Maralyn Lois Polak is a Philadelphia-based journalist, screenwriter, essayist, novelist, editor, spoken-word artist, performance poet and occasional radio personality. With architect Benjamin Nia, she has just completed a short documentary film about the threatened demolition of a historic neighborhood, "MY HOMETOWN: Preservation or Development?" on DVD. She is the author of several books including the collection of literary profiles, "The Writer as Celebrity: Intimate Interviews," and her latest volume ofMore ↓Less ↑
Can’t you hear the speeches now: “I have seen the Political Future
… Time to begin healing the nation … With The New Virtue.”
How will anyone ever again trust candidates for public office when it
comes to possible personal uh, peccadilloes and proclivities? The
Zippergate thing ruined it for everyone. Besides, that great American
Larry Flynt, our new national moral watch-dog, put to bed once and for
all that cherished delusion known as the Law of Scandals: money’s the
Republican weakness, while the Democrats succumb to sex.
Face it, red-blooded politicians of all ideological stripes are
simply bombarded by overstimulation. They’re constantly surrounded by
quivering, pulsating smorgasbords of impossibly nubile creatures, just
waiting to erupt, right? Seems like real men can barely keep their
bodily parts to themselves, poor things. Public life in Washington, DC
and elsewhere sounds like a Human Buffet. Hey, I’m sympathetic. Well,
let’s end all this speculation about crude, rude, lewd, lascivious and
licentious behavior among our elected leaders once and for all.
But how? What if there were a guaranteed, iron-clad way to restrain
the Hypo-crats, er, hypocrites — government gonads, executive
lotharios, senatorial romeos, legislative libidos — I mean, short of
prison, gelding, and saltpeter? Well, there is. And it’s existed for
centuries. Not everything old is bad, just ask Bob “Mr Viagra” Dole.
Long Island manufacturer Paul Tooker has a visionary proposal that would
forever alter the current lurid American political landscape of
denial-confession-defiance we have become only too familiar with lately.
“Chastity belts,” proclaims the burly government contractor whose
specialty company, Access Denied, has become famous for custom crafting
“functional and inescapable metal chastity belt designs with a variety
of options,” for hundreds and hundreds of satisfied male and female
clients as far away as the Middle East. Two years ago Paul Tooker, 53, a
trained metalworker who honed his skills making steel dog beds for
veterinary hospitals, went into the chastity belt biz with his
Scandinavian blonde wife Brigitta.
“This isn’t a toy. Think of it as a serious medical appliance,” he
stresses, downplaying the kink connection. One of his female clients,
sexually abused as a child, wears a chastity belt every night to sleep,
he says; it’s the only way she feels safe. Access Denied’s top model
goes for $750, and there’s even a website, www.ChastityBelt.com.
Paul Tooker’s so serious, so committed to chastity belts — for
others — he once even e-mailed Jay Leno suggesting the comedian urge
“the President wear one for the good of the country.” Great idea.
Naturally Tooker got no reply.
I met Paul Tooker recently during a provocative workshop and
demonstration of his “sophisticated chastity systems.” Kali Morgan, the
intrepid proprietor of Fetishes Boutique (www.FetishesBoutique.Com), had
brought the Tookers to Philadelphia, which already feels like the
chastity capital of the east coast, but whatever. Anyway, it makes sense
to me that chastity belts could be something we Americans could insist
our leaders use to prevent the heartbreak of another impeachment.
“I was thinking of a Presidential musical chastity belt,” says my
politically astute friend RC from Frisco, in a rare entrepreneurial
mood. “A deluxe Presidential model. Made of genuine Democratic mule
hide. Embossed with the Presidential Seal. Plays ‘Hail to the Chief,’
and, like the nuclear silos, has two keys. One for Hillary or any other
significant other. And maybe Billy can come work for me after he’s
impeached. He’ll need a good-paying job to cover all those legal bills.
So I’ll have him hocking these on TV. … Genuine ‘Ronco’ not available
in stores — at least ones with pretensions of taste, that is — and
blah-blah-blah, only $29.95.”
But RC from Frisco would go even further: “I think political chastity
belts should be mandatory along with campaign finance reform. They can
keep the key as a public trust while their senator or representative is
in office. It could be proudly on display at the local museum or 7-11
frozen food case.”
Sure, why stop with the President? As a condition for seeking and
holding public office, let’s definitely make this a bipartisan affair:
chastity belts for all candidates. And federally fund the suckers. End
the cheesy national disgrace that has made this country a global
laughing-stock. Yeah. (And while we’re at it, bring back bundling
boards, my personal favorite, for courtship!)
This chastity belt thing could be THE path to sure success for
prospective candidates of both major political parties seeking public
Think about it, OK? Here’s a Medieval device updated for Millennial
needs. Sleek spiffy Space-Age high-tech stainless steel gizmos to serve,
ah, protect the conscientious, discriminating candidate of either sex
… from their lesser but potentially overpowering impulses. Locked and
unlocked voluntarily in the company of doting spouses and/or adoring
significant others, rather than temptresses, party ho’s, and sexual
harassment targets. C-H-A-S-T-I-T-Y, except in specific officially
sanctioned private family moments, spells R-E-L-I-E-F!
With bipartisan chastity belts we could ensure each and every
governmental act of sexual, ah, congress would be a virtuous one, for
the ultimate good of the entire electoral body. Kinda like Philip K.
Dick-meets-Jerry Falwell-ignores-George Orwell. Finally, this is one
proposal I feel even the Religious Right can get behind me on.
At less than a thousand dollars a candidate, it’s a small price to
pay “to ensure the fidelity of your loved ones that you obviously trust
so much,” adds RC from Frisco, “and just think if we could also get a
matching muzzle for our politicians; I might even be willing to spring
for a few.”
Down, boy!! Though we may need those as well. Imagine Viagra parties
in the White House when Liddy Dole gets elected President. If that gives
you pause, join our campaign. … Safety-belts in cars, chastity belts
on Capitol Hill.
Oh, say, can’t you see the advertising slogan now? “A chastity
belt. … The difference between a Politician, and a Statesman!!”
And so our latest adventure in American political theory begins.