At my abortion clinic we often tell patients, “Sex is designed to get you pregnant,” the corollary of which is that “Sex makes us stupid.” In our conversations with patients we are trying to acknowledge that there are universal biological imperatives going on. It’s also a way of humorously admitting that it is a human condition that those sexual urges sometimes make us take risks that we never would in a rational moment.
The bombshell that exploded in NYS Governor Eliot Spitzer’s face today that he was a client of a high priced prostitution ring, carries the same message. It’s hard to believe that this squeaky clean politician who is tough on crime, has a lovely wife and family, and had a promising politicalcareer, would blow it all over something so stupid. But, we listen to similar stories everyday.
This controversy will undoubtably bring out the worst in Puritanical America. And it won’t be just political opponents of Spitzer—or Democrats—that will be capitalizing on his sexual indiscretion. All of the “soccer moms” that were so bitter toward Bill Clinton for exposing their kids to public discussion of “blow jobs” will be outraged again.
There are other countries—in Europe, for instance, that would greet this news as not worthy of news. They think it odd that Americans are so intolerant of sex and the sexual eccentricities of our leaders. (Of course, there are other, fundamentalist countries where the woman involved would be stoned to death.)
I would love to see this latest unfortunate controversy spark a discussion about our need for sex, about sex and power, for risk taking around sex, for what that might mean about someone’s character or ability to do a job. I would like to think that such a discussion would get more people to understand that humans are sexual, sometimes against their more rational interests. And that this discussion would increase our compassion for everyone, including women who have sex, with or without their spouse, with or without birth control, and get pregnant.
But I doubt it. People are too busy pretending that other people are stupid and they have never taken risks around sex. BS! They’re just lucky.
The author has been an abortion provider for over 20years and has written on abortion politics extensively.