What Is Sex For? Rush Limbaugh’s and Rick Santorum’s Sex Lives

The air waves are awash—including the President, the opinion pages of the New York Times, and both liberal and conservative news programs—with the sounds of Rick Santorum’s and Rush Limbaugh’s sex lives.

Rick Santorum rejects the modern sexual revolution(whatever that comprises); more than that, he adheres to the conception promulgated by the Catholic church that sex’s only purpose is procreation within a marital relationship. Santorum doesn’t dislike and distrust women; he dislikes and distrusts sex.  Thus, he opposes contraception because for him it defies the purpose of sex—to create children—as well as permitting unmarried people to have sex (let’s leave aside the gay thing).Which raises two questions I’d like to see a reporter pose to Santorum: “Do you enjoy sex?” and, “Does your wife?” Okay, the reporter could also ask, “Do you feel sexual union enhances the intimacy of your marriage?” and, more plainly, “How frequently do you have sex?”  Well, then, how about, “Have you ever masturbated?” and “Do you masturbate now?”  I mean, he’s the one who brought the topic up!

(Even I’m afraid to ask this one: “Have you ever dreamt of having sex with a man?”)

Alternative views of sex to Santorum’s are that (a) it is a pleasurable and healthy activity that people—dare I say, including women—enjoy and pursue actively, (b) it bespeaks intimacy and brings people who share sexual contact closer together.  Both of these experiences are greatly enhanced by reliable contraception.

There’s another view of sex—that who one “gets” sex with is a status symbol and a tribute to a person’s prestige and power—particularly for men.

Rush Limbaugh is a highly successful and well-paid overweight media star who periodically marries younger women for brief interims. Limbaugh and I “debated” his addictive love tendencies (ostensibly the debate was about the Tea Party) last year.  In 2010 Limbaugh married his fourth wife—Limbaugh was 59, the woman 33.  Surprise—she’s a tall, willowy, beautiful blonde.

Limbaugh has no children, so I’m guessing he doesn’t share Santorum’s sexual philosophy even if he backs Santorum politically.  He would also seem to be familiar with contraception.  Or perhaps his wives are.  Because Limbaugh’s grasp of the topic seems shaky.  In lambasting Sandra Fluke, who spoke before Congress on the value of contraceptives and their coverage by health care plans, Limbaugh said: “She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception.”

Run that by me again?  Aren’t contraception costs the same no matter how much sex you have?  You’re either on the pill (or whatever) or you’re not.

So, my questions (through my imagined reporter) for Limbaugh are: “Do you think people pay more to have more sex?  Is that true in your life?  Is it equally true for women and men?”  Because men, ahem, are more likely (a) to pay for sex with a woman than visa versa (including using their fortunes to procure beautiful spouses), and (b) to use Viagra and similardrugs, which you use more of the more often you have sex.

Okay, my advanced questions for Limbaugh would be, “How often do you have sex?” “Was sexual incompatibility a major factor in your divorces?” and “Do you use Viagra?”  Hey, he brought the topic up.

Oh, all right, and “Do you ever dream of gay sex?”

I’m so glad we’re having this discussion!

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P.S. (March 5):  Ev Psych fans!

Since Kanazawa is no longer around, Ev Psych fan Adam explains it all:

Evidence suggests sexual selection pressure on human evolution involves a feedback loop in which women tend to select mates for machiavellian intelligence. This leads to an increase in machiavellian intelligence in the population over time.

If alink existd between machiavellian intelligence and no-conscience disorders (sociopathy, psychopathy), it seems reasonable to expect such disorders to increase in the population alongside any increase in machiavellian intelligence. This link is well supported. . . .

It seems to me that the consequences of all this (a high representation of no-conscience disorders in the population) are undesirable, and therefore cultural restrictions on normal sexual behaviours would be expedient.

Contraception and cultural pressure against poligyny and serial monogamy solves the (potential) problem.

As usual, Ev Psych explains everything—the conservative point of view that favors “cultural restrictions on normal sexual behaviours,” as well as the liberal one advocating contraception—but still sheds no light whatever on what my post is about: the sexual attitudes of conservative politicians/pundits.  Note the universal references to evidence in support of Adam’s non sequiturs (“Evidence suggests” and “This link is well supported”).  Long may Ev Psych wave!

Stanton Peele

Dr. Stanton Peele, recognized as one of the world's leading addiction experts by The Fix, developed the Life Process Program after decades of research, writing, and treatment about and for people with addictions. Dr. Peele is the author of 14 books. His work has been published in leading professional journals and popular publications around the globe.