Eliot Spitzer, The Governor of New York, has been implicated as a client of the Emperor’s Club VIP. Phone taps reveal that while he is a married father of three who made his reputation as a champion of justice, he might also be ‘Client 9’ paying upwards of $5,500 per hour for the service of at least one prostitute.
What kind of service do you get for $5,500 an hour?
Because Spitzer rose to power on an anti-crime, moral values platform, this news has a profound sense of irony. This incident is sure to erode what little confidence the public has left in its elected officials. But as I hedonist, I wonder what makes prominent public figures choose to stab themselves in the back this way. Spitzer might have the coolest code name, but he is not the first public official to risk a career over a dangerous liaison. Priests, politicians, and other bastions of morality have taken enormous risks to satisfy their hungers throughout history. Why?
The best answer that I can come up is excitement that comes from the forbidden.
From the time we are children, human beings take pleasure in doing things that are forbidden. If you tell a child not to have cookies just before dinner, guess what she wants to have? When a teenager learns that society claims to reject tattoos, drinking, smoking, drugs…whatever, that’s how they act out against that society. The romantic movie star will pick up a cheap hooker on Sunset Strip. The president of the United States gets creative with a cigar in the oval office. The anti-gay southern preacher has repeated sexual encounters with his gay drug dealer.
And the high minded governor of New York is on the hook as a john in a high priced prostitution rap.
Stories like this will always be a part of us as long as there is forbidden fruit. Some of us will resist, some of us won’t. Some of us will judge others and ignore their own vices. Some of us will ignore others and concentrate on our own vices. Hopefully all of us will find a cheaper vice in today’s economy than the $5,500 prostitute.