"Managed adultery"? That's the prescription for marital success that author Holly Hill came up with after spending a year as a "mistress for hire" to write her polarizing memoir, Sugarbabe. Excuse me, says Mary Elizabeth Williams in Salon, a system by which a wife should monitor her (apparently) fated-to-cheat husband like "an easily trained pet"? What a terrible conclusion. That said, there's merit to the debate. Couples should absolutely discuss their wants and desires, especially if one partner isn't getting what he or she needs. "But honest to God, how much more of this 'Wanna keep your man? Let him stray' tripe are we supposed to swallow?" Here, an excerpt:
"I think that cheating men are normal," Hill explains. "Monogamous men are heroes. Monogamy does have a place in relationships, but not on the long-term. Men are hard-wired to betray women on the long-term." There you have it: A man and a woman can take the same vow, but the guy who keeps it is a hero. Hey, where should the women who stay faithful line up to get their medals?...
Instead of taking a shot at the complexity of desire, the goddamn miracle it is when two people actually sync up on a physical and emotional level, we get the same Mars and Venus shinola disguised as emancipatory frankness. Being in love isn't like walking a dog on leash — it's more like putting a cat on one. It's crazy. It's irrational. Sometimes, despite our most sabotaging efforts, it even works. Honesty is a fine start. Acknowledging that a healthy relationship is more than a woman doing whatever she can to hang on to her man is an even better one.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Russia is stealthily threatening America with nuclear war
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- 13 Urban Outfitters controversies
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- What political elites don't understand about Scotland's push for independence
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- In defense of family dinner
- Why gay people of color are still losing
- Do you need to be crazy to be the best?
- Is 'feminism' just another word for 'liberalism'?
Subscribe to the Week