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

From the Archives:

Lessons in Faking It

Portland’s NIMBY Elite


  • Retd. teacher wrote:

    I don’t know where to begin. Connecting Cosby to Luke Heimlich is not a stretch. I’ve never heard of the other man. They’re all cut from the same misogynistic culture that did not exist in my mother or grandmother’s day.

  • I was reading an Oregonian article on this man’s . . .what? exposure . . . just before coming into the office and reading your piece.

    I have no certainty of judgement here. I hadn’t realized that he’d been at it for two years until reading you. I want to feel that the fellow should be allowed to go forward and that the abused girl will in the course of things go forward as well.

    Then, I step back from feeling and start reasoning. And, I still don’t know.

    I suspect that she has a better chance of putting the molestation behind her then he does.

    It is difficult to make sense of the ‘culture” at all anymore. A few years back a young woman I knew well enough to talk movies was sitting atop a clerk’s bar stool
    at a checkout counter. I stepped passed her to see if a movie I had returned had been mislaid.

    She had shorts on and a garter was tattooed midway on her thigh. I noticed it and said (insincerely) “great tat.” The upshot was a substantial settlement for sexual harassment in the workplace. I thought that I was being polite. I later found out that she had a history of similar opportunism.

    Although it doesn’t seem to have received widespread notice, Rolling Stone and its journalist have been exposed and successfully sued for publicizing lies about a fraternity “rape.”

    I’m glad to see the Trump administration pushing back some of the Obama admins granting of truly frightening power to colleges for punishing you men for being accused of sexual crimes (?). The problem being the presumption of guilt, the Star Chamber process, the want of counsel for the accused, and all of the other protections citizens accused of crimes are accustomed to receiving in our society.

    My mother was a beautiful woman of great force of personality, and intellectual rigor. She was kept down by the glass ceiling then in place in the business world. The worst of it was that she was a single mother supporting three sons while frequently experiencing ill health (she was to die at 49).

    The dirty jokes, the breast grabbing, and whatnot were not things she countenanced and so at the most inconvenient times (Christmas, hospitalization) she had to look for a new job.

    I dunno, man. When I was teaching college classes I never met a female student alone and dreaded black students and black women in particular. Were I an employer I would avoid hiring both whenever possible. An accusation is as good as a conviction. Too much risk.

  • Pamela wrote:

    Larry, I’m sorry your mother died so young. Think what she could have done with the opportunities afforded the woman who screamed “sexual harassment” because you noticed a tattoo, which she probably got so people would notice her.

    I was recently leafing through a book called “Hating Women” by Shmuley Boteach, who was a rabbi at Oxford University for 11 years. He raised five daughters and has given serious thought about why (as the retired teacher’s comment points out) there is so much more misogyny.

    He offers some suggestions on what women and society can do. For example, he favors segregating the sexes in pre-college education. He also talks about dress codes for the office and how women have contributed to the sexualizing and objectification of their bodies:

    “Is it realistic to ask men to separate what they see on TV and in magazines from their interactions with women in the boardroom? … A woman’s breasts can be spilling out of her blouse at a board meeting, and men are expected to see her intelligence.”

    That reminded me of a photo I saw in The Portland Tribune last year in a story about schools. The photo showed a young woman with cleavage. It turned out the young woman was a student. I looked at her and wondered, “How is a teenage boy supposed to concentrate in class? Why does she need to show cleavage?”

    If a teenage boy in that school texted “Wanna fuck?” to one of his classmates, imagine the outcry. Obviously, he would need counseling and a prescription.

    I don’t want to wear a burqa, but I try to imagine what America must look like to Muslim countries. I can see why some of them think we’re a bunch of devils.

  • I wanted to put in a plug for this book by Russell Banks. It is concerned with one young man in particular as well as a group of exiled sex offenders living under an overpass in Florida. Very, very good writing and provocative thinking.

  • When narratives collide:

    An illegal immigrant raped and murdered a young Muslim woman yesterday. Road rage speculated. Major news outlets omitted the illegal immigrant detail.

    The narrative was right but the facts were wrong.

  • G. Sanchez wrote:

    Not all the women accusing Cosby could’ve lied, I don’t think. There’s too many. Some of them changed their minds, like you said after they got older and felt used up. Cosby’s now planning some talks about how to avoid getting accused of assault. He’s a damned creepy old man. Look at his face!! My wife says it spoils her appetite. Best thing he can do is shut up and disaapear.

  • G. Sanchez. Here, here.

  • G. Sanchez wrote:

    Thanks. The situatin you had with the woman accusing you of sex harassment, I almost had something like that the first year I moved to Portland. I’d never heard of a Naked Bike Ride. When I asked my coworkers if any one was going, one of the guys gave me a warning look. He took me aside and said there was a woman present who could take offense. Never be alone with her!! His advice.

  • Over at Ann Althouse’s blog their is an interesting discussion and comment section on Cosby.

    Increasingly, I take work that is primarily masculine and works hours that limit my contact with the public(security) and it is way out of my skill set (technical writer). Life is too short for the complex of politics and pointless anxiety modern corporate life requires.

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