Judging Ryan Lochte
August 14, 2012
Last week, Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte’s mother said in an interview on The Today Show that her son “goes out on one-night stands. He’s not able to give fully to a relationship because he’s always on the go.” The comments quickly went viral and caused a media sensation, which resulted in Lochte being called “sleazy” and a “bad role model” by commentators, bloggers and Twitter-users.
The next day, Mrs. Lochte clarified the comments, saying, “All I wanted to say is that he’s so sensitive about not wanting to hurt a girl he’s dating. So, he just goes and dates and takes out a girl for maybe one or two dates and doesn’t have a relationship, because he doesn’t have time and it’s not fair to the women.”
This incident illustrates how judgmental society can be about the sex lives of two consenting adults. One-night stands can carry a greater risk of getting a sexually transmitted disease, simply because you don’t know the person you’re having sex with well and haven’t discussed sexual histories or gotten tested together. But at the end of the day, it’s Lochte’s business what he does in his spare time. If an athlete doesn’t have time for a relationship and has casual sex because he or she spends hours and hours training to be the best in the world, that doesn’t make him or her a bad role model. Actually, a good number of Olympic athletes are positive role models, because they spend so much of their time working hard to achieve their dreams.
What two consenting adults do in the bedroom shouldn’t be an indicator of whether they are a good person or not. Out of all the things you can judge Ryan Lochte for, his sex life isn’t one of them. His Twitter feed, his catchphrase “Jeah!” and his habit of wearing grills are another story.