‘cybersex’

What Italians Want to Know About Sex

Well, it’s actually Croatians. The Croatian medical students with whom I worked in Ravenna last week. More than once, they asked how sex has changed since the invention of the internet. It’s an important question. On the one hand, there are some tangible ways: * Porn is now available everywhere, all the time, in every possible configuration. * There are new ways to meet people for sex: escort services, apps like Grindr, websites like Ashley Madison and Sugar Babies. * It’s easier than ever to buy sex toys, lube, condoms, and other products, with privacy and low prices, from reliable…

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What Kind of a Sick Mind Calls This Child Porn?

The internet has given anti-sex lawmakers the opportunity to create entire new classes of crime. Predictably, petty bureaucrats are seizing these laws to go after an assortment of “perpetrators,” no matter how trivial, petty, or pointless their “crime.” America has always aspired to have laws which punish the actual harming of actual people. Admittedly, we haven’t always attained this ideal; examples include criminalizing interracial marriage, arresting people who burn the flag, and banning grocery stores from operating on Sundays. But the biggest legal bonanza of digital technology is that it offers a virtual world in which activity that doesn’t harm…

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America’s War On Sex: Second Edition?

You may have read my most recent book, America’s War On Sex. It’s won a couple of awards, and I’ve lectured on the subject in dozens of cities. I’m pretty proud of it. The publisher (Praeger) has asked me about doing a second edition—updating it and perhaps adding other material. In some ways, it would be more complicated than just writing a whole new book. So I’ve been thinking about how to do it. How’s the War on Sex been going since the book was published? My initial answer is: “mixed.” Here’s the initial scorecard for the four years since…

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Giving Thanks for Sex…With a Bit of Melancholy

It’s Thanksgiving, so let’s give thanks for sex. Not just the huffing and puffing, the in-ing and out-ing, the sloshing around and drying off. Let’s give thanks for all the sexual rights we enjoy here in the U.S.—which billions of people in Russia, the Arab world, and many parts of Asia and Africa will never enjoy in their lifetimes. Most of these rights have to do with privacy and autonomy. These always look dangerous to repressive or religiously-driven regimes. Science and technology look pretty frightening to such regimes when they can be applied for sexual purposes—which they inevitably are, throughout…

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Is There Such A Thing As Kinky Sex?

Last week I keynoted the annual conference of CARAS (Community-Academic Consortium for Research on Alternative Sexualities). I presented “Clinical, cultural, and personal narratives about alternative sexualities.” My goal was to examine the common ways people think about “alternative” (or “kinky”) sexuality—and how that affects everyone, no matter what kind of sex they’re into. The general attitude about kinky sex and its practitioners among the media, civic organizations, and medical-psychological professions is pretty negative. They accept or even promote horrible misinformation (“Perverts want to recruit teens into their lifestyle”). They use glamorous but bizarre cases to condemn ordinary choices (“S/M scene…

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CraigsList, Sex Trafficking, & The Next Moral Panic

Ladies & gentlemen, get ready for America’s new moral panic—sex trafficking! Yes, CraigsList has bowed to pressure from law enforcement, non-profits, and CNN, and has blocked access to its “adult services” section. They’ve replaced the link with a black bar stamped “censored.” CraigsList has been pummeled with criticism for allegedly facilitating prostitution and “sex trafficking” in the U.S.. Some of the CraigsList adult classifieds are used for coyly-disguised adult prostitution—a predictable development in an age when all commerce has taken to the internet. OK, prostitution is illegal in 49 states, and so some of these ads promote an illegal activity.…

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