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Sex and Political Isolation

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Republican Senator from Louisiana, David Vitter, is one in a long line of politicians exposed for extramarital misconduct. Before the ink was dry on his political obituary, another was being written. Florida legislator Bob Allen (R) allegedly offered to perform oral sex on an undercover cop for the paltry sum of $20.

The last public restroom flap was former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey, who revealed he frequented rest stops on the New Jersey Turnpike for sex with strangers. That was followed by news of an affair with a longtime male staffer and the declaration McGreevey was a “Gay American.” Presidents Kennedy and Clinton were notorious for their sexual naughtiness. Speaker Gingrich resigned. His replacement, Bob Livingston, never made it to the big chair. Gary Hart lost his bid for the presidency after a little monkey business. Former Senator Bob Packwood had a reputation for chasing the ladies around his desk. Mayors Gavin Newsom and Antonio Villaraigosa issued apologies for their infidelities. They are not unique among their colleagues in the political class.

The most remarkable fact: their wives coolly suggest the men alone are to blame. The countless divorces, the budding careers ending in a plane ticket home, and dumpster diving are now disturbingly commonplace.

Sexual misconduct, infidelity, and deviancy inside the Beltway is almost pedestrian. Democrat offenders are commended, even congratulated for being virile enough to have a sexual exploit. Their pro-abortion, cradle-to-grave socialist approach leaves great latitude. They are rewarded for cold, emotionless, convenient sex. Republicans are drawn and quartered for their hypocrisy. Their advocacy for abstinence draws the bullseye. Their adamant opposition to gay marriage while being busted for soliciting gay sex turns on the klieg lights. Porn purveyor Larry Flynt finds pleasure in destroying these men, their marriages, and families.

Our society has evolved past the hushed tones where offers of sex and compromised careers were quietly negotiated away. Now, there are staffers, wives, and consultants attempting to decipher the telephone records of the DC Madam, Deborah Jeane Palfrey. No doubt opposition researchers are masturbating over the gold they will find. I keep thinking there must be more to the story. There must be something driving these men out of the arms of their wives and mistresses. And into the arms of call girls and hookers. Into the parking lots of highway rest stops.

The isolation of being a politician, a very high profile consultant, or a religious figure like Ted Haggard seems to breed not just hypocrisy but a need for sexual experiences that equal the "high" of their professional success. It is unsurprising that men so driven and ambitious have a hunger for intense, sexual satisfaction. Prostitution is a business of supply and demand. Call me impolitic, but wives forsaking their marital duties should expect their husbands to seek new lovers. Punishing a man by withholding sexual congress has never won any hearts, minds, or votes. The wives should remember they were once passionate creatures with sexual needs and desires of their own. Those longings for release do not disappear; they are merely masked by pride.

Setting aside an hour or two, a few times a week, would prevent many of these bimbo eruptions. For any red-blooded man, or woman, to go without an orgasm day after day, is a recipe for disaster. Love between husband and wife does not evaporate in an instant, it melts away a little at a time. Scheduling is the bread and butter of public service. As a wife relinquishes her claim on her husband’s body, their sacred connection slips away. Intimacy, and the very body, should be considered territory worth protecting. Campaigns bring distance and demands for fundraising calls. And practicing speeches. Photo opportunities.

Instead of nodding politely, each wife should whisper secrets breathlessly into her husband's ear, just as he takes the stage. Maintain the connection. Cede no ground to hungry political aides and advisers. Staff always needs just a few more minutes from the candidate. A few minutes turns into hours and passion is left amid the confetti, or in the arms of an eager young woman. Wives have as much responsibility to their political marriage as their husbands. The isolation of political figures begins with gatekeepers, and as gatekeepers take more and more territory, loneliness and paranoia set in.

Our counterparts in the European Union are certainly more liberal when it comes to sex, marriage, and sexuality. The European Union Commission released a 45-second advertisement, provocatively titled “Let’s Come Together” on EUTube. The ad features moments, spliced together from many European films, of sexual climax – where two consenting adults are at their most intimate, most vulnerable. Yes, it is officially sanctioned by the EU27 to promote European filmmaking. I believe they could have left off any mention of cinema and utilized the advertisement for promotion of the troubled EU Constitution. Let’s come together should be a refrain ringing out in every marital bed. I found the openness refreshing, especially as it emanated from an official governmental body.

With David Vitter in the moral cross-hairs, I wonder if his wife had spent more time focused on mutual satisfaction than threatening the essence of his masculinity, where they would be. Vitter, like many of us, enjoyed the thrill of not being caught. Sex became his vice. Now that he is caught, there is no time for headaches. Political careers should not be thrust into the trash heap over sex. Whether it is sex or making love or something rough and indescribable, the act itself is natural. It is the most natural, most honest communication between two people.

Reckless sexual behaviors, however common, are not acts against the state. With round the clock news, the blogosphere, and YouTube, it is time to re-evaluate our environment. We all live in glass houses now.

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About Media Lizzy

  • Alec

    Media Lizzy – I just can’t buy the idea that lonely politicians are some kind of victim, and totally reject the idea that the politician’s wives are somehow to blame for not being accessible or understanding or loving. This easy explanation certainly falls apart with the case of McGreevey, who certainly wasn’t turned gay by his wife.

    The problem with Republican politicians is not just that they are hypocrites, but that they are so ironically hoisted by their own petards. Too often they accuse their political opponents of engaging in immoral behavior, and pass themselves off as a spiffy clean alternative. Worse, once in Congress they then seek to pass laws to criminalize the very behavior in which they themselves so pleasurably indulge. It is simply unacceptable that these clowns would seek to have others thrown in prison or denied jobs or a place to live while they play the “found God and am now forgiven” card.

    The further irony is that people like Bob Allen and Jim McGreevey are undone precisely because they so stubbornly cling to their hypocrisy, since they believe that they must do so in order to have a life in politics. Had these two lived their lives as openly gay men, they would have been free to form whatever relationships they found fulfilling. Instead, as a closeted gay man, Bob Allen could not easily go to gay bars or other gay friendly social venues and seek a consensual encounter, and so ended up pathetically buying sex.

    People are re-investigating claims that David Vitter was going to prostitutes in the 90s, before he entered politics, so again the theory of the loneliness of the Washington politician may not hold water. There is strong evidence that he had a long term relationship with a New Orleans prostitute after he entered public office, and apparently had enough energy left over to keep his wife happy. And of course, there is the irony of his wife having heaped scorn on Hillary Clinton for staying with Bill.

    It is interesting that some people now want to use European politicians as examples, especially when some pundits had previously written about how American politicians were more moral than more decidedly secular and socialist godless Europeans. Especially the French.

    But many jaded and cynical Europeans simply cannot understand why Americans simplistically insist that a politician’s sexual life can be easily reduced to some idealistic paradigm. We have the example, of France’s president Mitterand, whose wife and mistress both attended his funeral, and whose illegitimate daughter is his literary executor, and not his apparently less intellectually gifted, but legitimate, sons.

    And we have the example of England’s Prince Charles, shown deference and respect despite keeping Camilla as his mistress after his marriage to Diana.

    Maybe the Bible can be a guide here. Let’s see. David remains king despite his adultery with Bathsheba, and a later son with her, Solomon, becomes the model of a wise king. Oh, well.

  • moonraven

    I just want to know why Bob Allen was going to charge 20 bucks to the cop, when he gave both Jeb and GW blow jobs for free?

    And you fools claim to live in a classless society….

  • http://www.medializzy.com Media Lizzy

    Alec –
    Thanks for the comment. And for most Republicans or “conservatives” – your arguments would be points well taken. But applying the broad brush to me, is not as easy as you might expect.

    For starters: there are two people in every marriage and both have equal responsibility for keeping it healthy, and ending it once it becomes – as Prince Charles once said – “irretrievably broken down.” Whether in or out of public life, that is a universal truth accepted by both parties when they take their vows.

    As for the McGreevey marriage, his wife should have recognized that the absence of sex, or irregularity – since they have a young child – was about more than political distance. I did not insinuate that she turned him gay, rather I point out she ignored the problems instead of dealing with them.

    Your supposition that I have ever criticized Europeans, or the French specifically, is totally inaccurate. I am not a “Freedom Fries” supporter. Their candid approach to governance, sex, marriage – is completely fascinating. Their cultural acceptance of sex as a natural occurrance is very healthy, in my opinion. Our nation has chosen to place sex on the bottom shelf in a brown paper bag, especially when it comes to our political leaders. At the same time, our nation has a billion dollar porn industry. My point, Alec, is that stripping away the stigma would be healthy.

    I’m very familiar with Mazarine Pingeot, Mitterand’s daughter. She is a brilliant writer, as is her cousin, Frédéric Mitterand. I do not believe it was necessary to protect his young daughter from the prying eyes of the press but once she came of age, the truth was revealed. Whatever public reaction he originally feared was very minimal.

    Simply put, politicians and their families are human beings. Instead of demonizing David Vitter as a “demon” – or threatening him publicly, as his wife did by comparingherself to Lorena Bobbitt – I think Vitter should be afforded some latitude. Who among us is without sin?

  • http://www.medializzy.com Media Lizzy

    Moonraven:

    Re-read the last sentence of the first paragraph. I state there is a political class. Of course we live in a class-based society, that is “An Inconvenient Truth.”

  • Alec

    RE: I just want to know why Bob Allen was going to charge 20 bucks to the cop, when he gave both Jeb and GW blow jobs for free?

    It just gets more ironic by the minute. There seems to be something reckless and compulsive in the behavior of people like Bob Allen. For example, according to news reports:

    “Titusville police were at Veteran’s Memorial Park on East Broad Street on a burglary detail when they noticed an unshaven man acting suspicious, going in and out of the restroom three times, said Lt. Todd Hutchinson.

    An undercover officer decided to go into one of the bathroom stalls, Hutchinson said. Moments later, Allen knocked on the stall door and offered to perform oral sex on the officer for $20, according to the police spokesman.”

    Allen’s behavior almost guaranteed that he would be caught.

    And when we spin the wheel of right wing hypocrites, we find that Allen had sponsored a failed bill in the Florida legislature to tighten the state’s prohibition on public sex (Florida House Bill #1475, the “Lewd and Lascivious Behavior Act” which would have made public masturbation in the presence of another adult illegal, regardless of whether the other adult consented or not).

    Media Lizzy – RE: Thanks for the comment. And for most Republicans or “conservatives” – your arguments would be points well taken. But applying the broad brush to me, is not as easy as you might expect.

    Actually, I was responding to the implications of your argument for my own benefit and for the benefit of other readers of your post here. I wasn’t applying much of any brush to you at all.

    However, I am not sure whether your assertions about responsibility and marriage are romantic notions or what, but either way I am not sure that they get to the heart of the matter.

    In the case of McGreevey and others, I don’t see how a closeted gay man who does not acknowledge that his strongest emotional, romantic and sexual attachments may be for other men can withhold this information from his wife and have a healthy marriage, or give her a realistic expectation of being able to fight to keep it healthy.

    Similarly, there has been some reporting that Prince Charles expected to be able to continue to see Camilla after marrying Diana, so what exactly did his marriage vows mean if he expected Diana to go with the flow and quietly accept this prior arrangement?

    RE: As for the McGreevey marriage, his wife should have recognized that the absence of sex, or irregularity – since they have a young child – was about more than political distance. I did not insinuate that she turned him gay, rather I point out she ignored the problems instead of dealing with them.

    I don’t think that your or I or anyone else can speak to what McGreevey’s wife “should have recognized.” Nor do I think that your or I can speak to what she knew or ignored, and I certainly don’t think that there is any simple answer about how she could have dealt with their “problems.”

    I agree with what you wrote about Mitterand, and think it was very well said.

    RE: Simply put, politicians and their families are human beings. Instead of demonizing David Vitter as a “demon” – or threatening him publicly, as his wife did by comparing herself to Lorena Bobbitt – I think Vitter should be afforded some latitude. Who among us is without sin?

    I don’t view Vitter as a demon. He is a hypocrite and a fool. My problem with him is that he has sponsored laws that would imprison people for the same pleasures that he has enjoyed. I think that he is a hypocrite and a fool for bashing Clinton for immorality, when he was practicing similar behavior himself. As a private citizen, he can say and do whatever he wants. But he cannot take the moral high ground when he knows that he is engaging in the same conduct that he condemns in others. Nor can he wave a magic wand of forgiveness for his sins as a handy escape clause. While I think that it might be fine and dandy that his constituents forgive Vitter for his moral lapses if they share his religious values and outlook, this is separate from whether they should, as citizens, keep him in office. It is totally wrong for Vitter to say, “My wife, my minister and God have all forgiven me, so let’s just let bygones be bygones.” God does not vote.

    RE: Who among us is without sin?

    This is a valid question about a person’s private and social life, but has nothing to do with deciding whether a politician deserves to stay in office.

  • Baronius

    What is the gay fascination with public restrooms? They’re the most disgusting places in the world. There’s a sense of debasement about it.

    I appreciate a lot of this article, but I don’t know that the wives in these stories have been at fault. That can happen, of course. A lot of politicians have beautiful first wives that they divorced after a few years in Washington, while their second wives are Beltway political types. How much is the first wife to blame for the failed marriage? I don’t know. But a husband who cheats IS at fault.

    The European “sophistication” about sexual matters is nothing to aspire to. Sexual behavior says something about character, and there’s nothing wrong with expecting political leaders to display character.

  • Baronius

    “God does not vote.

    Vitter is a Catholic. He believes that he can recieve God’s forgiveness in confession.

  • zingzing

    baronius: “What is the gay fascination with public restrooms?”

    are you saying you’ve never done it in a public restroom? granted, some of them are too disgusting to fuck in. some arent. i highly suggest the “family” restroom in the detroit airports. very clean. lots of counter space.

  • Alec

    Baronius – re: How much is the first wife to blame for the failed marriage? I don’t know. But a husband who cheats IS at fault.

    The more I read stuff like this, the more that I am convinced that trying to reduce a failed marriage down to fault and blame is a total waste of time, especially since none of us know the details of the intimate lives of the people involved. This kind of gossipmongering ignores that only valid questions related to this, which is the political issues, NOT the personal ones.

    RE: The European “sophistication” about sexual matters is nothing to aspire to. Sexual behavior says something about character, and there’s nothing wrong with expecting political leaders to display character.

    Political character and sexual conduct are not always the same thing. I don’t know why people continue to insist that this should be the case, when there are no many examples in American history that contradict this false assumption that political leaders have to be sexual saints.

    When Grover Cleveland ran for mayor in 1881, one newspaper said that it was endorsing him for three reasons: “1. He is honest. 2. He is honest. 3. He is honest.”

    When he later ran for president, his opponent, James Blaine tried to smear Cleveland as being immoral for fathering a child out of wedlock with the campaign slogan “Ma, Ma, Where’s my Pa?” When Cleveland won, his supporters amended the intended slur to say “Ma, Ma, Where’s my Pa? He’s gone to the White House, HA, HA, HA!” Blaine was a family man, but was undone by charges that he was politically corrupt and an anti-Catholic bigot.

    RE: [God does not vote.] Vitter is a Catholic. He believes that he can recieve God’s forgiveness in confession.

    While he may have God’s forgiveness, this does not let him off the hook with voters. It is also interesting that previously Vitter’s wife had notoriously suggested that forgiveness would not be sufficient, comparing what her reaction would be to Hillary Clinton apparently accepting Bill’s infidelity. Strangely, Mrs Vitter doesn’t seem to talk so tough now.

    RE: are you saying you’ve never done it in a public restroom? granted, some of them are too disgusting to fuck in. some arent. i highly suggest the “family” restroom in the detroit airports. very clean. lots of counter space.

    I will be waiting to see some Republican candidate praise the joy of public restroom sex as part of a family values campaign.

  • http://www.myspace.com/tequila_d_amour gette

    Why are the wives of politicians responsible for their husbands’ behavior? Can’t these male politicians be responsible for their own choices? Their own inability to stick to their marital vows?

    Women are NOT responsible for the morality of other people, other than themselves.

  • moonraven

    Marriages fail because:

    1. Marriage is a medieval concept. In a post-industrial age society we don’t need to produce 14 children–7 of which are supposed to die and 7 of which are to work the field. Get real.

    2. Marriage brings out the WORST in people–all the nasty bits such as leaving the seat up, dropping socks on the floor, watching tv, fishing–these don’t occur until the contract is in place.

  • Zedd

    ML,

    Since you don’t know what sort of sex life these people have/had at home, your article is pointless don’t you think?

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