March 13, 2008

"Is it really all that hard for someone in high office to 'to get extramaritally laid'?"

Slate readers are racking their brains over why Eliot Spitzer would use a prostitute for sex. Doesn't he "have heaps of women throwing themselves at him"?, they wonder. Is it really such a difficult question? It seems to me there are many obvious advantages. You save an immense amount of time and complexity by substituting an economic relationship for a personal one. It's dangerous to do something illegal, but it's also dangerous to create a relationship with someone who becomes emotionally attached and might do all sorts of reckless things.

58 comments:

former law student said...

You save an immense amount of time and complexity by substituting an economic relationship for a personal one.

Not if your economic relationship generates Suspicious Activity Reports.

But, even in this post-AIDS era, there are still one-night stands. The youth of America have perfected the casual hookup, which could be anything.

Balfegor said...

The youth of America have perfected the casual hookup, which could be anything.

But the youth of America are (a) young and (b) don't look like Eliot Spitzer. They also don't have to evade their security detail. Spitzer can't exactly sit in a bar and hit on women. His guards would be watching. And people would recognise him. He'd be stuck using interns or staffers the way Bill Clinton did.

former law student said...

His guards would be watching. And people would recognise him. He'd be stuck using interns or staffers the way Bill Clinton did.

Or, as Bill Clinton reportedly did (Troopergate), he could pick out a likely candidate, then send one of his guards over to invite her to his room.

Hoosier Daddy said...

It's dangerous to do something illegal

What happens in Vegas, stay sin Vegas. And it would have been legal too.

PatHMV said...

I was given some good advice a long time ago... If secrecy is important, never sleep with a woman who has less to lose than you do.

Interns? Interns, except in particular circumstances, don't have a lot to lose by revealing that they slept with the boss. The boss has a lot to lose. Social climbers/political gold-diggers? They may gain status if they reveal that they slept with a governor or Senator; the guy they sleep with will lose it.

On the other hand, prostitutes, as a general rule, have just as much interest in maintaining the secrecy of their clients as the clients do, at least until they get busted.

It's an interesting reversal from the usual "rules" of sexual interaction. Normally, a woman loses prestige when the fact that she had sex with someone is discovered ("did you hear? she let the team captain go all the way!"), while the male gains prestige ("dude, you did Holly? You rock!"). But on this scale, society usually demands that grown, married men in positions of power not be seen to betray their vows or frequent prostitutes, so such a man loses prestige. At the same time, the woman involved gains some prestige, because we assume she must really have something to offer in order to tempt such a powerful, upstanding man to risk his downfall over her. Nobody ever heard of Divine Brown until we started wondering what she could offer Hugh Grant that Elizabeth Hurley could not. And I dare say, with all respect to her capabilities and her dedication to her current good efforts, Donna Rice would not have achieved her current level of success had she never boarded the Monkey Business with Gary Hart.

PatHMV said...

"stay sin Vegas," hoosier? That's a good one!

3rd Way said...

Spitzer did not need to pay "to get extramaritally laid", he was paying to get laid with as few strings attached as possible. He got caught because the one attached string had a hook on the end of it.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"stay sin Vegas," hoosier? That's a good one!

Heh..some typo eh?

save_the_rustbelt said...

I say this as I approach my 35th wedding anniversary.

A relationship with a woman is complex, time consuming, frustrating, wonderful and ocasionally causes one to contemplate homocide.

I can hardly imagine having two such relationships at the same time.

Which perhaps is why my honeymoon has lasted 35 years, despite the occasionaly contemplation of homocide.

(At my age hooking up would have to happen at an AARP conference.)

Zeb Quinn said...

A relationship, including an extramarital relationship, requires an emotional investment, whereas the purchase of the services of a prostitute is a business transaction.

Blue Moon said...

I'm sure you've all heard this before -- you don't pay a prostitute for sex, you pay her to go away and keep her mouth shut when its over.

Anthony said...

this article linked by Insty:
A thousand dollars is nothing for these men. Money has little value; because no matter how hard they try they will never be able to spend their hundreds of millions. And if you are about to say that for a thousand bucks those girls must supply the best sex in history, then you really do not understand this world. Because it is not about sex; it is about power. And the simple act of ordering up an anonymously pretty 22 year-old girl to do your bidding in the salubrious confines of a luxury hotel suite is an act of power.

Yachira said...

Yes, and question answered in this excellent piece:

"But why would a rich, powerful and handsome man pay for extra-marital sex? Aren’t there tons of women waiting to throw themselves at him for free? Yes, there are. But those women always want something: they want attention, intimacy and romance. They want to enjoy the high of sleeping with a powerful man. Escorts don’t want or care about any of those things."

http://pajamasmedia.com/2008/03/ive_seen_my_share_of_spitzers.php

Middle Class Guy said...

rust belt,
Homocide? Do you mean marriage makes one want to kill homosexuals? Or did you mean homicide- the killing of one person by another?

rhhardin said...

Cindy Adams H/T Imus, says prostitutes just mean less work for mother, and get over it.

Original Mike said...

The description in the article quoted by Anthony fits Eliot Spitzer to a T.

Henry said...

I would've thought better of Bill Clinton if he had used an escort service. He's at the bottom of the list:

Long-term relationship with society woman (LBJ)

Brief flings with moody actresses (JFK)

Quick tricks with strangers (Craig)

High priced escort service (Spitzer)

Local hooker (Swaggert)

Hitting on interns.

Blue Moon said...

My wife has always told me she would consider it more of a betrayal to fall in love with another woman than get it on with another woman (she then quickly reminds me that she would all my stuff on fire in either case and leave me). Curious as to why Henry rates long-term monogamous adultery higher than ADHD promiscuous adultery.

Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ricpic said...

Only a woman could come up with the, it's not about sex it's about power, equation. Believe me, it's about sex.

Balfegor said...

Only a woman could come up with the, it's not about sex it's about power, equation. Believe me, it's about sex.

Didn't you hear? All sex is rape, and rape is a crime of power, not sex!

Middle Class Guy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Henry said...

Blue Moon, let me assure you, I'm not rating integrity.

Actually, you return a good question. Thinking about it, it's kind of a wince-scale. At least the best worst guy shows human fraility; going down, there's increasingly less of the human and more of the monster.

Chip Ahoy said...

Is it really all that hard

No. 'Smatter of fact, it's easy. The difficulty is in keeping it secret, as Mr. Spritzer, Slitzer, whatever, discovered through no fault of the young woman, bless her.

Case in point; Henry Kissinger talks about this in Years of Upheaval where he discusses his surprise at the phenomenon of attractive young women positioning themselves at dinner tables veritably throwing themselves, or in the very least flirting with his "compact corpulent form", which he attributed to the strange draw to power evident in some women. I admit there could hardly be a scarier toad of a human, capable of consuming a svelte sylph-like creature with one flick of the tongue.

former law student said...

Bill would have to fall near JFK on Henry's list, because he did not actually hit on any interns: Monica walked up to him and showed him her thong.

Bill is in the position of an office worker who comes back to his desk only to find a piece of chocolate birthday cake that someone had left him. Sure, eating the cake will only make you fat and sluggish. And if you're going off your diet, there are tastier treats than office birthday cake. But it's right in front of you, and sufficiently appealing for you to dismiss these arguments and gobble it up.

John Lynch said...

Good article on this at pajama's media, of all places.

It's about power, not money.

Meade said...

Power, money, and sex are always about power, money, and sex. So what?

Please pardon my moralizing but it's only when people add to those things such values as justice, grace, love, fidelity, prudence, and moderation that any of them become anything more than just one more piece of former law student's chocolate birthday cake.

TMink said...

I think it is about the power to have sex exactly the way you want it. It is the opposite of making love, it is making someone have sex your way by paying for it.

Real sex with a partner you care about is rife with with risk. Illegal sexual acts have risk of a different kind, the risk of being found out. There is no risk of rejection or hurt or loss or inadequacy.

Well, unless you can't pay the bill I guess.

Trey

madawaskan said...

Gawd-

Ummm ya what kind of a boss would you feel comfortable walking up to and showing the male equivalent of "your thong" and getting a receptive response.

Could it be that Bill did something to invite that?

How many caught him at their desk?

Poor George Stephanopoulos.

He asked for it-to speak in the parlance of the usual male "victims".

I also love how at the time , no matter what Bill did it was always Hillary's fault and she was the one pulling all the strings and now it's like she only "observed".

Uh huh.

What else....

Blue Moon-"Your stuff" would be on fire if you went around like Spitzer...

Justice.

SteveR said...

I'm a simple guy, this was not worth it.

Blue Moon said...

Mada -- nice. But I thought those high class hos were clean?

I think call girl sex is to marital sex as watching porn is to looking at the neighbors in the act. Spitzer seems very fussy and fastidious. Perhaps having relations with Ms. Spitzer at 7 am with no make up, morning breath and eye boogers -- after you have both just passed some major gas is just "too messy" and "too real" so he feels that he needs Amber the Rutgers junior who is all dressed up, smells good, not the mother of his three children, has slept 10 hours the night before plus had an afternoon nap, makes all the right noises, and pretends that the gov is the greatest lover of all time.

Sometimes married sex is more about the married and less about the sex.

Trooper York said...

An honorable man never cheats on his wife. Sow all your wild oats before hand, fuck a monkey and a donkey and everything inbetween, but once you enter into a marriage vow, you should remain true to it or you are not worth a shit. Spitzer was always a bully and a punk from the get go. That's why everyone is enjoying this in New York State. Just my two cents.

Trooper York said...

Of course now the fun begins with David Patterson. Joe Bruno loves to sneak up behind him and scream out "Booooo!" He jumps everytime. It's a hoot.

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Revenant said...

What happens in Vegas, stay sin Vegas. And it would have been legal too.

Prostitution is illegal in Las Vegas, although you'd never guess it from all the fliers that get handed out on the sidewalks.

madawaskan said...

Blue-

The guy didn't use "protection".

On her website she is an "ex-drug user".

What the hell?

I'm beginning to think that Ivy League law schools might perpetuate puberty in perpetuity.

Revenant-

But it's legal in Parhump-about thirty minutes away.

Revenant said...

I think it is about the power to have sex exactly the way you want it. [...] There is no risk of rejection or hurt or loss or inadequacy.

Call girls are not blow-up dolls.

They do have rules, and usually standards for appearance and hygiene, too. For example, Spitzer reportedly insisted on condom-free sex; the woman turned him down, and he had to agree to use condoms. You aren't going to get a call girl to do something she doesn't want to do without either paying enough that she puts up with it, or simply forcing her and hoping that the fact that she's a prostitute discourages her from filing rape charges.

It is useless to speculate why Spitzer did what he did. There are countless possible reasons. Maybe he likes the feeling of power it gives him to be able to pick up a phone and have the woman of his choice delivered to his room. Maybe his wife doesn't have sex with him anymore and he's got no legitimate outlet. Maybe he got off on the thrill of risky behavior. Who knows?

Revenant said...

The guy didn't use "protection".

According to the news reports, Spitzer had stated a preference to not use "protection" and "Kristen" was unwilling to go along with that, so he gave in.

On her website she is an "ex-drug user".

That doesn't necessarily mean needles, though. Besides, it is a safe bet that the Club makes its girls get tested on a regular basis, since that kind of outfit relies on word-of-mouth and features a client base with plenty of men in it who can make trouble for them.

But it's legal in Parhump-about thirty minutes away.

Yeah, but there's no way to come up with an excuse for visiting Pahrump. I've never been there myself, but from what I hear the brothels are the ONLY reason to bother visiting.

former law student said...

But it's legal in Parhump-about thirty minutes away.

Yeah, but there's no way to come up with an excuse for visiting Pahrump. I've never been there myself, but from what I hear the brothels are the ONLY reason to bother visiting.


There must be some appeal; doesn't Art "chupacabra" Bell live in Pahrump?

madawaskan said...

Gawd -

I'm self diagnosing my dyslexia-

Although I do like Par-hump better.

Maybe they could combine it with golf or something.

Umm, it is half way to Death Valley....

Frig-maybe Spitzer was playing some version of Russian Roulette.

John K. said...

I've lately been reading Tolstoy, who's fast becoming one of my muses along with Lysander Spooner and Henry George. Here's one possible explanation for Spitzer's behavior, from Tolstoy's "The Kingdom of Heaven is Within You":

"Men might well observe the laws if they believed the Tzars who made them were God's anointed, or even if they thought they were the work of assemblies of lawgivers who had the power and the desire to make them as good as possible. But we all know how our laws are made. We have all been behind the scenes, we know that they are the product of covetousness, trickery, and party struggles; that there is not and cannot be any real justice in them. And so modern men cannot believe that obedience to civic or political laws can satisfy the demands of the reason or of human nature. Men have long ago recognized that it is irrational to obey a law the justice of which is very doubtful, and so they cannot but suffer in obeying a law which they do not accept as judicious and binding.

A man cannot but suffer when his whole life is defined beforehand for him by laws, which he must obey under threat of punishment, though he does not believe in their wisdom or justice, and often clearly perceives their injustice, cruelty, and artificiality.

We recognize the uselessness of customs and import duties, and are obliged to pay them. We recognize the uselessness of the expenditure on the maintenance of the Court and other members of Government, and we regard the teaching of the Church as injurious, but we are obliged to bear our share of the expenses of these institutions. We regard the punishments inflicted by law as cruel and shameless, but we must assist in supporting them. We regard as unjust and pernicious the distribution of landed property, but we are obliged to submit to it. We see no necessity for wars and armies, but we must bear terribly heavy burdens in support of troops and war expenses.
...
And this is the only explanation of the dreadful intensity with which men of modern times strive to stupefy themselves, with spirits, tobacco, opium, cards, reading newspapers, traveling, and all kinds of spectacles and amusements. These pursuits are followed up as an important, serious business. And indeed they are a serious business. If there were no external means of dulling their sensibilities, half of mankind would shoot themselves without delay, for to live in opposition to one's reason is the most intolerable condition. And that is the condition of all men of the present day. All men of the modern world exist in a state of continual and flagrant antagonism between their conscience and their way of life."

As regards Spitzer, I wonder whether his risky self-destructive whoring was more like cards and opium or more like a half-assed bullet to the head.

Bissage said...

No one in the world
ever gets what they want
and that is beautiful

Everybody dies
frustrated and sad
and that is beautiful

They want what they're not
and I wish they would stop

saying

Deputy dog dog a ding dang depa depa

Deputy dog dog a ding dang depa depa


-- They Might Be Giants (from “Don’t Let’s Start”)

save_the_rustbelt said...

Middle Class Guy:

"Homicide"

typing dyslexia, nothing Freudian or anything

The only person who could move me to think about homicide is my wife and that passes quickly.

titusstagleap said...

Two words fellow republicans,

Bunny Ranch.

They pick you up in a blazer with frosted windows, drive into a secret garage, go through a flight of stairs on the inside and no one will see you.

Discretion is their policy. Has any politician gotten busted for going to the bunny ranch?

I don't think so because they are a first class business.

But he would not get to do any barebacking.

Those whores at the Bunny Ranch always where condoms.

Middle Class Guy said...

When you say "until death to us part", you are not making a commitment - you are setting a goal!- Unknown

I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement. - Calvin Coolidge

The penis man always makes the foolish decisions for us.- Unknown


YOU KNOW YOU'RE ABOUT TO GET JAMMED UP WHEN:

You wake up hung-over in a high line, four star hotel, naked, with your genitals freshly shaved, a ball-gag in your mouth, a bottle of tequila crazy-glued to your hand, a gun emptied on the floor next to a puddle of someone else's blood...
Suddenly someone outside the door yells:
FBI SEARCH WARRANT!!!!!!

You're referred to as Client #9

You start saying the Politicians Prayer....
"God, Please let me get away with this and I'll never ever ever ever ever do it again!!"

Your government pay check has the Miranda warning printed on it!

dix said...

I read the other day where someone asked Heidi Fleiss why some of her clients who were rich, good looking and single like Charlie Sheen would pay such large amounts of money for sex when they could just go to a bar and have no problem hooking up. She said they weren't paying for the sex. They were paying for the woman to leave soon after.

Roger said...

Trooper York: well said, sir--you have defined the difference between a man and a feral animal. When a personal vow means nothing, a public vow will mean even less. And moving on:
What is the difference between Bill Clinton's sins and Eliot Spitzer's sins? Between Larry Craig's and David Vitters' sins?
Arent they ultimately all pieces of shit? And if your morality system permits you to make fine distinctions between them, I would suggest your morality system makes YOU a piece of shit.

Middle Class Guy said...

Roger said...
And moving on:
What is the difference between Bill Clinton's sins and Eliot Spitzer's sins? Between Larry Craig's and David Vitters' sins?
Arent they ultimately all pieces of shit?

Yes they are. They ALL disgraced themselves, their families, and the people who put their trust in them. What I do not understand is the great forgiveness given to Bill Clinton and the demonization of the others.

They are ALL POSs.

Stephen Snell said...

For anyone looking for an excuse to go to Pahrump, there is a winery, Nevada's only winery. I got dragged there by relatives, one of whom spent the next several days complaining after finding out that the "winery" imported its grapes from California and that the Vinyard was basically for show.

Guesst said...

Rich men are accustomed to buying anything they want, including sex.

It's only about self-gratification, a complete selfishness that only lots of money can help them indulge in.

His wealth enabled him to purchase a screw.

Revenant said...

It's only about self-gratification, a complete selfishness that only lots of money can help them indulge in.

All forms of self-gratification are completely selfish. That's why the term has the word "self" in it.

It isn't like sitting down on the couch to watch an episode of "Survivor" helps your fellow man.

rhhardin said...

Coulter seems a little overwrought this week.

A guy reading it thinks maybe she's thinking what's-her-name represents competition for a news anchor slot.

Fox should go for it.

downtownlad said...

Isn't anyone the least bit concerned that the government is monitoring all of our financial movements?

Oh that's right. They're not. If we don't let the government spy on us - the terrorists win. Or something like that.

save_the_rustbelt said...

downtown:

Cash tracing began in the 70s or
80s, following drug money.

Old news (which is not thesame as good news).

rhhardin said...

Tracing also makes it possible to recover your funds when somebody drains your account. The more watching the better.

As with globalization of jobs, you also benefit unnoticed from the fruits of it. It just shows up more to you when your own job goes overseas.

If you want to opt out, you can. Just live a subsistence life in the woods and make your own stuff. Perhaps that makes the unnoticed benefits too obvious for posturing about it though.

A couple of years ago I was the outsourced job myself, working for a Swiss company, depriving some Swissperson of a job.

Revenant said...

Cash tracing began in the 70s or
80s, following drug money. Old news (which is not the same as good news).


Shh! Everything is George Bush's fault. Anyone who says otherwise is a Republican toady.

Synova said...

I donno if someone said this here, but someone said it elsewhere...

The money isn't for *sex*.

The money is so that the girl goes away afterwards.

And someone in high office *absolutely* needs for the girl to go away afterwards.

(Or boy.)