The inevitability of it all

This will go on for some time, as it gets a number of topics out of the way in one go.

For openers, the sexism charge against these posters [right].

P-u-u-r-r-r-lease!

If she wants to lie with her legs in the air, what’s that to the feminazis? It’s a perfectly normal position for that which she is designed for. I’d take him to task though – have you been held at that point of your lower legs, in that way? Most uncomfortable. He could have at least let her rest her ankles on his shoulders and supported her below the start of the thighs, slightly on the outside – just saying like.

As for the infidelity it promotes and celebrates – not the poster but the film – that’s a different matter and that’s the issue which we should be opposing. Which brings us to Jean Shrimpton.

Jean Shrimpton was a fool.

Well maybe that’s a bit harsh when all she was doing was following the natural instinct of so many of her sex to self-destruct. It was paralleled nicely in Casino Royale by Solange:

Solange: [they are kissing on the floor of his beachfront suite] You like married women… don’t you, James?
James Bond: It keeps things simple.
Solange: [laughs] What is it about bad men? You… my husband. I had so many chances to be happy, so many nice guys. Why can’t nice guys be more like you?
James Bond: Because then they’d be bad.
Solange: [kissing him some more] Mmmmm, yeah…!

Intelligent.

Ditto Jean Shrimpton, when the slightest amount of logic would have told her not to. She went with a married man, knowing him to be married. Therefore he had form, confirmed later by his boast that he was laying four women at the same time – quantity, not quality. Therefore he was always going to cheat on her too and finally spit her out.

And then came the tears and it was held to be a tragedy.  A tragedy is where the odds were that nothing terrible would happen and then something terrible happened.  With Jean Shrimpton, there was an inevitability to it all.  I have sympathy for victims of real tragedies but sorry – not for such as her.

Now this classic:

Who would want me now? A woman who unwittingly had unprotected sex with an HIV-infected man after a drunken night out at a pub felt “violated to the core”, a court heard today.

Unwittingly, eh?  Intelligent.  Violated to the core?  “Take me, all of you.  Oh, I feel so violated.”

Now, lest we forget to mention the men, there’s also not a lot of sympathy for a man who goes with precisely the type who will take him to the cleaners, e.g. older man, very young woman.  A man like me.  Or a man who will grovel before a woman – the very worst thing he could do.  Only ever did it once and learnt fast.

I mean – surely a bit of common sense has to come into this somewhere along the line?  Surely there’s an element of night follows day?

Infidelity

It’s all about ego, notches on belts, weakness in character, inability to take responsibility, being human flotsam and I include myself in that.  It is so destructive and ultimately unsatisfying – with the emphasis on “ultimately” because of all the issues which eventually come into it – even in the very subtle shift in relations between two people who were once into one another exclusively – it’s being sold short.  It’s bad.

I don’t think you can bleat about how it was “inevitable”, that he/she was just so hot and so on – can’t you keep your pecker in your boxers?  Can’t you keep your legs together, dear?  What was that, Ms Giggs?  And the potential for disease!

There is, however, a quite legitimate question – just what is infidelity these days?  What does it constitute?  If there’s a continuum from texting to nooky, at what point does it constitute infidelity?

I came across [I know, I know] an interesting article, the thesis which was that the definition of infidelity has expanded well beyond what it was decades ago and she raises some good points about definitions. On a sliding scale from what most would label “being good friends” through to the real full-on thing, it made interesting reading.  She listed the stages this way:

1. A 2003 article in USA Today, for example, examined “the new infidelity” in the form of emotional affairs. [No actual physical]. The legal definition and the underlying harm of adultery have changed considerably over time, from a narrow concern of illegitimate offspring to a much broader violation of marital emotional intimacy.

Shirley Glass argued that affairs need not include sex at all. “Sometimes the greatest betrayals happen without touching. Infidelity is any emotional or sexual intimacy that violates trust.”

As Glass explains, “the new infidelity is between people who unwittingly form deep, passionate connections before realizing that they’ve crossed the line from platonic friendship into romantic love.”

In her view, the transgression comes from the fact that they are sharing more of their “inner self, frustrations and triumphs [with their transgressors] than with their spouses.”

As another infidelity commentator observed in Salon, “Affairs do not begin with kisses; they begin with lunch.”

This seems the real battleground to me, although N4 seems to be for many of you. I’m used to taking women for lunch and am not interested in shallow talk – I want to get down to the real issues. The only reason she’s going to lunch with me in the first place, in my eyes, is because we seemed to hit it off in the first place.

During that lunch, we’d soon define how it was going to be.

I was once hauled over the coals for it by my stepfather. He said it was appalling how I was “keeping that woman from her husband and family” and what would they say if they knew? That had me thinking whether I’d done wrong with someone else’s woman – we’d been discussing business matters and our long term friendship.

2. Yet others have spun “the new infidelity” as workplace romance, with the Wall Street Journal describing the office as “the new home wrecker.” The rising number of women in traditionally male-dominated workplaces has resulted in situations where women and men work in close proximity, which has allegedly resulted in a new epidemic of infidelity.

The issue here is what the two of them in the marriage/relationship see as the Rubicon. Is it the lunch, the hand-touching, the peck on the cheek, the tentative kiss or is the cutoff point further down the track?

3. A similar shift is apparent in emerging public debates about another “new infidelity,” namely, whether viewing Internet pornography and participating in cybersex constitutes adultery. Glass specifically connects these two debates, using Internet affairs as an example of infidelity in the absence of sex: “[t]here can be an affair without any kind of touching at all. People have affairs on the Internet.”

I’ve had two bouts of cybersex – one where there was talk of marriage and the other was an affair with neither of us in another relationship. In both cases it was quite graphic at times and emotionally nice at all times. With one of the relationships, I don’t remember but it went for three days almost non-stop using google chat, with eating and the occasional four or five hour break for sleep. If I’d had a RL partner at that time, I can’t see how it would not have been cheating. It was pretty full-on. Neither was planned – it just happened.

4. In 1987, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals of Louisiana held that a wife had committed adultery even though she had not had sexual intercourse. The wife admitted that she had slept “in the same bed with another man, that she had touched the other man’s sexual organ and that he had touched hers and that they laid on top of each other.” The court concluded that “these repeated acts of marital infidelity constitute adultery.”

I bet not many men have been in this situation. It’s dead easy for me not to cross the line but still sleep with someone – it happened with my boss in Norway when I took her away for the weekend. Stupid me fell for her though and she immediately booked another room for next night.

5. With each of these new types of identified infidelities, the category expands. No longer restricted to heterosexual intercourse, infidelity now includes many types of sexual encounters. In 1992, a New Jersey court considered whether lesbian sex amounts to adultery.

The court held that, when viewed from the perspective of the injured spouse, an extramarital relationship is “just as devastating to the spouse irrespective of the specific sexual act performed by the promiscuous spouse or the sex of the new paramour. The homosexual violation of marital vows could be well construed as the ultimate in rejection.”

The Court concluded that adultery exists when one spouse rejects the other by entering into a personal intimate sexual relationship with any other person, irrespective of the specific sexual acts performed, the marital status, or the gender of the third party.

I personally have no issue with a wife getting more intimate with another woman, as women have always had a more girly way with other women and would touch as two men never would, not if they wished to stay in one piece. If she was going to the other woman for emotional fulfilment though – remembering that women can talk with other women about things which they can’t speak with men about – then that would be a worry. It would need to be played by ear. I can’t even get upset if it got sexual between them, although I probably should be upset by it. Completely different if it was another man, of course – there’d be a good chance of cracked skulls in that case.

6. Consider, for example, the film Unfaithful, in which Connie Sumner (Diane Lane) is a beautiful, seemingly happily married suburban housewife and mother, who, after a chance encounter on a windy day in New York City, commences an affair with an exotic rare book dealer named Paul Martel (Olivier Martinez). Like the wind that blows Connie off her feet and into the arms of Paul in their first encounter, so too does the affair knock Connie off her moral center. The affair becomes increasingly sexual and emotionally intense as Connie succumbs to her desires.

That one’s full on-cheating, whatever romantic spin she tries to put on it. By her own definition – emotional affair – and by his – sexual penetration by another man – it’s cheating. And yet there is the saying by a mate of mine some time back – once might be a mistake, twice is a system. This leads to the next category, not covered by the author.

7. This category is the cynical system, from the lower end where occasional sex is had and as long as he doesn’t know [or she], then all is well … through to the self-justification infidelity. I’m not referring to the skank here – that’s asking for trouble in the first place – but to the seemingly nice woman with a good moral compass. There was that case of the woman who was faithful to her husband for 51 weeks a year, the dutiful mother and wife but once a year she went away for a week, ostensibly to an aunt’s place and she’d have an affair with a man there. It had apparently gone on for decades.

For me, if I found out about the N6 situation above, there might be a way back – possibly. However, if I found out about Mrs. 51 Weeks though, that would be the end there and then. The next time she went to work or went shopping, I’d simply gather my things and disappear forever. She could have the house. Doesn’t matter how many decades I’d been with her. That is the ultimate betrayal because of the ongoing dishonesty and twisted moral compass.

How could I ever look into those calm eyes again at the dining table, knowing she knew she’d been doing that to me? There are limits to what a man can accept.

8. In Double Indemnity, Billy Wilder’s classic 1944 film noir, for example, Barbara Stanwyck plays the ultimate adulterous femme fatale. She seduces her insurance salesman into helping her kill her husband for the insurance money. She is both heartless and lustful, a deadly combination, for which she and her paramour must ultimately be punished. Adultery and murder again go hand in hand in the 1946 film noir The Postman Always Rings Twice. Lana Turner plays Cora, a sexually unsatisfied married woman whose affair leads her and her paramour to kill her husband.

That one’s so clearcut it needs no further explanation.

Without complexes

Well aware of the modern rationalization that we’ve never had it so good, that with women finally making themselves freely available, everyone can just do it with whomever he or she wants with no complexes, no guilt and no strings.

Pull the other one – there are always strings.  It’s inevitable that if it goes on, feelings become involved unless you’re so addicted to toad in the hole that that’s the only satisfaction for you and in that case, you’re really sad.  Yes, feelings become involved and that’s where you either give up the lover, give up the wife and family or continue, through your weakness, to live in this twilight land of never quite having this, never quite having that.

This is exactly what I did in Russia, meeting this dark-haired girl in the shadows of dark yards in the evenings, meeting in bars we’d both descend on and then disappear from, alone, until my mate caught us near his place – it’s in my book. Exciting? For the first few weeks. Good for the self-esteem? For the first few weeks. Wrong? Yep. Miss her like hell, even today? Of course. Ultimately fulfilling? What do you think? Of course not.

You start to see it as all right, some sort of affirmation of masculinity and it’s nothing of the kind. It’s weakness, if anything. There are also political implications – the state is trying to divide and rule – that much we probably agree on. They can only do that if the building block of society is decimated.

In the end though, it’s breaking a promise and what happens inside your soul when you continue that as a system. If we break promises, are we any better than the politicians we vilify?

8 comments for “The inevitability of it all

  1. February 5, 2012 at 17:54

    Well, it is a sexist poster. Why you have to add the suffix “nazis” to the word “feminist” I don’t know – most offensive. And ah, James – if only we could choose who we fall in love with!

  2. February 5, 2012 at 18:33

    Ah, Welshcakes. Now I’d done nothing on women for some days that would be controversial and the moment I do, I’m graced by your welcome presence. Uncanny, almost as if you have antennae for ant-feminism rearing its head on the web. 🙂

    This post, despite the bits you picked out of it to comment on, was about infidelity and at what point it exists – that is equally distributed across the sexes, of course.

  3. February 5, 2012 at 21:41

    I would like to throw into the mix. What happens if the female or male are unable to or refuse to give the other the emotional security that the other needs.

    Is it infidelity if the emotional security is found elseshere?

  4. February 5, 2012 at 22:27

    That’s an excellent point. One would hope that the one not getting that support would have painstakingly brought it to the other’s attention – part of my book goes into this – over a period of time.

    My own feeling is that if one party won’t listen and I’m going out on a limb here – this is often the male – then all the other can do is advise as to the consequences and how much they’ve lost together.

    If that makes no change, I’d say they’d have to part. There might even be a time frame to it if there’s a third person. I was in this situation in Russia on both sides of it at two different times.

    It’s all nice and logical and reasonable, as you know, in theory but much messier in practice. That’s conceded. Still, it has to be thrashed out between them what emotional support means to both parties.

    It could be a reasonable request, such as a committed relationship would surely require or it could be excessive neediness but the needy party will never concede that that’s what it is. It seriously needs to be talked out and if one party won’t face it, then the other needs to give warnings, gentle at first.

    Maturity level is a major factor in this, is it not?

    Big problem here is that the one not getting the emotional support is often the one who loves more and the other can be a right prat and/or thinks he/she has to play the cool dude or puts up emotional barriers. Either way, he/she does not take it seriously. I see no solution here – if you have one, tell me.

    If there is a lover in the wings, surely you owe it to your own partner to say there is someone offering what you need, particularly if you’ve conceded to yourself you would probably move on if things didn’t get better with your partner. You’d put some sort of timeframe on it, in fairness and if it got to that point and hadn’t improved, then move on.

    This happened to me once when one person asked for her freedom, having given it a timeframe and having kept me abreast of things. This is different to just having it away with someone else and keeping it secret.

    Willing to stand corrected here.

  5. February 5, 2012 at 23:41

    From my observations I would agree with the first two paragraphs.

    I am not sure I agree that the one who is not getting the emotional support is the one who loves more. Maybe the one who loves more thinks the love is secure and then shares emotional love and support with others. I am not talking about romantic love, but emotional needs.

    Just to be clear my thoughts here are all about emotional needs and not about having it away with someone or having a secret partner in the wings.

    I don’t have a solution to these thoughts either. It is just interesting to explore…

  6. February 6, 2012 at 10:30

    That poster, he can’t be holding her up like that.

    A person would have to think verry carefully about how they could trust someone who had a track record of betrayal. Like was it actually betrayal? Could you believe what they say?

    I think you are hard on the woman who was given aids. Are you saying no man who would have unprotected sex is to be trusted? To have sex knowing he has any STD without saying is a wicked violation. So don’t give us all your sarcasm.You deliberately misinterpret.

    I would define infidelity as “sleeping” with someone, in the sense of not sleeping but getting Jiggy. I would say that doing anything that harms the honest interests of a friend or partner is a betrayal. Also maybe doing something that hurts them, can be, but those can also be unitentional and might not be infidelity.

    The emotional fulfilment thing is just nonsense tho. That would have a guy that liked sockker being unfaithful if he spoke to other guys about it.

  7. February 6, 2012 at 20:20

    Moggsy – are you having a go at Cherie here?

    So don’t give us all your sarcasm.You deliberately misinterpret.

    I actually thought what she said was to the point.

    To have sex knowing he has any STD without saying is a wicked violation.

    That’s right.

  8. February 7, 2012 at 06:50

    Well unless I am hopelessly confused I was responding to… “Unwittingly, eh? Intelligent. Violated to the core? “Take me, all of you. Oh, I feel so violated.”

    That seemed to be a direct reference to “Who would want me now? A woman who unwittingly had unprotected sex with an HIV-infected man after a drunken night out at a pub felt “violated to the core”, a court heard today. ”

    I took it was actually James wrote the post and put that first thing in reponse to the second thing quoted. So if I was not clear before I am “Having a go” at whoever wrote that “…Oh, I feel so violated” comment because as far as I can see she really was violated, and that looked like sarcasm to me.

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