‘homosexuality’

The Need For the Sexual “Other”

It seems like most human beings need an “Other” through which they demonize aspects of sexuality they fear, obsess about, or feel guilty about. That Other may be considered slightly less than fully human; more or less out of control; immoral, uncaring about the consequences of his/her/its actions; dangerous, either in its coercive power or (just as often) its seductive power; ultimately, Not Like Us. For much of history that Other has been homosexuality. But at various times, the Sexual Other has been Too-Sexual Woman; Masturbating Child; Adulterer; Perverted Child Molester; Pornographer; Compulsive Rapist (recently updated to Campus Rapist and…

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Oral Sex: You Said A Mouthful

Before the Sexual Revolution of the 1960s, there was a joke popular in New York nightclubs. What do eggs benedict and a blowjob have in common? They’re two enjoyable things you don’t get at home. Yes, kids, there was a time when oral sex was exotic, primarily the province of prostitutes and gay people. Well, times have changed. In the 1994 “Sex in America” national study, Ed Laumann and colleagues 3,432 American adults. They found that about a quarter of their sample had had oral sex in the past year. Today, depending on the study, it appears that over half…

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Gay Pride—A Reminder

Today is Gay Pride Day. Across the U.S. and many other countries, colorful parades mark the 45th anniversary of the riots around New York’s Stonewall Inn, credited with launching the gay rights movement. The riots were a series of violent reactions to yet another then-completely-legal police raid on gay bars. Today it’s almost impossible to imagine that only four decades ago, being gay was grounds for harassment, arrest, and jail time. And, of course, losing one’s job, one’s apartment, and custody of one’s children. A lot has changed since then. And a lot hasn’t. A huge number of Americans still…

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Is Michelle Bachman Obsessed With Sex? It Depends On The Day

This week I described the morality pledge that Republican Presidential candidates are being asked to sign. It includes promises to oppose abortion, pornography, same-sex marriage, and non-monogamy, and to promote large families. As a bonus, candidates pledge to be faithful to their spouses. I reported that Rick Santorum and Michelle Bachmann had already signed. Now it seems that Bachmann’s husband Marcus is a psychologist, and that together they own and operate a counseling clinic in Minnesota. Let’s overlook the extraordinary hypocrisy that they’ve collected over $100,000 in government subsidies for the clinic-—while Michelle is making her career by damning all…

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GOP Nominees Asked to Pledge Marital Fidelity…And More

As next month’s GOP straw poll in Iowa draws ever closer, all Republicans who wish to be President are being urged to sign “The Marriage Vow: A Declaration of Dependence Upon Marriage & Family.” Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum have already signed. The Pledge is a bizarre combination of 1950s sexual conservatism and Cold War-style doomsday-ism (it opposes “infanticide” and the “enslavement” of military wives), which it blends into an obsession with marriage and morality. It claims, with an absolutely straight face, that “candidates’ positions on core values, such as marriage, correlate directly to their moral stances on energy issues,…

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Those Wonderful Librarians

I’m recently back from Austin, where I spoke at the annual meeting of the Texas Library Association. My topic was America’s War On Sex, Libraries, & Librarians. I’m pleased to say I was warmly received. And I sure learned plenty from them—some of it heartening, some of it scary. And some of what they said was sadly familiar. Just a few notes: * A small number of people can cause a lot of trouble. In almost every community, some people feel terrified that people—young or otherwise—are being exposed to immoral, inappropriate, unpatriotic, or dangerous material in the library. One might…

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