May's Vanity Fair is vintage soft porn. Accompanying Mark Seal's piece on Tiger Woods is a series of photographs of some of the golf legend's latest flames. Loredana Jolie Ferriolo bares her ass on a bed at the Walforf Astoria, the collagen in her lips trying, somehow, to say "come hither." Mindy Lawson's tongue nibbles a cherry and sits, looking about as appealing as a prison matron, in a red blouse all but open to a morals charge. And let's not forget the droopy chested Michelle Braun, who struts the hallway of the Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida.
But my favorite photo is that of Jamie Juners, snapped at the Cooper Hotel in New York City. I thought it was an advertisement at first, for an expensive fur shop. The sepia tones look like a shot for the New Yorker.
Sex sells, all right, and Tiger was buying. Spending $60,000 a weekend for the right girl didn't phase him, and why should it. He weighs his money. But the women who consented to be interviewed and photographed relay that Tiger is also cheap. No gifts for these babes. One recalls the only time Tiger ever bought her dinner. He was stopping at Subway. She asked him to pick up a wrap for her. He did, and then it was down to the wham-bam, thank-you- ma'am hustle of a man who cannot keep his pecker dry, even, apparently, for an evening.
It is a depressing read, even if it is, as is usually the case with a piece in Vanity Fair, wonderfully written.
In colonial times, back when adultery was a capital offense, Tiger might be swinging from a rope, together with Ms. Ferriolo. But times have changed. The 26-year-old has a world-class following of rich horn dogs who pay as much as $100,000 for an assignation. She is commonly ferried from one continent to another in private jets.
Tiger's skill with a golf club does not cross over to pick up lines. "You have a perfect body," he told Ms. Lawton on their first rutting. They were in the kitchen of his home. Tiger apparently liked trying out different locations in Windmere, Florida home. But the master bedroom was off limits. Respect for the sanctity of the marital sheets?
Ms. Lawton was as artless as Tiger. She took his penis in her hand in the glittering kitchen. "Wow," she tells Vanity Fair. "It was the biggest I've ever seen." Just how large was her survey?
A psychiatrist might struggle to figure out Tiger. He was married to a woman of legendary beauty, Elin Nordegren, who as a Swedish student was too busy to be bothered with glamor. You see, she has brains, too. She studied child psychology at Lund University in Scandinavia.
Tiger had wealth, a beautiful and intelligent wife, fame and power. So he tossed it all away chasing expensive call girls and women who marvel over comparative penis size. I don't quite get it.
Is he a sex offender? No. His tastes did not run to children or young women below the age of sixteen, the line the law now draws in lusts sandbox. But he is out of control: A libidinal train wreck. Tiger, you see, is the perfect example of a man who takes Madison Avenue literally.
There is a reason that Ms. Juner's come hither shot for Vanity Fair likes like the sort of advertisement that might appear in a tony Upper West Side magazine. She's the prize you are supposed to get if you succeed. Put your nose to the grindstone by day, and who knows where that nose won't go when the Sun, and, well ... goes down.
Tiger Woods is a tragic figure. But the tragedy is really an example of a culture gone haywire. Sex sells. We use it to motivate and inflame every consumer with hormones. Tiger had the money to make whores moan. No crime there, but it is morally tawdry.
I can't tell whether to pity or envy Tiger. Sure, he's lost everything of enduring value. His wife has left him, and taken their children. He is the laughing stock of the world, known as a hypocrite. But, when the lights go down, he takes the red dog walking in ways that, frankly, makes me smirk. He's what a middle aged man would be like if he lived in fraternity houses while running Goldman Sachs. The idea of living in a world without consequences appeals in a midnight, adolescent sort of way.
Tiger Woods is a sex offender. His lust is out of control. The law won't punish him, at least I've not yet heard of a warrant for soliciting prostitution. But the law's lines are arbitrarily drawn. The Puritans would have spanked him but good.
I'd like to see a poll about what college-age males really think of Tiger. I suspect in many quarters, he's more admired than ever. After all, he can buy as much sex as we can sell, and then sell stories about it magazines replete with glossy pictures. He got caught doing what the rest of us are supposed to dream about.
Tiger a sex offender? You bet. And so are the rest of us.