Jesse James isn’t exactly Sandra Bullock material. Most of us knew that, even before inked-up stripper Michelle ‘Bombshell McGee’ started gushing about her 11-month affair with the ‘Vanilla Gorilla.’ But that begs the question: Why would he trade beautiful, rich, sweet, talented Sandra for trashy, tatted, Nazi-loving (and let’s face it) fugly Michelle? More importantly, why do men cheat on successful women? Here, our guest columnist, Dr. Dennis Lin, a sex therapist and psychiatrist at Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan, gives us the deets.
By now everyone knows that Jesse James, Sandra Bullock’s husband, has cheated on her with multiple women during their marriage. While Bullock’s marital misfortune is the stuff of international tabloid news, what has happened to her is actually not so unusual. Studies reveal that 50 to 60 percent of married men engage in extramarital sex at one time or another during their relationships. Often the women in their lives have no idea.
|Celebrities like James and Woods are likely not sex addicts. Rather, they are horny men with power and poor judgment who are maybe using addiction as an excuse to explain away their bad behavior.|
Successful women are at increased risk of being cheated on. Why? These men often feel competitive with the women in their lives. The male ego has a problem when the woman is more successful. He may act out by having an affair, drinking, or engaging in another behavior that damages the relationship. This does not mean the man is not in love with his partner; it means that he feels ambivalent about the relationship secondary to the unconventional power differential. So in a way, Sandra Bullock suffered from what many have called the “Oscar curse” — her tremendous professional success has brought her personal misfortune.
Is sex addiction for real?
If a man has a history of serial cheating, like Jesse James and Tiger Woods, is he a sex addict? To be clear, “sex addiction” is actually not listed in the psychiatric diagnostic manual, the DSM-IV, as an actual addiction diagnosis. There is much controversy in the field of sexology whether sex addiction really exists, or perhaps it is a co-morbid condition to other psychiatric disorders: drug addiction, personality disorders, bipolar disorder, etc. Celebrities like James and Woods are likely not sex addicts. Rather, they are horny men with power and poor judgment who maybe use addiction as an excuse to explain away their bad behavior.
In general, sex addiction is associated with risk-taking. A person with sex addiction engages in various forms of sexual activity, despite the potential for negative and/or dangerous consequences. In addition to damaging the addict’s relationships and interfering with his or her work and social life, a sexual addiction also puts the person at risk for emotional and physical injury.
For some people, sex addiction progresses to involve illegal activities, such as exhibitionism (exposing oneself in public), making obscene phone calls, or molestation. However, it should be noted that sex addicts do not necessarily become sex offenders.
So are Jesse James and Tiger Woods really “sex addicts”?
A person with sex addiction generally gains little satisfaction from the sexual activity and forms no emotional bond with his or her sex partners. The problem of sex addiction often leads to feelings of guilt and shame. A sex addict also feels a lack of control over the behavior, despite negative consequences (financial, health, social, and emotional). Somehow I have a feeling this is not the case with Jesse James, he seemed to have enjoyed his extramarital activities. Therefore, the label of “sex addict” probably does not apply to him.
Most women feel completely betrayed and destroyed when they find that their men have been cheating on them. This is probably how Sandra Bullock feels right now. But remember, life goes on and time will heal all wounds. Every woman deserves a good man who loves and respects her and does not cheat on her. If your man will not or cannot change his cheating ways, leave him and your life will be so much better!
Next page: So how do you spot a cheater?