Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A Rant of My Own: Drawing the Line at Sex

Before I left town, I got real pissed off at a blogger's post about Jessica Cutler. It was not just that his points were painfully lame, but the fact that there is no argument I could possibly make to change his mind because he is part a crowd I just don't understand: The Holier-Than-Thou.

In summary, he said to Cutler (I'll add bold for the parts that really made me mad):

"I dislike you because not only did you fucked a married man for money, you benefitted from the experience…Compounding your existing problems, instead of the social castigation you richly deserved, you got a book deal. I don't blame you entirely for that, but it certainly looks bad that instead of being even remotely apologetic about the whole thing, and accepting your half of the blame, you decided to parlay the whole thing into famousness.

"That's why I dislike you, Jessica. Make fun of me for my weight, or my earring, or my funky goatee, but at least I didn't fuck another man's wife in the ass and got famous for it. I'd rather be fat than a complete degenerate."

Despite my conservative upbringing, I still find it sad that there are just people in this world who are so totally oblivious to what goes on (and has always gone on) in real life that they are just shocked and disgusted whenever reality is presented to them. What happened to Jessica Cutler is merely a public display of what has been happening since men were attracted to women and particularly, older powerful men to younger woman.

I personally have no problem with what Jessica Cutler did and has done since then aside from the fact that I don’t like how her novel about those experiences turned out (I have a theory that her publisher/editor made her tie it all in a bow, but whatevs, fingers crossed for something better in the HBO series).

Anyway, it bothers me that people fault her for taking money/presents from these dudes she was sleeping with. Bothers me a lot. Do we fault men who get their rocks off on much hotter girls they don’t deserve? Hell no! We give them high fives and envious glances and deem these women “trophies” and reflections of these men’s status among their peers. But, when these women want to take money or favors for these dalliances, we suddenly get free reign to crucify them? It’s a barter, baby, you get yours and I’ll get mine.

Sure, Cutler became famous for something silly and pedestrian (sex), albeit socially taboo, but that’s not her fault. She was writing to her friends online about her life, and it became public. Lemons into lemonade, and no matter how sweet your glass house, I doubt anyone can say for certain they wouldn’t do the same if faced with her limited options.

So those puritanical many like our blogger buddy there who naively (and probably jealously) blush at the idea of anal sex and blow jobs will continue to wring their hands and hate her for what she did no matter what. I also love that it was/is Cutler who gets judged. Sure, she wrote the book. But even before that, these people were so disgusted with her as opposed to the men who were also taking advantage of a situation. I have hardly heard anything negative about that guy who is suing her and Anna Marie Cox and half the known world for $20 million...but she had anal sex, the nerve!

And, that leads me to my main point: I think our society draws the line at sex and it’s sexist and stupid. Our cultural norm says it’s okay for a man in a monetarily advantageous position to use every ounce of it to get sex, but if there is anything in it for the woman other than his shriveled balls, it’s wrong.

A perfect example would be Anna Nicole Smith. People hate her, call her nasty names because she saw a great opportunity to make some serious money and make some old bastard really fucking happy the last few years of his life. But, oh no, she’s the demonized gold digger because she wanted more than sex. If it was just sex like we assume he wanted than it was totally okay, but because she wanted more, she’s the whore.

It's time we all deal with reality. Sure, we all want every sexual encounter to be moonlight and roses, but the simple fact is the world has never and will never go round on healthy and happy relationships because those relationships are between human beings who are filled with id and ego and libido, not angel dust.

And, to be perfectly honest, sex with angel dust would probably be pretty damn boring and certainly not a world in which I would want to live.


Blogger KassyK said...

AMEN SISTER!! So true and every point was right on. The truth is we still live in a sexist society where women will always be looked down upon for GETTING something from sex while guys can rack up notches and all that dumb ass crap without anyone saying anything but "Yeah man!! Good job she was HOT!!" Its bullshit and about time someone called it.

Sex is fun and as long as you are safe and no one is getting hurt...fuck it. Have fun. Although sleeping with a married man or cheating on a spouse is not cool. But that is a whole other situation.

Bravo!! :-)

10:28 AM  
Blogger HomeImprovementNinja said...

I don't think you're reading the situation accurately. To say that everyone thinks the situation is okay from the guy's point of view is not accurate. There were lots of people calling from the resignation of firing of the DeWine and Leiberman aides who paid her for sex/gave her a job for sex. I would say that I lost respect for DeWine and Leiberman for not firing them, but that would imply that I had any for them to begin with.

As to the Anna Nicole SMith thing. Do you really know of anyone who looked upon J.HOward Marshall as anything other than a creepy, dirty old man? He worked his entire life to build an oil empire but will be remembered as the creepy old guy who married the stripper when he was 90.

And I think you're giving her more credit than she's due. This isn't like she accepted a nice birthday gift from someone she was dating. The money wasn't "detached and disinterested generosity". SHe made a deal with a guy where she would meet him, have anal sex, and he would pay her $400 each time. I think the behavior was disgusting on both their parts. If you know of some mental acrobatics where that would make her something other than a prostitute or him something other than a john/trick, please explain it to me, because I don't see it.

As to the guy who's suing her. He's really pathetic. I hope that they take his morals into account when he's up for tenure at that law school.

10:36 AM  
Blogger Velvet said...

I know. I really couldn't agree with you more. People get all ruffled about things that have ZERO to do with them. If that guy thinks JC is the worst thing to hit Capitol Hill, ha ha, I've got a bridge to sell him.

Re: the cheating thing. It's not something I would ever do, but I'm not married and I take marriage very seriously. Probably the reason I'm not married...vicious cycle...ha ha. But, people get married for different reasons, and to one marriage is "cheating and grounds for divorce" is just commonplace to another.

Besides, Jessica didn't take the vow - why should she be responsible for all married men keeping their dicks in their pants?

10:40 AM  
Blogger Ashburnite said...

I completely agree, V. Yes, she may have slept with a married man, who gave her "presents," but why is she the one at fault? Every time there is a highly publicised situation like this, people are always quick to blame the woman. She isn't the one who cheated! Why is the blame never cast on the guy? Because other men are too busy patting him on the back for banging the younger, hot "slut." When in fact, he is the one who cheated on his wife and gave money/gifts to the woman he cheated with.
Honestly, if Jessica Cutler were a man who had sex with an older woman (who happened to be married), no one would call him a whore.
This is a debate I've been having with one of my (female) friends since the whole thing started. Her opinion was that Jessica Cutler got what she deserved when she was fired because of the fact that she slept with a married man...and it pisses me off every time we have that conversation, mainly because it is so unbelievably judgemental, but also because I've talked to Jessica, and she really is a genuinely nice person who just got caught up in a bad situation and is trying to make the best of it.

10:47 AM  
Anonymous Sally said...

Respek, V. I loves me some J-Cut. I'd never do what she did, but I'd also never call her a whore or make accusations against her.

10:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually I think she fits the standard definition of whore pretty well, and weather you agree with her actions or not, denying that she is a whore looks pretty ridiculous.

11:11 AM  
Anonymous Jessica said...

"SHe made a deal with a guy where she would meet him, have anal sex, and he would pay her $400 each time."

Wrong, wrong, wrong. Home Improvement Ninja has my sex life from two years ago all mixed up! Not that it's any of his/her business. But, yeah, I'm a total whore.

11:13 AM  
Blogger V said...

Kassy: Exactly, I am tired of people being so prude when reality is very different.

HIN: There were some people who mentioned those guys, but most of it had to do with JC and what she did.

My point w/ Anna Nicole Smith is that she is labeled as a gold digging whore, but her husband was just seen as an old rich guy. I think people see it as his right to do that, but she was in the wrong for accepting.

As far as JC's situation, I am a big believer that most of us are whores at some point and it might not always be a money for sex exchange, but the same idea applies and all those people throwing stones are hypocrites.

Velvet: Exactly, she didn't take the vow and yet, she gets the blame.

Ash: Wow, if everyone who had an affair got fired, we'd have an even more serious problem with unemployment.

Sally: Word, I don't think I would either, but I certainly wouldn't want to tell someone else how to live their life.

Anon: See my related comment to HIN above.

11:14 AM  
Blogger HomeImprovementNinja said...

v: The point is that in romantic relationships, normal people don't think of it in monetary terms. Love is supposed to be a selfless act, whereas things involving money, like work, are purely mercenary. The reason that people are so offended by it is that it mixes the sacred with the profane.

11:20 AM  
Blogger JoJo said...

V, word sister! Once again, you've proved you have super power observational gifts.

11:27 AM  
Blogger V said...

HIN: As I said, we'd all like every relationship to be "normal" but I am not even totally sure what that is, nor am I convinced that it's possible considering that in my expereince, most people are crazy. And, who said anything about love anyway?

Anther thought, why is it that we view sex as an exclusive part of love and it needing to be sacred? Marriage between two people that loved each other is a modern idea. The institution was created for very different reasons. And, sex is really for procreation, which is usually not it's purpose.

11:30 AM  
Blogger V said...

Thanks, Joanna, glad to see you around here and hope all is well with you!

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think sex needs to be only in love or serious relationships, but to deny that she was a whore - she took money for a lunchtime sex act, and then left - is to deny the obvious. Mabye for these women it is a mix of jealousy and denial? I'd like to see how many female "dating" blogs popped up in May of 2004, just around the time of the whole Washingtonienne.

11:45 AM  
Blogger V said...

Anon: Aside from the fact that you appear to really enjoy labeling someone a whore, I don't see why this is a point worth mentioning.

And, You'll have to explain your "jealousy and denial" point more before I can respond as I don't totally follow.

11:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Denial: Denying JC was a prostitute.


Prostitute: One who solicits and accepts payment for sex acts.

Jealousy: Not sure about this one - just a guess. Who doesn't like attention? And who wouldn't want a book deal? Especially since there are many other JC's out there doing exactly what she did - fuck married men - I can only guess that they feel jilted. Probably not, though.

And I don't have anything against JC - I think she's cute and even bought her (hardcover) book. I just call a spade a spade.

11:57 AM  
Blogger O-FACE said...

I just hate her because she made money from it. I'm pathetic like that. But I hope her series works out and she inspires more women to fuck more male coworkers so that coming to work really is about cumming at work...Menage on the copy machine, Dildo's next to the snika bars....Coffee or KY???

11:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And seriously, I'm glad there are girls like her out there. All men are. I ain't hatin' just sayin.

12:00 PM  
Blogger V said...

Anon: Thanks for the definition, I get that and asshole confused sometimes.

And, if labeling makes you feel good than be my guest--I thought you had a point (my mistake).

12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My point was to point out how ridiculous people are who deny that she was a prostitute. Why does this have to be gender wars? I think her men are as disgusting as she is - if not more, since they were married and she wasn't - but techinically speaking, she is the one taking money for sex.

12:03 PM  
Blogger V said...

Anon: I think you need re-read my post. I addressed your question and made the point that the media, blogs and public made/make it much more about what JC did than the men. And, as many of the previous commenters noted, it is a gender issue because only the women get labeled.

12:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree. If I were a women I'd be pissed about the double standard, too. Hell, even as a guy it riles me up a little bit.

But from what I can see, no one is defending the men. It is only women defending JC. Personally, I don't think the "double standard" is reaon enough to defend a woman that got paid to fuck other woman's husbands, but that is just me. Maybe I'm old fashioned.

What would Carrie Bradshaw say?

12:19 PM  
Blogger J. Serpentine said...

I would never be foolish enough to deny a double standard. But the world is somewhat fairer than the ladies are making it out to be. JC did get a 6 figure deal and an HBO series. Plus, a truly sophisticated man would read Playboy, which absolutely stuck up for her.

Men do get punished unfairly for sex as well. Just ask Bill Clinton.

12:24 PM  
Blogger V said...

Anon: In this situation the men are largely ignored and in "real life" men take little heat at all while women are labeled and shamed.

And, the point here is that I am sick of the "old fashioned" perspective that throws stones because the issue deals with sex.

12:25 PM  
Blogger V said...

Jack Serpentine: The story doesn’t usually turn out as well as it did for JC.

And, I agreed you on Clinton as that’s another example of how our prude delusional culture rewards and punishes according to unrealistic "standards" of behavior.

12:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sick of it too, Circle. As someone whose longest relationship (25 swm) clocks in at two months, I wish there were:

a) more Jessica Cutlers
b) less social animosity towards Jessica Cutlers

But the truth is, there are far too many women who still like the alpha-male/lawyer/unattainable men out there and will throw it at them. Kind of ruin's it for the rest of us, dont you think?

12:30 PM  
Blogger V said...

Anon 1:30: You're really playing into my liberal ass here, but yes, I do agree because I think it's realistic that sex or money or power or access will be a part of a symbiotic relationship. However, that will probably not help you much if you're looking for love.

And, yes, women love assholes. I'd suggest you read my recent tips for men on dating a girls, maybe it'll help :)

12:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't read your tips - are you being sarcasit?

12:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And I didn't say "all women love..." I said: "Many." This is truth.

12:39 PM  
Blogger V said...

No, I'm actually not. It's called "Circle V's Tips for Her Fellas, Part Deux" (linked in "previous posts" section on left)

Read away.

And, I said all and it's pretty much true at some point in a female's life.

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess for women its all about the V word: Validation.

No pun intended.

I like this blog.

12:43 PM  
Blogger Sean said...

I don't care what label she's given. She sure is skanky. Who would pay for that? Oh that's right, old men.

1:12 PM  
Blogger O-FACE said...

She's not a prostitue because technically she didn't negotiate terms for money....Sounds as if poor guys felt sorry for her eating bread and water and suffering under DC's crazy ass cost of existing...But make no mistake, I would hit that and blog about it later....Just so I can be famous and get my deal on fx.

1:20 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

"but at least I didn't fuck another man's wife in the ass and got famous for it."

Why does this statement amuse me so?

Is this even possible from a male's perspective?

"Hey! There goes Phil...he banged some dude's wife in the he's famous. Man, I hate that guy."

1:36 PM  
Blogger Needtsza said...

Meanwhile, HE was the married one.

It's his responsibility to keep his dick in his pants. "Look but don't touch"

...and this coming from a guy!

The Apple stays on the tree asswipe. And as for the commenter that got ya so angry, I'd just call her fat on the daily. Girls hate that no matter what they say in the safety of online.

1:45 PM  
Blogger A Unique Alias said...

And, from the other perspective
"Hey! There goes Phil . . . he banged my wife in the ass . . . now he's famous. I'm going to sue him!"

2:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So I'll take a shot at actually explaining some of the double standard instead of just falling back on labels.

The difference, from what I have observed, is not based on gender but rather the bargained item. What each party willingly (without persuasion) brought to the transaction. The men brought payment in order to purchase sexual favors. That might make them sad, unable to obtain sexual favors without payment, or stupid, bad allocation of funds, but neither of those emotions really draws the venom of society.

However, the party that trades sexual favors for money is dealing in an item that we as a society do not want to assign a monetary value. Whether true or not, we would like to think that sex is above monetary payment. Or at the least, that the cost is much higher than one can reasonable pay. JC, by breaking that illusion, draws a much greater negative emotion from the public.

As an aside, this illusion shouldn't be considered such a negative thing. Lets consider rape for a moment. Rape commands a much higher penalty (if convicted) than other crimes of similar personal damage. Part of the higher penalty is due to economics of law. Just as theft is graduated by the value of the item stolen, rape is considered especially heinous because the value of sex is considered much greater than any real market value. Imagine for a moment if as a society we really did value sex in that $400 range. That doesn't even enter superior court range. An assault that only leads to $400 in physical damage would probably be reduced to simply battery and be deemed a misdemeanor. It’s the unwillingness as a society to assign sex a market value that elevates our control over it.

Also, I don’t think this is a sexist issue. Had the situation involved a young male trading favors for sex, I think the same feelings would have been invoked. It is magnified by a degree of backlash against woman that is not seen against men in the same situation, but this falls mainly from a feeling of betrayal. Society has taken an additional responsibility to protect the chastity of females as it deems them less physically capable of protecting that choice without its assistance. Willingly marginalizing sex then is considered an insult to that protection.


4:14 PM  
Blogger Johnny said...

It frankly disgusts me to see smart, attractive women stick up for Jessica Cutler. Do you ladies not have ANY standards? I mean, if you can't look down on someone for not having any self-respect and selling herself, what can you look down on? And stop complaining about double standards. There are plenty of them, and they exist because men and women are DIFFERENT. They've worked for a long time. I surely lose respect for anyone who looks up to a druggie whore.

5:11 PM  
Blogger Johnny said...

And Circle V, how jaded must you be to think every relationship is like prostitution? Don't you ever have someone you love?

5:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jessica's story really doesn't interest me... what interests me is the stories of those who live a lifetime this way and don't ever talk about it. How many situations are out there that we don't know of. I am going to guess a lot, especially in DC.

9:48 PM  
Blogger ejtakeslife said...

Ugh, I almost hate to add another point to a two-year-old debate that could not be more played out. I don't particularly care what any one person chooses to do with his or her personal time, but don't slap a bow on your bad sex choices and call it feminism. Feminism is supposed to be about equality and equal standards for the sexes, not the right of both genders to behave like brats just because they can. If people are really serious about eliminating double standards, then maybe they should be rewarding people who demand the respect and treatment they are worthy of, not those who consistently aim for the lowest common denominator when the opportunity presents itself.

Anyhoo, aren't we due for another sex scandal by now? Come on, who will step up with something nasty so we can all start a new game of Judge The Bad Choices?

10:22 PM  
Blogger Velvet said...

When I read that "Johnny" comment, I was like, how could our Johnny DC say that?? But I realize it's not the same person. And...let me jump in on that.

How can I stick up for her? Simple. The woman took lemons and made lemonade, exposing (unintentionally) the crap that goes on on the Hill, on taxpayer's dimes.

This isn't the greatest analogy, but I'm going to give it a stab. I hate the music of women like Britney and Madonna. I actually find them to be without talent. Yet, they have managed to convince the world, via heavy promotion, that they are worthy of the consumer's dollar. I may not like their work, but they worked damn hard to attain the success they have, and I will always have respect for that.

Did Jessica Cutler go looking for this? Doubtful. It found her. And she made the best of it. The question of whether what she did was amoral or not is really subjective, and none of anyone's business. Again, in the world of Velvet, which should be the world we live in, if something doesn't affect your life in the least, (Jessica Cutler, same sex marriage...) then why be so angry about it? And don't come back with "I'm not angry, I just think she's a whore." Words like "whore" are sheer anger.

V - great post.

10:52 PM  
Blogger O-FACE said...

I think everybody already knew that politicians fuck at our expense....E.G.-JFK and Clinton

12:59 AM  
Anonymous skeptical woman said...

Um, am I the only one that thinks that the Anna Nicole Smith thing and the Jessica Cutler thing are two totally different stories?

Anna Nicole made an old man happy and got rich off of it. Not exactly a Hollywood love story, but there are all kinds of arrangements.

Jessica Cutler decided to go public on a Blog, talking about sex with married men and how she didn't make enough money at her job at the Whitehouse. She basically *kissed and told* and whined over Blogland about her lack of money which *made* her have to sleep with some of these guy-leaving her totally open to any criticism. Hello!-You don't do this on a Blog. I'm not sure who she made really happy-except for herself...

1:16 AM  
Anonymous skeptical woman said...

Me again. There was something else that I wanted to add. I think that Anna Nicole Smith had some genuine affection/gratitudte to the old man for helping her get out of the life she was in. He always looked happy ;-) She was also Married to the man.

Jessica Cutler does not qualify in any of these departments. I'm not defending Bill Clinton either, he was married, he also lied to a whole country It's not cool for either sex.

1:25 AM  
Anonymous Matt said...

I think what Jessica Cutler did was simply live a free, authentic life. She enjoyed sex, so she had sex. As far as RS is concerned, it sounds to me like the best thing anyone ever said about him was that he got to have sex with her.

5:58 AM  
Blogger V said...

Thanks for these thoughtful comments. And, while I do think JC is always an interesting topic, I was more trying to highlight how our culture is still really hung up on sex and idealizes it to an absurd level, which often calls for wrongly labeling and judging women more than men.

Now, I think I have great sex and in fact, have great sex with someone I love, but I am not so naive to think that this is the only way sex has been and will be used/experienced among people. Put sex on a pedestal if you want, but I think that's what gets us into trouble.

And to Skeptical Woman: I think you need to pick up JC's book or maybe read some articles about it because your explanation was wrong. I also clearly explained my point relating to Cutler and Smith, not as being the same situation, but being examples of a larger problem regarding people’s view of sex. Give it another read.

9:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that Jessica deserves to be congratulated for embracing the culture that she was thrust into (PARDON THE PUN). I think that if you read her initial blog entries you will see that she was careful to protect the "innocent" by using only initials of those who had decided that it was acceptable for them to engage in the activities that she describes.

As to those Washingtonians who still chastise her for doing what she did, I think that you all need to grow up and find a new whipping girl. Given the same opportunity and the same situation I wonder how many of you really would have said no.

Congratulations Jessica for being real and reminding people that the world is not the lily white place that people think it is. This issue is not black or wite, as with everything else in life, it is painted in shades of grey. Perhaps people should stop picking on Jessica and start looking at the men that took advantage of her wares and who after doing so over react and spend years trying to a) discredit her and b) cause her financial and emotional ruin because they can not accept their culpability in the actions that they themselves took.

I say keep writing Jessica, keep being real and I hope that soon all this shall come to pass in a way that is ideal for you.


10:06 AM  
Blogger Carrie Broadshoulders said...

She didn't have sex because she enjoyed it, she had sex because she benefitted financially from it. I call that being a whore. I'm not saying that's good or bad, but that's what she is. And while I personally think it's absurd someone becomes famous for it, it isn't really shocking to me. The fact you or me or anyone even comments on it shows that it's intriguing to us that someone can be so shamelessly open about being a whore. I don't blame her for milking it for what its worth, but I do think karma will be sure to return the favor she did to the married man's wife. While he is ultimately to blame, she may very well get her's in the end.

In the end, I have no clue why anyone would want to screw her and certainly pay her for it. She's not really all that attractive if you ask me. Then again, maybe it wasn't her face that made her so "charming."

7:38 PM  
Blogger Carrie Broadshoulders said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Were you in the room with her, Carrie Broadshoulders? How can you possibly know if someone enjoyed it or not? Did you even read V's post about holier-than-thou assholes? Maybe you should re-read it.

2:37 PM  
Blogger averagedrinker said...

to make life more interesting, why not go for dating onlie as well? carrie Broadshoulders resemble the way i live my life. that's why i haven't left wealthymen_dot_com since i started chatting there. now i agree that the best things in life are free.

5:32 AM  
Blogger steller said...

yeah, so what's wrong with taking advantage of the fact that some old rich guy wants to pay you wads of cash for staying with him when no one else would be there for him? yeah i go to wealthymen as well but it's nice enough that i was able to end up with a rich guy who is healthy enough to live for another 50 years..

3:26 AM  
Anonymous Missy said...

I just added Jessica to my short list of people I'd like to meet.

6:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn good post!

7:26 PM  

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