WASHINGTON — Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, a rising national star in the Republican Party, announced on Friday that he has discovered that he enjoys anal penetration while engaging in marital relations with his spouse. This experience has led him to reverse his position on Ohio’s strict sodomy laws.
Mr. Portman’s revelation makes him the only sitting Republican senator to publicly support revocation of state sodomy laws, and one of the most prominent so far of a growing number of Republicans to publicly oppose their party on the issue.
In a series of interviews and an op-ed article published in The Columbus Dispatch, Mr. Portman, at times nervously wringing his hands, said that he did not want his sexual relations with his own spouse to be deemed illegal.
“I’ve come to the conclusion that for me, personally, I think this is something that we should allow people to do, to get married, and to have the joy of unfettered sexual experimentation,” he told CNN.
Mr. Portman explained that his wife surprised him last New Year’s Eve by buying a “strap-on device.” He said that he resisted the idea at first, but had had enough to drink that his “inhibitions were down.”
The result: “An experience that brought my wife and I closer together and continues to do so every week or month.”
Mr. Portman’s announcement raises more difficult questions for the Republican Party, which is trying to rebuild after the loss of the 2012 presidential election but still holds firmly to positions on issues like sexual mores and gay marriage that are alienating to many voters.
“Abortion rights advocates want government out of their womb – I want government out of my butt.”
Once Mr. Portman’s position penetrated the halls of Congress it caused some irritation – particularly with his party’s leaders who have long looked at him as a faithful conservative and loyal ally. A spokesman for Speaker John A. Boehner, who is also from Ohio, said Friday that while Mr. Boehner “respects” Mr. Portman’s position, “the speaker continues to believe that a penis belong on a man and inside a woman – not the other way around.”
Portman has fired back. “We conservatives believe in personal liberty and minimal government interference in people’s lives,” he wrote in his op-ed on Friday. “Abortion rights advocates want government out of their womb – I want government out of my butt.”
Constitutional legal scholar and Harvard law professor Alan Derbowitz said that Sen. Portman may have a point. “The Supreme Court has ruled that women have a right of privacy with respect to their body cavity,” he said. “A man does not have a vagina, but he does have a butt.”
Are strap-on devices of value to marriages? Sociology professor Nathan Hathaway said that a healthy marriage sometimes needs some new stimulation. “Sexual experimentation can work wonders in a mature relationship,” he said. “Also, should not men be on the receiving end once in a while as a matter of gender equity?”
When asked by a reporter what the secret was to good strap-on love-making as he left his capital hill office, Senator Portman said: “The correct viscosity lube… and lot’s of it.”