The women of James Bond, commonly known as "Bond Girls", are essentially 007's own private harem. He doesn't phone them very often and he tends to lose track of them all. Quite often they die and he moves on to the next woman.
Indeed, James Bond has only ever once been married. During the movie "On Her Majesty's Secret Service", Bond finally got married near the end of the movie (to Teresa Di Vicenzo played by Diana Rigg). His blushing bride was then killed, making it the only Bond girl who died a "Bond virgin" (she never actually slept with him). Instead she dies tragically in his arms.
(Actually, there is a second example of when Bond got married: To "Kissy Suzuki" in "You Only Live Twice". This example is often ignored because it was a fake/arranged wedding in order for 007 to pass unnoticed near the enemy hideout.)
Sean Connery was originally slated to play Bond in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" in 1969, but Connery turned down the role because he didn't like the ending where she dies. Connery wanted a "happy ending". So they found a different actor: George Lazenby. Lazenby cries at the end of the movie when his wife dies. Connery later returns to play Bond in "Diamonds are Forever" in 1971 and also "Never Say Never Again" in 1983.
In a later movie Bond (played by Roger Moore) is visiting Teresa Bond's gravesite when he is tracked down by his wife's killer Blofeld. Blofeld tries to kill him using an elaborate remote control helicopter. Bond ends up turning the tables and killing Blofeld during the opening sequence. This shows that the moviemakers have decided to come back to this idea of "Teresa Bond" again and again, so that the audience has a better understanding of Bond's motivations.
In "License to Kill" the reference to the death is 007's wife is made obvious when Bond (played by Timothy Dalton) quits the secret service in order to track down the people who killed Felix Lighter's wife. Bond seeks revenge, not just for his friend, but for his own wife who was murdered.
Ever since that movie, and much more obvious in the movies of Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan, we have seen a change in James Bond. Before it was just 'Bond saves the girl, they live happily ever-after until the next movie'. In the newer movies we see motivation and drive behind WHY he must save the girl, why he is driven to sleep with many women and never commit to any of them... because his wife is dead.
Bond will never marry again. He will never find "true love" again. Instead he has become obsessed with his work, never taking holidays, drinking heavily and "slutting" himself around the world with many different women. All the while, you eventually have to wonder: Does he wear protection?
No, I'm not talking the Walther PPK or the new Walther either. I'm talking condoms. Who knows what kind of sexually transmitted diseases he SHOULD have exposed himself to by now. With names like "Pussy Galore" its amazing he doesn't have at LEAST genital herpes!
Next we have the expensive sports cars. The Aston Martin, the Lotus, the BMW Z3, and even (very briefly) a 1957 Chevy. These are all cars with "sex appeal" (and huge, powerful engines that drink a lot of gasoline). The BMW Z3 for example was designed specifically for women, and 73% of BMW sales are to women. The Aston Martin, and its various sub-brands, are widely considered to be "the Best Cars in the World"... and that is not the company talking, but the driving enthusiasts who actually test drive cars of every brand available.
Of course, the Aston Martin is also not in the price range of the average driver. Even the older/used cars are expensive.
Men like gadgets, that much is true. We are attracted to shiny objects (strange how simple our brains work sometimes). Its only natural that men are therefore attracted to shiny cars, shiny guns, and a various assortment of shiny objects. Its not complicated. Men are fairly straightforward in their thinking, usually.
There is also the 'wealth attracts women' factor. This is where it gets a bit complicated. The car is the bait to attract a female. A really nice car can go a long way to attracting a "not very bright" female. The reason why I say "not very bright" is because a smarter woman would know better than to just look at a male's car. After all, he could be bald (like Timothy Dalton eventually became) or fat or just plain ugly or a jerk or an asshole or just plain "not her type".
So the car is really just bait. Whether she sticks around is a whole different factor.
In James Bond's case, it would appear they eventually leave him... or he leaves them, for whatever reason. In Bond's case its his unwillingness to commit to anyone except his dead wife.
Lets take a quick look at the list of Bond girl's who he's left behind, whether they're dead or alive, and what actress played them:
Teresa Bond/Teresa Di Vicenzo : Diana Rigg (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
Special Note: Bond sleeps with 7 different women in one night during this movie. The only "Bond Girl" he doesn't have sex with is the one he ends up marrying.
You may also notice that there are essentially three categories of "Bond Girls"... the good ones who die, the good ones who live, and the bad ones that die (the so-called "Femme Fatales").
You'll also note that the only black Bond Girl who didn't die in the movie was Halle Berry. Rosie Carver is shot by her druglord boss, and May Day (Grace Jones) dies in "A View to a Kill" when she sacrifices herself to save 007. Jinx (Halle Berry) is the only black Bond Girl to ever live to see the end of the movie.
Ian Fleming is considered by many to have been a racist (with a strong preference towards blond women) because he disliked blacks and Asians. If you ever read the book "Dr No" this will become obvious. The book uses a "mixed breed" of blacks and Asians as the henchmen of Dr No, and Ian Fleming deliberately implies that they are somehow inferior. The book is considered outright racist by today's standards.
"Dr No" in general is a horrible book. Bond is constantly judging others, complaining about Honey Ryder's bad teeth and all the while acting superior to everything in sight. The book is just sheer bad taste on Ian Fleming's part. Its amazing it was made into a movie.
Before he died, Ian Fleming had managed to build up quite a few rumours about himself. He claimed that he always tested out his own stunts, so that anything that made it into his books has really been done. Not true. He just said that to sell books. The stunts in the movies have no basis on the books either. Most of the stunts in the movies aren't even in the books.
While it is true that Ian Fleming was a British agent during WWII and briefly afterwards, what you don't hear about is that he wasn't a particularly good one. He romanticized about his role as an agent. He made up the books with little or no basis on his real life. Most of his books are just plain garbage, trying to make himself appear better.
In essence, he was a narcissist. A self-style player of women and an egomaniac with a superiority complex.
But that is Ian Fleming. The guy was a complete asshole.
And what does that say about James Bond?
Well, if you watch the earliest movies with Sean Connery, 007 is practically a rapist and a wife-beater.
The more recent movies with Pierce Brosnan portray Bond as the "reluctant seducer/widower/expert agent".
From rapist to widower, 007 has changed quite a bit over the years. And we are about to see some more changes: In 2006 United Artists is coming out with "Casino Royale", which will show James Bond when he was younger, show how he became 007, and possibly even a remake of how Teresa Bond dies. The movie uses the same title as the farce/parody "Casino Royale" from the 1960s, but that is where the similarities end. In the original Casino Royale 007 dies at the end of the movie. In this new version, it will be just the beginning of his career. Furthermore, we will get to see, more so than any previous movie, just what makes James Bond tick.
The new James Bond will be played by Daniel Craig.
After Casino Royale is finished, United Artists says it plans to resume making movies with Pierce Brosnan, who is eager to keep making 007 movies. They couldn't cast Brosnan in this latest movie simply because he's too old to play a young James Bond.
UPDATED NOVEMBER 2006: Casino Royale is out and it is fabulous. Most of my predictions were accurate too, except instead of Teresa Bond dying at the end it is Vesper Lynd who dies. Read more about it here.