A few days before Halloween, Gawker Media ran a story called ‘I Had a One-Night Stand with Christine O’Donnell.’ It was the tale of a 25-year-old Philadelphia douche-bag, who had a sordid night of not-quite sex with the 35-year-old politician.
Since then, I’ve been obsessed with her.
If you’d asked me a few days earlier what I’d thought of this 30-something Sarah Palin knock-off, I’d have shrugged my shoulders. She wasn’t even on my radar, aside from being ‘that crazy tea party chick who used to be a witch.’ But now – knowing that she’d snuggled drunkenly in bed with some schlub from Philly – I thought she sounded kind of cool.
Because she reminded me of a girl I used to be in love with – a beautiful, buttoned-up brunette with conservative pretentions who turned into a naughty little thing as soon as you poured a few drinks down her.
I remember meeting my Christine (name changed to protect the guilty) over a decade ago. She was a prim and proper lady in a tailored business suit – sleek, toned and tanned with immaculate nails and luxurious caramel-colored hair. I was transfixed. She looked like Jackie O crossed with a Barbie doll.
We worked together for a number of weeks and I learned a lot about this brilliant, poised young lady. She’d worked her way through two good east-coast colleges tossing burgers, rather than asking Mom and Dad for a handout. She’d taken internships with government departments in two countries to earn her vocational stripes. She spoke two languages fluently. She ran three miles a day. She never swore, never spoke badly about anybody behind his or her back and was a voting – and vocal – Republican.
I was nuts about her – but had assumed from the day I first met her that she was way out of my league.
But that all changed one night after work, when a group of us headed out for drinks. It all started conservatively enough, but soon got a little rowdy as we hopped from restaurant to bar.
At some point in the evening, she and I teamed up. I don’t remember how it happened – we just got talking and didn’t stop. From that point on, we sat together, strolled together and joked together. She laughed at my jokes, touched my arm to get my attention and stared deep into my eyes. I was still transfixed by this gorgeous, glamorous girl and it never occurred to me that she was actually flirting with me.
But when the end of the evening rolled around, and we quite logically decided to share a cab home together, it happened.
In the leather seats of a Lincoln limo, my Christine straddled my lap, took my face in her hands and started kissing me passionately.
It was, even to this day, one of the most amazing moments of my life. It was like Angelina Jolie, or Megan Fox, or some other insanely out-of-reach film star, had just turned up in your life and started making out with you. I’d never expected a girl as simply perfect as this to be interested in a guy like me – but here she was, writhing in my lap like a stripper.
At my hotel, we kissed each other passionately and tore at each other’s clothes. Her expensive tailored suit fell to the floor and I found five hundred dollar’s worth of made-to-measure La Senza lingerie underneath. As I stripped that off, I discovered (to my delight) that her honey-brown tan ended where the bikini was meant to start, and her breasts and bottom were as pale and perfect as hard-boiled eggs.
We never had sex (just like the real O’Donnell) but we did just about everything else that night (and my colleague, sharing the joined suite, apparently heard every moan and groan.) The next morning, when we woke up tangled in each other’s arms, it was difficult for me to believe that it hadn’t all been a dream.
This girl? The one as gorgeous as a Victoria’s Secret model? Naked and in bed with me? Inconceivable!
A few hours later, she was back in her buttoned-up suit and giving a presentation like nothing had ever happened. But for the rest of the day, I would catch her eyes looking in my direction and I felt my stomach fill with butterflies.
My Christine O’Donnell was, for the longest time, the love of my life. Our relationship never quite clicked, but we were entwined in each other’s lives for half a decade and across three continents. In some alternative reality, I’m sure she and I ended up together – but in mine, I still can’t look at pictures of her without wondering: Did those amazing experiences even happen in the first place?
And that’s what I look at when I see the real Christine O’Donnell now.
That story in Gawker wasn’t very well written, nor particularly scandalous (or it wouldn’t have been, if it had involved anybody by O’Donnell)
What it was, however, was evidence that girls like her – and my Christine, living all those many miles away from me now – are just as lustful and sexual beneath the surface as the rest of us.
The sad thing about the O’Donnell debacle is that the real Christine O’Donnell touted herself as a devout, born-against Christian who led a lifestyle of sexual chastity in the service of the Lord. Those pretentions were incongruous with her decision to climb drunkenly into bed with a guy she’d only met a few hours earlier. When my Christine led me upstairs with hungry, wet kisses – she was just revealing a side to herself she very rarely let the rest of the world see.
A lot of newspapers and websites, including the humorless guys over at Jezebel, attacked Gawker for publishing the Christine O’Donnell story – calling it ‘slut shaming’ and making accusations of sexism and misogyny (plus ca change, non?)
The fact is, though, that Gawker wasn’t exposing O’Donnell because they thought it was ‘wrong’ for an attractive, single woman to romp naked with a virtual stranger (in fact, the editors seemed largely in favor of girls doing that.) They named and shamed O’Donnell because she was behaving in a manner totally contradictory to the way she and her tea-party sycophants demanded that the rest of us live.
“Virgins who are into pornography or who are “doing everything but” with their boyfriends are not sexually pure,” she wrote in 1998. “But as Christians, purity and holiness are our calling in Christ – to live beautiful, holy, pure lives through the power of Christ’s blood.”
The only person doing any ‘slut shaming’ is Christine O’Donnell – and in doing so, she’s simultaneously shaming herself. What’s worse, it’s for behavior that’s not just entirely natural, but also entirely beautiful.
I’ve been obsessed with Christine O’Donnell these last few days because she’s reminded me of a closed chapter of my life – one of the most exciting and erotic I can remember – but also because she represents the absolutely antithesis of that buttoned-up, Republican beauty I once lost my heart to.