‘sexual repression’

Should Prison Inmates Have the Right to Masturbate?

I was interviewed about this on Public Radio yesterday. Since it’s a subject I hadn’t given a lot of thought, I prepared by reading up on it just a bit. And I was shocked. It’s actually against the law to touch yourself sexually—in private—if you’re in jail. Sounds barbaric, doesn’t it? OK, you’re behind bars, your body is no longer your own. But if you’re not allowed to masturbate, neither is your soul. Worse, if there’s any disagreement about whether you’ve done it, you automatically lose the argument. There are many cases in which guards either misinterpret prisoner activity and…

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Abstinence Sex Ed? “I’m Baaack…”

Like a bad penny—or like an abusive ex-husband, or a public policy cancer—abstinence is back, just when we thought it was gone. Through the 1970s, U.S. policy was to reduce teen pregnancy. In 1981 the goal was changed, to funding programs to reduce teen sexual activity. During the Bush Administration, $1.5 billion was spent trying to get kids to have less sex. These programs failed completely (other than transferring federal case to Bush supporters). In 2009 the federal government ended most funding for abstinence (although states and school districts continued funding abstinence programs locally), and began funding comprehensive sex ed.…

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When a Chicken is Too Sexy, We’re Really in Trouble

Here’s an old therapy joke: A new patient comes to see a psychiatrist. The doc decides to give the patient a Rorshach Test, and shows him a series of cards with different inkblots on them. “What do you see on the first one?” asks the shrink. “That’s a man and a woman making love.” “And the second one?” “That’s a couple who just finished making love.” “And the third one?” “That’s a man asking a woman to make love, and she’s deciding what to do.” The shrink asks, “Don’t you think it’s interesting that you see sex in every card?”…

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World Contraception Day Comes and Goes

Today was World Contraception Day. Sponsored by organizations from most parts of the globe, its goal is straightforward: to create a world in which every pregnancy is wanted. So simple. So life-affirming and life-enhancing. Such a dramatic, proven program for reducing poverty and domestic violence. Who could be against such a thing? Unfortunately, way too many people: * Religious adherents who think their god is against it; * People who don’t want women to have more power in their relationships, families, and lives; * People who see children as a source of family labor or national wealth; * People so…

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Morality in Media Admits They Lack Facts, So They Lie About Porn

The lobbying group Morality In Media wants to eliminate adult pornography. But they have a problem: adult pornography is one of the most successful consumer products on earth, and it is generally protected by the Constitution. So MiM has resorted to a desperate measure—repeatedly connecting adult pornography to a reviled product (child porn) and a reviled behavior (child molestation). Of course there is no evidence linking adult porn with either of those things, but MiM has never let facts stand in the way of their Big Lie. In their latest press release, they admit that they have no evidence of…

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Deep In the Valley: Going to a Porn Shoot

I’ve been on movie sets and I’ve been on network TV, but in all these years I’d never watched a porn film being made. So last week while I was in L.A., I finally accepted an invitation. After lunch I drove out to the San Fernando Valley, parked in a neighborhood of modest homes and small warehouses, and walked into the studio of Brash Films. I spent about two hours there, watching and occasionally chatting. Everyone involved made me feel welcome. The most interesting thing I have to say about it all is—nothing. But maybe not for the reasons you…

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