His Lips Unzipped: Governor Spitzer’s Sexcapades

By Martin Brown

You understand men, certainly better than I do. What’s with these guys and their sexual proclivities. Governor Spitzer’s sexcapades with a string of high-priced hookers is just the latest male sex scandal to rock our world of politics. From Bill Clinton to Bob Livingston, from Wilbur Mills to Gary Hart, not to mention the gay goings-on of Republicans. Mark Foley’s boy lust and  Senator Larry Craig’s men’s room mischief. And of course before Spitzer there was a repentant Senator David Vitter of Louisiana who was dialing for prostitutes through the kind services of the “DC madam.” Has anyone noticed that none of these scandals have involved women serving in high office? With 86 women serving in Congress and 16 in the Senate it’s not as if they don’t have the opportunity. Why do men keep getting their careers caught in their zippers? —Curious in Covington, Kentucky

There’s no denying that men in high and low places have a penchant for wandering eyes.

Apparently Elliot Spitzer’s late night booty calls were not spur of the moment occurrences, but rather well planned, not to mention well financed, liaisons. In the coming days, more information will undoubtedly be revealed, but this is clearly one more case of “men behaving badly.”

Now if you’re a regular visitor to my column, you know that I have not come to the defense of men’s wandering eyes, hands, and other misbehaving body parts. In fact in a recent column I had no problem comparing my fellow men to bonobos, the most human-like of all the great apes.

Also the horniest.

Spitzer’s behavior is admittedly that of a bad, very bad boy. For which perhaps he enjoyed being spanked by his five thousand dollar femme du jour. This all adds credence to the theory that women have lustful imaginations but are far better at controlling their fantasies than many men.

As for men in high elected office, the call of power and the lure of the wild can for some be a toxic mix. You would have to reason that men like Spitzer, Vitter, Clinton—hell Larry Craig for that matter—are somewhat removed from reality. The rest of us, both male and female, are thinking, “Aren’t these guys aware that they live in a fish bowl?” But for some unknown reason, that either doesn’t occur to them or it somehow doesn’t register distinctly in their apparently sex-crazed minds.

Senator Gary Hart famously told reporters that if they thought he was having an extra-marital affair, they should “put a tail on him.” Two enterprising reporters with the Miami Herald took up the challenge and were outside Harte’s Washington apartment when would-be actress Donna Rice slipped away into the night. Hart’s 20 percentage-point lead in the1988 presidential race dissolved in moments when a photo appeared of the married senator with his sexy girlfriend cuddled-up on his lap, posing next to a luxury yacht that, to the nation’s astonished eyes, was named the Monkey Business. To this day it is unknown whether his supporters deserted him for his loose morals or his shocking lack of common sense in challenging reporters to follow him if they thought he was having an affair.

In San Francisco, former mayor Willie Brown once observed of his predecessor George Moscone: “The problem with George was after he had a couple of drinks, he thought he was invisible.” Mayor Moscone’s habit of flirting and picking up women might have been his political undoing.  But his life ended abruptly in November of 1978 when he was shot and killed by former city supervisor Dan White, who moments later also murdered city supervisor Harvey Milk, America’s first openly-gay man elected to, as Time then stated, “a substantial office.”

But I digress. Spitzer continues that grand tradition of male politicians who not only have a penchant for sexual indiscretions but for some reason think, as Brown said of Moscone, that they are “invisible.”

I can’t speak for women, but most men still blessed with vision and testosterone stop and think when a beautiful women crosses their path, “What if….” then have the good sense to rein themselves in.

But for guys like Spitzer, Clinton, et.al, the first part is happening, but that’s where it stops. I suppose their “think better”part kicks in when there is a mob of reporters waiting outside their homes.

Perhaps these guys are more like bonobos than even anthropologists ever considered.

Got a question? Email Martin here…

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