It’s not surprising that NYC mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner was, once again, exposed of having an online relationship with a woman of a sexual nature long after he supposedly stopped his behavior and swore that those time were behind him. Apparently, his activities included texts, revealing pictures, phone sex, and sex chats.
It’s not the behavior itself that is most worrisome. Instead, it’s the deception of the public in allowing others to believe that he had stopped his previous antics, and that the counseling that he sought to help repair the supposed conflict it caused his marriage had actually worked to change him.
So we can look at this two different ways. We can speculate about what compulsions, ego trips, sexual deviancies, or unsatisfied gaps in his sex life Anthony Weiner may have. There are probably issues of power involved in it for him as well as some arrogance that he would be above getting caught. But perhaps the more interesting and telling viewpoint was voiced by Ari Melber, who very astutely said that the public’s outrage with this story speaks more towards a Puritanical view of sexuality in our country than anything else.
As many people have commented to me, sexual issues that are out of the public eye are a matter for the individual and his/her partner to judge. But once in the public eye, Americans are simultaneously fascinated with it, and seemingly disgusted by it.
Some may feel that they have lost trust in Anthony Weiner and that such a lack of self-control is not a quality they want in their government officials. But perhaps most are adopting the outward attitude of sexual moral high ground just to defend against their own true obsession with anything related to sex.
Ideally, we live in a duality – anything goes for us as individuals, but we should not cause harm to others around us. Reaching a balance between what we desire personally and how that affects others can be a constant struggle for some or at least a careful balancing act for most. That’s to be expected. Most people have some sort of separation between how they behave in their private lives versus how they conduct themselves in public.
I can’t help but feel, however, that our society’s level of discomfort with sex and sexuality helps fuel the drive for certain sexual behaviors. Psychologically speaking, if we make something taboo, we heighten its potential for excitement. If our society was more comfortable with sex to begin with, and everyone could just admit that they are either having it or want to be having it, perhaps we wouldn’t have to defend against it so much. We will never eliminate fetishes or kink – we don’t need to and it’s a wasted effort to try. We can, however, have honest and unbiased, age-appropriate sex education which could lead to healthier boundaries being set. As for Anthony Weiner, let’s tell him to grow up already.