Morin suggests that sexual obstacles in one's youth create lifelong scripts for arousal. Drawing on 351 respondents, straight and gay, who discussed their erotic lives with him, Morin developed an "erotic equation": attraction plus obstacles leads to excitement. This formula is neither tidy nor predictable. Feelings ranging from exuberance, joy, anxiety, humiliation, naughtiness and anger can intensify arousal and turn out to be aphrodisiacs. Which begins to explain why the best sex – or most potent sexual fantasy – is dynamic and risky rather than static and safe.
Which sexual obstacles showed up in your youth? In what ways did your plans to overcome them get entangled in your sexuality? If you were the geek or nerd who could never get the girls, perhaps (as you’d take your frustrations on yourself) you’d plan for ways to “get back” at them later by never allowing them to “get” you. If you were of the Catholic school meme, perhaps guilt and the naughty thrill of doing something you were not supposed to do showed up precisely alongside your first sexual awakenings. If you felt unseen, unwanted and invisible when your sexuality started to bud, perhaps you dreamed of a time when you could exposed any part of yourself, inspiring only delight and arousal from others.
Which obstacles – and plans to overcome them – might have been Weiner’s ?
Morin claims that understanding our peak sexual experiences and fantasies – and the obstacles that came with them – offer the greatest opportunity for self-discovery and, thus, revitalized sexual experiences. In essence, he says that deconstructing erotic and sexual elements can bring them out of the shadows. Rather than exposing himself to text recipients other than the woman he vowed to be faithful to, the question becomes how could Weiner honestly and openly incorporate the element of exhibitionism into his erotic world? Rather than deceiving his wife and his constituents, how could he bring the elements of “almost getting caught” or “being naughty” into his sex life?
Additionally, how could he explore the line between secrecy (doing something you wouldn’t want anyone to find out about) and privacy (having an inner world that is yours and yours alone, hurting no one) and hence open up some much-needed lines of communication with his spouse? In personal relationships, while secrecy can be a killer, privacy can often actually help preserve the relationship.
Should Weiner have been afforded a blanket of privacy? Should any public figure or leader? While I wouldn’t count myself as qualified to make that call, we should consider for ourselves what the line is between privacy and secrecy. It’s a line our very own government is in the process of blurring the boundaries of as I write.
I am in no way dignifying the fact that Anthony Weiner was doing stuff he didn’t want anyone to know about. There’s no dignity in deceit. I do believe that if you’re holding a public office or commanding the public eye, part of your preparation and job description should include getting a handle on your kinks so they don’t run away with you and your career. But that’s another article.