When men in the public eye engage in unsavory sex stuff, there's a choreography to navigating the path to redemption they're automatically afforded — the tight-lipped presser, the pledge to attend therapy or recommit to religion or husband the shit out of their wives, and then, after some strategic radio silence, the cable news contract, the paid speaking engagements. The "other women" in celebrity affairs? Unless their life goals included tabloid infamy or an extra sad novelty porn career, they get screwed twice.
But the bright spot in otherwise grim trajectories: celebrity mistresses tend to have really fantastic names. The sort of ultrafemme monikers a 6 year old might imagine would belong to a fancy businessprincess, or that Christmas pony for which they're perennially hopeful.
As soon as it came to light that the name of the latest "other woman" (e-mistress?) in Anthony Weiner's life was Sydney Leathers — SYDNEY LEATHERS, GUYS — I wondered if, perhaps, we'd arrived at the Mistress Name Zenith. If so, why? What was so fantastic about the name SYDNEY LEATHERS?
Turns out, just as there's a formula for the perfect "I fucked up but I'm all better now and I promise I'll never let my penis boss me around again please elect me/give me money" story of men involved in high profile sex scandals, there's a formula for the perfect name for the Other Woman who gets chewed up and discarded by those scandals. After much unscientific research, we came up with a way to score mistress names.
- easy to whisper, so lots of CH or SH or S or TH or J sounds (5 points)
- last name a word that can also be used in a sexual context (10 points)
- last name is a word independent of being a name, but one that couldn't be used in a sexual context (2 points)
- either first or last name is the name of a spice (10 points)
- difficult to imagine following the word "Federal Judge" or "Professor" or "Great Aunt" or "Hi, meet my wife, ..." (5 points)
- alliterative first and last names (or first and last names that rhyme) (3 points)
- French spelling, because everyone knows that French is shorthand for both "fancy" and "whorish." (5 points)
- name of obvious non-English origin, other than French (1 point)
- either first or last name is the name of a place (3 points)
- first name that ends in a vowel (2 points)
- unconventional spelling of common first name (5 points)
- name that could realistically belong to a Bond girl (8 points)
Using that incredibly precision methodology, Sydney Leathers clocks an impressive 33 points. And if you're keeping score, other famous mistresses like Angelina Jolie, Rielle Hunter, and Ashley Dupre score highly as well. But some don't do so well — FDR's longtime mistress Lucy Mercer is no rock n' roll fun at all, and Monica Lewinsky nets a paltry 2 points.
How would Carlos Danger do using this criteria? Very well indeed. When you flip the gender of Bond Girl to Bond Boy, the disgraced mayoral candidate's alter ego nets 29 points, giving Sydney Leathers a run for her money. But, unfortunately, not a fair shot at redemption.
Image via Kuznetsov_Dmitry/Shutterstock.