It should be no surprise to any regular readers here, that when it comes to sex-I am very open minded and take a pretty liberal view point when it comes to the age old question of “How much is enough?” ( Answer: There is no such thing as ‘enough sex’). So it should come as no surprise that I have pretty ambivalent feelings about the supposed misdeeds of Representative Lee-who, it would appear, seems to have a thankless wife at home not performing her wifely duties, in near sufficient quantities it would seem. That’s hardly surprising since Congressmen are in the end also human beings-and subject to the same afflictions and peculiarly American hang-ups concerning sex. Unlike other great nations on the planet-America with its warped view of sexuality provides no useful alternatives, thus forcing men like the good Rep Lee to resort to eminently traceable means such as Craigslist-which proved to be his undoing.
Imagine if we actually faced up to the problem and took a more practical view of sex and sexuality, and actually moved forward from our cramped and confining views of marriage and partnership? Think of the talent that could be harnessed-given that the it appears the Congressman seemed how to know how to do his day job. For people who complain about getting the government off our our backs, they seem to turn a blind eye to telling people how to live their personal lives. Which makes them complete hypocrites IMHO. Before anyone goes high and right-live through the hell that is a sexless marriage, and then maybe, just maybe, you might have some frame of reference.
Thus I am passing along this post from John Coles place that examines this dichotomy in more detail:
Like Humans Do
Chris Lee is a skeezy cheater, and a hypocrite, but he’s also another reminder of the waste and pain caused by our contradictory, one-sided and archaic views of marital fidelity.(emphasis mine-SS).
Any regular Dan Savage reader/listener knows that one of his most common caller/writer is one part of a married couple who’s sexually frustrated. Usually there are children involved. Often, this person knew that they were sexually incompatible when they married, but was hoping things would change. Usually, their marriage is under a sexual death penalty: if there’s an affair, there’s a divorce.
This kind of call or letter is pretty boring because there’s really no solution accepted by mainstream society. Most of these marriages would be a hell of a lot better if the sexually unsatisfied partner had a discreet affair, but that puts the other partner in a socially untenable situation. “Open marriage” is something for dirty hippies or sleazy swingers, not an upstanding member of society. And, since the first stop for marital therapy is often a pastor or priest, it’s very unlikely that the open option will even be broached.
So, instead of negotiating an outlet, these marriages move on to a badly executed affair, tears, recriminations and, usually, divorce. The cheated-on member of the pair has the moral and legal high ground, they’re under intense social pressure to make the cheater pay, and by the time the cheating happens, the cheater’s resentment over their lack of satisfaction has probably already poisoned the well.
If we want to do something about the high divorce rate, we might want to get real about making sexual satisfaction a precursor to marriage, and also about the role of a discreet, mutually agreed-upon affair as a safety valve. Of course, religion and social norms rule that out-of-bounds. That’s too bad, because the only person more miserable that Mr. and Mrs. Chris Lee this morning is their little boy, a kid who’s in a world of hurt that might have been avoided if mom and dad had been able to negotiate a piece on the side.
Maybe there is a business opportunity here for me-opening the US franchises of well known freelancer bars!