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Ashton Kutcher Either Did Or Did Not Cheat On Demi Moore. Either Way, Why Should It Matter?

October 29, 2010

We make a lot of jokes here at TBTS about most celebrities you can name, and they’re meant to be (relatively) harmless fun.  They include jabs at Ashton Kutcher and how we’re constantly baffled that out of the entire cast of That 70s Show, he’s somehow the most famous.  (Sorry Topher and Mila, but Ashton has you beat at both box office receipts and camera endorsements.)  We also make fun of the age gap between Kutcher and Demi Moore because, well…probably because it’s an easy joke and we can’t be Louie C.K. every damn day of the week.  Oh, also probably out of envy, too, because Demi is still smokin’ and Ashton’s seems like kind of a doofus–or maybe that’s just Kelso residue.

This brings us to a more complicated issue, the public’s fascination with their relationship.  Scour the interwebs, especially the huge comments sections of such articles and you’ll find lots of different opinions about Demi and Ashton.  Good for her because he’s the hot younger man.  Good for him because she’s the hot, experienced older woman.  Good for them because they seem genuinely in love.  Bad for them because they’re not in it for love, just publicity.  Bad for him because she’s just an old lady trying to stay in the spotlight by marrying him.  Bad for her because he’s just a young guy trying to buy the spotlight by marrying her, and he’ll just end up cheating on her.

It’s the last one that’s gotten the most play, due to recent accusations of infidelity on Ashton’s part.  Star magazine quotes a “witness” who supposedly saw Ashton getting kissy and gropey with a 20-year-old at a restaurant in L.A.  That one didn’t pan out for Star, but no worries.  They just published another story about Brittney Jones, a 21-year-old who claims that she had sex with Kutcher while Demi was out of town.  If that wasn’t salacious enough, Star reported that sex with Jones wasn’t the problem, it was that Demi and Ashton have an open marriage with frequent threesomes but Ashton didn’t share the young lady!  Hmm,that should sell!

Star probably doesn’t have any more evidence than the potentially self-enriching testimony of a young paramour.  Now that this “controversy” is out there, though, it simply must be reported on by every other entertainment rag, tweeted, retweeted, supported, defended, and everything between.  I encouraged you earlier to read comments sections for a couple reasons, but now with an eye toward the passionate feelings that readers have toward two people (three if you count Ms. Jones)that the vast majority have never met.  Those who actually have met Ashton, Demi, or Brittney probably haven’t been in a position to know or experience their sexual proclivities.  So the supermegamajority of people who for some reason give a damn have formed strong, sometimes rabid opinions about the relationship and sexual activity of a couple who, for all they know, might exist only as pixels on a screen.

Leaving aside the difficulty of hiding for their five years of marriage AshMi’s purported propensity for prurient plurality in a city half-built on illicit telephoto pictures, let’s assume for the sake of argument that Star is right.  The Moore-Kutcher sexual “dyad” really isn’t one, but more closely resembles a bicycle wheel with them at the hub.  The next question would be, so what?  While this marital structure isn’t the norm, neither is it uncommon.  Even where I live, a city a fraction the size the den of carnal sin and iniquity that is Los Angeles, there are several swingers clubs that of course don’t advertise but that everyone somehow knows about.   If Demi and Ashton are fine with this set-up, why should it matter to us?  I can guarantee you that some readers who are loudly and publicly tut-tutting about the sheer scandalousness of it all! will step out on their unknowing spouses this weekend for some freaky-ass (by their own professed standards) face-sitting or S&M or plushy action.  At least Demi and Ashton would be doing it knowingly and approvingly.  The really odd thing is that, if they were by mutual agreement not sexually monogamous and totally fulfilled by that, this arrangement would still be seen by the public at large as more unnatural and abhorrent than if Ashton had just been a cheating asshole crawling back to an angry and vengeful—but eventually forgiving!—Demi.  Crazy world.

Yes, this post seems a bit contradictory: a dressing down of the media circus and audience polarization over a famous couple with (maybe no) marital problems, coming from a site that specializes in pop-culture and media commentary.  I like to think, though, that TBTS tries to refrain from too much value judgment and attempts to analyze, in part, why people care so much and if such attention is fair and/or warranted.  In this case, I think that it isn’t.

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