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Published October 22, 2008

I am taking a vow of celibacy until the election of the next president, and I encourage you to do likewise. Don't have what reasonable people consider "sex"-- that is, I'm not just going by Bill Clinton's definition here -- before we know whether we've elected Obama or McCain to the White House. Reasons why:

  • Time-sensitivity . Your free time in the days between now and the election is better spent working on the campaign than on having sex with people or trying to convince them to have sex with you. I cannot completely disavow carnal thoughts, but I can pledge to be mostly doing useful things while such thoughts meander through my head. You can, too. For example, calling voters in battleground states (you can think about sex while doing this, but don't talk about it). Or canvassing . I'm going to Pennsylvania to help get out the vote. I'll be going door to door, I think, unless they give me something different to do. Because I actually care quite a lot about who gets elected this year, I'll be much more interested in doing a good job than in having sex with other campaign workers (or random Pennsylvanians).

  • Superstition . Before the Super Bowl, Tom Brady holed up with that supermodel, and look what happened. Gandhi was having sex right when his father died, and he always felt pretty rotten about that (and about sex in general). If Obama loses and you were having sex at the time (or in the days before, when you could have been calling swing voters), how will you feel?

  • Consolation . Indeed, if Obama loses, it will be an incredibly good time to tap into all that pent-up sexual energy. You'll be able to at least briefly obliterate your sense of devastation by throwing yourself into frenzied sexual congress until you collapse in a strange delirium of satiety and despair.

  • Catharsis . And what if Obama wins (as he well ought, at this point; but then again, Democrats are so good at losing)? Then you get to express your jubilation by having long-awaited celebratory sex with another, or several other, similarly elated individuals. (Console McCain voters at your discretion.) What a pleasing and delightful election night scenario: progressives all across America happily, amorously entwined in triumph.

Regardless of the outcome, it's an additional reason to look forward to the evening of November 4th. If there's any sort of prolonged Supreme Court situation, however, I reserve to right to cancel my vow.

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