Herman Cain dropped out of the presidential campaign because of what? Extra marital affairs. Mitt Romney is attacking Newt Gingrich on what grounds? Among other reasons, three marriages of which two began as illicit affairs. Jerry Sandusky, assist coach at Penn State was arrested and charged with sexually abusing eight boys over 15 years. Bernie Fine, another assistant coach at Syracuse university, was recently fired for molesting a ball boy and at least one other young man. A grand jury is investigating these allegations.
I typed “college sex scandals” into Google to check names and facts. Along with the web results for my search, I also got the following sponsored sites at the top of the page.
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What does this say about our culture?
Since Bill Clinton’s fling with Monica Lewinsky, more American political sex scandals have hit the headlines about Gary Condit, Jack Ryan, James E. McGreevey, Mark Foley, David Vitter, Larry Craig, Eliot Spitzer, Mark Sanford, Mark Souder, Eric Mass, Chris Lee, and John Ensign. Of this list, only Bill Clinton and David Vitter survived the scalding press and kept their jobs.
Today, while I was writing this article, The Washington Post published another story about Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former International Monetary Fund Managing Director who was accused of sexually assaulting a hotel housekeeper at the Sofitel in New York.
And just seven days ago, Newsweek and The Daily Beast ran a cover story on sex addiction.
The film, “Shame” is also about sex addiction. It was just released, and as it screens at film festivals, this movie has already been nominated nine times and won seven top awards.
Ashleymadison.com is a matchmaking site for people who seek sexual partners outside their marriage. No, it’s not an escort service. It’s for married people who want affairs with other married people. And it’s got an Alexa internet rank of 3,116 globally, 1,490 in the US, with 3,135 other sites linking to it. I’ve seen Alexa ranking of sites with scores over 14,000,000. Any ranking under 500,000 is considered having good traffic. Ashley Madison is a hugely popular website! I was surprised about this statistic.
Then there’s the internet destination, seekingarrangement.com. This is a sugar daddy-sugar baby matchmaking website and blog. I read about it in the Huffington Post and the New York Times Magazine. I was so intrigued with the idea of modern day mistresses finding partners online, that I wrote a novella about it titled “Bad.” It’s currently being published in series on my blog.
Regarding world wide web pornography, the statistics are truly staggering. According to compiled numbers from respected news and research organizations, every second $3,075.64 is being spent on pornography. Every second 28,258 internet users are viewing pornography. In that same second 372 internet users are typing adult search terms into search engines. Every 39 minutes a new pornographic video is being created in the U.S. And this information is a few years old!
In 2010, nearly 40% of the internet hits revolved around sex and pornography. It could be more today.
So with all this data, it doesn’t take a psychology degree to ascertain that sex is pretty important to human beings and that we do it, read about it and watch it in all kinds of ways. We do it when we feel we shouldn’t. We do it when we know we shouldn’t. And sometimes we want it and can’t have it. Our bodies let us down, or our conscience gets in the way, or we’re not old enough, or the drugs and booze have taken over, or we were taught to feel shame when seeking pleasure.
Seeking pleasure…that’s what human beings do. We seek pleasure and avoid pain. And in between this push-pull we scarf down burgers or tofu salads and we sleep. Yep. Life is pretty basic. Everything else is window dressing which gives our ego a reason for being. That’s not bad or good. It just IS, like our core human drives: ACQUISITION, PROTECTION from LOSS, and PERPETUATION of our tribe.
So if you’ve been wondering why sexual relations has been a part of my last three blog novellas, it’s because the subject is popular! But more importantly, I’m writing about our evolving society, the reasons why we do what we do, and the essence of who we are. You can’t explore our heart and soul by separating it from the demands of our body. Well you can try, but that’s not who we are.
On paper, the idea that sex is a distraction from the pursuit of spiritual connection seems to make sense, and many cultures and religions have strived to remove the desire of women from the minds of men by separating the sexes.
When has that ever worked?
If you Google “sex scandals in the church” you’ll get 559,000 results.
So yeah, my first three stories dealt with sex. But it’s not the sex I’m primarily interested in, or even writing about. I’m describing the FEELINGS that come out of intimacy, or the desire for it, or the fear of it. Sex is an expression so much more than just the act. That’s why it’s special, or can be. That’s why we’ve decided (in theory) that the pleasure and validation sex produces is something assigned to a special person, on a special time, in a special place. Remaining “faithful” is the basic promise of an American marriage, whether we keep it or not. It’s our expression of loyalty, or lack of it. It defines our honor, integrity, honesty and love. The way we express our sexuality tells our partner much about ourselves. And when we’re angry, we sometimes deny our partner the gift of body and heart. It’s an effective and destructive punishment, as is denying love. And it’s way too prevalent in our society.
So yes, sex can bring people together, but it also breaks them apart. Making love is the drama of our lives. This is where lessons are learned and why we pay sex therapists for advice.
And this is why, among other subjects, I write about our quest for pleasure and the avoidance of pain…in bed.
This post was simultaneously published on CuriosityQuills.com.