Sex & Culture

Sexual Intelligence Roundup

There’s just too many things happening in the world of sex to comment on every single one. Thus, we introduce the Sexual Intelligence Roundup, through which you can follow sex-related events that are fun, aggravating, confusing, or all three. The idea comes from Marc Randazza, the powerhouse legal scholar and First Amendment purist whose Legal Satyricon blog is an absolute inspiration. * 40,000 couples kissed simultaneously in Mexico City’s central square, setting a new world’s record. Why did the mayor of this city of 20 million people organize the event? more… * President Obama says he wants gay men and…

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“Decency” Group Calls Me Out in Cincinnati

Last night I braved the snow, wind, and ice to speak at the University of Cincinnati, part of their Sexploration Week. The students who attended seemed pretty engaged–almost no one text messaged or snored during my talk. One group who didn’t attend did have some pretty strong opinions—Citizens for Community Values. CCV, whose anti-democracy, pro-censorship work I’ve exposed before, thinks it’s a horrible idea for students to learn more about sex. They expressed their outrage to the University president, and urged their members to write to the local newspaper (over 100 did). A letter in this morning’s Cincinnati Enquirer was…

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Female Sexuality, Feminists, & the Superbowl

This Sunday, 100 men in the prime of their lives will repeatedly line up and violently run full speed into each other. For the entertainment of 100 million people (and several million dollars and world-wide fame), they will risk permanent disability, paralysis, and even death. Welcome to the Superbowl. Because 100 million people watch, the TV commercials during the three-hour show are the most expensive on earth. And, of course, the most watched. And so it was big news when NBC rejected the ad proposed by the vegetarian activist group PETA (disclosure: I DO eat meat and wear leather). The…

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Great News for Parents: Internet MUCH Safer Than You Thought

For years, Americans have been hearing how dangerous the internet is: full of perverts, predators, and other horrible creatures who want to eat our young. We’ve been told that chatrooms are full of adults pretending to be teens, and that sites like MySpace and Facebook are full of adults trying to lure our kids onto Greyhound buses and into unspeakable hells. Americans love these salacious stories, repeating them even while recoiling from them. We follow the gothic kidnap tales on CNN or Fox, the seduction bodice-rippers (jeans-rippers? thong-rippers?) climaxing in some depraved horror. We then beatify the victim (if they’re…

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Cop Show Cites Sexual Science—Accurately!

TV shows like CSI and Law & Order portray more sexual violence and perversion in an hour than I see in my sex therapy practice in a month. Such programs are among the worst of TV’s portrayals of sexuality: they show eroticism as the focus of problems and impulsive decisions, as a dangerous form of energy that’s always on the verge of exploding and damaging people, families, and communities. These shows lie about sex every week, stereotyping people who enjoy sex as voracious, depicting S/M as primarily about violence and humiliation, exaggerating any non-standard sex as terribly kinky. But I…

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Taking Unauthorized (Yawn) Photos Under Your Skirt

When I taught medical students in Morocco ten years ago, several young women inquired why “American men don’t respect your women.” I asked what they meant. “We watch CNN and your movies, and we see how women dress. Why do American men let their women out of the house, their arms and legs exposed, their tight clothes outlining their bodies for all to see?” I explained that in America we do respect women. We express that not by restricting them, not even by “granting” them various freedoms, but by believing that they are free to choose how they dress, where…

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