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Power makes you horny

'Antihero' Jim McGreevey blames 'toxic culture'

PUTTING IT OUT. Former New Jersey Democratic governor Jim McGreevey is currently promoting his memoir The Confession.

“There’s a toxic shame in American politics over sex,” former New Jersey Democratic governor Jim McGreevey tells me over chili at Seven West on Charles St.

McGreevey, in town promoting his new sex-spattered memoir The Confession, is talking about his own “toxic circumstance”: denying he was gay, living a closeted life that saw him in two failed marriages with women, having lots of secret anonymous sex with men at reststops and having a secret affair with a former Israeli soldier who McGreevey eventually appointed as his $110,000-a-year “special counsellor,” nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

Threats from the lover/counsellor finally forced McGreevey out of the closet, ended his marriage and prompted his 2004 resignation from office. He now calls himself “an antihero” who wants to demonstrate to gay and lesbian youth the need to be true to themselves.

What could he have been thinking, giving an unqualified lover a job, then sneaking away from State Troopers to have sex with him? “I thought I was omnipotent…. The toxic culture makes you act out inappropriately because you can’t have what other people have — a loving relationship.”

As McGreevey talks about the love affair US politicians have with sexual hypocrisy, it’s hard not to think of Florida Republican Congressman Mark Foley, who resigned last month after it came out that his on-line chats with 16- and 17-year-old male pages included one-handed typing like, “did any girl give you a haand job this weekend” and “well I have aa totally stiff wood now.”

It’s not the first time there’s been a gay-sex congressional page scandal. A 1983 house committee investigation revealed that in 1973, Democratic rep Gerry Studds had a consensual sexual relationship with a 17-year-old male page — Studds even took the teen to Morocco so they could have sex legally.

Those were more glamorous times — there’s no comparing a free trip to Morocco to lewd and poorly spelled text messaging — and obviously more permissive ones. Studds snubbed the committee, accused it of violating his privacy, won election the following year and served until he retired in 1996.

Asked about the current Foley scandal, McGreevey will only say, “Paedophilia is different thing.” Cheating on your wife with men your own age is a lesser sin nowadays.

McGreevey’s book debuted at number one on the New York Times’ bestseller list, going to show that even a country that wears its homophobia on its sleeve loves illicit gay sex.