Archive for the ‘Sex’ Category


J. Edgar Hoover

“I regret to say that we of the FBI are powerless to act in case of oral-genital intimacy unless it has in some way obstructed interstate commerce.”

–attributed


 

Barbara Ehrenreich has a great new piece in The Guardian, “Let’s call the pro-lifers what they are: pro-death.”

It’s good to see someone else — Ehrenreich, one of the most astute observers of the contemporary American political and social scene — point this out.

Here’s the definition of “pro-life” that we first published in 1992 in the original edition of The American Heretic’s Dictionary:

PRO-LIFE, adj. Pro-death (of political opponents, abortion providers, and women, through back-alley abortions); 2) Vitally concerned with the well-being of “babies” right up to the moment of their birth — at which time they become “welfare cases” undeserving of such luxuries as housing, health care, adequate nutrition, and a decent education. This has led some unsympathetic observers to conclude that the interest of “pro-lifers” in the welfare of “babies” is purely hypocritical, and that they are, in fact, motivated by misogyny and anti-sexual “moral” hysteria — that their true interest is in causing as much misery as possible to sexually active women by forcing them to carry unwanted pregnancies to term.

This, however, is not the case. If “pro-lifers” truly lacked concern about the welfare of the unwanted babies born as the result of “pro-life” policies, they wouldn’t be so willing — in fact, so eager — to have taxpayers shoulder the crushing costs of building the prisons necessary to house those “babies” later in their lives.

— from The American Heretic’s Dictionary (revised and expanded), with the illustration by our old friend and co-conspirator Jim Swanson

(Please use the above definition and/or the graphic by J.R. Swanson, from The American Heretic’s Dictionary, wherever, whenever, and however you’d want; all we’d ask is proper credit.)

 

 


A week or so ago I wrote to two friends (let’s call them Bob and Kathy, who have been married for 40 years) out in the Tucson Mountains foothills about hosting a star party, where I’d bring my 10″ ‘scope and others would bring their mostly smaller telescopes and whatever they’d want to drink.

They both said they’d be up for it.

Shortly after that, after throwing out my back and before sending out a general announcement, I wrote to them two nights ago around 2:00 am asking if it’d work to put off the star party until the 16th because I was in pain.

The next morning I checked my e-mail and found a message from Bob:

“Sure, no problem, the 16th works fine.”

Then I found an e-mail dated an hour later from Kathy:

“The 16th is our anniversary. We’ve already made plans to go out of town for the weekend.”

Need I say more about male/female differences?


Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey are here in Arizona, up in Wickenburg at The Meadows, a very expensive ($58,000 for 45 days) 12-step treatment program.

This is ridiculous on more than one count, most importantly that Spacey and Weinstein are not afflicted with “sex addiction.” Rather, they’ afflicted with power-over-others “addiction,” and the abusive behavior that results from it. Give people power over others, and it’s a safe bet that a great many of them will abuse it.

Second, “sex addiction” is not a recognized disorder in the standard handbook on mental disorders, the American Psychological Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (5th ed.). It’s a pop culture term dating from the 1980s, whose roots seem to lie in the anti-sexual attitudes of conservative Christians and in the authoritarian, prudish feminism of figures such as Andrea Dworkin. It’s more of the “same old same old” pathologizing of sex that’s been such a dreary part of American life for centuries.

Third, the type of “treatment” Spacey and Weinstein are receiving for this trumped up malady is 12-step treatment, which is ineffective across the board. (See “Alcoholics Anonymous is Not Effective” for info on the granddaddy of and model for all subsequent 12-step programs; see also the authoritative Handbook of Alcoholism Treatment Approaches, by Reid Hester and William Miller.)

So, Spacey and Weinstein are receiving (insofar as it’s 12-step based) ineffective treatment for an imaginary addiction, while their real problem — their willingness to use their positions of power to exploit and abuse others — goes unaddressed.

In the end, it seems that all they’ve done is find a convenient way to remove themselves from the spotlight, while giving the appearance of doing something about their awful behavior. They’ll emerge from rehab in January, their PR flacks will proclaim them rehabilitated — and they’ll quite probably go back to business as usual, insofar as they can get away with it.

That’s a shame for both Spacey, Weinstein, and their victims, and for the rest of us, because sexual abuse by the powerful has wider than individual implications. It’s a symptom of the sickness at the heart of our current authoritarian, hierarchical political and economic organization that gives some vast power over others. This whole affair could have spurred much needed discussion about that sickness. But it hasn’t, and likely won’t, especially as it’s being addressed as a matter of individual failure rather than pervasive sociopolitical failure.


“Indiana appeals court rules sex offenders can attend church with children present. Guess there won’t be a priest shortage after all.”

–from the most entertaining site on the interweb, fark.com


Molly Ivins

I learned two things growing up in Texas. 1: God loves you, and you’re going to burn in hell forever.  2: Sex is the dirtiest and most dangerous thing you can possibly do, so save it for someone you love.”

—Molly Ivins, quoted by Marie Alena Castle in chapter 2, “The Theology of Sex,” in Culture Wars: The threat to your family and your freedom (revised & expanded) (scheduled for November 2017 release)


There’s a large sex shop a few blocks away from me on the nearest main drag, which features a garish electronic billboard with ever-changing ads and messages. The board’s contents are usually on the brain dead side, but every once in a while the management comes up with an ad that momentarily changes the board from an eyesore to a source of amusement.

They had such an ad last night:

“DRILLDO: It Gets The Job Done”

Fortunately, it was a text-only ad.