Jun 102011
 
Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky (Photo by Getty Images/Photo Agency)

Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky (Photo by Getty Images/Photo Agency)

Dear politicians:

What is it with the sex scandals? I’m tired of hearing about your infidelities, closeted homosexuality, sexting, and shirtless Craigslist ad placing. To be honest, I don’t really care about politician’s sex lives. You could fuck a troupe of clowns every Tuesday and pelt nude plus-sized models with berries on your lunch breaks and as long as everyone is consenting, I couldn’t care less. The proclivities of the individual are none of my business.

But elected officials work for the public, don’t they? And are you allowed a private life? Not really. I think any elected official should assume that everything you do, including your financial dealings and your previously private sex life, will be examined by the public and discussed at length by the media. Or better yet, rather than looking like a child caught with a hand in the cookie jar, I want to see you politicians own your sexuality unashamedly. I want to hear, “Yes, that is my mistress. My wife and I have been dating her for 5 years.” or, “Yes, I am attracted to other men, but I haven’t been sure how to start dating them.” or even, “My sex life is my business, as are my agreements with my spouse.”

Mark Foley

Mark Foley

Sadly, we don’t live in that culture. There is still a very narrow view of socially acceptable sexuality, especially for politicians. It’s getting better, but slowly. Some of these “sex scandals” are barely worth the time it takes to Tweet it. I’m not sure why we’re supposed to care, but I can see that there are reasons why your sex life matters to the public.

How a person handles sex and money says a lot about their character. You elected officials hold your jobs because a whole body of people placed their trust in you. When you break trust, even in a personal matter, it betrays the faith of every person who supported you as a politician. If you will lie to and deceive your spouse, what will you do to the public? Well, unless your spouse speaks to the press, we don’t know that you were lying – but that’s the public assumption. It could be that you have an open marriage. If that’s true, you should let us know. Polyamory is way better than dishonesty.

My concerns with these sex scandals involve honesty and the abuse of power. If you are, in fact, fucking prostitutes every chance you get, admit it gracefully. Denial looks suspicious at first and downright stupid in the face of incriminating evidence. You know the media is going to ferret out the truth. Just be honest. But abusing your power and privilege is just wrong. I can’t forgive that. For example, if I am a congressional page or an intern and you are a congressman or the President of the fucking country, and you express sexual interest in me, I am going to be impressed by how powerful you are. I may be fearful to reject your advances. I might feel really turned on by the risks. I could be weighing the potential outcomes. Maybe you don’t really give me a chance to say yes or no, you just seize the moment. However it turns out, it’s an imbalance of power. I wouldn’t truly be able to give real consent. That makes your advances wrong.

John Edwards/Rielle Hunter

John Edwards/Rielle Hunter

Lots of presidents have had affairs while in office. And obviously many other elected officials get involved in illicit pleasures. Are your numerous sex scandals merely indicative of what happens in the general populace or is there something about power that drives you mad with lust? Are we looking at our own lives through the microscope lens of your lapses? Pointing fingers so no one looks too closely at what we do behind closed doors? Or is this a malady that infects the elected?

I’m going to share with you a little tip that I often use myself. It may save your ass and save us all another sensationalized headline. Here it is: the next time you find yourself about do anything sexual, ask yourself, “How would a picture of this look on my blog?” If you wouldn’t post a picture on your blog, don’t do it! Otherwise, I’m looking forward to seeing some real images of your sex life.

Respectfully,

Evoë