Ted Haggard in GQ: Masturbation by male escort isn't "sex sex," he'd be bisexual if younger

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Ted Haggard.
The problem Ted Haggard is facing in his continuing effort to rehabilitate his image enough to become a national media star again is that the very thing he doesn't want to talk about -- his dalliance with male escort Mike Jones -- is pretty much the only thing that intrigues reporters. So he's got to dole out titillation to keep them interested, as in a new GQ profile.

"The Last Temptation of Ted Haggard," written by Kevin Roose, finds the ousted founder of New Life Church insisting that he and Jones never had "sex sex. I bought drugs and a massage from him, and he masturbated me at the end of it. That's it."

This assertion is made more uncomfortable by the fact that two of Haggard's sons are sleeping nearby.

As for those drugs, Haggard tells Roose during a different chat session that he purchased them "to enhance masturbation. Because what crystal meth does -- Mike taught me this -- crystal meth makes it so you don't ejaculate soon. So you can watch porn and masturbate for a long time."

He adds that he used to enjoy watching both gay and straight skin flicks, but waffles when quizzed about whether porn's still part of his entertainment diet. And he explains previous ambiguous statements about the reasons for his meth buys by conceding that "I don't want to stand up publicly and say, 'Hey, I'm a masturbation guy!'"

Expect to see that phrase pop up on T-shirts by the end of the week.

Still, Haggard's most surprising comments come in a half-whisper: "I think that probably, if I were 21 in this society, I would identify myself as a bisexual."

And why doesn't he do so now? Because, he tells Roose, "I'm 54, with children, with a belief system, and I can have enforced boundaries in my life. Just like you're a heterosexual but you don't have sex with every woman that you're attracted to, so I can be who I am and exclusively have sex with my wife and be perfectly satisfied."

Will this kind of talk convince TLC to turn a one-shot special on Haggard into a continuing reality-TV series -- a plan that's apparently been in the works since at least last June? Nothing's set in stone yet. But Haggard seems desperate enough for spotlight time to keep trotting out his meth-and-masturbation past for major press outlets until his dream comes true.

More from our Follow That Story archive: "Ted Haggard's new church: Christian comeback or empty infomercial?"

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Note to Ted -- you can't pray the gay away.



His name is Kevin Roose. Does anyone even pretend to fact check and edit? Westword is getting more and more shoddy.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Strong take, John. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Saa, sorry for the error. Just corrected it. Thanks for setting us straight.

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