Belfast Telegraph

Nuala McKeever: Our dull political sex scandals are not worth crowing about

Jesus is supposed to have said to Peter the night before his death: “Before the cock crows once, you will have betrayed me three times.”

Or something like that. It might have been: “Before the cock crows three times, you will have betrayed me once.” Either way, the words cock and crow were definitely used.

Fast forward two thousand years or so and we find that these words are still going together, only this time it’s the Crowe that’s doing the you know what, rather than the other way round. He’s also doing the crowing, which starts to get confusing.

So many responses to this story, so little time

Is it the dour Northern Ireland temperament, scoured by centuries of tight-lipped, buttoned-down religious squeezing that produces our particular brand of sex scandal?

Not for our political animals the Berlusconi approach — openly flaunting a driving, incessant desire for carnal pleasure.

Not for us the colourful, gay abandon (in its “fun-loving” sense) of sex with many people as a recreational pastime.

When it comes to libidinous licentiousness, we’re more B&Q than Borgias. Ours is put together without fanfare, usually on the slightly cheap side and with a furtiveness that smacks of meanness.

Where’s the style? Where’s the confidence? Where’s the flair?

Okay, so the good Dr Crowe wasn't behind the door about coming forward online and via multi-media messaging, but still.

His Nom de Chat says it all — guyfromlisburn. I mean, would you? Admit to being from Lisburn if you didn’t have to?

Surely the whole point of the virtual life is that you can re-invent yourself as anything you want.

What’s the point in re-inventing yourself exactly as you are in real life? Especially if you’re from Lisburn.

And then there’s the photographs. If a picture paints a thousand words, then the ones I’ve seen, with the little square boxes for blanking out the knobbly bits, seem to be saying: “I’m in a medium-priced hotel room somewhere, the sort of chain hotel that gives you tea and coffee making facilities but with a kettle on a lead so short it has to be plugged in on the floor and the water from the en suite cold tap still tastes disgusting even after it’s been boiled.”

Classy.

Everything, from the cheap and nasty photos (why do men insist on thinking that women want to see photos of their downstairs equipment?) to the excerpts of cyber flirting that have been printed in the Press, smacks of inadequate, teenage boy boasting and behind the hand sniggering.

When will we allow ourselves to grow up about being grown-ups?

Are we doomed forever to the uber-religious view of women as either Madonna or whore?

One at home with the kids, the other’s at home on the office carpet for a lunchtime snack?

Think how many women might be spared the trauma of opening a text message to find an unwelcome snap of something highly unappetising, if only our men could be honest about their wants and desires with the women they’re actually married to/going out with.

For some, the thrill lies in the subterfuge, the secret double-life. But when you’re so bad at the subterfuge, isn’t it possible you really want to get caught and be allowed to stop hiding?

“Hi honey, I’m (possibly) homosexual!” could be a good starting point for some.

For others, just a straight declaration of priapic tendencies would suffice.

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