Moral Outrage, Our Newest National Pastime: Notes on the Colombian Prostitution Scandal

by: Artemis Loud

In Colombia this month, some members of the secret service were caught getting not-so-secretly serviced by prostitutes in a country where paying for sex is legal.  Needless to say American politicians, pundits, reporters, housewives, blog commenters, school children, librarians, twitter users and most especially roving correspondents who like making their voices sound winky-nudgy are alternately calling it a security breach and a sex scandal.  Of course, security was not breached, the summit went on without a hitch, no enemy of the state was alerted to sensitive information and all that’s really left is the juicy sex scandal part.

Which is convenient because let’s face it, that whole war on stay-at-home moms news story was going nowhere.  Americans have become accustomed to outrage and horror in our news, some of us have even started to crave it.  With the GOP debates done there were fewer multi-millionaires empathizing with poor people who can’t afford to install new car elevators this year, less talk of awesome work study janitorial programs for nine year olds, and the discussion about giving up on Earth entirely and just heading to the moon had dried up completely.  We needed a new incident to pop our country’s monocle in shock and our Secret Service agents and those members of the military sent to conduct protective research in Cartegena prior to President Obama’s visit were just the ones to fit that bill– not so much pay it, though.

You know how you go a restaurant with a bunch of friends and there’s that one guy who has to dispute everything on the tab, who claims he really didn’t get two refills on his Mountain Dew and finally, as it turns out, doesn’t have enough money to cover his check anyway?  It happens with prostitutes too.  And when it happens with prostitutes in Colombia the police get called.  And when police get called on men hired to protect the leader of the free world, news stories tend to break.  Cue our collective shudder of delighted outrage.  Not that our journalists here in the states weren’t professional.  An incident like this, which touches on important issues of trust, foreign policy, security and duty must be handled with the proper amount of delicacy, candor and transparency.  Of course no one was really interested in that, so ultimately they just focused back on the sex parts.

Sex parts are icky.  Our puritan forefathers taught us that we should believe that.  Icky enough that we felt a bit self-conscious fixating entirely on the hookers.  So we learned a little about Codes of Conduct – pretty much only the sex parts.  We talked a bit about possible security issues that could have come up; like the very slim probability of an enemy using a “Honey Pot” scheme against our service members.  If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a type of blackmail that can be used in situations such as these – it has to do with sex.  We also, as a nation, spoke a lot about the ethics of the situation, whether or not Secret Service and military officers have strict orders not to sleep with prostitutes or whether it’s kind of a gray area.  Article 134 of the  Uniform Code of Military Justice prohibits amoral behavior that could be embarrassing to U.S. armed forces, like cheating on one’s wife – cheating with sex.  Thank goodness, our press didn’t place all their focus on the prostitutes which could have made us look salacious.

Moral outrage is fun!  What’s more, it’s arguably our newest national pastime.  Especially when we get to have our prostitute cake and eat it too (Having it and eating it, will cost you extra if you buy it at The Pley Club in Cartegena, Colombia.  Ask for the Americano discount).   After all the resignations and inquiries, interviews and book deals, this will all blow over.  America will be no more “embarrassed” in front of the other countries’ diplomats than they were before.

President Obama will look the charming victor for his joke about Secret Service early curfews at the White House Correspondents Dinner.  Nancy Pelosi will find another sexual deviant to publicly humiliate (that’s her new thing, right? Anthony Weiner probably thinks so.)  Tony Perkins of the “Family Research Council” will eventually hit upon another, just as implausible, correlation between human fallibility and the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.  Mitt Romney will undoubtedly make an ass of himself in some exciting new way that sets us all ablaze with gleeful fury.  But for now, our advance teams at the Summit of the Americas have managed to fill our national need for smug, easy-to-argue, difficult-to-disprove moral superiority with a lot of sex on the side.  Downright patriotic, they are, if you think about it.

Artemis Loud is a reformed yoga  teacher who now writes a queer sex advice column.  She is a an online vlogger, blogger, writer and model with an irreverent style and a family name she has been asked not to tarnish with her media shenanigans.  A hobby auteur, Artemis lends her video editing skills to The Civil Rights Agenda’s ‘Families United Project’ and can often be found taking photos at queer-related events in the Chicago area. Follow her at:!/ArtemisLoud and!/DearLadyA


One response to “Moral Outrage, Our Newest National Pastime: Notes on the Colombian Prostitution Scandal

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