Since I previously wrote about their real life saga, I feel compelled to make note of the most recent reports concerning Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. Y’all can breathe a sigh of relief, and un-clutch your pearls: the paparazzi-crossed lovers have reunited!

Yes, if those premier examples of journalistic integrity, your friendly check-out rag mags, aren’t hallucinating sources, KStew and Sparkles are back together. Fear not, though – the drama (like Celine Dion’s heart), it goes on. It has been speculated that the insipid duo’s reunion is some kind of marketing ploy designed to assuage the sorrow of millions of Twilight fans, just in time for the premiere of the studio’s last opportunity for a box office cash-grab. Whether this theory is any truer than previous conjecture that one (or both) of the love birds is using the other to hide his or her homosexuality, asexuality or promiscuous sexuality, remains to be seen.

As always, the KStew-RPatz saga is interesting not so much for its protagonists, but because of the hypothetical questions it brings up. Would you take back a cheating partner? And if the answer is not a categorical “no”, then under what circumstances? Is a one night stand more forgivable than a long-standing affair? Is a purely emotional affair better or worse than a purely physical one? And to what conditions would a repentant partner have to submit in order to “earn” his or her forgiveness?

My husband and I recently had an interesting conversation on a related tangent, inspired by a story I’m going to get to eventually. He asked me what I would do if a woman came along and said that she would be willing to pay $1,000,000 to enjoy his, ahem, favours for one night – a reverse Indecent Proposal, if you will. To preface my response, I have to explain two things.

One, I think that anyone is entitled to sell whatever personal services might have a market, for whatever amount meets their expectation and the market will bear – provided that both seller and buyer are acting in a voluntary and informed manner. 

Two, I think that sex can be about many things: love, lust, power, aggression, money. Of these things, the first two certainly have the potential to impact a marriage, positively or negatively. The next two things on the list would make me question the psychological integrity of the participant in question. If divorced from the others, the last one raises a simple risk-and-reward calculation. Does the pay-off balance out the inherent physical/health and social risks involved?

Is sex as a purely commercial transaction in the same category as “cheating”? I’m not sure. After all, plenty of porn stars are married. I wouldn’t want to be married to one, but maybe it’s all just a question of frequency – and price. Getting back to my husband’s question, my response was: the ball would be in his court, and I wouldn’t be calling a “foul” either way. That would be my rational answer, anyway; on the spot, emotions have a funny way of derailing logic.

The news story that prompted our conversation about indecent proposals was about a billionaire who recently publicly offered $65 million to any man willing to marry the billionaire’s lesbian daughter – who, for the record, is already married to, or at least in a serious relationship with, another woman. Whether true, or merely a publicity gag, this story made the rounds on the internet and on local radio stations, where plenty of people were lining up to say that they would certainly countenance marrying a complete stranger for a piece of $65 million … or even something as modest as low seven figures. The consensus seemed to be that this would amount to nothing more than a roommate situation, with both parties free to pursue their own personal affairs unencumbered. I’m not sure if that is what the putative father-in-law had in mind in making his indecent proposal – I’m pretty sure millions never come without a corresponding number of strings attached. In any case, at least now we know the price on the sanctity of marriage.

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