Is It Addiction, Is It Self-Help, or Is It Just Schadenfreude?

In searching my usual spots for new sexual health news, I came across this article from women's health . Yet again, another angle, another spin, another reason to write about Tiger Woods. I am sick to death of hearing about Tiger Woods. I couldn't care less about Tiger Woods. For his family and friends, what's going on in his life is vitally important, but why should the rest of us, who have never met the man, even know about any of this?

And yet the media seem to be mesmerized and will use any excuse they possibly can to write about it. I hesitate to write even one word about Tiger Woods but this article really caught my eye as being particularly ridiculous. The article quotes Mary Canning, a marriage and family therapist as saying “Woods has created a dialogue among couples, giving them a definition for a serious problem that’s plagued relationships...Women are finally realizing, ‘I’m not the only one.’” Come on now? Are we really saying that it never occurred to women that other husbands cheat until this story broke? Couples never dealt with infidelity and never talked about it until Tiger Woods cheated on his wife? This is the saddest excuse I've seen for continuing to report on this story and continuing to invade Tiger's and his family's private lives. It's helping people? No one ever talked about this before and now they recognize that it's a problem? No, cheating has been going on for centuries, millenia, really, and people have been talking about it that whole time. We do not need to hear about Tiger Woods to know that we are not alone with our problems around trust and fidelity.

The funniest part of it is that, after trotting out this quote, the author of the article lists 4 other examples of wayward husbands who attracted huge media attention when their affairs became public. Wait a minute, I thought no one had a definition for this until Tiger ended up in the news.

The article purports to be about the concept of sex addiction and whether it is simply an excuse for cheating. What I would contend is that this article is simply an excuse to write about Tiger Woods, yet again. The fact of the matter is that the media loves a feeding frenzy and they want it to continue for as long as it possibly can. It sells magazines and TV ad spots and they like that. But they want to tell us that all of this perverse voyeurism is actually good for us. They try to make us believe that it's okay for us to pry into people's private lives because we are learning from it and people are being helped.

The sad and plain fact is that all of this is nothing other than making entertainment out of the mistakes and miseries of others. Is Tiger Woods the only person to ever cheat on his wife? Of course not. Have a million men done exactly what he did? Of course. So why are we supposed to be shocked and appalled by it? I'm not excusing his behavior. It's abhorrent, for sure. But it's not news. Not by a long shot.

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