Monday, August 5, 2013

Sex Makes the World go 'Round

“A lie has no legs, but a scandal has wings.” I ran across that quote recently, attributed to Anonymous. I don’t know who this Anonymous guy was, but he sure got around, judging from the number of quotes, stories and songs credited to him. Makes me feel like an underachiever. The most talked-about thing lately involves former Rep. Anthony Weiner’s attempts to get back into politics. It seems that the Peter Tweeter wants to be the Mayor of New York City. This could give a new meaning to the term “Big Apple,” but I won’t go there. After viewing a recent press conference I have to give credit to Weiner’s wife for standing by his side, but I sensed the look in her eyes, one that communicated “Apologize all you want, but I’m cutting you off for a year!” It was also announced that former NY Governor Elliot Spitzer is running for City Controller. The jobless rate took a hit when Spitzer was impeached, causing a number of escorts to apply for unemployment. Perhaps when he assumes his new duties he’ll give these girls jobs, but I don’t think the starting wage will be five grand a night. What did the people of New York do to deserve two disgraced politicians wanting to run their city? Is it payback for all those years of Rudy Giuliani jokes? Another scandal involves the 70-year-old Mayor of San Diego being charged with sexual harassment. In what has to be the lamest mea culpa ever, he has agreed to undergo two weeks of intense sensitivity training. Wow – a couple weeks of talk therapy as a cure for terminal grab-ass. Where were these people when Bill Clinton was in trouble? I read a book called "Full Service", written by a former bi-sexual Hollywood hustler named Scotty Bowers, who was a procurer to the stars beginning in the 1940’s. He was apparently the go-to guy for anonymous sex because he kept his mouth shut (well, sort of, but I won’t go there, either). This book received a lot of attention when it was released last year, because Bowers named names. He goes into graphic detail about the sexual preferences of Tinseltown’s elite and much of it was eye-opening. To say I was surprised to learn that many of my favorite male actors enjoyed the company of younger men on occasion is an understatement. I must admit that I wasn’t too shocked to learn that Katherine Hepburn liked to frolic with young women, but Vivien Leigh, Scarlet O’Hara from "Gone With the Wind"??? Say it ain’t so! This book showed the difference in attitude between then and now. In that era the studios and publicity handlers plied great amounts of cash to keep the private lives of the stars under wraps. That was probably a good practice, because I could have gone the rest of my life without knowing about Bob Hope’s preference in hookers (young blondes), how well-endowed Desi Arnaz was or how frisky Errol Flynn became after his second bottle of vodka. Can you imagine how those oh-so-secret Hollywood scandals would be handled today? Liberace wouldn’t have had to talk himself blue denying his sexual orientation, and the PR machines wouldn’t have had to work overtime keeping Rock Hudson’s closet door shut. Of course, they probably would have kept Marlon Brando’s big secret (hint: he and Rock were apparently cut from the same cloth. Didn’t see that one coming, did you?). I saw an historical footnote in the newspaper, reminding us that in 1972, Senator Thomas Eagleton dropped out as George McGovern’s running mate because someone leaked to the press that he had undergone psychiatric treatment for depression. How shocking! A politician who sought professional help for a personal problem! How dare he! Forty years ago this was scandal-worthy but today, it would rate a shrug and a “So what?” The only question would be “Did he talk about his sex life???” Tim Smith is an award-winning, bestselling author whose books range from romantic mystery/thrillers to contemporary erotic romance. His website is www.timsmithauthor.com.


Kelli Scott said...

Fun post! I haven't been following the Weiner story very closely and I think I want to remain ignorant about my fav oldies stars (except Desi). Sadly the sex scandals are fuel to distract us from the real issues. And what a great distraction they are.

Tina Donahue said...

As always, Tim - your prose is delightful.

Have to say though, sex isn't the problem. What two (or more) people want to do with other consenting adults in their private life is - well, private.

Too bad the pilgrims were the first to come over here from England. Really f'd up the country. I would have preferred criminals like those that settled Australia. As Billy Joel sang, I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints.

I'm currently re-reading The Handmaid's Tale. Scary stuff - mainly because there are too many nut jobs in this country like the freaks in that book.

I suppose the saddest thing of all is those freaks are as hedonistic as the rest of us. And in many ways, less moral. The only difference is, they try harder to hide it from the world and there are a whole lot of fools out there who believe their hypocrisy.

Fiona McGier said...

So true, Tina. And often the most judgmental are that way particularly about the things they don't want anyone else to know they actively enjoy! Hence anti-gay legislators who tap their feet in public restrooms, etc.

It's beyond sad that in this day and age, people are still obsessively interested in what kind and how often everyone around them is having sex. Grow up, people! As long as you have a happy life and enjoy a good relationship, who cares about everyone else's pecadillos?

Oh, wait! That IS the point. So few people can accept their own proclivities that they assume everyone else is doing what they do in secret, or desire to do in secret. Sheesh! Sex is like any other appetite. We eat in public and no one pays much attention. Why is sex treated like some big, huge secret when it's as basic to enjoyment of life as eating?

And Tim, I love reading about the old Hollywood folks! Hmm, time to go fantasize about Desi telling me I have some "'splainin'" to do while I'm over his knee! Grin!

Tim Smith said...

Great responses, everyone. Fiona, you're one of the reasons "I Love Lucy" remains popular LOL. Desi didn't wear those baggy trousers just because they were in style!

Tina, you got the point I was trying to make - people will ignore a lot of things a public figure does, unless it involves sex. As you pointed out, I doubt many of those making the noise could withstand bedroom scrutiny.