Behind Closed Doors: Hot at the ballot box

Hands down, the thing that got me hottest last week was Tuesday’s election, so — you guessed it — it’s about to get political up in here. I’m not just talking about President Barack Obama — although seriously, Michelle is one lucky lady — I’m talking about Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock — who got me hot around the collar — the Tammys: Baldwin and Duckworth, and the entire state of New Hampshire.

New Hampshire is now the first state to have an all-female delegation to the U.S Congress and a female governor. Rep. Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin and Sen. Richard Mourdock of “pregnancy in cases of rape is something God intended to happen” fame both lost their seats. Joe Walsh, who doesn’t make exceptions for abortion to save the life of the mother, also lost his seat to a woman, Tammy Duckworth. Tammy Baldwin is soon to become the first openly gay senator. And of course, Gov. Mitt Romney and his extremely pro-life running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, lost their bid for the presidency.

For a year that began with the threat of transvaginal ultrasounds, 2012 seems to be wrapping up pretty well for women. Plus, as a bonus: 2013 will mean the end of Gov. Bob McDonnell’s term. Thanks, Virginia, for your bizarro rule forbidding successive gubernatorial terms. These electoral triumphs are largely due to women themselves. Exit polls indicate Obama’s lead among female voters added up to an 18-point advantage on Election Day, according to CNN and The Huffington Post.

Back in high school in 2008, I remember hearing morning radio DJs talking about the upcoming election. Obama was garnering a lot of sexual attention among women, one male DJ said. “Would you rather your president be experienced and boring, or one that lights a fire in your loins?” he asked his female co-host. “Oh, fire in my loins,” she said, “but I don’t think that’s the reason that women are voting for him.”

This banter admittedly stuck in my head mostly for the delicious phrase “fire in my loins,” — and I still wonder if the DJ knew he was quoting “Lolita.” I think it raises an important topic, however, that is especially apparent when we have young and attractive candidates on the ballot. None of the women I know (myself included) who voted for Obama did so because they think he’s sexy. Nevertheless, many of the reasons I think he’s sexy are the same reasons I think he’s a good president.

My Facebook newsfeed blew up with people — mostly women — expressing their undying love for the President when he countered Akin and Mourdock’s comments with the simple statement “rape is rape.” In the same interview he said he doesn’t think that it’s a good idea to have mostly male legislators making decisions about women’s health. Well President Obama, you sure know how to woo the ladies. There’s really nothing sexier than a man with power who also respects the power I have over my own body and choices.

Power in general is sexy, and a lot of sex is all about power plays. Personally, I’m the kind of girl who likes to get screwed rather than do the screwing. I recently tried to explain this to a male friend and he responded something like this: “Why do so many women say that? All these hardcore feminists I know talk about how they don’t want a man to control them, but then their number-one fantasy is having some guy push them up against a wall and have his way with them.” All I can say is that sexual desire can sometimes be way more complicated than politics, because there’s no rationale behind my desires. What I really want in my own life is the kind of man who understands the power of choice and the importance of consent, who knows that rape is still a crime even if it’s not “forcible,” and who will happily oblige a woman when she leans in and whispers, “I want you to make me scream.” Now that is a perfect candidate.

Elaine B. is a Behind Closed Doors Columnist and she’s just a little jealous of Michelle Obama.


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