You can’t remember sex. You can remember the fact of it, and recall the setting, and even the details, but the sex of the sex cannot be remembered, the substantive truth of it, it is by nature self-erasing, you can remember its anatomy and be left with a judgment as to the degree of your liking of it, but whatever it is as a splurge of being, as a loss, as a charge of the conviction of love stopping your heart like your execution, there is no memory of it in the brain, only the deduction that it happened and that time passed, leaving you with a silhouette that you want to fill in again. (E.L. Doctorow)
What made the cosmetic surgeon’s and the budding actress’ affair nonpareil was its currency with the use of instant computer propagation.
Spreading like wildfire, the rumor was soon validated by the crisp copies of the acts that made all of us privy to the architectural configuration of the couple’s bedroom.
Familiarity with the bed, the furniture, the crumpled bedding and their color, the texture of the light, what looks like a closet’s door ajar enabling a concealed camera its concentrated dedication, and of course the familiar mute fixture, the wall air-conditioning unit on the upper right side of the partition, brought us inside the skin of the dramatis personae. Not only were we taken within the inner sanctum, they allowed us to eavesdrop to their groans and passionate carnal conversations. It was the swiftness of the duplication where the viewer enjoys a copy right inside one’s privacy, reminiscent of the actors’ tryst or in vicarious participation with the protagonists that made the breaking controversy relentlessly appealing. The viewing convenience is transferred to one’s handphone thru Bluetooth and the ubiquitous CDs.
Of course we are all familiar with the participants. Katrina Halili is a commercial model and a movie bitplayer. Maricar Reyes is touted to be a medical doctor as well and a commercial model having graced an advertisement of a feminine hygiene product. The unnamed Brazilian is also into commercial modelling and a beauty titlist who has long left the country once the whiff of scandal permeated the air.
The 29-year old cosmetic surgeon has everything it takes to be a successful lothario. He has the unmistakeable physical attributes and on the intellect department, has formidable armament. He was generous and allowed his lovers to come. And we knew it. From foreplay to cuddling.
One wisecrack has said that the brain is the finest sexual organ. In which case, the good doctor is equipped with a double barrelled boner enough to skewer his partner into unimaginable heights of rapture. While into it, the voyeur in us failed to figure out what was whispered while the couple on the screen was in rhapsodic congress.
When asked how he recorded the trysts, the good doctor simply said all he has was a user friendly Sony video cam. It is self-focusing, he said. All he has to do is to activate the video-cam and align it towards the direction of the act of fornication. Uploading the representation, all he had was a UBS or a flash drive in transferring the image to his computer. Trying to be in the know, an idiot for a Senator asked the doctor, “what software did you use?” The doctor’s lawyer, Lorna Kapunan, whispered to his client that “no software was used, it was a hard drive.” Jinggoy Estrada agreed. He tried to be funny when he said in the midst of the investigation, “sa totoo lang hindi ko pa napapanood yong CDng yan.” It fell flat. He thought nobody heard it right, and it was pathetic of him when he repeated it.
For all his faults, the young doctor made the 3-hour Senate spectacle worth one’s while. It was one event good enough to kill your time.
But he has his worthy predecessors who had no luxury of his gadgetry. His predecessors before him held their people (and the world) in awe of their amazing equivalent exploits that lent to their immortality.
What sets apart the good doctor from the Don Juans of the past is that their legions of fans made do with their unbounded imagination absent any graphic representations of their exploits of the most beautiful women of their time. It was gossips, rumors, distant recollections of actual observers or witnesses, and some confessions.
There were no hidden cameras or similar explicit recording contraptions yet. The public was consumed by reports, official and unofficial, innuendos and anecdotes.
Who are these idols of yore that approximate the feats of the good doctor?
The international Diplomat and Playboy Porfirio Rubirosa, John Profumo, and the most recent, the verboten liaisons of Bill Clinton, and the disgraced Governor of New York, Eliot Spitzer come to mind.
Rubirosa squired women known for their beauty, fame and fortune: Zsa Zsa Gabor, Eartha Kitt, Ava Gardner, Kim Novak, Rita Hayworth, the Empress Soraya of Iran, Doris Duke, and a host of curvaceous others. “One woman is not enough for him,” his second wife Danielle Darrieux, complained to the press. “A man like him needs a harem.”
Asked about his most memorable encounter during a 50-year career as a musician, world-famous Dominican salsa bandleader Johnny Pacheco replied that it had been, unquestionably, his meeting fellow Dominican playboy Porfirio Rubirosa at the old Palladium Club in New York. Realizing that Rubirosa was in the audience as he was going up on the stage, he could only gasp: “ese tipo es un barbarazo.” A truly Dominican phrase that can be translated perhaps “that is quite a guy” or “he is a man’s man,” but which conveys a certain type of über maleness greatly admired on the island-a sort of macho’s macho.
Pacheco’s comments add one more grain of stardust to the myth of Rubirosa, reminding us of a figure that could only have materialized out of the excesses of the “era de Trujillo.” Describing his memorable encounter, Pacheco adds, that Rubirosa was “impeccably dressed,” without a single flaw in his appearance, “he was exquisitely groomed, from his nails to his hair, and he was accompanied by two well-known personalities, Kim Novak and Doris Duke.”
Rubirosa, Pacheco comments, was “very elegant and looked like a real man”-he was “impressive and loved” despite the fact that he “beat and later abandoned Trujillo’s daughter” (Flor de Oro, his first wife).
Conversations about Rubirosa tend to get slightly bawdy. Truman Capote famously wrote in his unfinished novel Answered Prayers, that Rubirosa’s principal attribute was “an 11-inch cafe au lait sinker as thick as a man’s wrist” while his state of permanent erection won him the nickname of “ever ready.” Trujillo, who continued to be loyal to Rubirosa even after his daughter divorced him, called him “an excellent diplomat because women adored him and he’s a liar.”
Asked if Rubirosa was his idol, Pacheco replied: “Anyone would like to be Rubirosa.”
Pacheco’s comments were made during a recent interview to mark his having been awarded the “Soberano,” the most important of the Casandra Awards of 2009.
As Shawn Levy amply documents in “The Last Playboy,” his bubbly, breathless and appropriately inconsequential biography, Rubirosa worked hard at having fun. Well into his 50’s, when he crossed paths with the Rat Pack, he set a pace that few could match. Sammy Davis Jr., wrecked and staggering after a night on the town with Rubi, ran into his host the next day at lunch. Rubirosa, none the worse for wear, was leaning against the bar, elegantly turned out and casually sipping a Ramos gin fizz. Davis asked him how he did it. “Your profession is being an entertainer,” Rubirosa said. “Mine is being a playboy.”
Rubirosa died in a car crash in 1965 after a nightlong binge in a night club in Paris.
Profumo is Britain’s Secretary of State for War during the watch of Conservative Prime Minister Harold Macmillan in 1963.
What was touted to be the Profumo scandal brought down a government during his time.
Profumo, in dinner-jacket, first met Christine Keeler, wearing nothing but a dripping towel, at the swimming pool of Cliveden, the country home of Lord Astor, in whose grounds Stephen Ward rented a cottage. Keeler was Ward’s guest, Profumo was Astor’s up at the “big house”. On the sultry evening of July 8, 1961, he had gone down to the pool with his host, and their wives, for a cooling after-dinner stroll. There, Keeler was frolicking naked and had hastily to cover herself. The impact of her partially draped charms was not lost on the minister. The next day at a swimming party at the pool, at which the Soviet naval attaché was also present, Profumo asked her for her telephone number.
Profumo and Captain Yevgeny Ivanov fought for Christine’s attention with boisterous water games. Keeler liked Ivanov, thinking he was a real mans man. By the end of the weekend Profumo had gotten Keelers phone number from Ward, but she went home with Ivanov. Ward heard all the details the following day, remarking “Goodness, with your friend Eugene one hand and your new friend (Profumo) you could start a war!”
A month earlier Ward had been approached by MI5 about his friendship with Ivanov, and the Wednesday following the weekend at Cliveden he mentioned that the war minister, Christine and Ivanove had spent the weekend in each others company…..
The first ‘date’ between Keeler and Profumo was a drive around London in the ministerial limousine. Although the young woman did not find John Profumo handsome, his aura of power both impressed Keeler and appealed to her. Profumo began to visit Keeler at Ward’s Wimpole Mews flat. He would usually take her for a drive until the coast was clear. She recalls, ‘Jack and I became lovers the third time he came around…We started laughing and talking as usual, then there was one of those electric potent silences…without a word we were embracing and he was kissing me.’
Despite possible worry about his wife, Profumo once took Keeler home, a grand Nash house in Regents Park. ‘It was late,’ said Keeler. ‘The butler and the rest of the staff were in bed…We crept around the lovely rooms. And then we got into their bedroom…’The couple made love, said Keeler, on the Profumos’ bed. The Minister exuded power. Sleeping with Profumo was, she reflected later, the way other people might feel about making love to a film star such as Marlon Brando.
The couple also made love in his car, and, once, in Regents Park. His presents to her included a Flaminaire cigarette lighter and £20 ‘for her mother’ – a polite way of paying for her services. Keeler later summed up the liaison as ‘a very well mannered screw of convenience; only in other people’s minds, much later, was it “An Affair”.’
As to Spitzer, he was a promising politician of the Democratic Party, once hyped as the next president. He fell from grace owing to an extended expensive liaison with a high-priced NY hooker, a $1,000-an-hour call girl New York City singer going by the name Ashley Alexandra Dupré (legal name Ashley Rae Maika DiPietro, born Ashley Youmans). As impeachment loomed, he resigned on March 12, 2008 as Governor effective at noon of March 17, 2008.
“I cannot allow for my private failings to disrupt the people’s work,” Spitzer said at a news conference in New York City. “Over the course of my public life, I have insisted – I believe correctly – that people take responsibility for their conduct. I can and will ask no less of myself. For this reason, I am resigning from the office of governor.”
And Clinton? Well, a second look at Monica Lewinski paved the way to his public contrition and the eternal damnation of Hillary.
Fifty years from now long after you and I are gone, this good doctor of Vicky Belo will be talked over and over and his graphic appendage compared with the anecdotal dimensions of Rubirosa, Profumo, Clinton or Spitzer or his equally worthy successor.
In these consuming steamy encounters, we were singularly allowed to peek into the hows of the contra-puntal force of convulsive physiques contrasting them with the hues of the stolid bedroom accouterments. The flat abdomens, the firm derrières, the sheen of the dermis, the unrest of the breasts, the faith of the thrusts. These were denied us in l’affairs Profumo, the conquests of Rubirosa, and the downfall of Spitzer.
Pacheco was right. “Anyone wants to be a Rubirosa.”
Henry Miller said, “Sex is one of the nine reasons for reincarnation. The other eight are unimportant.”