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Oct 18

The lesson of Sara Leal

Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 in Celebrities, dating, Men, Parenting, Relationships, Sex/sexuality, Singles, Women

“Do you think Sara Leal’s attractive?” I asked Sean as we snuggled on a lazy Sunday morning.

“Who’s that?”

Sean’s a smart guy, but he’s not too hip when it comes to the latest celebrity or celeb scandal — thankfully!

“The young blond party girl who had sex with Ashton.”

“Why do you pay attention to that stuff?”

Good question. I really don’t because I just can’t stand our celeb-obsessed culture. But as someone who likes to observe people — and as a mom —a Sara Leal is someone to pay attention to.    

Why? She’s pretty, young, has a great bod and can party with best of them — the kind of girl a lot of guys like to sleep with.

Now, I never would have heard about Sara and I’ll bet neither would have any one else if she hadn’t had unprotected sex — twice — with Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore’s husband.

So why do I know about the 22-year-old? Because after first asking for $250,000 to shut up about it, which obviously didn’t happen, she then blabbed about it to anyone who would listen (which, sadly, is a huge portion of the population) — presumably for cash — saying that sleeping with him has messed up her life.

No, Sara, the truth is, you messed up your life. Sleeping with a married man (OK, he allegedly told her he was separated, but still) is bad enough but I won’t judge other people’s actions. But sleeping with him and then selling your story and all the details (“He had great endurance. We were up for a while. It was about two hours.”) to magazines isn’t going to help you move past your part-time modeling gig.

Except, of course, it probably will. I imagine Sara’s already entertaining offers to pose naked in Playboy, and I wouldn’t doubt that we’ll soon see her on reality TV. To get your 15 minutes of fame nowadays all you have to do is sleep with a high-profile guy once or twice, sell your story or pictures of it, or both, and you’ll pocket a few thousand to ease your heartbreak.

If I were a mom of a daughter, we’d probably be having a long discussion about how not to get famous by going the Sara Leal route. Being naive and stupid (unprotected sex?) and then opportunistic is a very ugly combination, no matter how pretty you are.

Then there are all the topless picture of her circulating on the Internet and descriptions by friends that she “parties a lot” and would “go out with her best friends, and she’d get drunk and be the fun girl.” This is not something to be known for. Being a party girl ages you pretty quickly.

And her 15 minutes of fame from all of this will blow away quickly, and she’ll spend many more years trying to get people to forget about it than being able to capitalize on it. Need proof? Look at Monica Lewinsky, who didn’t seek fame but who got it anyway.

Reading some of the comments on the online stories about the Sara-Ashton “event,” guys are calling her skanky but in the same breath saying, “but I’d still f@*k her.” Because that’s how people will see her now. I have to wonder — was it worth it?

Knowing that about some guys, and I’m mom to a guy, I’ll be talking about Sara Leal to The Kid, too. While Ashton may have been a relatively safe bet for having unprotected sex with since he’s been married for the past six years, Sara is a party girl. If she’s having sex on the first hookup with no protection, you can pretty much bet she doesn’t use protection, period, and the consequences of that could be disastrous — STDs, AIDs, a baby. I really want my kid to think about that.

Beyond the sex part, I’d want to explore with him why guys find someone like Sara Leal — with her heavy makeup and boozy partying — attractive? OK, that was a stupid question — I know why guys find someone like Sara Leal attractive. Which makes me think we have a very skewed idea of what’s attractive.

When I explained to Sean why, as a mom, I feel a need to talk about Sara Leal, I asked him again if he thought she was attractive. “No,” he said, “but I’d still f@*k her.”

  • Is there a message for kids in the Sara Leal saga?
  • Is there a message for all of us in the Sara Leal saga?

 

Sep 27

Is it OK to date someone who’s separated?

Posted on Tuesday, September 27, 2011 in Advice, dating, Honesty, Kat, Men, Relationships, Singles, Women

I couldn’t wait to get together with Mia; she’d met a guy who sounded pretty darn as close to perfect as you can get and I wanted to know more. So we met at the arts fest, not even feeling the raindrops because our conversation was so animated.

“OK, what are the stats?”

“He’s 52, tall, fit, nice salt-and-pepper hair …”

“Uh-huh. And?”

“Loves to hike, super-smart and super-sweet. Coached his kids’ soccer teams …”

“Sounds good. And?”

“And he’s a real gentleman. He paid for our dates, even though I insisted I’ll pay. He didn’t come on real strong; I practically had to throw myself at him to get him to kiss me.”

“Ah, he likes a bit of the chase? Nice!”

“And I’m starting to get crazy about him.”

“Mia, it’s way too soon for that! But I know — it’s hard not to feel excited about someone who’s so great. How long has he been divorced?”

“Hmm, well …

“Well, what?”

“He’s just separated.”

“As in ‘just’ how long ago?”

“Two months.”

I think my mouth must have dropped far enough to smudge my cute new black cotton wedgies — that’s how shocked I was.

“Mia, what are you doing with a newly separated guy?”

“Enjoying our time together, why?” she sniffed.

“Because, because … because, it’s all wrong!”

“Says who?”

Says probably about every dating expert out there, although you don’t want to necessarily follow everything they say. But, who needs a dating expert to tell us that getting involved with someone fresh out of a marriage — and I wouldn’t call separated “out” of anything — is a bad idea?

Separated means a lot of things to different people. When Rob and I separated, it was to spend time alone to figure out whether we were going to salvage the marriage or not — that hardly made me dating material. For all Mia knows, this guy and his not-quite-ex could be still working on their relationship, giving each other “space,” dipping their toes into the dating scene to see if they can attract someone new or all of the above. Or maybe they’re actually somewhat happily married and he’s just scouting around for a mistress. Who knows?

As Singlemommyhood notes: “Separated always means in limbo. There is unfinished business — whether it’s emotional, legal, or financial.”

Which is what I told Mia (thanks Dr. Leah).

And Mia would hear nothing of it. Now you know why dating experts and shrinks stay in business — even if we know we’re in a situation that has way too many complications, we still delve right in, hoping this time it will be different.

Maybe it will be.

Probably not.

To me, even a newly divorced guy is a big dating no-no; no one’s ready to be available in a new relationship when he just got out of one. And, if he says he is, it’s because he’s lonely and/or he wants sex.

Getting involved with someone like that is taking a big gamble, one you’re likely going to lose.

  • Would you date a separated man or woman?
  • How about a newly divorced person?

Photo © Angelika Bentin – Fotolia.com

Sep 6

Unemployed and looking for love

Posted on Tuesday, September 6, 2011 in Advice, dating, Divorce, hookups, Kat, Men, Relationships, Singles, Women

I was at a Labor Day barbecue, so of course it made sense to talk about work. But a lot of the conversation was about not working.

Two more friends have lost their jobs — Dan and Michael. I feel really bad for both of them, but I feel a lot worse for Dan. Michael is married, and his wife, Natalie, works; he’s OK for now (although this puts their marriage at a greater risk of divorce). Dan is single and although he’s smart, talented and an all-around great guy who can probably survive for a while on his savings, who wants to date an unemployed man?

No one. At least, that’s what he told me. 

“Dan, you don’t actually tell people you’re unemployed, do you?”

“Yeah, because I am — along with I don’t know how many millions of other people.”

“But, that’s shocking for people to hear, especially women you want to date; you need
to spin it.”

“Like what? That I’m on a sabbatical or I’m an independent consultant? Oh, please!”

“Can’t hurt.”

“It’s not exactly honest, either. Not the best way to start a relationship.”

He has a point.

I’m all for honesty, and if you’re jobless and don’t share that with a new love right from the start, it will be a big ugly mess explaining it later when it eventually gets discovered — and you just know it will! As it must.

That’s a much bigger problem for guys than women, not surprisingly. Unemployed women are still datable and guys are not —  if that isn’t proof about how far we haven’t come as a society, I don’t know what is.

I suppose Dan can give up dating for a while — all that extra time and energy (and cash!) can be spent looking for a new job, volunteering or learning new skills. But, if one part of your life is out of whack — like your health or your job or your love life — it really helps to have the other parts a little more stable. Knowing someone has your back and still finds you lovable makes losing a job somewhat less traumatic — for a while, anyway.

Of course, Dan can continue his dating routine, which is pretty much a lot of hookups and friends with benefits arrangements, like most people date nowadays anyway. As weird as it sounds, it actually seems to be the perfect way to have fun and connect with people given what’s going on; you don’t need to wine and dine anyone! Could it be that our casual sex dating rituals are a byproduct of the recession?

I don’t think our economy is getting back to normal any time soon — if you’re unemployed or underemployed and looking for love, what do you do?

Like this? You might like:

He’s jobless — do you date him?

Photo © Christopher Hall – Fotolia.com