Thinking Fans Comment Update Sept. 4: Matthew Cormier suggests a no sex vow might help Blair heal … Johnny, however, can’t fathom the randy Blair in therapy … and more. See Comments below.
By Damon L. Jacobs
You’ve got to hand it to Blair Cramer. She may have grown up in foster homes, she may have a nasty temper, she may soon be one of they youngest grandmothers on daytime. But she has more than proven her capacity to be resourceful, resilient, and to have a seriously good head for business.
Unfortunately, most would say that’s not the part of the body she’s usually thinking with.
That is because very few soap vixens match the sexual tenacity of our dear Ms. Cramer (played by Kassie DePaiva). When it comes to notches on the bedpost, she has most of them beat. Young or old, poor or rich, liar or upstanding citizen, these labels matter little to Blair. She is best known for her on again / off again shenanigans with Todd Manning and Max Holden. But her conquests also include Asa Buchanan, his grandsons Cord and Kevin, as well as heroic Patrick Thornheart, murderous Spencer Truman, virtuous Sam Rappaport, struggling Christian Vega, and now uptight John McBain.
On a sociopolitical level, I find Blair’s sexual attitude refreshing. Male characters such as Max, John, and Christian have a new woman in their bed every year or few months, and no one seems to finds this outrageous or offensive. Heck, Asa had at
I would encourage her to take a honest look of how she has used sex to distract herself from painful emerging feelings.
least eleven wives and was considered a Texan stud. But when a woman sleeps with a man for no other reason than seeking sexual gratification, this sets off moral alarm bells. It seems to me this is another double standard (like the weight issue discussed several weeks ago) that holds women to much more rigid expectations than their male counterparts.
As the Soap Shrink, however, I do have concerns about Blair’s behaviors. When someone ALWAYS needs to be romantically or sexually involved with a different person, I have to wonder if she is using sex and companionship to prevent herself from looking at painful issues. Let’s face it, growing up being tossed around to different foster homes could not have been easy. Having a mother with a crippling mental illness and being a child of a rape can also bring up a multitude of troubling emotional concerns, especially when it comes to trusting and attaching to others.
One might think that a child growing up with these issues would be withdrawn and cautious. But the exact opposite can often be the case. I wouldn’t be surprised if Blair survived her tumultuous childhood by becoming an extrovert, the life of the party, all the while defining herself by who is giving her the most attention in the moment. Underneath the tough facade, however, there is a very scared and vulnerable little girl who truly has no identity without some type of interest from a man. It’s as if she has an existential crisis if she is not the center of someone’s affection, for then she would be forced to face who Blair Cramer is beneath the pretty surface.
As an adult, then, it makes sense that she is terrified of being without a partner, and uses her body and her relationships as a way to make sure she has never has to face this fear. This would certainly help to explain why a woman well into her 40s would continue to dress and act in ways that are more common for women in their early 20s. Her relationship with Todd has offered Blair a perfect way to mix attention, sex, and drama, all in one abusive package. Blair herself recently pointed out to John that she felt at “home” with Todd, and this comfortable feeling was part of what motivated her to partake in this abusive dynamic for so long. However, no sooner did she come to accept this realization did she jump into bed with John, and began her new project of changing his all black wardrobe.
Therapy with Blair would involve building trust, exploring her memories as a foster child, and learning more about how being a product of rape has impacted her long-term relationship with a rapist. It will take a lot of courage on Blair’s part to face these issues, but I think now more than ever she is up to this challenge. She seems nearly on the verge of making some of these discoveries on her own, if only she could stay out of a man’s bed long enough to let herself have them! On that note, I would never advise Blair to stop having sex. But I would encourage her to take a honest look of how she has used sex to distract herself from painful emerging feelings.
What do you think, Thinking Fans? Is Blair just a tramp who needs to grow up? Or is she an icon of female sexual empowerment with emotional baggage? The Soap Shrink wants to know!
Damon L. Jacobs is a family and relationship therapist practicing in New York City, and the author of Absolutely Should-less: The Secret to Living the Stress-Free Life You Deserve, to be published in November by Morgan James Publishing. Check out his website, www.shouldless.com.