Understanding Infidelity: The Complexities of Why Couples Cheat

beautiful young couple close up bathed in natural light
Lovers. From the book of Obsessions. Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2023

Understanding Infidelity: The Complexities of Why Couples Cheat


Text by ChatGBT


Edited by Tony Ward


Infidelity, a painful breach of trust within relationships, remains a subject of fascination and speculation. This essay delves into the multifaceted reasons behind why couples cheat, acknowledging that each situation is unique and cannot be attributed to a single cause. By exploring various psychological, emotional, and sociocultural factors, we can gain a deeper understanding of this complex phenomenon.

Emotional Disconnect and Relationship Dissatisfaction (approx. 100 words): One prevalent reason for infidelity is the emotional disconnect between partners. When individuals feel unfulfilled or neglected in their current relationship, they may seek emotional intimacy elsewhere. A lack of communication, unresolved conflicts, and unmet needs can contribute to feelings of loneliness or dissatisfaction, potentially leading to infidelity as a means of finding emotional validation and connection.

Sexual Dissatisfaction and Curiosity (approx. 100 words): Sexual dissatisfaction is another factor that can drive individuals to cheat. Variations in libido, incompatible sexual preferences, or the decline of passion in long-term relationships may prompt individuals to seek sexual gratification outside their partnership. Additionally, curiosity about new experiences or the desire to explore fantasies may lead some individuals to engage in infidelity, driven by a sense of novelty and excitement.

Unresolved Personal Issues (approx. 100 words): Individuals carrying unresolved personal issues, such as unresolved trauma, low self-esteem, or a need for validation, may be more prone to cheating. Infidelity can serve as an escape or a way to cope with personal struggles, offering a temporary sense of relief or validation. Individuals may seek attention and affirmation from others to fill emotional voids or bolster their self-worth, often unaware of the deeper underlying reasons driving their behavior.

Sociocultural Factors and Opportunity (approx. 100 words): Sociocultural factors also play a role in infidelity. Cultural norms, societal expectations, and exposure to infidelity in media can influence individuals’ beliefs and behaviors. In some cultures, infidelity may be more accepted or even expected. Moreover, increased accessibility to potential partners through social media and dating apps has expanded opportunities for extramarital connections, making it easier for individuals to engage in infidelity.

Conclusion (approx. 50 words): Infidelity is a complex issue influenced by a range of factors, including emotional disconnect, sexual dissatisfaction, personal struggles, and sociocultural influences. Understanding these complexities helps us approach the issue with empathy and encourages open communication within relationships. By addressing underlying issues and fostering emotional and sexual fulfillment, couples can work towards building stronger, more resilient partnerships.


Tony Ward: A Tribute to Helmut Newton

tall nude beautiful model photo by Tony Ward
A Tribute to Newton. Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 1993

Text by Tony Ward, Copyright 2023


A Tribute to Helmut Newton


Like most photographers of my generation who got involved in photography in the early 1970’s I was influenced by the work of Helmut Newton.  I came across his photography in 1977 while visiting a fashion exhibition at the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York. It was a group show that also included the work of Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Chris von Waggenheim, Hiro and other giants of fashion photography during that era.

I had the pleasure of meeting Helmut Newton and his wife June in Paris in the year 2000 while Helmut and I coincidentally were both checking in at the swanky Royal Monceau., located in the 8th arrondissement. Helmut was known for staying at the luxurious hotel when on assignment in Paris.

For those that are not familiar with his work, Helmut Newton was a German-Australian photographer who rose to fame in the 1960s for his provocative and controversial fashion photography. Born in Berlin in 1920, he spent his early years studying photography at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Berlin.

During World War II, Newton fled to Australia, where he began his career as a photographer and also was where he met June, who became a lifelong companion. He worked for various fashion magazines and advertising agencies, developing a unique style that was both erotic and dramatic.

Newton’s work often featured female models in fetishistic poses, and his use of high contrast lighting and bold compositions made his images stand out. His photographs were often criticized for their objectification of women, but Newton maintained that he was celebrating female power and sexuality.

In the 1970s, Newton moved to Paris, where he continued to work for top fashion magazines such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. He became known for his portraits of famous celebrities, including Mick Jagger, David Bowie, and Salvador Dali.

Newton’s photographs often had a cinematic quality, with their use of strong narrative elements and dramatic lighting. He also experimented with new techniques, such as the use of Polaroid film and large-format cameras, which gave his images a unique and timeless quality.

In the 1990s, Newton published a series of books that showcased his work, including “Sumo,” a limited-edition volume that weighed 66 pounds and was the largest book ever produced at the time. He continued to work until his death in 2004, when he was killed in a car accident in Los Angeles at the Chateau Marmont Hotel.

Despite the controversy surrounding his work, Helmut Newton remains one of the most influential fashion photographers of the 20th century. His images continue to inspire and challenge viewers, and his legacy lives on through the many photographers he has influenced including myself.


For additional articles by Tony Ward, click herehttps://tonywarderotica.com/erica-and-the-dungeon/

Erica and The Dungeon

Text and Photographs by Tony Ward, Copyright 2023


Erica and The Dungeon


I don’t remember Erica that well.  I only shot with her once.  There was a guy she was with, presumably her boyfriend made arrangements for her to meet me at the dungeon. 

Getting to any dungeon is a process. You have to know certain people.  The folks that operate a fetish dungeon operate on the edges of what is lawfully allowed to function in some states in the US.  In Philadelphia, the location of this particular dungeon some 20 years ago was operated by a friend of mine that I met taking pictures at a fetish party in the early 1990’s. He had a distinguished look about him. An older man in comparison to the young men and women he was often assigned to photograph.  They were part of the Philadelphia underground scene, the raves, fetish parties, Electric Factory events that were off the chain you would see him there.

We became friendly enough do to the mutual respect we had for each others work.  When he learned through the grapevine that I was producing pictures for Larry Flynt’s Taboo Magazine, I found out that the photographer by day was a dungeon manager at night.

I had to go through quite a process just to enter the place.  The location was a secret and you had to be trusted to even get close to the front door.  I was told to call him from a phone booth that he could see from outside of the dungeon’s window.  There would be a wave and then I had to be at the disclosed entrance within a matter of seconds or I was told he wouldn’t let me in.  Once I got through the protocol, the shoot with Erica began and ended with the model seated on a faux electric chair. The dungeon master made a cameo at the end of this most memorable series.


To access additional articles by Tony Ward, click herehttps://tonywarderotica.com/tony-ward-diary-the-early-nudes/

Bob Shell: Newly Released Government Report Says UFO Exposure Harmful

spiral of creation by the stars NASA photo
Photo Courtesy of NASA.

Text by Bob Shell, Copyright 2022




A government report finished in 2010, but classified until this year says UFO contact can have serious health effects. Witnesses to close encounters have experienced radiation burns, brain damage, perceived time suspension, and a wide variety of other effect, some of them ‘supernatural.’ 

The formerly top.secret report was prepared by the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program (AATIP), a secret program that studied UFO encounters. The existence of this $ 22 million program was revealed by Luis Elizondo, its former head, in 2017, but it has taken until now for the Defense Intelligence Agency to release part of its report in response to a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by news media. 

The report classifies reports of UFO encounters, including ones accompanied by other ‘paranormal’ events, such as sightings of ghosts, bigfoot type creatures, spirits, and other phenomena, often combined with effects such as abduction, paralysis, eye injuries, electrical shocks, sexual encounters with ‘aliens,’ permanent healing, and others. 

The report compiled 42 cases of adverse medical effects from patients’ medical files and 300 from ‘unpublished’ cases. 1,500 pages of the report were released as a result of the FOIA request. 

The report is titled ‘Anomalous Acute And Subacute Field Effects on Human and Biological Tissues.’ Note the use of the word ‘Field,’ which assumes that UFOs are accompanied by some sort of magnetic/electrical/gravitational/quantum mechanical/etc. field. 

“Classified information exists that is highly pertinent to the subject of this study and only a small part of the classified literature has been released” the report states. So much for ‘full disclosure!’. 

Attached to the report is a list of physiological effects experienced by those who have come in contact with UFOs/UAPs. 

Among these effects are apparent abductions (129 cases), electromagnetic effects on vehicles (77 cases), perceived time loss (75 cases), burns (41 cases), force field effects (18), and ‘alien’ sexual encounters (5 cases). 

In an interview with GQ magazine (UK), Elizondo stated, “I’ve got to be careful, I can’t speak too specifically, but one might imagine that you get a report from a pilot, ‘Lue, it’s really weird. I was flying and I got close to this thing and I came back home and it was like I got sunburn. I was red for four days.’ Well that’s a sign of radiation. That’s not a sunburn, it’s a radiation burn.”

My comment: that’s like recent reports of Russian soldiers who worked digging ditches inside the ‘hot zone’ at Chernobyl experiencing the same effects. 

Elizondo also said a pilot who got even closer would say, ‘Lue, I’m in the hospital. I’ve got symptoms that are indicative of microwave damage, including internal injuries, and even in my brain there’s some morphology there.’ and then you might get somebody who gets really close and says, ‘Lue, it’s really bizarre. It felt like I was only there for five minutes, but when I looked at my watch 30 minutes went by, but I only used five minutes worth of fuel. How is that possible?’ “ 

Elizondo speculates that these effects have ‘something to do with warping of space time.’ 

The program rated encounters on a scale. AN1 has no lasting physical effects, AN3 comes with “associated entities such as ghosts, yetis, spirits, elves, and other ‘mythical/legendary entities.’ AN5s are those associated with injuries and deaths. 

Former Senator Harry Reid asked for the report to remain secret in letters recently released by the Pentagon, because ‘Officials said that the UFOs are ‘from an unknown provinence that may be a threat to United States interest.’ 

Reid stated the secret program had identified ‘several highly sensitive, unconventional aerospace technologies requiring extraordinary protection.’ 

In November, the Pentagon announced the creation of the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group (AOIMSG), that will work across the Department of Defense and the entire US government ‘to detect, identify and attribute objects of interests in Special Use Aerospace, and to assess and mitigate any associated threats to safety of flight and national security,’ according to a press release from the Department of Defense. It will be part of office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence & Security, currently Ronald S. Moultrie. This action was directed by Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines. 

Does this mean that the era of official denial that the US government is interested in UFOs is finally over? We can all hope so. I’m not holding my breath, but just maybe we’re one tiny step closer to full disclosure. That’s long overdue. 

Following in my father’s footsteps, I have studied UFOs since the 1960s, regarded as a disillusioned crackpot by many. It feels very good to finally be vindicated. 


About The Author: Bob Shell is a professional photographer, author and former editor in chief of Shutterbug Magazine. He is currently serving a 35 year sentence for involuntary manslaughter for the death of Marion Franklin, one of his former models.  He is serving the 15th year of his sentence at Pocahontas State Correctional Facility, Virginia. To read Bob Shell’s, first essay on civil war, click here: https://tonywarderotica.com/bob-shell-some-prison-thoughts/


Bob Shell: Some Prison Thoughts

Woman masturbating in an old prison in Paris inside the catacombs
Catacombs. Paris. Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2022

Text by Bob Shell, Copyright 2022



“Sometimes I think this world is one big prison yard,
Some of us are prisoners, some of us are guards,
Lord, Lord they laid George Jackson down,
Lord, Lord they laid him in the ground.”

— From the prison song ‘George Jackson.’
George Jackson was a California prisoner killed by guards who shot him in the back of the head.

I am approaching the beginning of my fifteenth year of incarceration, which will begin on September first. People ask me, ‘How have you kept your sanity?’ Actually,it hasn’t been that hard, because I know in my soul that I am right and they — the so-called ‘justice system — are wrong. My conscience is clear. I can truthfully say that I never killed another human being, or contributed in any way to the death of one. Nor have I acted inappropriately with any of the over two hundred women who have modeled for me. That’s why so many of them are my friends today. I always respected them, treated them as persons, collaborators in the production of my photographs. They were always paid well.
In January of this year, after looking at all of the evidence in my case, most of which is demonstrably false, the Innocence Project took my case and assigned me an attorney. Their standards are very high, and they only accept a tiny fraction of the hundreds of cases brought to their attention. They studied my case for five years before taking it. They have asked me not to talk about the specifics of my case here, so that is why I can only speak in generalities, but I have genuine hopes of release.
Photography was in my life ever since my father taught me to develop film and make prints in his basement darkroom in my early teens. I had an old Ilford Ensign folding camera that I bought at a Goodwill store for something like fifty cents. It took remarkably good photographs. I even adapted it to work with my microscope. As I learned more about photography, my father let me use his cameras, first an Aires rangefinder camera, later his Exakta and Leica cameras. I got hooked on photography and never looked back.
But I originally didn’t think of making a vocation of it. If I thought about it at all in those early days, the late 1950s and early 1960s, I envisioned it as a hobby, like my father’s.
In 1965 I graduated high school near the top of my class and went on to college at Virginia Tech, majoring in biology and fine art, where I took my first, and only, photography class. After graduation, I was offered a job at the Smithsonian Institution, and went to live in Washington.
Fast forward to the 1980s. By 1985 I’d established a reputation as a photographer and writer, with agents for my photography in Europe and Japan. I became known for my classic nudes and Virginia and other US and foreign landscapes. My agents placed my photographs in many publications, including Asahi Camera, Japan’s preimminant photography magazine, on the covers of the Japanese editions of Danielle Steele romance novels, in a series of books published by Rotovision in Switzerland, and in ‘Asian Photography’ magazine in India. I won an international design award from Graphis for one of my magazine covers.
I made my first trip outside the USA in 1980 to attend photokina, the ‘World’s Fair of Photography’ in Cologne, Germany, and attended that event every even-numbered year until 2002, meeting photographers and people associated with photography from everywhere in the world, networking, establishing a worldwide network of friends and associates, many of whom I am still in contact with today.
My first one-man gallery exhibition of my photography was in 1973, in Richmond, my last in 2004-5 in Chicago.
By the time of my arrest in June of 2003, I was, in the words of Federal Judge Glenn Conrad, “A renowned photographer with a long-established reputation.” My arrest was reported by media in England, France, Germany and Italy, that I know of, perhaps in other countries where I was well-known.
I worked very hard at my photography and writing to establish that reputation, but to the small-minded police and prosecutor, it meant nothing. A lifetime’s work went up in smoke.
As a result, I have not so much as touched a camera since August of 2007, and only had limited access to computers in prison law libraries, for legal research and writing only. These computers are not connected to the Internet.
I write these posts and my blog on a JP5 mini tablet, which has a 4 1/4 inch screen and a tiny Android keyboard. I’m on my fifth one, because the batteries don’t last. We’ve been promised the larger JP6 for well over a year, haven’t seen them yet.
So here I sit on a hard bunk at 4:00 in the morning writing these thoughts. Going back to the question of preserving my sanity, writing these posts has really helped as has writing my blog, and a few magazine articles as well as my 2019 book ‘Cosmic Dance,’ which has sold fairly well considering I have been unable to actively promote it.
Before my incarceration in this human warehousing system I’d written more than two dozen books and over a thousand magazine articles for magazines in many countries, translated into most major languages, even Serbian.
Contact via letters and email with friends around the world has helped me keep a positive attitude. They know the truth about me. I even have one friend who emails me regularly from Tehran, Iran. Anyone reading this can email me via JPay. On JPay.com you can sign up using my name, Robert Shell, and my ID number 1201280. I’m always happy to hear from people out in the real world.
At age seventy-five I know there are far fewer years ahead than have passed, and can only hope to be free once more when I have some years left. The man in the cell next to me is in his mid-90s, feeble, possibly suffering from Alzheimer’s. I have watched many men die in prison in my years of incarceration, the saddest death I can imagine, and I certainly don’t want to be another one.


About The Author: Bob Shell is a professional photographer, author and former editor in chief of Shutterbug Magazine. He is currently serving a 35 year sentence for involuntary manslaughter for the death of Marion Franklin, one of his former models.  He is serving the 15th year of his sentence at Pocahontas State Correctional Facility, Virginia. To read Bob Shell’s, first essay on civil war, click here: https://tonywarderotica.com/bob-shell-photographers-language-and-thought-police/