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  COMES NATURALLY #21  (May 27, 1994)  
Copyright © 1994 David Steinberg  
  
  

A PRESIDENT AND HIS UNDERWEAR 
  
  

Maybe this is just me making something big out of something little, but I keep on thinking that something important is different, now that sex is back in the White House.  I mean, itís been over 25 years since anybody there had any kind of erotic juice whatsoever, and when Kennedy brought his particular sexuality to the First Bedroom, that was also worth noting and very much noticed.  

Weíre not very comfortable thinking of our political leaders in sexual terms. We hold them as somewhat mythical father figures, in the way that little children think of their parents as being larger than life.  Yet at some point every kid has to integrate the idea of Mom and Dad as ultimate caregivers, nurturers, protectors, and authorities with Mom and Dad as plain old human beings just like everyone else, just like us.  And part of that is admitting that Mom and Dad do It, that they are sexual beings, that they hunger and desire just as we do.  

I remember the time I found Henry Millerís "The Rosy Crucifixion" at the  bottom of my fatherís underwear drawer.  I canít remember for the life of me why I was rummaging around in his dresser, but I was, and there it was, tucked appropriately under his undershorts:  a flimsy little paperback that somebody must have smuggled into the country (Millerís sexual writing was legally obscene in the U.S. until 1964), and that had traveled through God-knows-what clandestine route into the dresser that had stood next to the window in my parentsí bedroom for as long as I could remember.  

This was the mid-1950ís, around the time Hugh Hefner dreamed up Playboy, well before pornography was a ubiquitous American phenomenon.  My dad, you could say, was a man who was ahead of his time.  

So, at the age of ten or so, I discovered (1) that naughty, well-written, sexy  books existed; (2) that my very regular Dad liked such things; and (3) that  
liking sexy things was something to be done discretely, if not positively  
secretly.  (I have always assumed that he was hiding the book from my mom, but as I write this it occurs to me that itís just as likely that he was open with my mom about such things and was actually hiding the book from tender, innocent me.)  

I also learned that it was wonderfully exciting to discover and devour the  
Good Parts of unapologetically sexual troves like "The Rosy Crucifixion."  A few years later I found that there was other sexual literature as well.  I  
wrapped myself in the steamy seductions of Harold Robbinsís potboiling novel, "79 Park Avenue," which at that time was the sexiest book you could check out of the local public library.  (The precious word about this book -- that it existed, and that you could get it from the library just like it was a regular book -- spread among the boys like a secret bootlegging recipe.)  Robbinsís novel, along with Millerís writing, inevitably and permanently eroticized prostitution for me.  Robert Lindnerís collection of forensic psychiatric case histories, "The Fifty Minute Hour" (which I found among my motherís books!), eroticized a wide variety of unusual scenarios for me, circumstances that had driven the people who actually experienced them to criminal madness.  

But Iím getting way off the point.  The point is that Dear Old Dads like mine, and World Leaders like Bill Clinton, jerk off to Henry Miller and Harold Robbins, have fantasies and affairs, visit sleazy bars -- and also have interesting or boring sex, frequent or occasional sex, imaginative or  
repetitive sex, intimate or empty sex with their wives -- just like everyone  
else.  

Looking at different political leaders, itís clear that some are comfortable  
with the fact of their sexual existence, while others (most, Iím afraid) are  
so terribly uncomfortable with their sexuality that they want us to believe  
they never think of sex at all -- except most occasionally in the nicest,  
cleanest, loveliest, most unimpeachable (!) of ways.  

Now, what an honored public figure like a President projects about himself as a sexual person has more than a little effect on whether the rest of us are likely to embrace sex as one more significant, but regular, aspect of normal, everyday human existence.  Thereís a big difference in how the subliminal national psyche holds George Bush walking and talking as if he never has sex or sexual feelings and how it feels about Bill Clinton walking and talking with the relative grace of a person who welcomes sex as part of his nature.  

With Bill Clinton we are allowed and even encouraged to contemplate the fact that somewhere at some times, amid all the historical trappings and the Secret Service guards, a few feet away from the phone that may ring at any moment with news of an international emergency or a crisis on Capitol Hill, President Bill and Lady Hillary actually do get naked and, in their own way, get down. They sweat, they moan, they change their breathing patterns.  Maybe she sucks his balls.  More than likely, he eats her pussy "like a champ," either because he just loves her pussy or because he doesnít want her to think that he only lavishes that kind of attention on Gennifer Flowers.  When they come, they probably both look marvelously ridiculous, just like you and me.  Then they calm down, put on tuxedos and evening dresses, and go to state dinners for visiting ambassadors or potential donors to the campaign fund.  

If we can imagine sex happening in the White House, then we can imagine it happening anywhere.  Doesnít it change something about our notion of a leader to think of Bill Clinton as a naked, desiring, emotional, passionate,  
vulnerable human being?  Women across the country now have fantasies about being sexual with the President of the United States.  This was widely noted by the media during the 1992 Presidential campaign, as one aspect of the gender gap.  That changes something about the notion of a leader, too -- to my mind for the better.  

At one of the town-meeting-type events that Clinton loves so well, this one for high school students, one young woman felt so intimately familiar with the most powerful man in the world that she deigned to ask him what kind of underwear he wore.  "America has got to know," she insisted (claiming to be a spokeswoman for what everyone was wondering), "whether itís boxers or briefs."  

Did anyone ask what kind of fabric George Bush, Richard Nixon, or Woodrow Wilson, wrapped around his cock and balls?  Of course not.  No one would have dared run counter to his New England propriety, for one thing.  But mostly, no one cared.  Now, by contrast, high school students giggle excitedly over lunch, imagining the details of Bill Clintonís underwear.  They care because they feel somewhere that Clinton is a sexual human being.  Because they see him as a sexual being, they respond to him, in part, sexually.  

Having a leader who doesnít disown his sexual existence -- not by his words, not by his body language, not even by how he denies potentially damaging sexual accusations -- counts.  Bill Clinton even seems to be turning being sexual and being a little sexy to political advantage, demonstrating that a politicianís sexuality can be an asset rather than a liability, something to let shine rather than embarrassing baggage best kept as hidden as possible.  

Thinking of the President of the United States as sexual has to help us take  sex out of the realm of the unspeakable into the world of regular everyday  reality.  As far as Iím concerned, thatís a very good thing indeed.  God(dess) knows we could all do with a good solid dose of that kind of sexual normalizing.  Indeed, if I were inclined to reduce all my urges to sexual proselytizing to one slogan (a terrible idea, I know), that slogan would probably be "Sex Is."  Meaning:  sex simply exists, people, as one vital and important aspect of life, much like working, eating, and breathing.  Get it, get over it, accept it, rejoice in it, stop reacting every time you stumble across it as if it were some kind of national emergency.  

The flip side, and no less significant, of how the idea of a sexual president  
affects our take on sex, is how it affects our take on presidency.  We seem to have, as part of our national character structure or something, a deep-seated need to turn our national leaders into larger-than-life, superhuman, heroic god-figures.  Unfortunately, this requires us to forget or to deny that presidents are, bottom line, simple mortals like the rest of us, full of gifts and foibles, brilliance and idiocy wisdom and psychopathology.  When, inevitably, their simple humanity begins to show around the edges of the superhuman aura we have created for them (with their encouragement, to be sure), we are not only disappointed, but also betrayed, much in the way that every child feels betrayed when they realize that their parents are people rather than myths.  

Personally, I like the idea of a leader who allows his (or her) imperfections  and frailties to show.  I believe very strongly that it is the strongest of  
people, not the weakest, who are willing to demythify themselves in public, to acknowledge and even celebrate the real paradoxes of being complex human beings, warts and all.  These are the people I trust because I can see who they really are and that they donít need to pretend to be more than they really are.  

Thereís a saying in my family that if youíre intimidated by someone the thing to do is to imagine them in their underwear, brushing their teeth in the morning, or imagine them sitting on the toilet.  The point is that underneath all the glitz, stripped of all the emblems of status and power, weíre all simple human beings with the same basic needs, tending to the same basic logistical and emotional dynamics as we live our lives until such time as the game plays itself out and we each get turned back into most equalizing dirt.  

Being the sort of person I am, I have a habit of taking this humbling of the high and mighty one step further.  Instead of imagining mythical people on the toilet or brushing their teeth, I like to imagine them having sex.  I like to imagine them in that altered reality of naked vulnerability and potential  
embarrassment, that realm where the mask of control and direction is most likely to fall off, that territory where the parts of ourselves we like to  keep most private are most likely to make themselves known, proprieties and pretenses notwithstanding.  

I particularly like doing this with public figures who claim to all sorts of  
asexual niceness, because just as certainly as they shit and brush their  
teeth, they do have sex, one way or another -- all of them, over and over  
again -- Bill Clinton, George Bush, Newt Gingrich, Bob Dole, Pat Robertson, Dianne Feinstein, Shimon Peres, Yasir Arafat, Fidel Castro, Barbara Boxer, Bill Gates, Donald Trump, Pope John, the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa.  

So try this as a little exercise in creative sexual imagination with possible  
political repercussions:  Try imagining Bill Clinton, your president and mine, being sexual.  Imagine him being sexual with Hillary, not with Gennifer Flowers, just to leave the non-monogamy distraction out of the picture for the moment.  Take the time to imagine this actuality in enough detail that you can feel it, smell it, taste it.  

Are they wearing any clothing or are they naked?  Are they perfumed and  
cologned?  Is the room lit brightly or dimly, or is it dark?  Do they do  
anything as romantic as lighting candles?  How large is their bed (if theyíre  
in bed)?  How soft is the mattress?  What color are the sheets?  Are they  
cotton, flannel, or satin?  What (if anything) do they say to each other as  
they begin the transition into the sexual world?  Do they look each other in  the eye?  If so, what are kind of look passes between them?  Loving  
appreciation?  Resentment?  Superficial pleasantry?  Boredom?  

What does Bill Clintonís cock look like when it is soft, and when it is hard?  How does it feel to Hillary when she takes it in her hand?  How does she touch him?  How does her touch feel to him?  Does Bill like his cock?  Is he proud of it, or ashamed?  Does he have trouble getting erect when he wants to?  Does he come faster than he wants to?  Does Hillary like his cock?  Does she like that she knows how to get the most powerful man in the world excited?  Does she know how to get him excited?  Does she like sucking his cock?  Does she look at him while she does it?  Do they laugh?  

Does Bill know how to get Hillary excited?  What does he think of the texture of her skin, the shape of her breasts, the way her ass feels in his hand, the particular shape and feel of her cunt lips?  How does he open her with his fingers?  How does he stroke her thigh?  How does he touch or suck her nipples?  Does she like her nipples to be pulled?  Does he like his cock to be slapped?  How do they kiss each other, and where?  

What sexual noises do they make as theyíre getting excited, and when they  
come?  Can the Secret Service agents outside their door hear them?  Does  
Hillary get wet easily?  Does she have trouble coming?  Does she ever come when his cock is inside her?  What is most likely to get her off?  Does Bill know what is most likely to get her off?  What does Bill think of the taste of her pussy?  Does she like him to suck her clit?  Does she tell him what she wants him to do?  Do her lips and clit get red and swollen when he sucks or licks her or puts his tongue inside her?  Does this turn him on?  

Does Hillary like it best when they fuck long and slow, or does she like being thrust into fast and hard?  Does she like fucking at all?  Does Bill?  How does Hillary move her hips when Bill is inside her?  How does Bill move his? Do they look at each other while they fuck or do they close their eyes?  Is he usually on top of her?  Does she like to straddle him?  Does she turn over and offer herself to him with her ass high in the air because she loves how it makes her feel so vulnerable?  Does he offer this sort of vulnerability to her?  Do they play with each otherís assholes?  Tenderly or fiercely?  Do they tell each other their fantasies?  Do they ever play them out?  Does he fall asleep right after he comes?  Does she?  

Take some time to think all this through, to conjure up a detailed, intimate  
picture of the President and the First Lady doing First Sex.  Then remember as much of this picture as you can the next time you watch President Bill Clinton address the nation on why we need to send troops to Bosnia, or to not compromise peopleís social security benefits.  

My guess is that thinking of Bill Clinton as a sexual person with (probably)  the same kinds of sexual questions and pleasures as the rest of us will change how you think of him in his presidential role.  Maybe it will make you friendlier to him, maybe it will make you more upset with him than ever; Iím really not campaigning for or against him, just trying to bring him (and everyone) down to earth a little.  
  

David Steinberg  
P.O. Box 2992  
Santa Cruz, CA 95063  
(831) 426-7082  
(831) 425-8825 (FAX)  

[If you would like to receive Comes Naturally columns and other writing by David Steinberg regularly via email, send your name and email address to David at <eronat@aol.com>. Columns are sent as blind carbon copies, meaning that no one will have access to your name or email address. Past columns are available at the Society for Human Sexuality website: <www.sexuality.org/ftpsite.html>. Scroll about halfway down to "David Steinberg Archives."]  


 PUBLISHED: MAY 27, 1994 
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