“Monogamy is unrealistic. Repeat after me kids, monogamy is unrealistic.”
If you haven’t seen the movie Trainwreck yet, I won’t ruin it for you, but this line features in the first five minutes of the film. Words that not just struck a chord with me, but made absolute sense.
Even better than that, I had the pleasure (not that kind of pleasure) of having a coffee with “huge” international porn star Ron Jeremy on a recent trip to LA.
“Love is easy, love I can do. But fidelity is a little harder,” he said.
He’s right. Love is easy. We can fall in love over romantic meals, holidays, cosy weekends cooking and making love on crisp white sheets. You can go from single to in a relationship in a click of a button and a joint Instagram account. Who knew photos of sunsets suddenly became fascinating when you’re in love?
Forward-wind the wedding, the baby, the home and you’ve got a family. You love your partner and they love you. Absolutely no doubt about love. Love makes people a lot of money — from wedding planners to restaurants on Valentine’s Day to manufacturers of big cuddly teddy bears.
Love we’ve got down pat.
But being faithful? If we were a little more honest with ourselves, we would admit that this bit is pretty near impossible.
If you are married and can swear without a shadow of a doubt that you and your partner have been faithful since the beginning of time and will be till the day you both die, then good on you. I salute you and what’s your secret?
But every day we read some salacious story in some magazine about some celebrity doing the dirty on his model wife; some footballer being caught with his pants down; some politician visiting brothels. Is this really news? They’ve just been caught doing what a lot of people do — look elsewhere sometimes for a bit of extra marital intimacy.
Here are a few things I have heard from some very lovely men over the years.
“I love my wife but we no longer have sex because she lost the urge after the menopause” or “I love my wife but we have slept in separate bedrooms for the past six years” or this one that made me really feel for the guy “I love my wife but the last time she hugged me was eight years ago when the dog died”.
These men never stop loving their wives and they will stay till death do them part — but why should they or anyone be denied the right for intimacy?
People hate it when I say this, but I truly believe if physical and emotional needs aren’t being met in a relationship, it doesn’t matter how much you love that person, you will look elsewhere.
There is a reason why there are so many brothels, massage parlours, escort agencies, and private sex workers around the world who make money, a lot of money. Supply and demand. Love is a multi-million dollar business, but so is infidelity. And don’t think it’s just men who cheat. Women do it just as much. We are just more subtle.
I had a very interesting conversation on a flight back from Canberra recently with a 50-something-year-old female government official. Women being women, we got to the gritty subject of sex just as the drinks trolley was being wheeled around.
“I love my husband but he suffers terrible depression,” she confided. “So when he goes through his long bouts, I call up my friend John for fun. No one knows and it keeps me sane.”
As long as people keep getting married, the sex industry will continue to tick along nicely.
As for me and my relationships? It’s a simple click of a button: “It’s complicated.”