Belfast Telegraph

Vernon’s sex texts show some men haven’t a twitter of sense

By Jane Graham

I wasn’t surprised to learn that the classless John Terry had allegedly been unfaithful to his wife again.

The revelation that moody golf automaton Tiger Woods had a Hefneresque list of ladies in his locker room did raise an eyebrow. But news this week that the wholesome family entertainer Vernon Kay he with the Pantene locks, Colgate teeth and a beautiful blonde wife — has been sending explicit sex texts to numerous women knocked me sideways.

I wasn’t the only one. I’ve already had a couple of texts — not from Vernon, I should say, but from female friends fretting, “If he can’t be trusted, what man can?”

For one of these friends — who knew and worked alongside him for years — Kay’s fall from grace, from a grinning Walton to the kind of guy whose texts to topless models ‘cannot be printed in a family newspaper’ is irrefutable proof that given half a chance, every man will betray his woman for an illicit sexual thrill.

I’m a bit more optimistic than my friend (there are still many men I would bet my last penny on) but mentally repositioning Kay from devoted family man to selfish idiot with no self-control has crystallised my worries about what currency faithfulness and respect for the opposite sex will have amongst my son’s generation. Sure, sex has always been a seller, and most young boys dream of enjoying a long line of partners in a long list of positions. But in the last decade the average age for a boy to first see pornography has fallen from 15 to 11.

In a world in which wealth and stupidity are the most common combinations observed in high profile celebrities, and in which footballers, WAGs and glamour models increasingly set the standards for behaviour, it seems likely fidelity will become a less valuable commodity, and quick sexual gratification a more lauded one. Which may be why John Terry is already being greeted like a hero in the Chelsea stands.

Twitter and Facebook, so beautifully symbolic of the zeitgeist in so many ways, certainly encourage instant, thoughtless contact and secrecy. Social networking has made it so easy for married prowlers to enjoy a little spice on the side — and, of course, for suspicious spouses to spy on them — that a law firm in America recently estimated that one in five divorce petitions now contains a reference to Facebook.

In one sense, it’s easy to see how Kay got carried away. Texts can get flirty pretty easily — a casual compliment is thrown into the mix, interpreted as a come-on and returned with extra oomph.

We test the power of sexually coded words for the sheer hell of it, to see what kind of response they elicit — and before you can say ‘Agent Provocateur’, we’re sending three XXXs instead of one to someone who means almost nothing to us in real life. I’ve done it myself — but not since I met my husband and really had something to lose.

It’s an old cliché, but trust is crucial in a marriage. The seismic shock of discovering that the lovely man you thought you knew inside out has been playing out his fantasies with other women in between sharing the washing-up with you must hurt like hell.

Yet only now that it’s public knowledge is the extent of what he’s done finally hitting Vernon Kaye.

Smashing up someone else’s faith in you — that’s quite a thing to live with.

Belfast Telegraph

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