Sizzle-less sex? They should've asked Sam Green

October 09, 1994|By MICHAEL OLESKER

Life being what it is, ironies abound. But who ever figured Sam Green, the Wild Child of Baltimore County jurisprudence, would get pulled out of the great and steamy tabloid past in the same historic instant we learn that Americans' sex lives are fizzling like damp firecrackers?

Some of these brilliant university researchers, who bring us news that the American libido doesn't even vaguely resemble the stuff of steamy pop culture, obviously never walked into Green's courthouse office and watched one of his, ahem, secretaries give him a full-service massage.

But they should have checked the salacious old newspaper clippings on Green, the deposed Baltimore County state's attorney brought back to public consciousness last week by the pen of Gov. William Donald Schaefer, who should have known better.

In the same week the governor let us know he's been fretting about Green ever since Green's sex-related trial 20 years ago, the only bigger shock was this national sex survey, called "The Social Organization of Sexuality," which mentions the name Sam Green not even by innuendo, if you can imagine such a thing.

The median number of sexual partners over a lifetime for American men is six? For Sam Green, this was considered a slow lunch hour. The vast majority of Americans go to bed mainly to go to bed? Sam Green enjoyed sex not only in bed, but under his desk. We heard all about it in open court.

Americans, the new survey says, are enjoying sex only sporadically. Green enjoyed it while opening his courthouse mail. Americans, we're now told, have fewer sexual encounters, fewer partners and less exotic sex than previously reported, and apparently never while reading their mail in the county courthouse. Who knew? Sam Green was making up for everybody else. All by himself, he was holding up his end of the curve.

The underwhelming American details are all there in this new study, produced by researchers at the University of Chicago and the University of New York at Stony Brook, who probably never heard of Sam Green and therefore can't possibly know the plentitude of the sex lives of Americans.

William Donald Schaefer remembers Sam Green, but apparently not well enough. All Green did was destroy the credibility of his office, embarrass the legal profession, take horrendous advantage of his female employees, break the various laws he was sworn to uphold and, give him this much, have an extremely busy sex life, but generally at other people's expense.

All Schaefer did was pardon him.

Those who remember the trial of Sam Green -- and Schaefer, being mayor of Baltimore at the time, surely must -- still roll their eyes in wonder at the memory. The most lurid stuff, both sexual and scatological, couldn't get printed in the newspapers back then, and still can't, though there was a glorious moment when a lithe young secretary of Green's was called to the witness stand and asked, regarding the conditions of her hiring:

"Exactly what were your secretarial skills?"

"I was a hat check girl," she explained.

The important stuff that everyone did find out about Green -- the extortion, the cover-up of a bribe offered by a guy trying to get his arrest record expunged, the expense account cheating, the agreement to fix a case in exchange for sex, the threats to kill a former deputy, the hiring of women strictly for their sexual skills, the cheating of a client out of $235,000 while acting as his legal guardian, ad infinitum, ad nauseam -- must surely leave an odor that can still be noticed all the way down in Annapolis.

But the idiosyncratic governor of Maryland, now reduced to his final months in office, continues to puzzle those who have watched him for the past three decades and figure they've seen everything.

Several weeks back, he pardoned the late Jerry Cardin. The argument was that Cardin did a lot of good during his lifetime. It glossed over the fact that some of the good was done with $385,000 Cardin took that wasn't his.

Now comes Sam Green, about whom we still await the news of some previously unreported good deeds. Green showed no remorse for his crimes, went to jail for six months, then took off for parts unknown.

He vanished out there somewhere -- and, apparently, so did the record of his sexual exploits. Nothing else could explain the undersizzled results of this new survey. If Green's added to the mix, he changes the entire country's numbers.

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