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Rudy Giuliani’s Lost Little Girl

'Turn it off!' George C. Scott in 1979's 'Hardcore' (Source)

In 1979, George C. Scott starred in Hardcore, a drama about Jake Van Dorn, a Calvinist businessman whose daughter goes missing, and becomes a porn star. Van Dorn’s search for his missing daughter takes him into a porn theater, where he watches a film with her servicing two men. He sobs, “Turn it off! Turn it off!” when the images of his daughter degrading herself become too painful to withstand.

I imagine Rudy Giuliani feels something like that today, following his daughter Caroline’s confession in Vanity Fair that she has found bliss as a “unicorn” — someone who enjoys having sex with couples. This is ordinary smut that only found its way into Vanity Fair because of who its author’s father is. Notice how Miss Giuliani frames her perversion as liberation — the hoariest cliche there is:

“I want to watch my boyfriend bend you over” was the general tone of the sexts we had already exchanged before we met. My body coursed with adrenaline and nervous energy I hadn’t felt on a first date since I was a teenager. Now, in my late 20s, this was a new kind of first date—one with a couple. I had met them on an app where couples can seek a third partner, known as a “unicorn” because of our mythical rarity. As I nervously texted my closest friends (including screenshots of the couple’s profile, and dramatic goodbyes in case I never returned), many of them surprised me in their responses. They said they were curious about threesomes, but had never tried because navigating the world of polyamory felt like a minefield.

As a person with a comically massive reserve of anxiety, I too fear uncharted territory. Paradoxically, though, this doesn’t stop me from feeling intensely drawn to new experiences. Throughout my life, this cognitive dissonance was only further complicated by external judgment I received for my impulses to try unconventional things. I now understand that my curiosity, open-mindedness, and sense of adventure are three nonnegotiable, defining elements of my identity. But it wasn’t until I started sleeping with couples that I shed my shame about those qualities, let alone embraced them in all areas of my life. Finding the strength to explore these more complicated, passionate aspects of my personality became the key to harnessing my voice and creative spark, which in turn helped me better cope with depression, anxiety, and the lingering cognitive effects of adolescent anorexia.

Why did these revelations dawn on me between two sweaty bodies and the energy of someone else’s romantic union? When people think about three-ways, intimacy may not be the first thing to come to mind. “Kinky,” “dirty,” and “taboo” are probably top of the list. It can certainly be all of those things (she says with a naughty smile), but when a couple invites me into their bed, I not only get welcomed into the midst of their preexisting connection, but also get to forge a new one with them based on their trust that I will respect the boundaries of their relationship. This is a vulnerable position all around: for the couple in opening their connection to a newcomer, and for the unicorn in entering a power dynamic where they are the only one without an established teammate.

As I scrolled and chatted, I felt a common vibe unifying many of the profiles, but the range of gender identities, sexual orientations, and diverse interests made it difficult to articulate what that commonality was. Then it dawned on me that this common thread was not a certain kink or favorite sex position, it was the commitment to embracing one’s own nonconformity, the celebration of individualism and sexuality without shame.
She talks about how she struggles with anxiety and depression, but how embracing sexual perversion has been therapeutic to her. Now, young Giuliani says, she wants to live in a world in which everybody talks about sex all the time. More:
For concerned citizens inclined to respond to my sexual liberation by reminding me to respect myself—it’s baffling how many well-intentioned, “woke” people let this kind of sexist rhetoric slip out—I hope this piece helps you understand that I do respect myself, arguably even more than I did before I started sleeping with couples.
I do respect myself, arguably even more than I did before I started sleeping with couples. That poor, poor summer child.

I feel bad for Rudy Giuliani here, and for Caroline Giuliani’s mother, Donna Hanover. What a humiliating thing for a father and mother to have to endure. I hope that this shameful disclosure will compel Rudy Giuliani to think hard, and repentantly, about the sexual humiliations he inflicted on his family, such as Caroline’s mother having to learn in a press conference that her adulterous husband Rudy was divorcing her.

For me, the shocking part is not that people do the kinds of things that Caroline Giuliani does. It’s not even that they brag about it in non-porn magazines. We have had a popular culture degraded in this way since the 1970s. The shocking thing is that there are still people, in 2021, who believe that rutting like animals is liberationist. Did these people not read or see The Ice Storm? Caroline Giuliani is in a lot of pain, and everything she’s doing now is only going to make it worse.

Let’s work hard to save our families from what America has become. It means nothing to gain political power and influence if you deliver, however unintentionally, your children into the slop jar that is American popular culture. Let me warn you, readers: if you think that because you hold conservative political and religious opinions, that your kids aren’t at risk of having their minds colonized by this anti-culture, you are lying to yourself. Where do they go to school? Who are their friends? What kind of electronic devices do you let them have? What do you talk about with them?

It matters. This is what the Benedict Option book is about: building communities that practice resistance, not just theorize about it.


about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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