Tony and Adultery

#1
This show of the 2nd half of 6 is the first time we see Tony cheating on Carmella again, and I was curious as to how people see his adultery this far into the show. Do we still judge him with the same eyes, or is it something that we can just come to accept in him?

IMO, this season Tony is truly sparkling, riding off of the progression we've seen all the way from Test Dream. That episode sparked to me the beginning of his rehabilitation. The Two Tony's, the duality, is starting to come fuse back in. At the same time, Tony is still capable of some major volatility and emotions. He's not perfect, nor will he ever be, but this season, he has certainly taken the high road in a lot of respects.

So the question still stands, is him sleeping with other women still something that we accept as part of his character and thus a non-issue? Or is it still a major character defect that mars and affects all other parts of his life? Obviously from the episode, it was pretty incidental, but still.

Re: Tony and Adultery

#5
I came to accept long ago that Tony's infidelities do not suggest much of anything regarding his feelings for his wife. There was a time that I thought there may have been some sexual dissatisfaction with her, even a madonna/whore complex that made him slightly revulsed at the idea of sex with her. I no longer hold that view. I think he loves her like he loves no other woman and finds sex with her exciting and fulfilling.

Monagamy has just never had a place in his compromised code of morality. He thinks he entered marriage with winks and nods that sex on the side was "part of the deal". No contractual breach there.

He entered his reconciliation with the understanding that he would be a lot more discreet with his infidelities, that he would not enter the kind of dangerous relationships that caused one girlfriend to repeatedly call the house and ultimately emotionally terrorize his wife and another to embark on even more serious contact.

I'm sure that Tony consciously feels he's been a model husband since the reconciliation. He stopped himself sexuo erecto, LMAO, in the midst of the one encounter that he felt crossed the new line he'd drawn. And his other infidelities, which actually go back to Cold Stones when he got the road blowjob from the Bing girl, have been strictly of the wham bam business variety.

I think Tony's continuing casual adultery is essentially due to 3 things:
  1. A feeling that it's not morally wrong and that Carmela has tacitly approved of it (and she seemed to amost URGE him to get some action when she left for France!);
  2. A ravenous sexual appetite that, like his appetite for food, requires many meals and a lot of variety to satisfy;
  3. The need to continue to bolster his alpha male position amongst his men by regularly displaying his sexual conquests.
I'd love to see Tony reach a point where he made a gift of his fidelity to Carmela, voluntarily, without her having to ask for it or extract it from him at some cost. I doubt it will happen now because there are much bigger fish to fry in his whole quest for "personal responsibility" ala Finnerty.

But I'm mindful also that at some level, he might want that monogamy. In Test Dream, Artie, his "good" male role model, was coaching him to bang "his wife", literally. I felt Charmaine represented Carmela in that scene, as the two couples have been alter representations of each other throughout the series and as Artie had been a sleeping "observer" to Tony and Carm's pool sex weeks before. Tony and Charmaine/Carm seemed to be enjoying sex more than ever ("it's better than when we were kids") when Tony tells Artie to make the horse hooves sounds outside go away. He didn't want the "whorse" coming into his bedroom. And even more interestingly, Artie tells him that Charm/Carm "likes it when you rub her muzzle", Tony's own words to Carmela when he introduced her to Pie-O-My. So Tony pets Charm/Carm's nose as if she were Pie-O-My. The next shot shows him "mounted" atop Pie-O-My in front of Carm in their living room.

Something in that symbolism tells me Tony would like to merge his whore and his wife into a single woman. He would like his ideal sex object to be his ideal love object too. I don't know what at this point would bring that repressed wish closer to the surface or whether there's even enough time anymore to bother. But I do think there are seeds for it there.
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: Tony and Adultery

#7
Good observation. I wanted to add another point to Tony's adultery. Carm knew what she was getting into when she married Tony. It is very odd when a guy in LCN does not have a lady or two on the side. And it isn't like Carm balks at the idea of being lavished with diamonds, furs, and whatever else her heart desires. The only thing that pushed the boundaries is when Carm received a call from Irena. Tony's extracurricular activities should never hit home, it needs to be outside of the house. I can see why Carm was so upset when that happened.

If I was Carm, I would put up with the cheating. It's part of being married to a made guy and it isn't like the wife isn't being compensated. I get sick of hearing Carm push Tony into a committment he can not keep. As much as I like the character, she is hypocritical and talks from both sides of her mouth. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

Re: Tony and Adultery

#8
I'd like to submit a completely different point of view.

While in his coma, Tony's imagery of the monks would suggest an idea of celebacy and lack of sexual urges. His new spiritual outlook on life when he came out of the coma may have been due to, or at least sustained by his inability to become sexually aroused while recouperating.

Without sexual urge to ground him in the carnal, ie. immoral, evil etc., his mind was free to experience some level of enlightenment.

Eventually, however, the sexual urges naturally crept back in. What is interesting to speculate at this point is whether the sexual urges will again dominate, or will he be more balanced by some of his higher thinking.

For sure, the monogamy was the first to go, if it ever existed to begin with. If anything, maybe he thinks differently of, or appreciates sex on a different level now. "affirmation of life", as Silvio put it.
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