I haven’t had any celebrity dreams for years, but not long ago I had a dream that I was at a restaurant with some friends when the former NY governor Eliot Spitzer, who unfortunately recently resigned, and his wife sat at a table not far from us. My friends immediately began to whisper. I started to say something in his defense but then I woke up.
What I wanted to say was that I thought he had been a good governor so far, and I wished he hadn’t resigned. Yes, people (themselves hypocritical, really) thought he was being hypocritical for prosecuting prostitution rings and then he ended up getting caught as a client, and maybe that is hypocritical, but he shouldn’t have resigned for it. (I know prostitution is illegal in NY, but I’ll address that in a minute).
He paid for the services himself; he did not use state funds. I think what the new governor, David Paterson, did is much worse, for he charged hotel nights (when he was having an affair, of which he’s had several) to his campaign fund. That is so much worse! I can’t stand when people (politicians or executives or celebrities or anyone, actually) use business accounts or government funds or anything but their own money to pay for things, anything, for themselves, especially when it’s *our* money they’re using. That’s so wrong! That’s the worst! A deliberate misuse of public funds and the public’s trust! So what Spitzer did wasn’t so bad.
And yes, he cheated on his wife, but as I said, so did Paterson. Besides, I think monogamy holds an exalted and undeserved position in our national psyche. I don’t get it. There’s only been one person where I never even thought of anyone else. But that was also my only real relationship, and even then she broke up with me so many times so we weren’t even together for a consecutive length of time very often! So I have no track record to speak of in terms of relationships and I’m probably the last person to have a right to say anything about monogamy.
But personally, I’ve never been able to imagine marriage, only if it’s open, and even if it’s open, it’s hard for me to see. And maybe open marriages will never fully work in this society. I don’t know.
(But I do think it’s natural for men to want to cheat, and I don’t necessarily mean it’s biological with men, but just that there are so many beautiful women out there. If wives would open themselves up to the idea of being with other women, I bet they would all want to cheat, too, and would better understand where their husbands are coming from.
When a woman wants to cheat with another man, I think it’s just because the other man gives her attention that her husband isn’t giving her. I remember a truly wonderful and very religious lady telling me that the pull of adultery affects even her — when her husband is putting her down or making her feel unattractive or unwanted, if another man gives her attention, regardless of what the man is like or who he is, she is tempted. Women just want to be loved. And they should be.
But they should also get to love each other, and then they will feel better. So I really can’t see monogamy working on either side. Though in some cases, it does, as with my parents. I know my parents never even considered cheating, and I know they really loved each other, and I think this is true of a lot of Mormon couples, though certainly not all of them. But the idea of one man and one woman literally eternally married to each other is so ingrained in the current Mormon psyche, where polygamy is relegated to the far distant past, that it practically eradicates any idea of adultery.)
At any rate, let’s not be so quick to judge, when what Spitzer did was outside of his job (with Clinton, the concern, or what should have been, was that he committed perjury, regardless of what for). Technically speaking.
Besides, prostitution should be legal, anyway. Workers aren’t protected otherwise and have no legal rights that other employees have. Child prostitution and forced prostitution could be eliminated if prostitution were legal. And madams and pimps wouldn’t get to keep all (or most) of the money.
And workers who independently have sex for money (whether on their own or in a club) would have legal protection, whereas now there is no guarantee the guy will pay unless he pays upfront. In what other sort of work would non-payment for a service performed be tolerated?
(Also, I think if prostitution were legal, the overrated idea of virginity, especially in terms of vaginal intercourse, which is the most boring, might go away as well. It’s all so ridiculous, the idea that prostitution is so heinous, that vaginal virginity is so essential and must be protected and rescued. It’s been made into too big of a sometimes deadly deal.)
Offering oneself for sex shouldn’t be looked down upon or seen as such a lowly prospect. People give exorbitant hours of their time in exchange for money. (What is more valuable and irretrievable than time?) Some people work for a horrible supervisor in exchange for money. Some people have jobs they hate in exchange for money. A lot of college grads spend two grueling years in investment banking, making beaucoup money, then go onto something else where they aren’t slaves.
Prostitution, likewise, can be a temporary fix to get someone on their feet or just to get ahead. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to do it for 40 years, though surely many do, but it’s okay in short doses. And nevertheless, it shouldn’t be thought of as wrong. Everyone works, in one way or another, for money. How you use your own body, your own time, is up to you.
But without legal protection, choice might not factor in. If prostitution were legal, sex trafficking could be stopped as well. And the stigma wouldn’t be so much on the prostitute as on the john if this service were legalized, or maybe the stigma could be wiped out altogether.
Politicians really need to look at supply and demand and legalize prostitution, especially since they all seem to avail themselves of this service at one time or another.