Why Did General Petraeus Choose Sex?

It is extraordinarily funny to see people born and raised in a prissy, prudish, sexually thwarted culture try to explain sexuality to themselves. I just found this very cute article that tries to analyze human sexuality using poor beleaguered General Petraeus as an example. The title of the article is already highly entertaining: “Why Men Like Petraeus Risk It All to Cheat.” From the title, you’d assume that Petraeus either cheated with a cardboard object or with another man who is just like him. The last thing you’d gather from it is that there was a female partner involved in the cheating who also risked her career and family in the process of cheating.

Here is how the silly piece starts:

An admitted affair has crumbled the career of CIA Director David Petraeus, prompting the evergreen question: Why do people with so much to lose risk it all for sex?

Apparently, the answer “Because they want to have sex” is not enough to satisfy the article’s priggish author. For her, people have to be motivated by something other than actual sexual gratification to enjoy sex. I just barely started reading the article and already I feel a lot of sympathy for this journalist’s miserable sex partner(s). The article continues by presenting a series of very idiotic claims advanced by Dr.Phil-quality “psychologists”:

In the last few years alone, several public figures, from former Rep. Anthony Weinerto action star and former California Gov.Arnold Schwarzenegger, have admitted to straying from their marital vows. In Petraeus’ case, a miscalculation of risk may have contributed to the decision to cheat, psychologists say. . . Men can become blind to risk at the sight of an attractive woman, and from an evolutionary perspective, cheating can be a positive mechanism for ensuring gene survival, regardless of risk, scientists say.

As we all know, Petraeus has dedicated his life to taking pretty major risks in the field of combat. He placed his own survival at risk many times, so this idiotic “evolutionary” explanation makes zero sense.

It’s mind-boggling that people would see a 60-year-old guy who spent decades in a miserable marriage where he and his wife didn’t even see each other for 18 months at a time and would immediately decide that he is driven to use one of the very last remaining opportunities to have a normal sex life by the need to take risks or a very weird (at his age) desire to procreate.

Jeez, folks, the dude just wanted to get laid. Why is this so hard to fathom?

I also want to take this opportunity to say that all those newscasters who express their fake sympathy for Petraeus’s wife are idiots, too. The woman is probably dancing for joy in the streets, yelling, “Bring me champagne! And boys! Or girls! Or maybe both!” In these miserable marriages where people have no relationship whatsoever and live separated, pretending to be married for the sake of children, property and career, both partners are just trying to wait each other out. The one who manages to sit out the partner ends up with all the marital property. Since male sexuality has an earlier expiration date than the female sexuality, the wives who manage to wait out the husbands end up winning financially.


22 thoughts on “Why Did General Petraeus Choose Sex?”

  1. Well, what other choice did he have if he wanted to have a sex life and keep his job? I mean I am pretty sure that they would have his head for leaving a shitty marriage, too. This way, there is at least the slightest chance of getting away with it.

    Only reason I can see why he should loose his job over this: Shouldn’t someone tasked with keeping all kinds of shit secret capable of keeping something like an affair under the radar? 😀


    1. I agree completely that it is wrong and unfair to expect politicians and military leaders to sacrifice their personal lives for the sake of their careers and then condemn them when they reveal they are human after all.


  2. Head spy and he can’t manage to get laid without it becoming public. You have to wonder if his subordinates are any better at the cloak and dagger stuff.


    1. Yes, that is too funny. I don’t give acces to my work email to my husband because it has confidential info of my students. Not that he’d ever use it to send threatening emails to some guy, but still, students’ privacy has to be protected. And Petraeus was the director of the CIA, for Pete’s sake! God help us all if these are the people whose job it is to ptotect our security.


  3. No one doubts that the general was driven by his genitals rather than by his brains in this matter. The issue is how he should be dealt with for potentially compromising his nation when he had voluntarily entered into contracts that exclude adultery. Demotion to Major might be a good solution. Take all those medals off his underserving chest.

    General Petraeus has a cheater’s face.Loose lips and loose morals, my mother always used to say. Bernard Montgomery of El Alamein foolishly once said that he would be willing to go into the jungle with Mao Zedong. I would not be willing to risk my life in the public square with General Betraeus.


  4. Surprised by how many prudes show up in your comments.

    That said, I served with David Petraeus in the army. You write that “As we all know, Petraeus has dedicated his life to taking pretty major risks in the field of combat.”

    While that’s true, one of the problems that Petraeus had as a commander up until being a colonel (quite high commander in the US Army) is that he’d never seen combat, nor commanded a unit in combat.

    This was widely-commented on when I server with him in the 82nd Airborne Division, that he was very green to combat for such a high-ranking officer.

    So, compared to most, he didn’t do much actual life-risking, as once you get beyond Lt. Colonel or so, you are never really that close to combat.

    I was never impressed by Petraeus . He was always well-known among the troops as someone over-ambitious and a political commander who was just there to “go places,” and not a real down-in-the-trenches type of commander.

    The 82nd is one of those nearly-obligatory commands if you do want to advance in the US army.

    That said, I agree with you completely about the prudish, priggishness of the whole American view of sex, and how this contributed to the Petraeus imbroglio.

    Though I dislike Petraeus personally and professionally, I was still disgusted to see what happened to him.


  5. Why do you and other commenters immediately assume this is only about sex? Maybe it was a real tragic love story. Two people spent a lot of time together talking and running and fell in love. Maybe they thought that they were meant for each other, but met too late in life, and maybe everything else, including families and careers became less important for a while. Sex drive is far easier to manage than falling in love. I feel sorry for them.


    1. Or it could be a real abuse of power setting, were a woman 20 years his junior was cajoled into a relationship she didn’t want.


      1. Since she was caught trying to scare yet another woman off of him, I don’t think this is likely. But it is true that nobody seems to wonder much about her motivations although seeing them by each other’s side does make me wonder what she could have seen in him.


      2. I’m not convinced. ..She’s not a school girl but a successful and self-confident woman. I think his power and status made him extremely attractive for her, and probably they also just got along well. They seem to have similar, extremely amibitious and driven personalities. My guess is she was crazily in love with him, otherwise she would probably not have been so jealous of that other woman….
        but of course everyone is projecting their own ideas into this and we don’t know what really happened. 🙂


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