Sex and Politics: A Sex-Positive Inquiry
Under the title of "XXX Political Campaign," rod 2.0 beta reports:
"London's sole gay, black councillor loses his seat in a bizaare political campaign that focused on an XXX M4M personal ad. Charles Anglin, the former Liberal Democratic councillor in Lambeth, south London (think: London Eye) says he was a victim of homophobia and hypocrisy.
In late March, the tabloid South London Press led with revelations about Councillor Anglin's profile on Gaydar. The article claimed that Anglin has "posed naked on a website, handling his private parts and revealing his sexual fantasies". The article also said that the councillor "has boasted of his sexual prowess on the website and revealed he gets an erotic kick wrestling other men."
Anglin never denied the Gaydar profile:"This is my private life and I don't see what the fuss is about." But his nude personal ad became the focus of the election. In the words of one opponent: "Posing naked on a website is surprising conduct for an elected representative." As much as we love a good wrestling match, alas, we'd have to agree."
"Patrick S" comments: This is a great story. True, its his personal business but if you're elected to office, you have to be discreet. Just because he's gay doesn't make it any diffrent. We wouldn't want a straight male or female politician posting an xxx personal ad.
Larry D. Lyons II responds:
I disagree. How many sex scandals need to hit the press before we realize that the problem is not that an ever-growing group of people in the public eye do nasty things, but that the public requires and vigilantly enforces the asexuality of its political figures? To be clear: LarryLy would sooner take issue with folks who aim to sweep the dirty dirty spectre of sexuality under the rug and out of the public eye than endorse the censure of those folks who bravely resist the sublimation and vilification of their sexual identity.
Why wouldn't we want a politician posting a "risque" personal ad?
Is it the ad?
What might it be about a politican's desire for affection or love or sex that renders them less capable or qualified to do their job? Why does this glimpse into the fullness of their humanity make "us" uncomfortable? Does the desire to be desired signify a vulnerability that we'd like to believe ceases to exist once one is elected to office? Does the visibility of a politician's quest for companionship remind us that elected officials can never be the superhuman eunuchs that "we" so need them to be? Are we resistant to these pseudo-icons being humanized to the point that we might actaully see in them those things which we [have been taught to] despise within ourselves (i.e. a desire for validation, a sexual apetite)? I don't want to psychologize irresponsibly here... but I am interested in the hypocrisy that refuses politicians access to the means of connecting to one another that the rest of us enjoy.
Is it the nudity?
Is there something particularly offensive or dangerous about the nudity of a politician? What aspect of our conditioning makes it harder to trust the prudence of someone we've seen naked? What narratives about sexuality and the body lead us to believe that it is inappropriate for someone in a position of power to exhibit some agency in the formation of their sexual identity? How has this stigmatization of the nude and/or sexualized body proven problematic in the past?
There are a million thoughts swirling about in my head:
Are we learning anything from the lessons we've been getting about the consequences of repressing sexuality from the Catholic church (and its altar boys)?
Arnold Schwarzenegger was nothing if not sexualized before he became Governor of California. But if i recall correctly, people had more of a problem with him being an actor than with him being a sexual being. Luckily for Arnie, he'd (ostensibly) tamed his infamous libido and gotten married before he made his bid for governor... because it seems that being young and openly single presents a particular type of danger.
But Anglin doesn't enjoy the luxury of being white, married, straight, conservative or ashamed. So, if Patrick is correct, the public does not permit even its straight politicos to decide for themselves what is appropriate and what is not. It would be outlandish, then, to expect that a black gay single man who's confortable in his skin might be evaluated solely on the basis of his qualifications and acumen rather than all-too salacious information about his prowess.
For me, it boils down to this: there are significant penalties designated for a black gay man who exhibits his body on the internet (particularly for the puposes of finding companionship or sex). For obvious reasons, this is an disqueting reality for your boy LarryLy.