Does Sex Come First in Politics?

Sex and Politics

Sex and Politics

In a charmed life, the best thing going is what is happening now.Eliot Spitzer, the former governor of New York pays for a prostitute with a credit card? He must be the only public figure to do so! What was Bill Clinton thinking? Okay, he wasn’t.

By: Joel Block, Ph.D.

Mark Sanford, governor of South Carolina, when he was in congress, commented about Bill Clinton’s affair, something like this: “A politician who behaves that way should resign.” The week before Nevada senator, John Ensign, another morality watcher, took the affair bullet. We all know the drill by now, “I apologize to my wife, to my children, to my staff…”yada, yada. Maybe politicians should circulate a standard, generic speech that is usable by all.

Come on, what’s with these guys, it’s not just about the affair, it’s also about their words coming back to bite them big. There isn’t much to smile about these days but I wonder if a world wide smile takes place when one of these morality preachers takes a fall. And it’s a toss up between arrogance and stupidity. Eliot Spitzer, the former governor of New York pays for a prostitute with a credit card? He must be the only public figure to do so! What was Bill Clinton thinking? Okay, he wasn’t.

Let’s get this straight. Affairs are very common. It’s about politicians because it makes great press. The guy gets down the street gets involved? Who cares? Just his family, but he won’t be getting a call from the Today show booker. Attraction to people other than one’s mate is in. It always has been—the mere fact that there are men and women establishes attraction as a constant. However, when opportunity (politicians have a flood of women interested) and temptation intersect, there’s a greater chance for a collision. But a 5,000 mile trip to Argentina when you are supposed to be in South Carolina doing the people’s business? That’s where arrogance and sheer stupidity collide.

For me personally, while I mourn for the uninvolved partner and especially the children who are likely to be terribly embarrassed by an affair in the family, I would rather learn more about things that matter, health care, especially incentives for life style changes so that we are not such a sick country; peaceful ways of approaching global conflict so that we don’t fill our nation’s cemeteries with heroes who, we realize a few years later, (think Viet Nam) died in vain; why not some ink on the epidemic of divorce in this country and thoughts on solutions?Not salacious enough?

Gays will corrupt the concept of marriage? Maybe I missed it. When has the debate really become serious, serious enough to get behind the fear. The anti-gay marriage crowd must be kidding. Marriage is already a failing institution. Half of those married get divorced and of the remaining half, probably half of them would divorce if not for money, kids, fear, etc. The children of divorce (I was a stepchild twice) take a hit. Why not more about that in the news? In other words, what about real news that is relevant for our lives rather than the “car crash” kind of stuff that grabs our attention and, in the long run, is basically colorful junk mail.

About the Author:
Joel Block, Ph.D., is an award-winning psychologist, practicing couple and sex therapy in New York and offering couple-relationship seminars throughout the United States. Dr. Block has appeared on the Today show, Good Morning America, and CBS Morning. He lives in New York.
Visit Joel Block, Ph.D. at

His latest book book is written with Kimberly Dawn Neumann, Sex Comes First: 15 Ways to Save Your Relationship—without leaving the bedroom. Each chapter fleshes out a common couple issue and provides a two-pronged solution: mind and body. The mind approach takes a close look at the issue and offers specific solutions. The body approach involves a customized sexual experience that addresses the issue and integrates the solution. Memo to politicians (and others of the wandering eye): read chapter 10, “We’re Reeling From an Affair”. It may just be the beginning of a new start. For more information please visit

Photo: Corey Ann