Why are we so concerned about hookers?
To start with, our puritanical nation loves a good sex scandal. Sure beats talking about the war, or doing any real reporting. Americans can talk about sex 'til the Viagra runs out -- or longer.
But there's some stinkin'-thinkin' in the sad and masochistic drama of New York's governor, and it's not necessarily Eliot Spitzer's penchant for purchased flesh I am referring to.
As a television reporter, I traveled the world with men. I had to depend on them, and they had to depend on me. We became friends. The most libidinous of the group sometimes hired hookers in foreign lands, and when I protested with puritanical indignation, I got an education.
One night "the boys," as I called them, sat me down and explained their point of view. According to those who indulged themselves, men who hire prostitutes believe it is better than cheating on wives and girlfriends. If you don't think men and women are different on this issue consider this: When's the last time you heard of a woman hiring a man for an evening of hunk-uh, hunk-uh burning love?
But, before we get scrappy and mount that judgmental high horse, let's consider this: Men with power and money are insecure. Riding that pinnacle of power is one heck of a slippery slope, and it always has been. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but after claiming power and money and privilege, boundaries get blurred. Even presidents misbehave. And when they haven't had the good manners to hire a professional; when, instead, there is a name attached, it really hurts. Just ask Hillary Clinton.
The rise and fall of anatomical parts is, and has always been, a vitamin booster for the male ego. In the case of some men, a woman on her knees is the only kind they want. Some people like anonymous sex because it provides exactly that -- anonymity and fewer people get hurt.
From the hooker's point of view, face-to-face sex is much too personal. A kiss on the lips might be expected -- gag, choke, puke! So everyone gets what they want.
Remember Sen. Larry Craig and the airport bathroom stall? My only question after finding out Craig may be having anonymous gay sex was this: Did Craig give blood after 9/11 with the rest of the Senate? If he did, he should have abstained. Those who practice high-risk sexual behavior -- and then put others who don't at risk -- are criminals.
Remember when Hugh Grant picked up a Hollywood hooker? He was resoundingly criticized and the victim of many a disgruntled female-fan's snort of indignation. I thought back on when my co-workers had the "hooker" talk with me and said, "At least Grant did not pick up a woman from a bar, take her to his hotel room, have sex with her and never see her again." That would have been devastating for that young woman. Instead, he did the polite thing. He hired a professional.
There is a reason hookers are on every street corner -- men want them there.
In the governor's case, if there is anything truly hard to stomach, it is the hypocrisy of rounding up hookers and putting them in jail, then taking advantage of the process to target fresh meat.