"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

A Piece Of Tail–American Presidents’ Sexual Adventures From Tomcatters To Biden

‘Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac’, famously wrote Henry Kissinger, apostle of Machiavellian zeitgeist and still going strong at 100.  Nobody loves a fool or a man who looks like Henry in his halcyon days.  He was saggy, doughy, and misshapen even as a young man, but always courted a stable of young women who were, according to him, attracted by his position, confidence, and influence.  

And what he could do for them, to be sure, for women of the ages have been attracted to men like Kissinger with whom they could be seen – a gruff tumble in the hay for pix in Variety and the New York Post, fifteen minutes of fame which could lead to better things.

Henry Kissinger at 100: history will judge the former US secretary of  state's southern African interventions to be a failure

For Kissinger, it was the dream of every Jewish boy – blonde shiksas galore – and he reveled in the attention.  ‘Canny strategist’ and ‘brilliant academic’ were supernumerary terms, men’s ways of deflecting their sexual envy into more familiar and acceptable corners.  These editors and Washington wharf rats wanted what Kissinger had – not the ear of the President, but the soft, pearly white thighs of his women.  The press gave him license – he wasn’t the President, and Nixon was the most sexlessly repulsive man ever to sit in the Oval Office – so his tomcatting was smiled at and buried.

Kennedy of course not only got a pass from the press but enjoyed their complicity.  The fawning editors of the Times and the Post couldn’t get enough of this charming, handsome man.  He was their kind of President – patrician, Ivy League, Cape Codder and suave prince of Camelot.  The President was a man of ease – a socially graceful man of wit and poise who could do no wrong.  Everyone was taken in by Kennedy’s light touch, boyish looks, and irresistible sexual allure.  He never needed Kissinger’s particular aphrodisiac to bed Marilyn Monroe and a hundred others.

Yachting - the boats of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, president, sailor and  skipper! - Yachting Art Magazine

The paparazzi give chase to LBJ who left plenty of traces – word was that he slipped out at night with women pimped by the Secret Service, but apocryphal or true, the press had his back, a man of their own, not particularly choosy and too in a hurry to bother with anything but availability.  

Former governor of New York, Eliot Spitzer, who was caught in flagrante delicto in a suite at the Mayflower with high-priced Washington hookers, and who said that he hadn’t the time for romance and flowers; so tomcatting LBJ style was the people’s sex, homegrown bimbo sex, taken up later by Bill Clinton and his trailer trash.

Just about every president has had something on the side – it came with the office – and there were no apologies nor should there have been even for men of unimpeachable moral rectitude like FDR and George Bush, Senior, keeper of the real American aristocratic flame of noblesse oblige has mistresses.

Jennifer Fitzgerald was rumored to have been Bush’s paramour for over twelve years and Lucy Mercer was FDR’s mistress for as long.  Color was no bar for Thomas Jefferson who is reported to have kept slave Sally Hemmings as a mistress for much of his time in office.  Even recondite Richard Nixon was linked with a beautiful Chinese bar hostess.  Everyone did it.

Adultery is as common as fleas on a dog, said one Washington wag, and why should American presidents be spared their bites? After all, the French cinq-a-sept afternoon trysts were de rigeur for busboys and dukes.  President Sarkozy kept his mistress at the Elysees and President Mitterrand’s widow, mistress, and illegitimate daughter stood proudly and publicly at his gravesite as he was lowered into the ground.

Francois Mitterrand Funeral in his home town of Jarnac in the Charente in  south western France 11 January 1996 The mistress of Francois Mitterrand  Anne Pingeot wearing black hat and their daughter

The only difference between American and European leaders is that our presidents feel they need to hide their dalliances.  Bill Clinton went out of his way to deny Jennifer Flowers and insisted that he did not have sex with ‘that woman’, Monica Lewinsky, in the Oval Office.  

Senators, Congressmen, and televangelists caught with their pants down jump through burning hoops to explain, deny, or justify their affairs.  Mark Sanford, former Governor of South Carolina, went missing for days as he followed his Argentine lover to Buenos Aires, but insisted that he had only been hiking the Appalachian Trail.   Flapdoodle, abject, groveling apologies, and groveling is par for the course in America. 

Bill Clinton went down many notches in international reputation once his laughable diddling of Monica Lewinsky came to light.  Any President worth his salt would have fucked her, said men from Spitzbergen to Abu Dhabi, all of whose leaders took the marriage vow as a public convenience.  Yet, Clinton at least tried, as sorry an attempt as the Lewinsky affair was.

Current President Joe Biden is the odd man out.  Unless he has been uniquely careful, no rumors of former lovers or paramours have surfaced.  A few allegations of sexual misconduct (Tara Reade) are about all there is to say about a man who either has no interest in women or has been too peckish and too obsessed with his political image to care.  

Now in his last hurrah – turning 80 is not a pretty thing – it is too late for him to show some spunk even if he could break the ball-busting grip of the MeToo cabal; but why not? His legacy would be enhanced.  Robert DiNiro at 80 has just fathered his seventh child with a young wife, and what Hollywood groupie would not want to still be in the running at his age?  

‘Have a go, Joe’, wrote a columnist in a well-known satirical journal.  God’s greatest irony, the editorial went on, is to have created men with a sexual interest in women until the day they die but to have given them a scant few years to do something about it.

Benjamin Dixon on Twitter: "Biden is going to look like a deer in headlights  against Trump. Don't say no one tried to warn you. https://t.co/Yx2k9193TM"  / Twitter

It can’t be any fun being President unless you take advantages of the perks.  A weekend at Camp David just hasn’t been enough for the likes of Biden’s predecessors.  Where is Donald Trump when we really need him?  A man of huge, oversized appetites, unapologetic, squire of starlets, a sexual trooper who would return macho to 1700 Pennsylvania, give it a breath of fresh air like he did before.  Sweep out the sanctimony and the lovely sentiments. 

Cotton Mather, Puritan ideologue, relentless sexual purifier, spokesman for the righteous and good, would be delighted to see what his America has become – a neo-Puritan idyll, a stuffy, sexless place of duty and rectitude.  This may change whether or not Donald Trump is re-elected.  How long can a country suffer under the yoke of sanctimony and bad faith?

Even Biden-haters are hoping for a last orgasmic epiphany.  The poor man has been beholden to so many people for so long that he has forgotten what being a man is like.  ‘Have a go, Joe’, is the new meme for a man at the end of his trudging, humorless life.

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