As Special Prosecutor Ken Starr's probe into presidential peccadillos moves from a grand jury to the halls of Congress, Bill Clinton isn't the only one feeling the heat. Not just because of the effect the investigation might have on the presidency, or the nation, but because of the prickly character issues it raises for us all. Who hasn't been a cheater or cheatee? How to explain to the kids that the president is a sex addict? Where to go for help? Thank goodness there are online resources, even for philandering presidents.
In lieu of impeachment, perhaps Clinton could join an online sexual addiction recovery program like"Sexual Compulsives Anonymous" <www.sca-recovery.org>. Similar to Alcoholics Anonymous, SCA has a 12-step program of spiritual fellowship "to stay sexually sober and to help others to achieve sexual sobriety."
Along with meeting schedules, the website has a test people can take to determine whether they are sex addicts "whose sexual behavior is harmful to his or her finances, intimate relationships, career and self-esteem." It may be difficult for the president to make many meetings in person, but during those lonely nights in the Oval Office, he could still participate in the online chat support group.
The Clintons et. al. also might benefit from "Extramarital Affairs" <members.aol.com/AffairLady/affair.html>, an online research study of infidelity by "AffairLady," who is presumably Debbie Layton-Tholl, a doctoral candidate at the Miami Institute of Psychology, and not Linda Tripp. More than 2,000 adulterers, "betrayed spouses" and "other women" (and men) have answered Layton-Tholl's questionnaire, making it one of the largest databases on cheating ever compiled outside the FBI. Layton-Tholl parlayed her earlier research into an appearance on "Oprah," and a paper, "Extramarital Affairs: What is The Allure," which contends that rather than sexual adventure, most affairs are the result of emotional neglect at home.
So once the subpoenas stop flying, some First Couple counseling may be in order, and the Clintons might wish to check out the website of "Vaughan & Vaughan" <www.vaughan-vaughan.com>. Peggy and James Vaughan are a husband-wife consulting team offering resources and support to help others deal with "important life issues," especially extramarital affairs. They involve themselves personally in the healing process by sharing their own experiences as a couple.
In fact, the Vaughans turned James' extramarital affairs into a cottage industry, in 1980 writing the first of several he-felt she-felt books called "Beyond Affairs," and starting a national support network and center. The Vaughans have also appeared on a few talk shows, including "Donahue," "Oprah," "Sally Jessy Raphael," "Montel Williams" and "Leeza." Come to think of it, the Vaughans might be able to give the Clintons some career counseling, as they ponder life after the White House.
"Perfect Secret Affair" <www.perfectsecretaffair.com> is the website for Nicholas Chapman's book, "How to Have the 'Perfect' Secret Affair," subtitled, "If You're Going to Do It, Do It Right!" In an introduction that will likely be updated, Chapman writes: "Had Frank Gifford had access to my book, he could have saved himself the misery he's now going through."
The commander in chief might well have benefitted from the website's "Adventure of the Week," alleged true stories of "how wild affairs are pulled off without anyone ever knowing!" He also could have relaxed at its Club Affair, a pay-for-play personals, chat and sex toy store enabling philanderers to "get matched up with that special someone on your wavelength."
Although Chapman's pedigree is not quite that of the Vaughans, he has done Howard Stern's show, and his website is chocked full of handy tips, including its Rule Number One: "Never let anyone know what you're doing."