2010: The Year in Sex

From Charlie Sheen's call girls to Eric Massa's "tickle fights" to the Chilean miner's mistress, 2010 did not disappoint when it came to bad behavior. See photos of the whole sordid affair.

Ida Mae Astute / ABC via Getty Images; Jeff Kravitz / Getty Images

Ida Mae Astute / ABC via Getty Images; Jeff Kravitz / Getty Images

Charlie Sheen

His raunchy jokes have helped Two and a Half Men soar in the ratings, but Sheen's raunchy lifestyle was at least that entertaining in 2010. He and wife Brooke Mueller both checked into rehab for alcohol and drugs in February, and insisted their marriage was rock-solid even after photos surfaced in May of Sheen leaving a call girl's apartment. Whether those photos were real remains to be seen, but the actor's love of prostitutes is Hollywood's worst-kept secret—not made any more discreet by new photos of him sharing a wild night out with porn star Capri Anderson. During a drunken night at the New York restaurant Daniel, the two adjourned to the restaurant's bathroom, where he allegedly busted out the cocaine and dropped his pants, but she refused to have sex with him since he reportedly still owed her $12,000—her fee.

Steve Granitz, WireImage / Getty Images; Matt Rourke / AP Photo

Sandra Bullock and Jesse James

When Sandra Bullock won the Oscar for Best Actress, she failed to thank her husband, Jesse James. By the end of the month, we knew why: Their marriage was crumbling under the weight of James' affair with tattoo model Michelle "Bombshell" McGee. If only that were all we knew about it. Soon a picture surfaced of McGee dressed as a neo-Nazi, and then, the money shot: James himself, in a Nazi pose. Although he reportedly wanted Bullock back, she filed for divorce, adopted a son, and he entered sex rehab. James tried to improve his bad-boy image by oversharing, saying on Nightline that he "wanted to get caught" and referring to himself as "the most hated man in the world."

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Eric Massa

Thank God for Eric Massa. 2010 would have been a fairly unmemorable year for political sex scandals without him and the cadre of five young male staffers with whom he shared a Washington townhouse. The Democratic congressman admitted to Glenn Beck that he had touched his male aides. Actually, groped them. In fact, tickled one of them "until he couldn't breathe and then four guys jumped on top of me. It was my 50th birthday." It wasn't long before other young men who'd had questionable encounters with Massa began coming out of the woodwork, including a few from his days in the Navy, one of whom accused Massa of "snorkeling" him—and sent us all scurrying to Google to find out what that meant.

Eric Risberg / AP Photo

Tiger and Elin Divorce

The question of "will she or won't she" had been floating in the air since the infamous car wreck of November 2009. And in June we got our answer: Elin Nordegren, the wife of athlete-extraordinaire Tiger Woods, will divorce him. Or rather, won't stay with him. She will walk away! Semantics aside, the Swedish bikini model's decision to split after she and the rest of the world learned of the golfer's many infidelities earned her as much as a reported $750 million, one of the largest divorce settlements ever, and physical custody of the kids. In return, Woods got her vow of silence about the matter—Nordegren will take the tabloid-ready story to her grave.

Seth Wenig / AP Photo; Jim R. Bounds / AP Photo

John Edwards Admits the Baby Is His

Was this really a big mystery? With her droopy blue eyes and curled upper lip, the infant at the center of this sordid scandal was essentially the former presidential candidate in a bonnet. Nevertheless, after the National Enquirer broke the story in July 2008 of Edwards' affair with campaign videographer Rielle Hunter, it took him a good 18 months to admit that the baby in question was his. Today, Rielle has custody of little Frances Quinn, now almost 3, and John pays her child support. Watch for their upcoming reality show, no doubt premiering as soon as Frances can talk.

Juan Mabromata, AFP / Getty Images

The Miner's Mistress

As if October's dramatic rescue of 33 Chilean miners wasn't riveting enough, the world was also treated to a love-triangle subplot worthy of a Telemundo soap opera. Miner Yonni Barrios had two women in his life, his wife and his mistress—a fact that became apparent when his mistress was caught calling out his name in grief at the mine site. It set the stage for drama: Which woman would greet Yonni should he escape from the ground unscathed, and if it was his mistress, would Yonni escape the wrath of his scorned spouse of 28 years? On Oct. 13, with the cameras rolling, the subterranean lothario finally emerged from the hole—and ran straight into the arms of his mistress. Barrios' wife took the high road and stayed home. "She's welcome to him," she told reporters.

Rob Carr / AP Photo

Christine O'Donnell

The woman who defined the Tea Party-driven midterm madness was the whole package: witchcraft, cross-breeding humans with animals, and of course, wildly nutty declarations about sex. Let's recap, shall we? On a 1996 episode of Sex in the ‘90s on MTV, the Republican candidate for Senate insisted that "Lust in your heart is committing adultery, and you can't masturbate without lust." In 1998, she wrote an article for Cultural Dissent titled " The Case for Chastity" in which she equated looking at porn with adultery: "When a married person uses pornography, or is unfaithful, it compromises not just his (or her) purity, but also compromises the spouse's purity." But even the anti-sex Wingnut won some sympathy when Gawker ran a lengthy essay written by a man who'd once almost had sex with O'Donnell, prompting calls from all sides for gossip blogs to—ha!—leave her private life alone.

Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

Al Gore, Masseuse

Somehow we had never thought of Al Gore as a " crazed sex poodle," but that's how one Oregon masseuse described him in an old police report that was unearthed in 2010. Shortly after the former VP announced in June that he and his wife Tipper were splitting, it came out that four years earlier a woman had accused him of trying to turn her innocent rubdown into a non-consensual happy ending. Those charges have gone nowhere so far, but the masseuse was reportedly shopping her story around for a cool $1 million. Here's hoping it was all an inconvenient lie, for everyone's sake.

Gregorio Borgia / AP Photo

Berlusconi's Bunga-Bunga Parties

Europe has never had trouble one-upping our quaint little American sex scandals. (Tickle fights? Please.) And this year was no different, as Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi took his personal life to spectacular new lows—and this is a septuagenarian who, in 2009, was accused of paying for sex and getting involved with a teenager. This year, the questionable behavior involved "bunga-bunga" parties, which were reportedly "a sort of underwater orgy where nude young women allegedly encircled the nude prime minister and/or his friends in his swimming pool." Obama doesn't even have a pool. But did the scandalo sink the pervy pol? Nope, he's still hanging on to power— by a thread.

Charles Dharapak / AP Photo

Don't Ask Don't Tell

The military's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy became the political football of 2010. President Obama tried to repeal it, but the Senate voted him down. Defense Secretary Robert Gates stopped enforcing it, and the troops said they didn't need it. But John McCain told the troops they were wrong, and on and on it went. The roller coaster ran right into Wednesday night, when the House voted to repeal the law. Despite this, and the public's support for a repeal, the effort will probably go nowhere in the Senate. This is the democracy they're fighting to protect?

Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Kendra Wilkinson's Sex Tape

When a sex tape features the girl next door, is it that much hotter? Kendra Wilkinson, who starred in the E! reality show The Girls Next Door, very much wanted us not to learn the answer to that question. The former Playboy model was building a new, more wholesome life for herself as a new wife (to NFL wide receiver Hank Baskett) and a new mom (to a bouncing baby boy in December 2009). So when a sex tape surfaced from deep in her raunchy past in May of this year and threatened to taint her new lease on life, she sued the porn company in possession of it. Alas, the video went public anyway, and in the end, Wilkinson seems to have made out OK, reportedly pocketing $680,000 from the tape's release, plus up to 50 percent of sales.

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Nikki Haley

Striking a blow, of sorts, for women's equality, this year South Carolina Republican gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley gained entry to one ignoble boys' club: politicians accused of extramarital skulduggery. Whether anything really happened remains sketchy. Conservative blogger Will Folks, who claims he slept with Haley in 2007 while she was married, wasn't able to produce enough hard evidence to swing popular sentiment against her. She won her election in November to become the governor-elect of South Carolina—ironically, replacing Mark Sanford, who once took his own shady walk in the woods.)

Focus Features

The Kids Are All Right

Suck it, Prop 8! In this highly acclaimed film, carefree housewife Jules (Julianne Moore) and rigid doctor Nic (Annette Bening) are a lesbian couple living in California whose children try to get in touch with their biological sperm-donor father. When the two are lying in bed one evening, Nic, attempting to inject some sizzle into their relationship, makes a proposition: "Hey, wanna watch a movie?" "A movie-movie?" asks Jules. "Yeah! We haven't done that in a while," says Nic. The couple then pops in a gay male porn flick and Jules, armed with a vibrator, goes down on Nic under the covers. Bening's performance has many Oscar pundits claiming this could be her golden year.

Adam Bettcher / Getty Images

Brett Favre

What could possess a rich and powerful man—let alone a married, 41-year-old grandfather and NFL quarterback—to text a picture of his penis? Although Brett Favre has been married to wife Deanna for 14 years and the couple has two daughters together, that didn't stop him from allegedly unleashing a barrage of dirty voicemails, text messages, and the aforementioned penis snaps upon 26-year-old former Maxim model Jenn Sterger, a sideline reporter for his then-team, the Jets. Favre admitted to sending the racy voicemails, but denied sending the obscene photos, and an NFL investigation of the entire embarrassing incident is still pending.

Getty Images

The Slut Gene

Maybe Tiger and Jesse can blame their genes? In December, researchers at Binghamton University sparked a brouhaha when they announced their findings that the gene DRD4 can be linked to a promiscuous lifestyle. The media seized on the finding and quickly dubbed DRD4 the "slut gene," though upon closer inspection, these results were more fantasy than fact, joining a pseudoscientific habit of linking a single gene with a broad behavior.

Lester Cohen, WireImage for J Records / Getty Images

John Mayer's Sexual Napalm

It's been a wacky year for John Mayer. Back in February, the singer-songwriter was labeled both a "racist" and an "asshole" when excerpts of his interview for the March issue of Playboy magazine went viral. In it, the oft-genteel Mayer said that his ex-squeeze Jessica Simpson, whom he dated from 2006 to 2007, was "a drug" and that "sexually, it was crazy" like "napalm, sexual napalm. Did you ever say, ‘I want to quit my life and just fuckin' snort you? If you charged me $10,000 to fuck you, I would start selling all my shit just to keep fucking you." Goodness. The comments turned Simpson uncharacteristically demure. "I don't want people to know how I am in bed!" she told Oprah.

20th Century Fox

Avatar's Sex Scene

"Always leave them wanting more," said Walt Disney. Little did he know that decades later, James Cameron would use his advice to sell DVDs with computer-generated sex scenes. Avatar's theatrical release did not include a scene in which Na'vi alien Neytiri gets it on with her human boyfriend because, Cameron said, he was saving it to give the film a second wind. "We had it in [the movie] and we cut it out so that will be something for the special edition DVD—if you want to see how they have sex," he said. But do we want to see that? For some people the answer is clear: Yes, we do.

AP Photo

Julian Assange

Is he sexy? A loose cannon? Can he be both? Julian Assange was already quite the controversial figure even before he was arrested and charged with "sex by surprise" in Sweden. What is sex by surprise? Even Assange's lawyer didn't know. Apparently it's when sex becomes non-consensual during the act, something that would be tougher to prosecute in most U.S. states. Assange's supporters smell a rat, but whether the WikiLeaks founder is truly being framed as part of a government plot against him is something for the inevitable future Oliver Stone biopic to decide.