News Analysis

Saturday 20 September 2014

Men are simply not designed to be completely faithful to one lover for life

When the urge strikes, we men can't seem to stop ourselves from straying, writes John McEntee

Published 29/05/2011 | 05:00

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MY heart goes out to Ryan Giggs. Allegedly caught with his trousers round his superbly trained ankles over his affair with former Big Brother star Imogen Thomas, he felt obliged to resort to lawyer to the stars Keith Schilling to keep his guilty secret from the gorgeous Mrs Giggs. For weeks, he must have squirmed as his expensively obtained legal shield crumbled to dust via Twitter and the feverish gossip of the internet.

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His superinjunction backfired spectacularly and as fellow London lawyer Mark Stephens remarked last week: "Schillings made a disaster out of a crisis". At least Ryan gave his missus two weeks notice of impending Armageddon. But on mature reflection, the Welsh international must wonder why he bothered.

At £600-an hour the Manchester United star might feel that Schillings have not served him well. A simple case of (alleged) adultery has turned into an international debate about privacy. Years ago when the writer Clive James accused the then editor of Private Eye Richard Ingrams of writing stories which sent children home from school weeping, Ingrams retorted that it was not Private Eye but the behaviour of the parents which had made the children cry.

But Ryan Giggs was only following the well-trodden path of his species and doing what us men can't seem to help doing. I don't mean going to expensive lawyers but remaining monogamous. Women can vow to love, honour and obey at the altar and stick to that promise. Men, it seems, can't. From former Taoiseach Charlie Haughey to Boyzone warbler Ronan Keating, we can't seem to stay faithful to the love of our lives.

Many women feel complete by giving birth. We delight in replicating ourselves but that does not seem sufficient. We retain a wandering eye.

For us males, getting an illicit leg over is raging against ageing, rebelling at mortality, dodging the drop, kicking out against the shroud, rejoicing in life and to hell with the awful consequences.

How do I know? I am as guilty as Charlie and Ronan and, with an eye on Ryan Giggs's legal eagles just as fallible as the veteran Old Trafford footballer. I can't seem to stay faithful. Try as I might, the urges take over.

Long ago, and based in Dublin, I was blissfully engaged to the apple of my eye, the love of my life and the subsequent mother of three adorable children.

What do I do? I find myself churning through the Irish Sea between Dublin's North Wall and Liverpool on a bachelor trip to England. In the bar of the B&I Leinster I get into conversation with an extremely well-nourished Moore Street trader on her way to buy merchandise in Merseyside. Her particular mission was to purchase a wholesale consignment of a plastic male doll who peed like a water pistol when his trousers were slid down. He was called Cheeky Charlie.

After much non-intellectual conversation fuelled by Guinness, Cheeky John adjourned at 3am to the deserted upper deck lounge of the good ship Leinster. Frantic fumbling and slobbering kisses were followed by the most unromantic congress imaginable. Cheerio then, Bridie, or whoever, I thought. We'll never meet again. I was wrong.

Weeks later , strolling down Henry Street on a sunny Saturday afternoon hand in hand with my cherub, the focus of my affection, the light of my life, all seemed right with the world. Passing the entrance to Moore Street, a roly poly female vendor was bellowing: "Get Your Cheeky Charlies. Get Your Cheeky Charlies".

I failed to recognise her. Unfortunately I couldn't say the same about her. Suddenly she started to wave in my direction. "Howya, John, how's it going?"

Crikey, the penny dropped. I recognised her. I ignored her and urged my precious petal to accelerate. She noticed the old slapper bellowing in my direction: "She's waving at you, John. She knows you."

I insisted she was mistaken, that she was a demented harridan from Mary Street, ignore her, dear, move along. My thwarted and furious Moore Street squeeze got the message and immediately changed tack. With an outburst that could be heard in O'Connell Street she roared, "Jaysus, John, you weren't so f***ing shy when you were riding me on the Leinster."

I draw a discreet veil over the inevitable repercussions -- except to say that the love of my life and I are now divorced following further manifestation of this male need to be unfaithful. And her successor, equally lovely and utterly faithful, has had every justifiable reason to give me the elbow following my recent, illicit, amorous encounter with a delightful Indian lady in the disabled toilets of a four-star hotel off Trafalgar Square.

Unbeknownst to me my mobile telephone, located in the breast pocket of my suit inadvertently dialled my inamorata's telephone number while I was, for want of a better expression, furiously 'at it'. Every grunt and howl was duly transmitted, courtesy of Vodaphone, to my peerless darling.

No superinjunction, however turbo-charged, universal and copper-fastened, would have gotten Ryan Giggs out of that one.

Sunday Independent

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