The video is priceless. Picture this: Indiana Republican Representative Mark Souder holds a staged interview about the importance of teaching sexual abstinence. (The tape was created for a Christian radio station.) Tracy Jackson, the young female aide doing the interview, smiles coolly as her hand nervously slides up and down her pen. The inside story? That same Republican Rep. -- a married father, grandfather and self-proclaimed evangelical Christian -- was NOT abstaining from having sex. He was having an affair with that very same aide, Miss Tracy Jackson!
Yep: another cheating politician -- and this time, one who campaigned for sexual restraint. Why can't some male politicians keep it in their pants? And what does it say about us as a country that so many of our male leaders are LYING CHEATERS?
The answer is simple: We have become a country that has undergone a no-rules relationship revolution in our media. Granted, marriage vows still have deep meaning for some, and when the going gets rough (read: sexually boring), many married couples remember their intellectual commitments. Long after the sexual hormones have done their work of creating a bond and a nuclear family, many smart folks simply choose to focus sexual energy on the task at hand -- that is, on raising healthy children in a crazy world. According to a recent Psychology Today article, 80 percent of married couples are happy with their sex lives -- but those couples are probably happy having less sex in general. And that's normal.
So, what about the other 20 percent? Have they bought the media falsehoods that sex is free from consequences and that more sex means more happiness? (By the way, I've never seen any study that connects promiscuity with general feelings of happiness.) These high-profile cheaters also seem to have no guilt when it comes to lying. The only defense I can make for those who sexually betray their partners is that they fell victim to a tried-and-true rule of sexual behavior: Sex that involves an obstacle is always more exciting than completely safe and permissive sex. The more risk, the more arousal.
One nifty thing about the huge explosion of sexual content in the media (this blog included) is that it makes it really difficult for married celebrities or public servants to keep their affairs under wraps, because sexy stories bring eyeballs to news programs. So on one hand, the media glorifies sex without boundaries -- and on the other hand, it acts as a watchdog.
Sorry, Representative Souder: Your video came back to bite you. In a news conference in Fort Wayne, the beleaguered Rep. said, "I am so ashamed to have hurt the ones I love. I am sorry to have let so many friends down -- people who have worked so hard for me."
His resignation is effective Friday. Couldn't come soon enough!