partnerships that were not rooted in the desire for sexual pleasure or variety, but rather as an outlet to soothe their bruised egos, receive attention and validation and to fight their feelings of emasculation.


Top take-a-ways:
  • Deconstructing why men who want to stay married and keep their primary partnership, seek out affairs.
  • How even the best primary partnerships sow seeds of self-doubt and feelings of emasculation in men.
  • Relationship management, and why men perceive partners who aren’t helping them understand and process their emotions as rejection.
  • The secret needs of men, and why they are “bottomless pits of need” who need their egos pumped up more often than anyone might imagine!



Alicia M. Walker, PhD is an associate professor of sociology at Missouri State University. Like many sociologists, her educational background is varied. Before receiving her PhD in sociology at the University of Kentucky, Walker earned a MEd in educational leadership from Texas State University, and a BA in English from the University of Tampa. She appreciates an interdisciplinary focus and collaboration.

Walker is a microsociologist, whose work focuses on intimate sexual relationships, sexual identity and behavior, and gender. Specifically, her work looks at the social construction of the sexual self, the ways we make sense of ourselves as sexual beings, the ways we navigate our sexual worlds, and our lived experiences as sexual beings.

Walker has particular interest in closeted sexual behaviors and online initiation of sexual relationships. She is credited with creating a sociology of infidelity. Walker’s second book focuses on men’s experiences with infidelity called Chasing Masculinity: Men, Validation, and Infidelity published by Palgrave-Macmillan. This book examines men’s experiences with participation in outside partnerships. Chasing Masculinity has been discussed in The Sun, Vice, The Globe and Mail, and Medium, among others.

Her debut monograph, The Secret Life of the Cheating Wife: Power, Pragmatism, and Pleasure in Women’s Infidelity, is available in hardcover now. The Secret Life of the Cheating Wife is about women’s navigation of outside partnerships alongside primary partnerships, and gives voices to women’s lived experiences.  The book has been discussed in articles published in The New York Times and CNN, among others.

In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family (adult children, husband, and mother) with whom she is close, and her beloved rescue dog, Harvey, whom she and her daughter found abandoned at a gas station as a puppy. (Adopt, don’t shop!) She also enjoys traveling, great movies, playing cards, and collecting statues of the goddesses of love, marriage, and fertility of various cultures (as they relate to her work).
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Lora Cheadle is an infidelity survivor and Betrayal Recovery Coach who helps women reclaim their identity and self-worth after betrayal so they can untangle from the past, overcome obsessive thoughts, and learn to trust themselves again so they can move forward with confidence and create a life they love!

Download your Sparkle After Betrayal Recovery Guide at and start reclaiming yourself and your life today!

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Untangle yourself from the past, reclaim your power, and own your worth so you can create a future you love on your own terms.


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