Monday, August 23, 2004

The dangers of sexual addiction...

(I am still developing my writing style with regards to social/political commentary so please bare with me)


After reading a weeks worth of headlines and articles concerning NJ Governor Jim McGreevey, two major topics are being focused on. The first major topic is Mr. McGreevey's 'coming out'as a gay man or "gay-American" as he put it.The second topic is wave bad politics, corruption and overall bad faith the governor has been part of since taking office (and in some cases before even taking office).

Regarding McGreevey's time in office:
Unfortunately some level of corruption and bad politics almost has to exist in today’s political climate. Special Interests Groups, Old-Boy networks and absolute greed go hand in hand with ribbon cutting, park building and civic development.

Of course what is most disturbing is the fact that Governor McGreevey was potentially taking huge risks for his constituents based purely on personal interest when he nominated Golan Cipel for New Jersey Homeland Security Director and subsequently handed him several other posts (paid for by the New Jersey tax-payer). Mr. Cipel is an Israeli national with absolute zero qualifications. Mr. Cipel would not be qualified to hold a Homeland Security Role for Mudlick, Kentucky let alone the State of New Jersey

The topic of Governor McGreevey's corrupt ways has been well covered. Nothing I could share would be anything different that what you have probably already read a thousand times on the subject. I also want to point out that while Governor McGreevey’s actions appear to be of the most scandalous variety he is beyond no means alone if the corrupt ways of our entire political system (the topic of holding politicians of for all political parties accountable will be saved for another entry).

Regarding Jim McGreevey’s sexuality:
I took most of what Governor McGreevey had to say about his troubled conscious and difficult time coming to terms with his own sexuality at face value. I can only imagine it to be a very difficult internal struggle in which the right support system both within his family and professional does not exist.

It is not hard for me to imagine that both Gov. McGreevey’s professional ambitions and political responsibilites left him little time to deal with this internal turmoil. Just like many Americans who put working overtime and pleasing the boss above working on a marriage or pleasing one’s spouse, Mr. McGreevey never gave himself the time or opportunity to bring order to his life. Though an argument can be made that Gov. McGreevey's struggle to come to terms with his own sexual identity could have distracted him greatly from his role as Governor, I tend to think that this in of itself was not any more of a distraction then other domestic and personal issues (such as Rudy Giulliani's battle with cancer and divorce from his wife).

The real problem as I see it was that Gov. McGreevey was the victim of sexual addiction.

The problem of sexual addiction:

A particular topic that has intrigued me from time to time has been the use of ‘sex’ as a tool for coercion, blackmail, as well as political and military espionage. Many recent examples exist. In modern times, one does not have to dig deep to learn that the Soviets gained more from JFK’s East German spy mistress, then they did from many of their top traditional spies.
Bill Clinton’s failure to control his own impulses led the Monica Lewinsky affair and resulted in his impeachment.
Newt Gingrich had his political career at least temporarily reduced when he had an adulterous affair with a lower-level Congressional employee.

With regards to Gov. McGreevey his failure to control his own sexual impulses (not to be confused with his failure to acknowledge his sexual identity) resulted in his failures as a husband to his loving wife and child, as well as his failure as a public servant to the citizens of New Jersey.
While confusion of his own sexual identity may be hurtful and confusing to Mrs. McGreevey, Gov. McGreeveys unfaithful acts are certainly more painful. Despite Mrs. McGreevey’s pleasant smile and supporting gestures during Gov. McGreevey’s resignation press conference, she is surely hurting, failing to understand why her husband would sacrifice the bond of their marriage.
In the same way but for different reasons the citizens of New Jersey are at a loss of words as to why Gov. McGreevey broke his public oath for sexual gratification. We have all been cheated on to some extent and in some context..

What is to be learned from all of this? :

While I cannot offer a true medical definition of the term sexual addiction I do offer some personal observance.
For the past few years I have recognized and observed the signs and dangers of sexual addiction. On a periodic basis I see how it destroys personal and professional lives.
As difficult as it is to imagine not much has changed through thousands of years of human civilization. The pleasures and dangers of sexual activity have been carefully observed for thousands of years.

Sexual addiction is not just about being the victim of ‘sexpionage’.
The mass consumption of porn (especially brought on by the internet) in which men and women mythological proportions and tolerances engage in sexual relations completely devoid of reality and consequence has led to the rise in failures of intimacy amongst couples. Depsite the lack of intimacy the sexual impulses do not go away. How one chooses to satisfy these impulses, whether in a constructive or destructive manner, is the heart of the matter.

The actions of Gov. McGreevey (as with many other sex addicts) can only be seen as destructive both personally and professionally.
Many of us believe the falacious argument that an individuals pesonal sexual conduct is of no concern to the citizenry and that the consequences of the individuals behavior both positive and negative, only personally effect that individual or groups of individuals. Gov. McGreevey's case is an example of this fallacy. The reality is that one's sexual behavior does have more far reaching implications on a social level (let alone with the very real health risks).

As I have grown older I have become no more religous nor self-righteous, at least to extent that it reflects on my social and political views. What I have come to appreciate is the wisdom in the laws, social dogma's and religous views in our society. There is a reason why our society was conducted on Judeo-Christian beliefs of sexual responsibility as well as judicial rules of sexual conduct. It is to protect ourselves from the reverting back to anotherprimal, instant gratifying species in the animal kingdom. Whether you think humankinds separation from animals was the divine work God or manipulative works of social constructionist or ability to reason, rationalize and direct our primal impulses is what has lead us to build stewardship amongst our kind and in return the ability to develop the civilizations we live in today.

I do not find defining the sexual responsbility of a society as the work of prude's, religious fanatics or opprssive patriarchs. Rather is is the very practical practice of not allowing a society to become so primal and self pleasing that it leads to societal decay (think Ancient Rome).

If asked to provide a definition I would say that Sexual Addicion the failure to keep sexual relations the constructive, healthy and yes ‘fun’ thing that it is suppose to be, and reducing into a purely at-all–costs self-gratifying action.
Despite the very real primal impulses in all of us, sex and sexual relations themselves must remain a force to be controlled so tha we may better guide our selves in developing more civilized better functioning societies.
Posted by mightymerk, 8:19 PM

3 Comments:

By Blogger nks487

your writing style looks good to me - I am a beginner also so! - I would just say that your posts seem a little overlong!

I would guess not many busy people have too much time to read 10+ paragraphs of prose!

(whoops I including too many exclamation marks - again!)

@ 5:22 PM  

By Anonymous Anonymous

I persoanlly think McGreevy's outing was more to do with saving his ass than making some bold statement.

@ 3:19 PM  

By Blogger mightymerk

Steve,

Like most politicians he acted exactly as you described, and in his own self-interest and I guess the overall better interest of his party. He only came 'out' when his hands were forced. He is certainly not unique in this way.

What led to this though, his sexual addiction, is more of what I was focused on.

Thank you for the kind post.

@ 5:05 PM  

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