Category Archives: Sexuality

Bizarre Stories: Sex on the Beach

There’s a story in the Pioneer Press this morning about the Wisconsin DNR cracking down on nudists. It seems the nudists are having sex in various public places (you know, the beach, the woods, sand bars…) and exposing themselves to passing canoeists. It’s been a problem for decades and has resulted in bans on nudity on public land, lawsuits and even a pastor protesting at the beach.

Here’s the best part of the article:

“They were having sex right on the islands, the sandbars, when the river was lower,” said Ruth Bender, who owns property directly across the river from the beach. “People can’t understand something like that is going on. That’s a nice section of the river. I don’t know what fun they get out of that.” (emphasis mine)

Um… they’re having sex. I’m pretty sure that’s the fun they get out of it.

Second best part of the article? The offending beach is in Mazomanie, Wis., which is where we got our dog, Mazie, and then named her after the town. My dog is named after an infamous nudist beach town (in Wisconsin of all places).

Kim Kardashian & Gay Marriage

Next year Minnesota will be voting on a constitutional amendment to define marriage as only between one man and one woman (and if you can’t guess, we’re deeply divided).


That means in addition to the typical presidential year politics, Minnesota will be having a knock down, drag out fight over gay marriage. I’m not looking forward to this one.

It means we’ll be hearing all sorts of arguments that seem to have nothing to do with one another. Gay marriage advocates will argue for civil rights. Traditional marriage proponents will argue to preserve marriage and the family. And you’re left scratching your head, wondering what civil rights has to do with the sanctity of marriage. Both sides will the think the other is crazy and our already polarized society will get even further apart.

Which brings us to Kim Kardashian and her 72-day marriage (Sidebar: I love it when Kardashian appears on How I Met Your Mother and Marshall makes a comment about how his wife keeps telling him why Kardashian is famous, but he can’t remember). Perhaps part of why the gay marriage debate depresses me is because we sit around and argue about whether or not gay people who love each other and are committed can get married, how that act is somehow going to ruin other peoples’ marriage, how marriage is supposedly all about children—and in the midst of all that half of marriages end in divorce and the celebrity spectacle machine celebrates a sham of a marriage that couldn’t even last three months.

Marriage is certainly under fire. But it has little to do with homosexuality.

Whatever side of this debate you’re on you probably value the idea of marriage. Maybe instead of clubbing each other for the next year, we should support that idea of marriage. Maybe we should help couples figure out if they’re really ready for marriage. Maybe we should help married couples in trouble navigate the relational rocks that lead to divorce. I have no delusions that divorce isn’t necessary, but I think most people would agree that fewer divorces would be better.

Boobquake: Confounding Religious Insanity

Today is Boobquake. Funny story:

So an Islamic cleric and Iranian prayer leader was quoted in Iranian media as blaming earthquakes on immodest women:

“Many women who do not dress modestly … lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes.”

As if that claim wasn’t clear enough, Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi went on: “What can we do to avoid being buried under the rubble? There is no other solution but to take refuge in religion and to adapt our lives to Islam’s moral codes.”

As if to prove Sedighi isn’t an extremist, the minister of welfare and social security, Sadeq Mahsooli, backed him up: “We cannot invent a system that prevents earthquakes, but God has created this system and that is to avoid sins, to pray, to seek forgiveness, pay alms and self-sacrifice.”

So sin, and specifically women showing a little skin, causes earthquakes. Curious that Iran is among the world’s most earthquake-prone areas, and not, say, Las Vegas. Or Cancun during Spring Break. Also curious that these earthquakes are the fault of woman showing skin and not the men who lust after them.

A Modest Proposal
As if that little Pat Robertson moment for Muslims wasn’t entertaining enough, student Jennifer McCreight decided to put this ‘cleveage causes earthquakes’ theory to the test with Boobquake. Her modest proposal: Encourage women to dress as immodestly as they choose on one day and see if they can trigger an earthquake (McCreight is a vocal atheist and proponent of science over religion). She even set up a Facebook event. But when the event had 14,000 attendees she realized that what started as a joke was now something more (today the event has gone out to more than 1 million people).

What’s the Point?
So why am I talking about this? Because religious people too often insert foot in mouth and say something ridiculous. Sometimes it’s just a poorly phrased statement, sometimes it’s bad timing and bad taste, and in some cases (like this one) it’s just bad theology.

Boobquake is silly and juvenile (as the founder admits) and I’m not exactly on board with the pro-slut approach (we’ll save the appropriateness question for another time). But I do love the idea of confronting stupid religious statements. Drawing attention to the oppression women often face in the Islamic world is also worthwhile. It won’t change anything in Iran, but that’s not the point. McCreight’s point is that religion is stupid (I’m paraphrasing). My point is that our own comments and actions too often give people like McCreight permission and justification to think that way.

Religion doesn’t have to be the butt of jokes (the boob of jokes?). But that’s up to us.

Plus: Boob. [insert juvenile laughter]

The Civilized Church

We talked about gays in church yesterday, so how about gays at Christian rock festivals today? Po-mo emergent guy and fellow Twin Citizen Tony Jones offers an interesting recap of a panel discussion held at the recent Cornerstone festival titled “Gay Rights or Wrongs.”

I’m very interested in this conversation as it relates to Christianity because it’s so difficult. But that also makes it dangerous. It’s easy to stick your foot in your mouth (or in someone else’s) and easily offend. That’s not my intention. And I’ll be honest and admit that it’s an issue I don’t have a solid stand on. I’m swayed by arguments on both sides and see positives and negatives to both cases.

At any rate, I thought one particular comment in Tony’s piece was interesting:

What, I asked, does the church do to a boy who is born with undescended testicles? Is Jesus’ day, he would have been thrown into a field to die of exposure, but we would consider that inhumane. However, where does that person fit in our communities of faith?

The first century response is shocking. But if we harbor prejudice or worse, outright hostility, to someone in that situation, are we any less inhumane? If we’re not willing to welcome a hermaphrodite (or anyone else for that matter) into our congregation with open arms then we’re just as inhumane as the first century people who toss that infant into the elements. We think we’re civilized because we’ll save that child. But if we give that child a cold shoulder or a strange look when we encounter them as an an adult then we’re just as uncivilized.

Is PETA’s ‘State of the Union Undressed’ Porn?

PETA's State of the Union UndressedHave you heard what the folks at PETA are up to? Being a parent and needing to think about responsible parent type things, I’m trying to figure out what they’re thinking. I don’t normally, or um, ever, link to porn, but it’s a necessary evil of discussing what they’re doing, so here we go.

They put together the State of the Union Undressed (WARNING: Link contains full frontal nudity), a video spoofing the state of the union speech featuring a woman touting PETA’s accomplishments while she strips–and she takes it all off.

Now I know PETA is a little out there. I like animals as much as the next guy, and can sympathize with their cause, but I also recognize they go a little overboard. This would be a good example of ‘a little overboard’. I’m trying to figure out how this plan could have seemed like a good idea.

Continue reading Is PETA’s ‘State of the Union Undressed’ Porn?

Anne Lamott: Abortion a “Moral Necessity”

I like Anne Lamott. I really do. I even put up with her wacky universalism. But it’s comments like these in a pro-abortion op-ed piece in the L.A. Times that I can’t handle:

It is a moral necessity that we not be forced to bring children into the world for whom we cannot be responsible and adoring and present. We must not inflict life on children who will be resented; we must not inflict unwanted children on society.

Forced? Since when was having sex forced (obviously it happens in rare instances like rape and incest, but that’s not the main discussion here)? Usually it’s a choice to drop your pants and jump in bed. If we must not “inflict life on children who will be resented” than the solution isn’t abortion, it’s abstinence.

I like sex as much as the next guy, but sex has consequences. Wonderful, beautiful consequences. And if you can’t handle those consequences, if you’re not responsible enough, then keep your pants on. If you play with fire, you’re going to get burned.

Sex is not an unalienable right. It’s a responsibility. Maybe that’s a stodgy viewpoint, but it seems pretty basic to me. Ignoring the biological purpose of sex for the benefit of our own pleasure is a bit messed up. I’m all for the pleasure—have fun. But with it comes responsibility. The two can’t be separated. (link via CT’s Weblog)

Olympic Butts

I also think it’s hilarious that the same day I was formulating my modesty rant, over on Yahoo! male lust was ruling the realm of most popular photos. According to Jason Kottke, 7 of the top 10 most popular pictures were of female Olympic butts. And then the Pope picking his nose.

And every guy who followed that link out of curiosity better not blame Christian girls for not being modest enough. But that was my rant. Let’s not go there.

For those who can brave the female buttocks without giving into lust, I find it hilarious that the beach volleyball players wear bikinis while the swimmers wear full body wetsuits.

Rant on Modesty

I said before that sometimes I feel like a contrarian, but with the statement I’ll make today, perhaps it is more than that. Perhaps it is heresy. With so much popular opinion stacked against me, I feel there is little room but to conclude that I am wrong. The only reason I stand forward and make my claim is because it continually comes back to me and I wonder if by chance it contains some validity after all. So often I feel like a Christian heretic, clinging to a belief that so blatantly contradicts what other Christians believe. And yet I can’t help wondering, so I lay forth the argument, open to the possibility that I’m completely off my rocker.

So here is my potentially-off-my-rocker claim against Christian modesty…

Continue reading Rant on Modesty

Hooking Up: Teen Sexuality

The New York Times Magazine has a long (9 pages!) and in-depth article about hooking up, “Friends, Friends with Benefits, and the Benefits of the Local Mall”. The author basically talked with a bunch of teens at Hooters (a “family” restaurant), among other places, about hooking up. For the uninformed, hooking up is basically no-strings attached sex. Purely a physical encounter. No relationship, no friendship, just sex. Depending on your definition, hooking up can just be oral sex or it can be intercourse. Most teens find people to hook up with at a number of different web sites.

That article, along with some statistics I ran across today, is rather eye-opening:

  • 46.7% of teens have had sexual intercourse at some point in their lives (the number is actually down from 54% in 1991, though experts argue it’d be up if you asked about oral sex).
  • 34.3% of teens are sexually active (they’ve had sex at least once in the past three months).
  • 63% of sexually active teens use condoms and 17% use birth control (which explains why 48% of new STD cases in 2000 were among 15-24-year-olds, but not why only 4.2% of teens have been pregnant or gotten someone pregnant).
  • 25.4% of sexually active teens were under the influence of drugs or alcohol the last time they had sex.
  • 9% of teens have been physically forced to have sexual intercourse (the study didn’t use the word, but I call that rape).

The article and the numbers presents a surprisingly cavalier attitude towards sexuality among teens. There’s little interest in long term, committed relationships, though many teens express an interest in (eventual) marriage. It’s not exactly the high school experience as I remember it — of course I wasn’t exactly in the hooking up crowd.

Straight Pride?

My friend Josh is having an interesting discussion over at his blog about straight pride. He basically proposed a straight pride symbol (the thing over there on the right) and it’s sparked a conversation about sexuality, tolerance and movements. As of this morning, he has 41 comments on the entry, which is a new record among our little circle of college friends with blogs. But the most interesting part is that very few of our college friends have commented. It’s mostly total strangers (well, Josh may know some of them, but I only know one other commenter).

I don’t like the idea of a straight pride bumper sticker, but it’s been an interesting discussion. It started out as a critique of his design (which I’m not a big fan of either) and eventually got around to why such a sticker should or shouldn’t exist.

I liked a comment Josh made in summary: “You can love what you are without malice towards what you aren’t.” I like that idea, though sadly I don’t think that’s the case on every end of the political, religious, or whatever argument you’re having spectrum. And most of the time we don’t even realize the malice in our tone.

Anyway, I just wanted to point out the interesting conversation and see if anybody wanted to jump in. Josh is probably overwhelmed, but how cool is having 41 comments?