Twenty-nine percent of ordinary Americans have had sex on a first date, and about as many have had an “unexpected sexual encounter with someone new.” Among people who are married or living in a committed relationship (or formerly married), sixteen percent have cheated on their partner (nearly twice as many men as women) — while more, thirty percent, have fantasized about it.
Twenty-seven percent of Americans who reported being happy in marriage admitted to having an affair.
Ordinary Americans are pikers.
Voice of America reports that “When U.S. businessman Herman Cain suspended his campaign [Saturday] for the Republican presidential nomination following allegations of sexual harassment and a lengthy extramarital affair, he joined a long list of U.S. presidents and presidential contenders whose personal lives have attracted scrutiny.”
The long list is pretty much all of them.
Bill Clinton, John Edwards, Dwight Eisenhower, Newt Gingrich, James Garfield, Warren Harding, Gary Hart, John F. Kennedy, Thomas Jefferson, Lyndon Johnson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Then there are the Mark Sanfords, Arnold Schwarzeneggers, Eliot Spitzers, Anthony Weiners. Apparently about 97.7 percent of American presidents and 110 percent of American presidential candidates.
What did we expect? From the Victorians through Viet Nam, public morality did inhibit any open acknowledgment of sexuality but things have (sort of) changed. Most American homes today probably have copies of Playboy and Fanny Hill and the Joy of Sex but the owners still keep them out of sight. On the other hand, a couple generations of soap operas have been hotbeds of in-your-face adultery. They reflected American life or at least American political life.
Now we tell ourselves stories — stories about how prim we are and how licentious our neighbors are — and those stories hurt us.
Countries with an ultraconservative attitude towards sex and sex education like the U.S. have a higher incidence of sexually transmitted diseases and teenage pregnancy.
I have some simple advice for these people in public life:
Grow a pair!
You’d like We the People to believe you are King of the Bedroom or at least the oval rug but you can’t even stand up for your bigger self when your littler self gets caught standing up.
Here’s the answer. When the admittedly brain dead reporter asks, “Did you really have sex with three women, and a goat?” tell the truth.
“Yep. What’s it to you?”
About the only follow up to that is, “Was it good for the goat?”
Actually, a decent reporter should ask the spouse to comment. It would be a good teaching moment for relationship building. Maybe for polyamory. Or at least for truth in advertising.