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I wonder if the prevalence of "vagina poisoning" is as high and even if there is such a thing. Given that women are still disproportionally under-represented in positions of leadership, especially in the corporate sector, it may be difficult to measure, or maybe that precarious position is encouragement enough for the female sex to not let their libido get in the way of better judgment. OR could the case be that men approached by women in positions of power may not feel like victims and may in fact relish in having been able to have such an intimate relationship with their superior.

William Cunningham

I'd like to add that not only does sex act as leverage for others to take advantage of someone in a power position, it generally gives the male (and possibly, the female placed in a similar situation) a heightened sense of power and superiority, further feeding into the ego of the power figure, perhaps making egocentric people more prone to acting on their impulses. The worst possible result is an erroneous attribution of fault, resulting in the subordinate getting fired while the superior is rewarded when the fault should have been attributed to the superior or to both equally.

Ellen O'Rourke

Dear Bob, I like your conclusion to the BNET article, where you note "It isn’t easy being a human being; we aren’t machines and it isn’t a simple thing to shut down our love or lust for others." Power in the workplace makes men and women feel good about themselves and when we feel good we feel confident and secure and believe that we are attractive to others. Even the most well intentioned leader should take your advice and avoid potential situations that can lead to a sexual harassment lawsuit. It is a good idea to surround yourself with individuals who provide honest critique of your ability. Further, creating a personal rule to never make the first move guards one from the threat of their own bad behavior.
Best regards,


Dear Bob,
What is meaning of "BNET" in here?

Ron Gentile

The fact that people who are in power at work in relationships in marriages... are prone to losing site of the fact that they are one step away from being returned to earth is sadly human nature. I'm a big believer that when biology can lead to problems that we have to be aware of it and remind ourselves to fight the urge. A great reminder; thanks Bob.


The words "what is essentially" in my comment were ill-considered. They pull a punch that should be landed squarely.


Dear Bob, in your eagerness to make a point, I fear you have crossed a line here.

To put a run-of-the-mill adulterer like Bill Clinton and what is essentially the institutionalized rape of children in the same "rogues gallery" is not just in poor taste, it's intellectually corrosive. Brain poisoning, if you will.

Do note that while the other rogues did in fact risk their careers for lust, which is why there is some measure of sympathy for their weakness (some of us can even find it in ourselves to admire them for respecting the imperatives of sensual pleasure), the priests were and still largely are protected by the Church. Many went to their graves with their sins on their conscience but their reputations wholly intact.

Indeed, while we would be willing to discuss the relative morality of what Clinton and Spitzer did, even to the point of granting that it was all consensual and more or less fair (if embarrassing and, in Spitzer's case, illegal) ... that is, we would have that conversation and we would let them return to (or never leave) positions of social respectability ... the priests you are talking about have done something very much beyond the pale.

The adulterer may be stupid or wrong or both. The priests, here, are, for lack of a better word, evil. To describe them as having trouble restraining their lust is a very impoverished (and intellectually degrading) analysis.

I would, of course, feel the same way if you began to call them "assholes". It's just not an adequate analysis.

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