Dear Em & Lo,
What is your opinion on the Jesse James fiasco and the Tiger Woods disaster? I cannot put myself to understand why a guy, who is married, needs to go out and ruin his marriage and family by sleeping with other girls. And why do these girls, who KNOW that these men are married, go along with it? Where is the sisterhood? I feel so sorry for Elin and Sandra. These women shouldn’t take back these cheating men, those guys obviously knew what they were doing so they cannot blame their actions on a thing like sex addiction.
— Vicariously Mad
Okay, we’ll answer the easiest question first. For as long as there are men who want to cheat on their wives, there will be women willing to sleep with them. There may be an international sisterhood treaty, but observing it is entirely voluntary and not exactly widespread, so far as we can tell. So if a woman is willing to sleep with her nerdy married accountant boss, why wouldn’t she, in our celebrity-obsessed culture, sleep with a celebrity? Even if she wouldn’t sleep with her nerdy married accountant boss, attention from a celebrity can easily make her forget about the international sisterhood treaty.
A certain kind of woman loves the forbidden fruit of a taken man — perhaps it makes her feel like she’s won some kind of competition? And if that forbidden fruit is hugely rich and hugely famous with a wife who is a ridiculously gorgeous model or actress? Then it must be even more awesome to “win” that competition, we would assume. It’s gross and despicable but there you have it.
As for Jesse James and Tiger Woods: while we are not particularly qualified to discuss the subject of sex addiction, in our non-professional opinion, these men are most definitely douche-bags and probably not sex addicts. Power (or fame, they are interchangeable in this instance) does a weird thing to some people (women included) — it makes them think they are invincible, that the usual rules don’t apply to them. If there weren’t so many people willing to sleep with these power-mongers (either for the affirmation, the story or, in Eliot Spitzer’s case, for the cold hard cash), then maybe we would see these douchebags jumping off skyscrapers instead, believing they could fly.
That said, we don’t think rehab is a terrible idea. A decent rehab center can provide a humbling, thought-provoking, soul-searching experience for the rehabber, no matter what they tell the press they’re there for. Of course, these two men have to actually want to change. If they’re going to rehab just to get their wife back and avoid losing half their fortune, or if they’re there just to save their public image and multiple sponsorships deals…well, it would take a pretty tough counselor to break through that. But if it can happen in the movies, maybe it can happen in real life: Ever seen Sandra Bullock’s 28 Days?
Speaking of Sandra. Well, the cynics in us say that if you marry a bad boy who has previously dated/married/cheated on a rather select group of tattooed pornstars, what do you expect? Not that we have anything against tattooed pornstars, but again, we’re not sure that America’s sweetheart, a.k.a. the ultimate girl-next-door, can totally cure the biker dude of his bad boy ways anywhere else but in the movies.
Of course, Tiger Woods isn’t exactly your typical bad boy. In fact, he seems like kind of a nerd to us. But we guess that if you throw enough money, adulation, and women’s underwear at a nerd, eventually he’ll start to believe in and nurture his inner bad boy; we’ve seen plenty of men, who got no play in their nerdy youth, make up for lost time with a vengeance (and not much class) once they become successful. So maybe Elin has a greater incentive to take him back — maybe she thinks that rehab can help him rediscover his inner golf nerd/nice guy.
In the end, who knows why anyone takes a cheater back? Security, blind lust, companionship, love? A belief that everyone deserves a second chance to be a better spouse? A lack of faith in the concept of monogamy? A huge diamond ring? A desire to be in the Oval Office?
We wish we had a less depressing answer for you. Hey, at least Sandra won an Oscar! And if nothing else, maybe men like Tiger Woods and Jesse James can make us all appreciate the decent men and women, famous and non-famous, who don’t think they are invincible and don’t take monogamy for granted and who work damn hard to stay faithful to their one-and-only — or who at least are open about their extracurricular desires with their committed partner and try to negotiate an arrangement (or a breakup) before any behind-the-back betrayal begins.
Em & Lo