Smut Peddlers 

Penthouse has nothing on S.C.

Scoff all you like, but some people really do pick up Playboy for the articles. I know, it sounds like a cop-out, but it's true. I'm one of the them.

Each issue, you are guaranteed a short story from a top writer, a cornucopia of reviews, the Playboy Interview, a page of fresh jokes, and, my personal favorite, the Playboy Advisor, a Dear Abby-style spread advising men on everything from installing a love swing to hot-wiring a car, bedding your best friend's girl to procuring Cuban cigars. Witty and urbane, the Advisor is generally the first thing I turn to whenever I pick up a copy. It's a fun read.

That said, as good a read as the Advisor is, it's nowhere near the E-ticket ride that Penthouse's Forum section is.

Don't recoil in disgust. I know you've read them. I know they made you feel just a little bit randy. And I know that you didn't believe a single word. And why would you? Each story follows one of three patterns:

A: Guy goes to the beach. Two girls are sunbathing. They see him staring. They invite him over. They have sex.

B: Guy is cutting the grass. The new neighbors are moving in. Two girls. They look like they need help. He carries a few boxes. The girls give him a lemonade. They have sex.

C: Guy comes home from work. Wife throws a surprise party. Everyone drinks. They play strip poker. They have sex.

Yes, the letters are bullshit — or at least most of them. But they are fantasies. And if there's one thing that nearly every single adult male or female fantasizes about it's sex. However, some folks just can't conjure up stories on their own — they need to be steered in the right direction. And for years, Penthouse has provided that service. But I say, no more. After all, why pay for something when you can get it for free, and right now, nobody's churning out steamy sex stories like the great state of South Carolina.

By now, we're all familiar with the work of Mark Sanford. After all, who can forget this classic passage written by the Luv Guv to his Argentine mistress: "I could digress and say that you have the ability to give magnificent gentle kisses, or that I love your tan lines or that I love the curve of your hips, the erotic beauty of you holding yourself (or two magnificent parts of yourself) in the faded glow of the night's light"? Suck it, D.H. Lawrence. You're a hack.

But truth be told, Sanford's output has grown a little stale. Been there, read that. Which is why we needed a breath of steamy air. That's where the political website run by former Sanford pressman Will Folks comes into the picture.

This week, FITSNews.com provided links to two adults-only stories penned by a person known as Bridget Keeney. The two tales are pretty explicit, packed with hard-core, triple-X action.

According to FITSNews, Keeney just might have been the pen name of Kristin Maguire, the chair of the S.C. Board of Education. Or at least she was until Monday morning when Maguire, a Sanford appointee and homeschooler, resigned her post in order to care of her parents and her children.

The site also reports that "Maguire spoke to FITS of difficult times in her life and acknowledged that she had visited certain websites where such material was posted and reviewed. She did not admit to authoring erotic fiction, however."

This is troubling. And not for the obvious reasons. Bible-believing, homeschool advocates are just as free to write X-rated stories as anybody else. The problem is with FITSNews and its actions. Yes, there is some chatter from an anonymous source, and, yes, there are what might simply be coincidental similarities between Maguire and Keeney, but that, apparently, is it. The post presents little to no direct information linking Maguire to the stories.

Even more iffy, FITSNews offers a few more details about Maguire's alleged lascivious behavior and a possible cover-up by a Sanford administration staffer, all from unnamed sources. Not good.

Only time will tell if these allegations by FITSNews are true or if all of this is as phony as a letter in the Penthouse Forum.


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