When it comes to celebrity sex scandals, it seems we're never at a loss for good material. Another day, another scandal.
Although these scandals are never fun for those involved, they can serve as valuable lessons for the rest of us.
Slideshow: Celeb Sex Scandals
So, here are a few of the many celebrity scandals, and the wisdom we can impart from them:
1. The Players: Tiger Woods, Eliot Spitzer, Jude Law, Mark Sanford, Jesse James, David Letterman
The Scandal: Cheating
The Lesson: Let’s face it: This never goes well. No matter who you are, or how hard you try, eventually you get caught. And, once you do, it’s rarely pretty.
2. The Players: Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan and Paul Reubens (aka Pee Wee Herman)
The Scandal: Indecent exposure. Brittany let it all hang out at a concert and then made it public not knowing her mike was still on. Lindsay has flashed onlookers a number of times in cars and clubs. Pee Wee made a XXX theater in Florida his personal "playhouse."
The Lesson: Undergarments are our friends, and graceful car exits aren’t a bad idea, either. And there’s nothing wrong with a little personal playtime, but it’s best to play where you won’t get interrupted by the wrong person.
3. The Players: Carrie Prejean and Ted Haggard
The Scandal: Hypocrisy. Prejean played the innocent card all the way to the Miss USA pageant, and Haggard played it to a congregation of massive proportions. Both turned out to be far from the personas they pedaled. A sex tape and nude photos of Prejean were discovered soon after the pageant, and Haggard’s drug use and sexual relations with a male prostitute ultimately came to light.
The Lesson: Practice what you preach. The truth has a sneaky way of coming to light. So be careful that what you say and what you do match up, especially when it comes to sex. No one likes to be made a fool.
4. The Players: Paris Hilton, Rob Lowe, Kendra Wilkinson, Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee, R. Kelly, Colin Farrell, Kim Kardashian, Dustin Diamond
The Scandal: Sex tapes
The Lesson: There’s nothing wrong with taping your sexual play. In fact, many couples find it a real turn on. Problem is, those pesky tapes always have a way of showing up in all the wrong places. My advice? Tape it. Watch it. Destroy it. It’s a pattern you can repeat whenever you like and never worry about seeing your exploits replayed on YouTube.
Note: The same goes for nude photos — like the ones revealed of Vanessa Hudgens. Just know that, if they’re out there, they’ll be discovered.
5. The Player: Hugh Grant
The Scandal: Engaging a prostitute
The Lesson: Prostitution is illegal. If you want to pay to play, Nevada is your only option in the United States. Hugh should have considered heading back to Europe for this escapade…
6. The Players: George Michael
The Scandal: Engaging in (or at least seeking) public sex
The Lesson: If you do it in public, you’re bound to be caught. Noticing a pattern here.
7. The Player: Woody Allen
The Scandal: Married his girlfriend’s adopted daughter.
The Lesson: Marrying your girlfriend’s adopted daughter is creepy. Enough said.
8. The Player: Michael Vick
The Scandal: Knowingly infecting a partner with herpes.
The Lesson: Don’t do it. Our sexual partners trust us with their bodies. Betraying someone by not sharing important health information is beyond bad taste. It’s downright criminal.
These are just the tip of the iceberg, of course. There are many, many more scandals that have been exposed and even more lessons to be learned from them. But, when you break it down, the rules are pretty simple. If you want to play without risk, be honest, obtain consent, and keep it private. And if you want to live on the edge, just know that even celebrities fall off, which leaves little hope for us mere mortals…
Jenny Block is a freelance writer based in Dallas. She is the author of "Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage." Her work appears in "One Big Happy Family," edited by Rebecca Walker and "It’s a Girl: Women Writers on Raising Daughters," edited by Andrea Buchanan. Visit her website at www.jennyonthepage.com or check out her blog at www.jennyonthepage.blogspot.com.