I blame these two for convincing me that being a mistress is a swell idea.

After this season of Mad Men came to an end and we, once again, witnessed a whole slew of cheating, I declared to my mother that I’d rather be a mistress than a wife. As usual, there was a long pause, followed by a sigh then her questioning exactly where she went wrong in raising me. I asked her in response: “Where did you go right, woman?”

I know we can blame both Hollywood and literature for making affairs look not only deliciously scandalous, but ridiculously exciting instead of seeing it for what it really is — a betrayal. I know that I would never want to be cheated on, yet the thought of being the “other woman” for some reason is really enticing to me. Every time someone cheated on Mad Men, I screeched with joy and wondered how much longer I’d have to wait to be a mistress, too! Just think of Carrie and Big in Sex and the City! How was that not excessively exciting? The sneaking around, the secrets, the fear of getting caught at any particular moment, Natasha finding Carrie and falling down the stairs as she chased after her! All of it just seems so fantastic… unless of course, you are the wife who ends up falling on her face.

I’m not suggesting that this is something that I would ever actively pursue, but I am saying that there’s definitely something hot about it. So while I have mistresses on the brain, let’s look at 10 famous mistresses throughout history. The scandal!