It seems that every time I read the news, I see reports highlighting another American politician’s sexual indiscretions. It would seem that Ex-President Clinton’s alleged affair with Monica Lewinsky was just the “tip of the iceberg”, or should I say “tip of the cigar”? You may have also recently heard the reports of: Bob Filner – San Diego’s Mayor being accused of sexual harassment, Eliot Spitzer’s alleged prostitution scandal, and Anthony Weiner’s supposed sex-ting addiction. I’m sure there’s more to add to this list, but it begs the question, what is going on?
Firstly, I think it is important to address the implicit expectation that society holds for politicians to live up to some perfect moral code reflected by “God” and/or the “American dream”. Accordingly, you are supposed to work hard, get married, have children, be faithful to your spouse and bosses, own a nice house, pay your taxes, and be honest.
I’ve heard several people say that they expect the needs of the people to be represented by upstanding and ethical politicians. That sounds like a reasonable request. But, short of administering a full battery of psychological tests and a moment-to-moment life review of potential office holders, is it realistic to expect such perfection? Either answer is okay.
There’s definitely an unexpressed human deviant side that can eke out in people’s sexual behaviors. People can get addicted to sex, or any part of the sexual act, just as they get addicted to chocolate chunk ice cream, or their favorite foods. Such indiscretions are apparently not exclusive to men, either. Years ago, I was a manager of a business that served the general public. One of my cashiers was a married woman with a husband and small children. Occasionally, she would spontaneously ask me to cover for her, so she could go run errands during the day. Later on, she admitted to me that she was running off to have quickies with male customers she had just met. She told me that her husband could never find out, and that she was hooked to the thrill of engaging in this behavior. She seemed like such a sweet, religious, and devoted wife that I was floored by her declaration!
But then again, we are sexual beings with sexual desires. If you are on a spiritual path, “what is healthy sexual behavior?” is a powerful inquiry. I’ve noticed that sexual misconduct to me, may be considered a healthy expression of love to another. My most recent answer to this inquiry is that if I break any relationship agreements, harm myself or others emotionally, mentally, or physically by my sexual behavior, this is sexual misconduct.
As a society, we are participating in a mass shadow or unwillingness to look honestly at how hidden internal human pain is manifesting itself in the myriad of exemplified sexual misconduct, which spans way beyond elicit flings. I met a young woman in college with a host of psychological problems, who described her father taking turns having sex with her and her siblings growing up. I know another woman who was raped daily by her brother under the same roof with her parents – the same parents who ignored her pleas for help. I know a man who was raped by his priest as a child. The fact that a few politicians are screwing around is nothing compared to what is actually going on behind many closed doors in our society.
So, what is the answer? I don’t know. But, I intuitively feel that we need to demystify and stop making sex and the human body bad or wrong. It seems possible that our younger generation is attempting to pull us out of this imbalanced place by showing off their cleavage, butt cracks, bellies, piercings, and tattoos.
I can’t help but wonder what it is going to take for people to stop pointing fingers at everyone else’s unacceptable behavior and start looking honestly at themselves? What are you addicted to? Do you engage in some kind of unhealthy behavior to get thrills? Is there a wound inside your heart that needs healing? What are you unwilling to address about yourself or others in your household? Have you ever cheated, either on yourself, someone else, or your taxes? Do you deny your sexual attractions? Do you have compassion for other people stuck in painful addictive patterns, or are you judging them harshly? Do you judge others to feed your ego and feel better about yourself? I am not attacking anyone here, because we are all human beings and we all have weaknesses and strengths. This is just an opportunity for honest self-reflection.
It may be that the same charisma and persistence that fuels someone into political office, when mixed with unhealed inner turmoil, can manifest itself in unhealthy sexual behavior??
I don’t know all of the answers to our sexual deviancy dilemma, and I am not saying that sexual misconduct is appropriate. I’ve been on the receiving end of unfaithfulness and know how devastatingly painful it can be. What I am saying is that each one of us has to muster up the courage to heal ourselves, before we can expect others to heal.