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Stag and hen dos: when does harmless mischief become genuine betrayal?

by | 10 June 2017 | Hen & Stag

Stag and hen dos can range from the pretty tame to the outright scandalous. But at what point does harmless fun meet harmful misbehaviour? Let’s break it down.

We saw a survey the other day that blew our minds a bit. It says one third of nearlyweds will cheat on their stag or hen do. Okay, this was reported in the Daily Mail, so maybe we should take it with a truckload of salt. One third, though!

Let’s have a think about where we can draw the line when it comes to unfaithfulness on hen and stag dos. To do this, we’ll need to strip back some misconceptions and put them in proper context.

‘It’s my last night of freedom’

We’ve never understood the logic behind this saying.

The rules of a relationship are virtually identical to the rules of marriage. Unless you’re in an open relationship, with a clear understanding as such, you don’t sleep with other people. That’s no less a rule when you’re engaged than when you’re married. So we don’t really buy this justification.

But that’s not to say the rules can’t be suspended for a hen or stag do – just that there should be a clear understanding if that’s the case. For example, your soon-to-be-spouse might take you aside and say: “Hey, normally I’d be devastated if you were kissing or getting naked with someone else, but this is a special occasion, so I don’t mind if you get a bit wild.”

We still think this would be an extraordinarily understanding attitude. Strippers and lap dances? sure. But actual cheating? We doubt there are many nearlyweds who’d be okay with that. And this survey backs that up, claiming 92% of cheaters keep their partners in the dark.

Couple lying and hiding under covers

‘Perving over strippers means you don’t love your partner’

Yeah, we’re not buying this one either.

The idea that being happy in a relationship makes all other people instantly unattractive to you is just unrealistic. And would we really want it that way anyway?

There’s a perfectly reasonable debate to be had about whether strippers are acceptable stag or hen do entertainment or not. But we don’t think that should extend to whether it’s acceptable to want to watch attractive people getting their kit off. If you were going to embrace that logic, then surely it wouldn’t be acceptable to hang out with friends either. The emotional aspects of a relationship are no less vital than the physical ones (perhaps even moreso), so surely if enjoying the physical appeal of another person is unacceptable, then enjoying the emotional support of a friend is just as unfaithful.

Ultimately, it all comes down to respect for your partner, and not doing something you think will make them uncomfortable. We think it’s totally fine to be excited by watching some serious eye candy getting naked in front of you. What’s more important is how your partner feels about you actually doing it. If you know each other well, you should know (and care about) whether it’s going to make them uncomfortable or not.

Women dancer on pole

‘What happens in Vegas…’

Okay, so this saying is specifically about Vegas, but it applies to anywhere.

If you have an understanding that any shenanigans occurring on a stag or hen to will never be reported back to your partner, then none of this matters, right? What they don’t know can’t hurt them.

But here’s the thing – you’ll know. If you enter your stag do with this attitude, how are things any different when you’re married? You’ll have plenty of occasions where there’s little or no chance of your spouse knowing what you’re up to.

If you’re relying on your partner’s policing to dictate your behaviour, that’s probably not going to be a healthy relationship.

USA, Las Vegas - Welcome to Las Vegas sign

So is this survey legit?

We’re pretty sceptical.

We found articles about this survey in Glamour Magazine, Metro, Daily Record and Belfast Telegraph. None of them offer a link to the original survey findings and most use only the same quotes from Vouchercloud, who claim to have done the survey. But we can’t find anything about it on their website.

Sure, this was reported back in 2014, but it’s not like there are any links to expired pages – the original survey data just doesn’t seem to have ever seen the light of day. We reckon the most likely source of these numbers is a press release from Vouchercloud, essentially saying: “We’ve done this survey that said a third of people cheat on their hen and stag dos. We don’t have any raw data to show you, but here are some quotes so you can run an interesting story and we can get some free publicity.”

We’re perfectly happy to be proved wrong on this. If anyone can point us towards the original publication of this survey, we’re all ears.

Couple talking on a sofa

So how often do people cheat on stag and hen dos, really?

Well, we Googled it to see if there are any interesting numbers floating around out there. And all we got was links to these articles we’ve just listed and things that were only vaguely related to the question.

So call us naive romantics, but we don’t think a third of people cheat on their partners just before they marry them. And we’ll keep thinking that until someone can show us compelling evidence otherwise.

So here’s where we draw the line: unless you have a very clear and honest understanding with your partner, cheating on your hen or stag do is just not on. Is a drunken one-night stand really worth starting your married life with an act of betrayal?

As for strippers though, if you’re honestly confident that it’s not going to make your partner uncomfortable, then why the hell not? Let the man-thongs and nipple tassels hit the floor.

To me you are perfect note

What do you reckon? Could the number of stag and hen do cheaters really be that high? Where do you draw the line of what’s acceptable and what’s not? Let us know in the comments.

About the author

Matt Phil Carver

Matt’s a copywriter and blogger from West Sussex, England. He spends his days helping people simplify their writing and give their words more punch and personality. At weddings, Matt’s always quick to get up and dance, even when the vicar’s telling him to wait for the reception.

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Hen & Stag Stag and hen dos: when does harmless mischief become genuine betrayal?