The REAL (And Unfortunate) Reason Dads Go After The Nanny

Photo: weheartit

Bottom line: Nothing good can come from boinking the nanny.

By Korin Miller

If you’ve been anywhere near a tabloid recently, you may have heard about Ben Affleck’s alleged affair with his kids’ nanny, Christine Ouzounian.

If not, here’s a recap: Multiple sources told People and other celeb mags that Ben and Christine started to have an affair last spring, just a few months after the 28-year-old started nannying for his kids. (Ben’s rep has denied the reports.)

She was even on Ben’s vacation with his estranged wife, Jennifer Garner, in the Bahamas, which coincided with the former power couple’s divorce announcement.

Sources stress that the affair didn’t happen while Ben and Jennifer were still together. Regardless, Jennifer was reportedly “livid” when she found out about the affair—and they say she fired Christine.​

These reports still haven't been 100 percent verified, but having an affair with the nanny is nothing new for men in power. Jude Law made headlines in 2005 when it was revealed that he was sleeping with his nanny while he was engaged to Sienna Miller, and Arnold Schwarzenegger admitted in 2011 that he had fathered a son with his children’s nanny.

Ethan Hawke and Robin Williams both married their kids’ former nannies, as well.

What’s going on here?

“There are a lot of moving parts to this,” says licensed clinical psychologist Ramani Durvasula, Ph.D.

The power differential is huge, she says: Dads who go after the nanny tend to be a little, er, ego-centric, and getting an employee into bed is a turn-on for them that further underscores they’re the one in charge.

“Powerful men have certain traits that predispose them to certain women, particularly younger women,” she says. “They’re also often narcissistic and want everything in life to be a certain way.”

There may even be a subconscious psychological link to fertility, too, says Durvasula. Children imply fertility, and a person who is with your children has a certain “fertility association.” Since fertility is a sexualized space, it can make a caregiver seem hotter than the average person.

Speaking of the whole caregiver thing, powerful men are often guarded, but when they’re around their kids, they usually open up, says Durvasula. And since the nanny is there when the kids are there, it allows for an intimacy and trust that a lot of outsiders aren’t exposed to.

And of course, there’s a lot of proximity. For a lot of famous couples, the nanny is always around and may even live there. If a powerful man is interested in having an affair, it almost makes sense to do it with the person who is already accessible.

There are more obvious explanations, too: For one thing, there’s a sexual fantasy at play, says clinical psychologist John Mayer, Ph.D. “The babysitter fantasy is as common as the French maid or waitress fantasy,” he says.

The porn-ification of babysitters happens because they’re subordinate and in a service position, says Durvasula, which makes men of power think they’re fair game. They also tend to be young and have very little power, making them even more appealing. “It’s an old motif that ‘domestic’ workers are open season for the so-called ‘masters,’” says Durvasula. “That sort of rape culture of subordination has been around for a long time.” 

Emotional maturity makes the difference between a man fantasizing about a babysitter and actually doing something about it, says Mayer. Celebrity men in particular may be more inclined to have affairs with the nanny because they’re often emotionally immature due to their sheltered lifestyle and may not think things through before diving in, says Mayer.

But while the idea of getting down with the nanny may seem hot to some powerful men, Durvasula says it’s a really, really bad idea. Not only will it destroy a relationship, it also obviously impacts the children—and not for the better.

“The kids watch their parents’ marriage fall apart, and unless they’re under the age of 2, they’re going to connect the dots,” she says. “That can cause trust issues over time.”

Bottom line: Nothing good can come from boinking the nanny.

This article was originally published at Women's Health. Reprinted with permission from the author.


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