45 Things We’ve Learned From Sex Scandals

Over the past few years working at The Frisky, I have covered an exorbitant number of sex scandals. It’s pretty clear to all of us that sex scandals are cropping up more and more frequently, for both politicians and celebrities. It’s unclear whether people are stepping out more on their marriages, or if technology (texting, Twitter, Facebook) leaves people more vulnerable to being caught, or if our 15-seconds-of-fame culture leads second and third parties to step forward and soak up the limelight more than they would have in the past. But it’s clear that something is certainly up. Insert Weiner joke here.

Oddly, through the sex scandal onslaught, I feel like we’ve learned an awful lot. After the jump, 45 lessons—both big and small—that recent sex scandals have taught us. Who knew they were so educational? Anthony Weiner

  • That a sex scandal doesn’t actually have to involve sex for it to be explosive.
  • That if you’re going to send naughty pics, never ever include your face.
  • That the House of Representatives has its own gym.
  • That the minute the word “gate” is attached to your scandal, it’s gonna get nasty.
  • That the spelling rule is “I before E except after C or when you’re writing about Anthony Weiner.”
  • That if you’re going to sext or have phone sex, don’t do it anywhere near the office.
  • That if you get caught doing a no-no, ‘fess up to everything immediately and the consequences will be significantly less. I mean, if Weiner hadn’t lied at first, he would probably still be in office.
  • That sending pictures over Twitter or Facebook is dangerous, since it’s too easy to accidentally send to your whole network.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

  • That if you’re gonna cheat, use multiple forms of birth control because mistresses are super fertile.
  • That Arnold’s last name isn’t actually impossible to spell. I’ve finally learned to get it right without looking it up!
  • That things you did in the past can come back to get you.
  • That if there are rumors from multiple sources a dude is a creep, it’s probably true.
  • That spouses are willing to overlook problems for a long, long time if status/power is involved. It just doesn’t feel like a coincidence that Arnold and Maria Shriver’s relationship exploded only months after his governorship ended over something that happened 13 years ago.
  • That not every political wife will stand by her man.
  • That people don’t always buy tear-filled press conferences, and you are not required to have one. Laying low has kept Arnie from catching too much heat here.
  • That if there’s one love child, there may well be a second.

Tiger Woods

  • That Blasian is a term for someone who is half black and half Asian.
  • That men cheat because of personal issues, even if their wife is mega hot.
  • That if you must sext, always use proper grammar because there’s nothing as gauche as sexting with urs and u’s.
  • That sex can be a form of self-sabotage.
  • That sex can become an addiction.
  • That nice, wholesome guys aren’t always what they seem.
  • That there are scientific reasons why men cheat. Or at least, a zillion media sources tried to tell me that there are when this story broke.
  • That you probably have to have a smart phone and a neurotic mind to keep multiple sexting partners straight.
  • That Ambien sex is a thing.
  • That checking into rehab is your best chance at atoning and winning back public approval.

Jesse James

  • That pedal pumping is a thing.
  • That men cheat because of personal issues, even if their wife is mega hot and mega awesome and mega successful.
  • That bad boys are not easily reformed.
  • That being abused as a kid can really eff a person up.
  • That sometimes people want to get caught.
  • That if you’re going to cheat with a neo-Nazi, at least make sure she keeps her white pride tattoos covered up during photo ops.
  • That if a guy’s ex-wife is a porn star, you might want to stay away.
  • That even if a star seems to be on a crazy high, there might be something going on underneath the surface. 2010 should have been the year of Sandra Bullock.
  • That if a guy rebounds from a scandal super quickly, it probably won’t work out. Hear that, Kat Von D?

Eliot Spitzer

  • That normal guys do frequent prostitutes.
  • That normal guys do like it really rough.
  • That politicians sometimes legislate their own self-loathing. No wonder Spitzer built his reputation fighting prostitution.
  • That wives too often blame themselves for their husband’s philandering. Silda, it is truly not your fault.
  • That having a major sex scandal can land you a gig on CNN.
  • That if a woman involved in a sex scandal plays her cards right, she can be a pop star, an advice columnist, and a model.

John Edwards

  • That The National Enquirer does get stories right.
  • That trying to deflect a scandal onto a friend or co-worker is a pretty nasty move.
  • That just because a politician confesses and apologizes, doesn’t mean he’s saying everything.
  • That if your spouse is sick when you cheated, you will be judged extra harshly in the public eye.
  • That you should never, ever use slush money from work to try to cover up an affair.
  • That sometimes the heart makes odd choices—Rielle Hunter seems so kooky.
  • If you’re a politician having an affair and still made a sex tape, never let that thing out of your hands.

Now, it’s your turn. What have you learned from these big sex scandals? And how long do you think it will be until the next one emerges?

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