Beauty is not insurance against infidelity.

28 Sep

Just weighing in on the Demi Moore/Ashton Kutcher cheating thing.  Yesterday Roissy was gloating that, as he had predicted, Ashton Kutcher cheated on his significantly older wife.  (According to Wikipedia, Kutcher is 32 and Moore is 47.)  Roissy’s assertion was that Moore was just too old to keep her husband’s sexual attention and that she was a fool for thinking she could.

Well…yes and no.  I don’t think Demi Moore would have been much less in danger of having her husband cheat on her if she were 25 instead of 47.  Best-case scenario is that it just would have taken longer for him to cheat.  Ashton Kutcher has sufficient looks, fame, and wealth that regardless of whom he was married to, he would still be faced with constant temptation.  It’s more likely that Kutcher, like so many men in Hollywood before him, simply succumbed to the temptation of a young woman who was freely offering herself to him and pumping up his ego.  And in Hollywood, such women are numerous, especially when they can get something else out of the affair, like fame or access to even higher-status men.

Would it have been wiser for Kutcher to marry someone younger (if he had to marry at all, which he probably shouldn’t have)?  Possibly, but many beautiful women in Hollywood who are younger than Moore have been cheated on.  The only way female beauty is a protection against male infidelity is when the woman’s beauty greatly outpaces the man’s status, so that the man feels he has something irreplaceable to lose, and even then, it’s not a sure thing.  (Real-world example:  Roissy’s regular commenter Gorbachev, a self-proclaimed 6 who has been dating for a few months a woman whom he considers the hottest woman he’s ever seen in real life, a woman who gives him agonizing oneitis – and he still cheated on her.  And then went on the internet and told everybody.)

Basically, if you don’t believe that marriage is an exclusive sexual relationship for life, you shouldn’t marry.

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50 Responses to “Beauty is not insurance against infidelity.”

  1. y81 September 28, 2010 at 3:01 pm #

    Incidentally, real men (unless they are professionally involved in the movie industry) do not know or care who Ashton Kutcher is, much less with whom he is sleeping. That’s total girl stuff. Real men know things like who had an ERA of 1.12. That is an example of why I have trouble taking Roissy types seriously.

  2. Aunt Haley September 28, 2010 at 3:10 pm #

    I’m sure there’s room for “manly” stuff in his brain, too, but it doesn’t lend itself as well to a blog about Game, does it?

  3. Keoni Galt September 28, 2010 at 3:12 pm #

    Not only is beauty not insurance, it can actually increase a husband’s chances of straying.

    If she’s frigid or uses sex as a bargaining chip to try and manipulate her husband, and he has other options…

    See, for a man, it’s actually worse to sleep next to a beautiful, naked woman who consistently rejects your advances, than it is to sleep alone.

  4. Aunt Haley September 28, 2010 at 3:22 pm #

    What if she’s wearing a flannel nightgown and a hair net? Still as bad? (I kid.)

  5. Cane Caldo September 28, 2010 at 3:33 pm #

    You had me for a second, but then came up with sports figures. What a colossal waste of time.

  6. Cane Caldo September 28, 2010 at 3:38 pm #

    “Basically, if you don’t believe that marriage is an exclusive sexual relationship for life, you shouldn’t marry.”

    We all wish there was a formula, but it’s just a matter of wills and principles.

  7. Will S. September 28, 2010 at 6:37 pm #

    Alas, indeed. I don’t think very many people intentionally enter into the marriage state with the express intention of cheating on their spouse, and so when it happens, usually there is a process of rationalization at work, whereby they attempt to justify their behaviour: “I deserve this; in my case, it’s different because…” People who wish to do wrong will always find a way to do so, and won’t repent unless caught.

  8. Josh September 28, 2010 at 8:18 pm #

    I don’t buy that. I don’t pay any attention to celebrity news at all, but I still know who Ashton Kutcher is. Even if you never watched a Kutcher movie, you’ll almost certainly have watched the trailer for one of his movies, if you watch TV or movies at all.

    On the other hand, people like Blake Lively, or that cute blonde who was in that date movie set in Rome, I had no clue who they were until recently, since apparently they were TV stars on channels I don’t watch.

    As for sports…unless all your friends do fantasy league, I don’t really think it’s realistic to expect most men to know huge amounts of sports stats.

  9. Aunt Haley September 28, 2010 at 8:51 pm #

    I don’t think most people enter into marriage with the express intention of not honoring their marriage vows, but there are a lot of people who get married armed only with “hope” that it will last and/or think marriage should only last as long as both people are happy. Those aren’t very good ingredients to add if you’re trying to bake a longevity cake.

  10. Josh September 28, 2010 at 8:55 pm #

    As Chris Rock said, “A man is only as faithful as his options.”

    As I understand it, Ashton Kutcher became famous as an adolescent, basically in innocent-cute-boy roles, so perhaps he hadn’t fully understood his status in the sexual market. Marrying Demi Moore always struck me as an act of awestruck puppy love, rather than that of a confident, self-aware man. I think that the Ashton Kutcher that decided to marry Demi Moore didn’t realize his options, options of which he is now well-aware.

    Fidelity in marriage must be seriously hard. I’m in a LTR now (1yr+), and I love my gf, but if an attractive woman basically said “Do what you want with me and I won’t tell anyone”, I don’t really know what I would do. That’s pretty much Ashton Kutcher’s daily life, I would assume.

    Business travel is probably the most tempting. The amount of IOI you get by being in a suit holding a soft-leather briefcase is … flattering, and a little unnerving. I mean, it’s one thing to read about female hypergamy, it’s quite another to experience it. Apparently it gets worse with a wedding ring. I wonder what the divorce rates for consultants are. They basically wear suits and live out of hotels for a living.

  11. Will S. September 28, 2010 at 8:57 pm #

    Exactly; they don’t realize they have to work, to make it work.

  12. y81 September 29, 2010 at 4:43 am #

    As I think I have made clear, I don’t view Game as having much to do with manliness. It’s mostly pretty silly, and ineffectual on women with any degree of self-respect. Of course, if casual sex is your aim, the supply of insecure women is functionally inexhaustible.

    I think our hostess should abandon her fixation with the shadows on the cave wall and figure out what is really important. Find some men with successful careers and good values, and don’t worry about whether they have good put-down lines.

  13. y81 September 29, 2010 at 4:45 am #

    So Cane Caldo and Josh are saying that if you got together a random bunch of successful men (say, Larry Ellison, John Roberts, David Petraeus and Jamie Dimon), they would talk about movie stars’ sex lives instead of baseball!? Don’t be ridiculous.

  14. Josh September 29, 2010 at 8:50 am #

    Strawman, and moving the goalposts, all at once!

  15. novaseeker September 29, 2010 at 9:32 am #

    The Kutcher/Moore marriage made “sense” from the perspective of Kutcher wanting to hitch his kinda mediocre acting career onto someone who was well established as an actress and producer and who could further his career. This has basically worked for him — he has gotten far more push in his career by virtue of being married to Moore, and by virtue of their admittedly anomalous pairing getting more attention than usual, than he would have otherwise. It was a good career move for him.

    For Moore, this was always a riskier call. In some ways it strikes me as having been driven by a desire to stick one in the eye of Bruce Willis, with whom she has two kids, in terms of her still being able to “pull” an attractive, younger man. Willis was never a pretty boy like Kutcher, but he was (and to some degree still is) an alpha who has no trouble pulling women (including much younger women while being married to Moore, which likely infuriated her, as a very attractive yet aging woman). Kutcher looks like something of a revenge play against an ex-husband who himself philandered with younger women.

    The whole relationship has gotten way too much play, but that helps both Moore’s and Kutcher’s careers. The reality is that there are only a handful of women who are 47 (soon to be 48) who look like Moore does. Combination of genes and likely a literal crapton of working out plus some surgery as well. But the thing about the relationship being offered as an example of a broader “cougar” trend has always been a bit crazy. Most women her age do not look like her and would have no hope pulling a guy like Kutcher, never mind a 15 year younger “normal good looking” guy for more than a sex-based relationship (which is something that, in itself, is nothing new — heck it was the theme of The Graduate back in 1968).

    The issue Moore is facing now and in the years ahead, however, is the real problem. As I say, she’s a fantastic looking woman for 48. At some stage, however, things will catch up. Will it be at 52, when he is 37? Or at 60 when he’s only 45 and will still be able to pull 20-something hot women? I can only think that, in her drive to exact revenge on Bruce Willis, this whole thing is going to come crashing down around her as yet another husband (number three for her, in fact) philanders with younger women.

  16. Matt Savage September 29, 2010 at 10:31 am #

    In this era, monogamous marriage simply does not work. First off, the instincts of men go completely against monogamy in that they are hard wire to reproduce with as many women as possible, this makes being devoted to one woman, regardless of her beauty, a very difficult thing. Of course, in this day of sexual revolution, we see just as many women cheating on their husbands as well.

    Lets face it, the institution of marriage is practically dead. It’s time for a better system which allows flexibility in sexual activity, while still holding on to a long-term loving relationship with another person.

    In my opinion, open marriages or even the poly-amorous lifestyle will be the future of relationships in the western world.

  17. y81 September 29, 2010 at 1:24 pm #

    Let us know how that works out for you. I had a friend, a hedge fund manager, who was explaining volubly, in the midst of his messy and expensive divorce, how “the marriage contract needs to be renegotiated.” One of my friends responded, “Dude, it’s less expensive if you renegotiate contracts before you sign them,” which of course our interlocutor didn’t find as funny as everyone else did. Since then, Mr. Hedge Fund has consummated his divorce, and is on the prowl, but, despite the leg up afforded by his millions, I don’t think he’s really been having any takers for long-term polyamorous relationships. YMMV.

    Let me add, that there are certainly any number of demi-mondaines who will sign up with Mr. Hedge Fund, or Mr. Savage for that matter, for a short-term deal, where the man pays for a nice apartment, fancy clothes, and posh vacations, and has a non-exclusive GFE for as long as the payments keep flowing. That isn’t exactly a new kind of relationship. Edward VII said to his mistress, “I’ve spent enough on you to buy a battleship,” and she responded, “You’ve spent enough in me to float one.”

  18. slumlord September 29, 2010 at 2:39 pm #

    What else has Demi More got beside her looks?
    As far as I can see, not much.

  19. slumlord September 29, 2010 at 2:39 pm #

    Oops, should be Moore.

  20. dalrock September 29, 2010 at 4:57 pm #

    but there are a lot of people who get married armed only with “hope” that it will last and/or think marriage should only last as long as both people are happy.

    I agree. I think the best way to smoke these people out is to see if they will judge others who cheated or divorced because “not happy”. It is probably best to be subtle in how you frame it, so they don’t BS you. If they aren’t sure it was wrong, drive on.

    On the other hand, I’m not going to cry Demi Moore a river if after divorcing two others husband #3 takes marriage about as seriously as she has.

  21. Aunt Haley September 29, 2010 at 7:06 pm #

    Interestingly, Bruce Willis’s girlfriends post-Demi have generally looked like 30-year old Demi clones. Some guys just have types.

  22. Aunt Haley September 29, 2010 at 7:11 pm #

    Lets face it, the institution of marriage is practically dead. It’s time for a better system which allows flexibility in sexual activity, while still holding on to a long-term loving relationship with another person.

    How’s that going to work out for the kids? People who advocate for extramarital sex never seem to remember that sometimes sex produces children….

    No society can survive, much less thrive, when the family unit goes kaput.

  23. novaseeker September 29, 2010 at 7:35 pm #

    I think the idea is that extra-partner sex must never result in children, and that the partnership exists primarily for love and children and financial combination, but not sexual “exclusivity” (the preferred term instead of “fidelity”, given the negative spin it places on fidelity as a concept).

    The main issue I see with it is that it assumes human sexual jealousy is easily surmountable. I don’t think that this is the case at all — mate guarding appears to me to be a very deep-wired behavior in men and women alike, for sound reasons. Women do not want men investing in other women (even if that investment is only time and energy) and men don’t want women giving birth to other men’s kids which he then has to raise himself. Even if you try to take those off the table, I don’t think that the sexual jealousy goes away, because while those may be the reasons the behavior developed, it is, at this point in our species history, a deeply-wired thing for most people. I would say that the people who can successfully have a polyamorous relationship with no sexual jealousy are rare — and they probably are a kind of “mutation” from the typical geno- and phenotype which results in most people in sexual jealousy manifesting itself particularly with respect to spouse/partner type people.

  24. Matt Savage September 29, 2010 at 9:11 pm #

    Well, children have been raised long before the institution of marriage came about which leaves me to believe that it’s not necessary since a child can still have a loving mother and father to raise them regardless of whether they have a monogamous relationship. Considering the super high divorce rates and super high infidelity rates, it’s clear that children and society are still surviving.

  25. Matt Savage September 29, 2010 at 9:15 pm #

    @Novaseeker,
    Interestingly, it seems that jealousy usually tends to occur when two couples agree on the rule of exclusivity and one of them either breaks that rule or is suspected of breaking the rule.

    In poly-amorous relationships, the rule of exclusivity does not exist and thus all parties involved agree on a certain amount of sexual freedom which helps to vastly limit the jealousy in that relationship.

  26. J September 29, 2010 at 9:56 pm #

    It’s Hollywood. They’re all morons. There are no consequences for BS actions if you are very rich (or very poor). Morality is a middle class kind of thing.

  27. J September 29, 2010 at 10:05 pm #

    “Roissy’s regular commenter Gorbachev, a self-proclaimed 6 who has been dating for a few months a woman whom he considers the hottest woman he’s ever seen in real life, a woman who gives him agonizing oneitis – and he still cheated on her. And then went on the internet and told everybody.)”

    But what was his self-proclaimed motive? Fear that love would make him beta and that his being beta would cause him to lose her. So, in some bizarre way, in his mind, he did it for the relationship, I suppose. In the meantime, I’m sure that both Gorbachev and the woman he claims to love are really suffering. Ah, the drama….

  28. Matt Calvey September 30, 2010 at 7:12 am #

    Y81,

    As much as I dislike the PUA community, and the typical application of “game”, your comment is way off base. I have seen it work, in various forms, on women of all levels of intellect, self-confidence and morality. Women respond to self-confidence, aggressiveness (of the non-violent type hopefully) and leadership. THAT is what “game” tries to teach. The fact that most guys who learn it learn it to nail women doesn’t discount the fact that it WORKS.
    I believe the host has contended, in prior posting, that “game” even works on her, because it signals a more assertive, self-confident man. To a woman, I would guess, a man with a good career is a poor sop if the man is afraid of his own shadow…

  29. Matt Calvey September 30, 2010 at 7:22 am #

    Matt Savage,

    Respectfully, this mode of thinking is terrible idiocy. Man, in his long climb “from the swamps to the stars” begin to gather around him institutions and customs, one of which is the two-partner marriage. I would stake a sizeable bet that a incalculably large part of our progress over the last several millenia is due to this institution. Claiming that something that may have worked (and we frankly have ZERO clue as to how society functioned more than four or five thousand years ago) for a small tribe of wooly mammoth-hunting savages can be applied to a western world possessive of nuclear arms and space flight is terribly misguided.

  30. Cane Caldo September 30, 2010 at 10:32 am #

    You seem to think that life should reward the good. I suggest a draught of Ecclesiastes tonic once a day.

    It’s not that I (we, perhaps) don’t sympathize with your sentiments. The Ancients all decreed that pursuit of sexual satisfaction is weak…womanly, even. And it is sick that most women respond in the ways they do to some truly perverse incentives. But what is to be done? We’re all fallen, and if you want a woman, you have to meet* them where they are.

    *Whew! Had a near miss with a pun.

  31. Cane Caldo September 30, 2010 at 10:36 am #

    Is that quote verified? If so, I can see why he had to have her. Dorothy Parker never fails to inspire me.

  32. Aunt Haley September 30, 2010 at 12:59 pm #

    Gorbachev’s insecurity and neediness will eventually get the best of him; it’s just a matter of time. The type of game he is running is not indefinitely sustainable. That said, I think that he is representative of the type of man that thrives on emotional drama and finds it preferable to be in a never-ending state of anxiety than to settle down to a calm life with a sweet 6 who would break her back to make him happy. Of course, now that he has terrible oneitis for his Hottest Girl He’s Ever Seen In Real Life, he is doomed to a lifetime of unhappiness since, alas, he can never relax in this woman’s presence, nor can he ever again find any other woman attractive. Severe are the wages of high standards, *dramatic sigh*.

  33. Joseph Dantes September 30, 2010 at 10:05 pm #

    I see nothing of my picture of Gorby here; instead a combination of projection, wishful thinking and bitterness.

    As far as I can tell, Gorby has been having the time of his life, and continues to. It’s not the oneitis to be feared by a PUA, since we’re adept at juggling, but rather the creeping emptiness. He’s not there yet, still infatuated by the chase.

  34. Joseph Dantes September 30, 2010 at 10:06 pm #

    Of course, I haven’t been following him lately. It’s possible he’s changed dramatically, although I find it unlikely.

  35. J September 30, 2010 at 10:13 pm #

    He did seem to having the time of his life. Then he started posting on CR about having cheating and telling his gf as some sort of alpha move. There was an extensive conversation between him and exsplat about the affair, oneitis and not wanting to be seen as beta a few posts back.

  36. Anthony October 1, 2010 at 12:28 am #

    And even then, lots of people just can’t make it work. Only a very few people have no sexual jealousy, or can overcome it enough to make a polyamorous relationship work.

    Some people can – I’ve seen it. But lots of people try, and get burned badly. Though probably not as badly as people who get cheated on.

  37. Joseph Dantes October 1, 2010 at 2:06 am #

    I think polyamory as a philosophy is doomed to failure. No intellectual philosophy can alter the sexual market. It’s a category error. At most you’re just legitimizing existing behavior and relaxing social mores.

    However alpha polygamy can work. The woman can be brought to acceptance, and she’ll lay the blame at her own feet if you do it right. It’s all part of a gradual stretching of her elastic.

    It’s also a question of the right balance of alpha and beta traits.

    http://hvren.wordpress.com points the way.

  38. jz October 1, 2010 at 1:10 pm #

    I’ll second the impression that Gorb is a drama queen.

  39. y81 October 3, 2010 at 7:40 am #

    The quote is solely from a very flawed memory. But it’s a good line anyway.

  40. y81 October 3, 2010 at 7:52 am #

    I’m not opposed to mature manliness, and certainly many women find it attractive, but that’s not Game. Let’s take an example from Roissy’s datability quiz:

    You are in a bar or club with a date. You have to go to the bathroom. Do you: (a) Say, “I have to go the bathroom; I’ll be back in a few minutes; (b) Say, “Excuse me,” and leave; or (c) Leave without saying anything.

    Obviously (a) is wrong: adult men do not discuss their bodily functions except with their doctors. Also, (c) is wrong. It’s a ploy which might work on an insecure girl: She starts to wonder: “Where did he go? Did I say something wrong? O dear!” When her date comes back, she is greatly relieved. On the other hand, back when my wife was dating, she probably would have left the club and gone home, on the grounds that men are like subway trains: if you miss one, there’s always another coming along.

    So (b) is the manly answer, whereas (c) is the game answer, and that is the difference. As I noted, there are certainly enough insecure women on whom the (c) ploy will work, if boinking lots of stupid women whom you meet in bars (as opposed to marrying an alumna of both Wilhelmina and Skadden Arps) is your goal.

  41. nothingbutthetruth October 3, 2010 at 12:52 pm #

    Yes, alpha polygamy can work. Women will be willing to share a man if he is alpha enough, especially if they are his wife.

    But this requires some cultural tenets, which Western society does not have.

    Leaving apart polygamous societies like Islamic ones, I live in a Latin American country where monogamy is the social ideal in theory but polygamy rules in practice. Here it is assumed that men will always be men and will always look for something on the side. Women don’t like it but they have come to terms to this.

    Women are more worried about being the legitimate wife, being loved and having all the resources of the man devoted to their children.

    It was even more radical in the past. My girlfriend’s grandfather had a kid outside the marriage and, when the kid’s mother died, his wife (my girlfriend’s grandmother) accepted this kid in her house and raised him like a son. My girlfriend says that their grandfather’s marriage is one of her models of marriage because “my granddad always gave my grandma her place as his wife and, even if he had affairs, my grandma never found out until she knew the kid. They loved each other very much until they died”.

    Of course, being a man, I don’t lose any chance of praising myself this marriage, haha.

    You know, not all cultures are the same. Biology gives the instincts but each culture finds a way to manage them.

  42. Xamuel October 3, 2010 at 6:56 pm #

    The thing is, people get used to each other. A man who’s been married for a decade to the world’s hottest woman will think she’s utterly plain (even if she somehow magically kept the title all ten years).

  43. Aunt Haley October 3, 2010 at 9:59 pm #

    You know the old saw: “familiarity breeds contempt.”

    (But would any man really think the hottest babe in the world was plain, even after ten years of marriage? That just seems to give permission to wives to let themselves go, if their hotness is not going to matter to their husbands after a decade.)

  44. nothingbutthetruth October 4, 2010 at 6:25 pm #

    No, after ten years, a wife who lets herself go is not plain for his husband. She is downright ugly.

    So it is much better to be plain…

  45. Rex April 11, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

    With beauty comes the thought in most male minds that every guy on the planet is going to hit on you girl. That leads them to believe they will eventually cheat. So the guy takes the initiative and does it before she does it to him. This is just how most male brains work.

  46. Jennifer August 19, 2011 at 8:29 pm #

    Great post. But what do women see in Kutcher? He’s such an immature child.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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