‘sex and religion’

11th Annual Sexual Intelligence Awards

The annual Sexual Intelligence Awards honor individuals and organizations who challenge the sexual fear, unrealistic expectations, and government hypocrisy that undermine love, sex, and relationships—and political freedom—today. Previous winners include Catholics for a Free Choice; Candye Kane, Red Hot Musician; Robert McGinley, Non-monogamy Activist; and National Center for Reason & Justice. This year’s winners are: Melissa Fritchle, International Sex Educator The first miracle was that she was invited to Uganda. The second is that she went. The third is that she made a difference. There’s an obvious danger to being a sex educator in Uganda. This is the country proposing…

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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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Religion & Sexuality: Iron Age or Dark Ages?

Since today is Christmas Day, our subject is sexuality and religion. Specifically, what do the world’s three Abrahamic religions (Christianity, Islam, & Judaism) say about sex? Of course, it depends on whom you ask. Each religion’s adherents form a wide spectrum of observance, from the orthodox/fundamentalist to the “I like the holiday food.” That said, here are some of the common ideas about sex featured in the mainstream traditions of one or more of the three religions: * no sex during menstruation * no birth control * no abortion * no same-gender sex * no anal sex * no oral…

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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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Can Pam Anderson Make Fur Non-Kosher?

Former super-babe Pamela Lee Anderson is in Israel to be a judge on their version of Dancing with the Stars. While there, she plans to use her “powers of seduction” on ultra-Orthodox Jewish lawmakers to get them to ban fur. Fur is a big issue for these guys because of the 200-year-old Eastern European tradition of wearing fur-trimmed hats (“streimel”) that many ultra-Orthodox follow. Good luck, little shiksa. Since they’re not married to you, these guys won’t shake your hand; many won’t even look at you. Listen to you? I doubt it. There are Orthodox Jews right here in San…

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Abortion & Birth Control: How Humans Actually Behave

There’s belief and there’s science. When it comes to sexuality, American public policy is terribly prejudiced toward the first, while too often ignoring the second. Election season invariably exaggerates this unfortunate tendency. And so, for example, people actually fear that gay soldiers will be humping while being shot at. Or that they’ll seduce straight soldiers in the shower—who will be powerless to just say no. Love that close-order drill! New data about pregnancy, contraception, and abortion were just released. While I don’t expect this to influence too many decision-makers, when considered together these facts are intriguing: * Reducing the cost…

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