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Other People’s Sex Lives: Their Story, Or Ours?

July 24th, 2013 by Alison · 8 Comments · politics, relationships

This is a brief, rare mid-week post. Some of you know this about me, but some of you don’t: I’ve never followed any news of the British royals. I wish them well, but my relentless focus is on how I can live a good story, myself. And I blog about that here at Diamond-Cut Life.

Along the same line, I refuse to join Portland’s current obsession with Jeff Cogen’s* sex life. It belongs to him, not me. My plate is full with living the best life I can.

If I were to read every new revelation about what Jeff did when with who, that would be an excellent distraction for me from the power that I have in my own life to make a difference. I don’t need to get caught up in the story of his affair. I’ve observed that this man makes a positive difference for Multnomah County as he does his job. That is of interest to me. I’m interested in everyone who’s being of service to the world, and thereby living a good story. I wish Jeff Cogen and his family well.

* Jeff Cogen is chairman of the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners.

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8 Comments so far ↓

  • Joyce

    If people are successful at their job, why do we care with whom they had sex ? There’s a gentleman running for NYC Mayor. He has sexted several times. His wife forgave him. Why do we care? What has that to do with being a mayor? I totally agree with you.

    • Alison

      Joyce, I really appreciate your input. A friend has emailed me a whole different perspective on this topic, on our elected leaders embodying our deepest values, which is also valuable. I’m hoping to post that as a comment soon, with his permission, and reply to it with some additional thoughts I have. I’m sending your copy of Revelle out in the mail today.

  • HKR

    I think it depends. I totally agree with you about the royals and celebrities - I’d much rather be focusing on living my own life to the fullest. When it comes to our elected officials, I hate when the media digs up “juicy stories” from twenty years ago. Everybody does dumb things when their young; we live, we learn, we grow up. I don’t think those things should influence our opinion of the person in front of us today who’s running for election. If on the other hand, they are using the notoriety from the election to become a playboy, I think that speaks volumes to his character. At that point, you have two big points consider when deciding whether to vote for him. First, by electing him you are approving of whatever unethical behavior he’s exhibiting. Second, and perhaps more importantly, if he is so willing to abuse the meager bit of fame that comes with running in an election, what will he do when he has real power in office? If a candidate has been lying to his wife while under the public scrutiny of an election, why should we believe he would be truthful with us? People can grow and change, and I think we should be willing to forgive the indiscretions of those who have, but I don’t think you can forgive and forget when a person hasn’t even stopped committing the crime.

    • Alison

      HKR, I agree with you that what did people in their youth 20 years ago is not relevant now. I also agree that forgiveness is appropriate when a person is correcting their error, and/or is truly remorseful (I added the remorse part). The thing is that it’s not always possible to know whether a person has changed their path to a better one. Human beings in general are good at saying one thing and doing another, and being good actors when it comes to things like remorse. So, none of this is simple.

      I am clear that I won’t be a consumer of what the media dishes up about Jeff Cogen’s indiscretions. The media sometimes treats people like commodities, like objects to use for their own gain, which is the exact thing I hate about corporations. Jeff is a human being. He also happens to be one of the friends in my broad social circle. I’ve let him know I still count him as a friend, and am praying for him, and am not cutting him off. He’s thanked me for that. Thanks for sharing your viewpoint, HKR.

  • Ami

    It became clear to me through a series of events once that dysfunctional sexual relationships are far and away more prevalent than healthy ones and that infidelity is far and away more prevalent than monogamy. The percentages become more extreme when the cross-section you examine is narrowed to people in power positions who work long hours. The math is quite simple. I don’t mean to come across as unnecessarily jaded — ask 20 people about their experiences around infidelity, though, and I’ll bet you see what I mean.

    My point is, it is most likely pointless to get all up in arms about one person’s perceived infidelity because odds are that the majority of the other people you admire probably have similar skeletons.

    Again, I’m not intending negativity, just reflecting my own experience, with full understanding of its potential limitations.

  • Ami

    Also, I don’t have negative judgments about this. If a thing society purports to value is clearly only true a small percentage of the time, then it seems to me that the problem isn’t really the fact that we are that way. The problem is the fact that we lie to each other (secrets ARE lies) about it to avoid being embarrassed because we don’t match up to the gigantic lie that “the emporer isn’t actually naked”.

    Infidelity drastically changes shape when we own up and are honest fromthe beginning about what we want and what we do.

    • Alison

      Ami, I agree that the human species is fairly notorious for falling down on the goal of monogamy. That said, plenty of people do practice it successfully — but they will never make the news. I have gained respect in recent years for people who are honest about monogamy not being their goal. While I wouldn’t choose their path, there is more integrity in it than the path of secrecy, sneaking and lies.

      Thanks for your fresh perspective on this. You don’t sound jaded to me, but quite grounded and realistic.

  • Ami

    I am a huge fan of monogamy, it works great for me. :)

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