Men and Their Kinks

The mistrial in Bill Cosby’s sexual abuse case was as anticlimactic as his performance in bed.

What kind of man needs to drug a woman to have sex with her? Especially when the man is famous and rich?

As the president of the United States could have told Cosby, when you’re a celebrity some women will let you grab their pussies. How come Cosby had to go the Quaalude route?

I asked several male friends why any man would want to have sex with an unconscious or incapacitated female. Their answers basically came down to: That’s his kink. That’s the only way he could get it up. He likes the power.

Too many men expect their kinks to be accommodated – whether or not they’re celebrities.

Before Cosby’s trial began, Wendy Murphy in the Patriot Ledger rightfully declared that Andrea Constand had already won – whatever the verdict.

“It is a major victory that Cosby is being forced to face the shame and humiliation of a public trial, especially after he boasted for years to his victims that he was untouchable,” Murphy wrote.

“Win or lose, going through the trial process is empowering for victims, which is why it is so important that all victims always report all offenses, in writing, to police AND prosecutors. A public trial, no matter the outcome, makes violence against women visible and real, and helps society see and understand the true nature of rape.”

What exactly is the true nature of rape? There’s a legal definition, but people have their own ideas of what constitutes rape.

A couple of weeks ago, The Oregonian newspaper discovered that the star pitcher for the Oregon State University baseball team was a registered sex offender.

Luke Heimlich, now 21, pleaded guilty when he was 15 years old to a single charge of sexually molesting a 6-year-old female family member. According to news reports, he placed his fingers in her vagina. This was more than child-like inquisitiveness about the opposite sex. It was no one-time experiment.

The molestation occurred over a period of two years when Heimlich was 14 to 16, and the girl was 4 to 6. He was allowed to plead guilty to only one charge. It wouldn’t be surprising if plea negotiations involved “saving” the girl from testifying.

Heimlich is ranked statistically as the nation’s best college pitcher. Until his sex offense was publicized, he was considered to be a top prospect in the Major League Baseball draft.

Google Heimlich’s name, and weigh the public reaction.

Some people are solidly on his side: “He was just a kid. … He’s a low-level offender. … He’s rehabilitated himself. … He deserves a second chance.”

Other people are just as soundly on the victim’s side: “She was only 6. … He was grooming her. … She was raped and will never be the same. … Her life is ruined.”

Oregonian columnist John Canzano is praying for her.

“I know she’s in for a long recovery. She had her childhood stolen. She will deal with this for life,” he wrote.

A female’s worth is not dictated by her sexual purity. When someone says an 11-year-old girl’s life is “ruined” because a teenage boy inserted his fingers into her vagina, just how fragile do they think females are? This girl doesn’t have to spend the rest of her life with a sign around her neck announcing that she was molested.

She doesn’t have to — unless other people insist on making this the defining experience of her life. Canzano ought to read his own newspaper and see what’s going on in the world. (Maybe he can spare a prayer for the 58-plus people who died in a London apartment house fire.)

This kind of overreaction to sex crimes is one reason why victims hesitate to come forward. It feeds their helplessness and emboldens the males who abuse them.

In Cosby’s case, dozens of women – many of them now middle aged – have accused him of giving them pills and sexually assaulting them years ago when they were young and attractive.

Constand, now 44, said she was assaulted by Cosby 13 years ago. At the time, she did not undergo a medical examination or try to determine exactly what pills Cosby had given her. She waited a year before contacting authorities.

When the Cosby scandal later broke, and numerous women started coming forward with their stories, then-Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor declined to bring charges in the Constand incident because he didn’t think the case would hold up in court. Constand then filed a civil suit against Cosby, which was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount of money.

More significantly, that civil suit produced a lengthy deposition in which Cosby gave details about his long practice of giving Quaaludes to young women. He made it sound as natural as the way some men ask, “Do you want a drink?”

Perhaps Cosby was so frank because he assumed the deposition would be kept private. After all, his financial settlement with Constand (and other women) remained confidential. Two years ago, though, as the scandal continued to grow, The Associated Press successfully pushed to have the courts unseal excerpts of the deposition.

Back in the 1970s, Quaaludes were a popular party drug. Cosby had seven prescriptions for them, which he freely admitted he used as a sex aid for young women.

I was once a young woman, probably just as impressionable as some of Cosby’s victims, but there is one thing I find inexplicable in these women’s stories. A man who is a major celebrity hands them pills and says, “Here, take these” – and they do!

I try to imagine obediently taking a pill simply because somebody famous has given it to me. It’s not like these women all had headaches, and Cosby gave them clearly identifiable aspirin. Were they all that star-struck?

One of the downsides to the sexual revolution is that women are expected to be as irresponsible and horny as men. If they’re not really into it, drugs can help.

Were the women he drugged and assaulted truly unaware of what he was giving them? Or did some of them need drugs to tolerate being touched by a man they found unattractive and had no interest in, but whose powerful connections might be helpful to their careers? Did they later feel used?

The word “power” comes up often in the Cosby case. Not because he physically overpowered his victims. He overwhelmed them with his name and fame. Just like Michael Jackson was able to buy off accusations of child molestation. Just like Roman Polanski’s now middle-aged victim and her mother have forgiven him for drugging and sexually abusing a young girl. (To its credit, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office hasn’t forgiven him.)

These famous men and their kinks. Could young Luke Heimlich someday join their ranks as a celebrity sports star? Or will his sex offender status kill those dreams unless he can prove that he isn’t the same guy who acted like a pedophile?

Even anonymous men can get away with so much. Consider the low-rent version of Bill Cosby: Arlin Jordin, a landlord in Spokane, Wash.

I probably never would have heard of Jordin except I was working at The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, when he was convicted of drugging and raping a prospective tenant. During his trial about 10 years ago, other women came forward with the same story: Jordin invited them to his apartment to talk about their housing search. He offered them drinks laced with drugs, then raped or tried to rape them while they were unconscious.

He was sent to prison, where he continued operating his rental units through the use of property managers. Jordin’s parole hearing comes up next month. If you look at the list of parole hearings scheduled in July for the state of Washington, out of 34 inmates, 28 of them are serving time for sex-related crimes.

What do we do about all these men and their sexual kinks?

We live in a sex-obsessed culture so we’ll probably continue accommodating them, except for those occasions when we don’t.

– Pamela Fitzsimmons

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