Sexual Intelligence Blog

A Hate-Filled Man Dies

One doesn’t want to take cheap shots at someone who can’t defend himself. Being dead, Jerry Falwell can’t. But his work, unfortunately, will live on, so it’s fair game for criticism. What exactly was Jerry Falwell’s work? Frightening people about the threat of rampaging sexuality in their communities. Making people feel guilty about the sexual impulses in their hearts. Lying—yes, lying—about what others said, did, felt, desired. A man of the world, conversant with kings and princes, Falwell knew better. But his power was exactly as large as the fear and anger of those he inspired, and so he did…

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Ancient Greeks, Modern Romans

I’m in Rome, Italy—combination holiday and teaching for a week. No complaints here. Inside the huge Coliseum there are large corridors (as in any big stadium), and this month they’re being used for an exhibit of Grecian pottery and statues—about the god Eros. I’m not generally a pottery or statue kind of guy, but while I was at the Coliseum I did take a look. As cool as the ancient artifacts were, what blew me away was the exhibit’s narrative. The theme of the exhibit was understanding Eros as an expression of human emotion, power, drama, society. And so the…

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Sexual Hypocrisy—When the Personal is Political

Randall Tobias abruptly resigned as head of the Bush administration’s foreign aid programs Friday after he was implicated in an investigation of high-priced call-girls. Ho-hum, another married Republican outed as—gasp—participating in non-marital, non-monogamous sex. The moral failure of yet another Bush appointee would hardly be worth mentioning, except that Tobias directed the Agency for International Development (USAID) and America’s global AIDS relief programs. In those capacities, he was personally responsible for implementing a condom-is-the-last-resort policy for AIDS prevention. He implemented America’s shameful international blackmail scheme–you want family planning money, you have to vigorously oppose prostitution, while promoting abstinence & monogamy.…

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Virginia Protects People From Themselves, Not From Gunmen

There will always be depressed, suicidal, and psychotic people among us. No democratic country can completely shelter us from the occasional outbreak of mental illness we saw in Blacksburg 10 days ago. But a disturbed man was able to fire 170 shots in 9 minutes. He could only do that by owning a special kind of gun that holds special ammunition. The Virginia legislature should be ashamed that it hasn’t protected Virginians from these weapons of mass destruction. What have local legislators been doing to protect Virginians? * Passing legislation to limit where adult bookstores can locate * Limiting the…

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As Our Orange Tree Sighs After Sex Again

April 15 is a day of pain for most Americans, but at my house, it’s a day of looking out the window and seeing sex. Although our orange trees create fruit all year round, mid-April is when the oranges get sweet enough to make juice every morning. And mid-April is when our plum and apricot trees show their tiny little green fruits, making their annual journey to summertime lushness. And mid-April is when our bright red tulips come out of the ground and preen, shaming the simpler yellow daffodils that have already come and gone. Mid-April is when the freesia…

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Ohio Proves It Cares About Its Young

Ohio is the latest state to refuse federal funds for abstinence-only sex “education.” Five other states have announced the end of their participation: Wisconsin, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Montana and New Jersey. California, Pennsylvania, and Maine already don’t participate. The reasons for refusing the federal money are simple: the money can only be used under extremely narrow circumstances–e.g., no mention of condoms or of contraception’s success rate; programs with these criteria don’t work to substantially reduce teen pregnancy or STDs–according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office; the required matching state funds can be put to better use, enhancing teen sexual health…

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