“Unfortunately, the Petraeus scandal is not weird at all,” writes Esquire‘s Stephen Marche. “It only seems weird because the entire thing, in every sordid detail, has left a trail in the information ether we all inhabit. The story of an older man sleeping with an adoring younger woman is in fact the oldest story there is. It has happened before. It is happening now. And it will happen again. Only the technology has changed.
“Given that in the future everything will be only more recorded, and therefore more available for public scrutiny, now is as good a time as any for America to acknowledge that people in public service have penises and vaginas and that sometimes life gets messy.
“The weirdness of the Petraeus scandal is nothing next to the weirdness of the public squeamishness about the matter. Americans are living in a post-pornography world, where they will do things in bed that were unimaginable a generation ago with regularity and ease. But despite that personal permissiveness, a sexual license that makes the revolution of the sixties look like a box social, Americans have not extended the tolerance they warrant themselves to others.”