I don’t know if anyone has done proper statistical analysis on this subject, but I suspect male politicians more frequently use the services of prostitutes than the proverbial man on the street. It’s easy to explain why: politicians often have to live far away from their families when legislatures are in session, campaigning is lonely work that requires a lot of traveling, and politicians by temperament are the type that like adulation and flesh-pressing, whether provided by a crowd or a paid sex-worker. Anecdotally, I’ve heard there are more escort services in Washington, DC than Mcdonald’s.
Eliot Spitzer, Governor of New York, is the latest pol to be caught in a prostitution scandal. Since Spitzer a Democrat, there is a possibility he’ll survive; Democratic voters are more forgiving on these issues than their Republican counterparts, in part because the Democratic party is less given to public moralizing on sex matters.
I myself lean to letting matters like this remain private: whatever Spitzer’s extracurricular activities might have been they concern only himself and his wife.
But I have one proviso: Spitzer made his name as a “law and order” man. The legal norms governing prostitution in New York (and most other jurisdiction around the planet) are a real travesty to justice. Except for sex with minors and any activity involving coercion, all forms of prostitutions should be decriminalized. I’d like to see Governor Spitzer take up this cause, although I suspect he won’t.
PS: Ezra Klein rightly highlights the hypocrisy factor: as Attorney General of New York Spitzer broke up at least 2 “prostitution rings”, huffing and puffing moralistically while doing so.