• Daniel Ethan Finneran

Stormy With A Chance Of Details: Part II

March 2018

When it comes to sex, it’s long been known that men can’t help themselves from lying, just as women can’t keep from telling the truth. And while the former is usually imaginatively innocent, the latter is always fatal. But always it’s the man who, unlike the lady, wastes no time in jumping from fornication to confabulation. It’s the story, not the sex that sells. He goes from tumescence to half-truths, the boudoir to the boardroom in order to polish off his ego and churn away in the rumor-mill.

Indeed, in recounting his tales of the bedroom, he makes the leap without the normal restraints of facts, to which we expect no man to be post-coitally bound. He’s moved at the direction of his reckless Eros, guided by the lustier gusts of his winds, and swayed to a land of his virile invention. He’s the libertine, the Casanova, the Don Juan and he feels himself at ease, emancipated, and free to paint upon his canvas the image of a sexual dynamo that’s of his own making. He traces with one hand the thin outline of what actually happened last night between him and his gal, while in the other he chisels and embellishes in a peculiar, brawny, and lubricious font. It’s a liberation—in and of itself, a type of consummation—devoutly to be wished and even more devoutly to be wished as being true.

It’s to the gentler sex we must turn for truth. It’s within her account that candor yields to nothing else.

The woman, always the more sexually selective half of our curious and promiscuous species of great ape, is also the more reliable in telling of her sexual past. Her stories from the boudoir, more than those of her boyfriend, her spouse, or her intimate friend, are more readily to be believed. Her caress chastens the man’s wild tales. Her grasp on reality pulls on his bucking reins. Her sober report puts him and his inflated ego in their place. The man might talk a big game and act with his friends like an amorous brute, but the woman’s sharp analysis is brutally honest and can puncture the man’s shell. Every erection, held in a woman’s eye and against a man’s ego, is a vivisection. The judgement is total and she can cut him down with a word. Every self-respecting man knows the feeling—that of being self-respecting at one moment and self-deprecating at the next. A woman quickly cuts him down to size. Protagoras, the eminent and ancient Greek, might have put it better had he admitted that woman, and not man, is ultimately the measure of all things.

That being said, I can’t very well convince myself that Stormy Daniels—the coquettish, controversial pornographic movie star with whom President Trump is alleged to have knocked boots—shouldn’t be believed. She re-emerged before the public’s eye on Sunday evening with her highly-anticipated 60 Minutes interview with Anderson Cooper. The interview itself was many months in the making, prolonged, as too many things in America are, by thick and nuanced legal concerns. You’ll recall that Daniels, whose Christian name is Stephanie Clifford, initially appeared during the fall of last year when she made the jarring announcement that she had a story to tell. She was to break her silence, spill the beans, and rattle of the ribald yet honest account of her and Donald Trump’s affair.

The two had met at a Lake Tahoe golfing event in 2007. Trump had only recently married his third and, to this day, current wife, Melania, and had even more recently sired is fifth and again—to this day, final child, young Barron. This was revealed to us, as I said, some months ago, when Daniels leaked to the press the general details of their rendezvous. Her friends, many of whom are gainfully, if not meretriciously employed in the same adult film industry in which Daniels works, corroborated her tale. All the while, Daniels’ attorney, the now notorious Michael Avenatti, worked the legal intricacies of the payment Daniels had received from President Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.

In the waning days of the 2016 presidential election, in the very twilight of Trump’s extraordinary and dizzying run, at a time when his presidential aspirations were so closely within reach, Michael Cohen established a phony cardboard company called “Essential Consultants LLC”. It was an ad hoc venture, built by day to serve as a conduit through which money could easily and quietly pass from the Trump campaign to Stormy Daniels. It was a “company” in the same way that Paris Hilton was once a singer or Tommy Wiseau an actor; only if you close your eyes or divert your attention away from the performance. The LLC was intended solely to put distance between the president and his porn-star paramour. That way, Cohen and Trump could avoid the sneaky pitfalls into which many candidates stumble when they’re trying to navigate lechery and campaign finance laws.

Cohen attested that he paid Daniels, out of his personal account and by way of his newly founded business enterprise $130,000. Daniels, in turn, signed a non-disclosure agreement and pocketed the cash. Before that transaction was sealed, however, Daniels was flirting with various media outlets about potentially selling them her tale. After it, she and Trump were mum on the subject. Both seemed content to abide by its terms.

It was then that the non-disclosure agreement and the hefty six-figure payment leaked to the press. The Wall Street Journal was the first to detail it, and In Touch magazine added notes on the initial affair. Backed into a corner of his and Trump’s own making, Cohen admitted to having paid Daniels (while denying that she and the president had actually had an affair). Daniels responded as well. Mounting an offensive, she alleged that, having said what he did, Cohen broke the terms of the non-disclosure agreement and thus liberated her from her avowed silence. She claimed that by his acknowledging that he’d paid her that sum, Cohen had violated the non-disclosure agreement, vitiated its legal applicability, and removed all shackles to which she was legally fixed.

Daniels’ attorney has since brought the suit to a California court in order to void whatever’s left of the non-disclosure agreement, though this seems to me an unnecessary step, as Daniels has already revealed to Anderson Cooper most, if not all of the sultry penetralia about which she wasn’t permitted to speak (apparently, the two took in an episode of shark week after relieving themselves of their own animal urges). Now, Daniels’ attorney is filing a motion to depose Michael Cohen and President Trump. He’s done so in a U.S. District Court. It’s a brazen move for Avenatti, but quite familiar territory for Trump; the latter has hardly walked a day on this earth without being mired in litigious fights. From them, be they about casinos, steaks, or universities, he always emerges relatively and remarkably unscathed. And although he as president isn’t immune to civil litigation (one need be reminded only of President Clinton in the year 1997, who was brought in the midst of his second presidential term to appear before the court) I expect this to be no different.

I did say that when it comes to sex, men will forever lie. The president sits not above this ancient platitude. Trump, against all of the limits of believability, maintains that he never did sleep with Daniels. That is, when he says anything on the topic at all. He’s been, as of late, uncharacteristically terse when the subject is broached. It’s a tacit, unsubtle hint that everything Daniels has said is true. But, keeping from telling the truth would be against her nature. She deals, after all, strictly and profligately in sex, and in matters of sex, women never lie.

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