Washington - Sex sells - apparently, even when it's sparsely had and even when it's bad. I'm guessing that explains why the same two news stories have been popping up all over my Facebook account for the past few days.
In Detroit, a judge just granted bail to a woman who was convicted of assault earlier this year after she nearly killed her boyfriend of 15 years when she shot him “over bad sex,” as the headline put it.
Sadie Bell, 58, actually thought that her boyfriend - who was married to someone else during their more-than-decade-long relationship - was cheating on her (the evidence she used as proof is a little too graphic to explain). I guess she believed that the man who was cheating with her really was “only there for the kids” - the classic excuse of married cheaters - and was being loyal to her, despite not being such to his wife.
People have been laughing about this one all over social media. The idea of a mature woman being sexually frustrated and feeling entitled to being pleased in the bedroom just like a man must seem like a relatively new concept to some people. Also, the idea of a woman being so enraged about a man's perceived inadequacy has provided a great opportunity for men to boast about how that would never be them - because every man puts it down every single time, right? - and given women the chance to correct them with their own personal stories of being sexually unimpressed.
It has all made for a great battle-of-the-sexes debate, but way too many folks seem to be overlooking the core issue here: This woman is not stable. You don't go shooting up people because you think they're cheating on you, or even if you know they are.
It's not OK to attack your husband - or, in this case, someone else's husband - because you think he's been unfaithful to you. But maybe Bell thought it was. Her most recent man is the second man to face a gun. She allegedly shot her husband in 1991. She was never prosecuted. See? Unstable. And belongs in jail.
The other sex story making the rounds is that of a 26-year-old wife who received a spreadsheet from her husband detailing the times she's turned him down for sex in the last six weeks. He sent the document to her work account as she was heading out of town for a 10-day work trip, then he refused to correspond with her. We, the public, know about this because the ticked-off wife posted the story on Reddit, where Redditors had a field day with the story.
The popularity of this story stems from the reigning stereotype of the wife who is too tired to have sex, and the frustrated husband who is trapped in a sexless marriage, perhaps every spouse's greatest fear.
Male readers have spent the better part of the last few days debating 1) whether a wife should bite the clichéd bullet and have sex out of wifely duty; and 2) how much of a gigantic passive-aggressive jerk her husband is for a) keeping a spreadsheet, when anyone in a halfway healthy relationship will tell you that keeping a record-mental or otherwise-of a partner's perceived transgressions is a quick way to misery; and b) refusing to answer the phone after sending said record.
So what's missing from this conversation? How much these two deserve each other. This couple? They are two peas in a pod of petty. The wife clearly isn't happy with the husband and/or their sex life. But instead of speaking up, she passive-aggressively creates excuses to avoid him for the better part of six weeks instead of communicating with him about the underlying problem.
While there are no excuses for his spreadsheet, there is no reason she should have shared that online, even if she didn't have a clue that it would become a national conversation. She's not as bad as Bell, but she's no better fit for a relationship.
Actually, it is my hope that both of these stories are part of a hoax, Unfortunately, these folks might be for real, and even though many of us are laughing, it's really, really sad.
Washington Post/The Root.
* Lucas is a contributing editor at The Root.com, a life coach and the author of “A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life.”