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Sep 07 2010

Apparently even Humanists can be sex-negative

This excerpt was meant to advertise Jennifer Hancock’s new book, The Humanist Approach to Happiness: Practical Wisdom. What it actually accomplished was making me think it was all a load of bullshit that I most definitely am not going to waste my money on.

The Costs and Consequences of Sex

“Sex always has consequences. When Hitler’s mother spread her legs that night, she effectively canceled out the spreading of fifteen to twenty million other pairs of legs.”

– George Carlin

Everything has a cost. Before you act, you really need to consider whether you can handle the consequences. And this is doubly true when it comes to sex.

Okay, sure, with you so far!

Anyone who tells you that sex is no big deal is either lying or isn’t doing it right.

And the alarm bells start flashing. This sounds like it’s about to set us up for some awesome “Sex is only safe and pleasurable when in a monogamous relationship!” bullshit typically used by Christians. Let’s see!

Sex is a big deal and it has emotional, physical, and sometimes financial consequences. Before you have sex with someone, make sure you are prepared for those consequences. This is where being responsible comes into play.

Your Heart

First and foremost is your heart. If you are having sex for the wrong reasons, you will regret it afterward, and that kind of ruins the experience.

Okay, sure. If you’re having casual sex but what you want and expect is a long term monogamous relationship, probably not going to end so well. And vice versa – if you want something casual but you’re trapped in a long term monogamous relationship, you’re probably not going to be very happy. That’s what you’re about to say, right?

Sex is best when it is a loving expression of your feelings for another person. When you are sharing a part of yourself in a very intimate way with someone you love, it can be magical.

JK. Sex is only supposed to be with someone you love. Except that many studies have shown that casual sex is not emotionally damaging and can actually lead to stable relationships.

If, however, you are having sex to keep your partner with you, then when (not if) they leave you, you will be miserable. The question you need to ask yourself is, if the worst that could happen happens and this person never calls you again, how will you feel about what you have done?

Your Health

Having sex with the wrong individual can kill you. Sexual transmitted diseases (STDs) are real, and if you have sex, you are at risk of contracting one. You can mitigate that risk by choosing your sexual partners very carefully, making sure that you are only having sex in mutually exclusive relationships, making sure each partner is tested for STDs before engaging in sex, and using protection anyway. If you think all this would kill the moment, consider how bad it would be if it actually killed you instead.

Sex can obviously lead to pregnancy, even if you use precautions. And if you aren’t prepared for that possibility, you might want to hold off on having sex until and unless you are ready to handle an unintended pregnancy. Also, if you don’t think your partner can handle that consequence, don’t have sex with him or her.

Wow, can you say sex-negative? This is reminiscent of a deep South’s high school’s sex education. OMG NEVER HAVE SEX BECAUSE YOU’LL DIIIEEEEE! Or worse, GET PREGNANT!!!!11!!one!!!

Look, people. Yes, STDs are a problem. Yes you should always use protection, get tested for STDs, and sleep with people you have at least some level of trust with. But the way to deal with them is not through fear mongering and omitting practical information (ironic given the title of the book). This is exactly what abstinence only education programs do, and they’ve actually been shown to increase the rates of STDs in teens. Knowledge is power.

Stuff like this contributes to society’s stigma about STDs. You know, most STDs really aren’t that bad. Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Syphilis can be cured with antibiotics. 65-90% of people have Herpes 1 (“oral” Herpes, though it’s not limited to the mouth), and 15% of people have Herpes 2. Symptoms can be reduced to practically nothing with medication. And about 80% of sexually active Americans have HPV, though it usually clears without any symptoms showing.

Does anyone want an STD? No, just like no one wants bronchitis or any other disease. The stigma is blown so out of proportion compared to the actual harm, and fear mongering adds to that. But people shouldn’t feel like getting an STD is the end of the world. That can have more consequences than the actual disease (source: read any sex advice column).

Your Money

Finally, there are sometimes financial consequences. Sex with prostitutes isn’t the only sort of sex that costs money. Having a child, even if you give it away, costs money. Contracting an STD costs money. Affairs can be very expensive. People have lost their jobs because of sex. Do you want sex badly enough to lose your job, or get extorted by a spurned lover who is threatening you? If not, then it is best to keep your pants on and pass on that offer of free sex. Nothing is ever free.

The Humanist Approach to Sex

“In all sexual encounters, commitment to humane and humanistic values should be present.”

– The American Humanist Association, Sexual Bill of Rights and Responsibilities

Sex is a big deal. There are consequences to having sex and you should be prepared for those consequences before engaging in sex with anyone. The Humanist approach to sexuality is that it should be pleasurable, loving, and free of guilt.

Free of guilt? …Does anyone see the irony in that statement compared to the guilt-filled paragraphs that proceeded it?

But that doesn’t mean that anything goes. With the freedom to express your sexuality comes responsibility. From a Humanist perspective, sexual morality cannot be separated from general morality. Both must include compassion, ethics, and responsibility.

Whether any given sex act is morally acceptable from a Humanist perspective really depends on whether it helps the people involved become happy or causes suffering. Sexual pleasure must not come at the expense of someone else’s happiness.

To make sure sex is a source of both pleasure and happiness for you, take precautions to keep yourself and your partners safe. Don’t develop unrealistic expectations for yourself or your partners through the irresponsible use of pornog
raphy or other forms of sexually fantasy. Choose your partners wisely. And always approach sex as a responsible, educated, compassionate, and ethical person.

I do agree with her closing remarks, mainly because I do consider myself a Humanist. But that just makes the previous paragraphs even more disappointing. Precautions, responsibility, and avoiding harm shouldn’t be connected to guilt trips about monogamy and fear mongering about STDs. Not to mention she provides no actual evidence for what she’s saying. Seriously, sex-positivity FAIL.

I wish there was The Atheist’s Guide to Sex to counter this. Featuring Greta Christina, Dan Savage, Heidi Anderson, Jen McCreight

53 comments

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  1. 1
    Heidi Anderson

    And me!!!!! Do not leave me out o fit!

  2. 2
    VeritasTruthseeker

    So write that book, Jen. You’d be great at it.

  3. 3
    Jen

    Edited because you’re awesome and I should have totally listed you to begin with, haha.

  4. 4
    John SHerman

    I’ve always said that having sex is no big deal. NOT having sex is a big deal.

  5. 5
    plublesnork

    This definitely is a fail. While I agree with a lot of what she said, there was a definite feel of a “one size fits all” mentality. A couple of well placed usages of “For a lot of people, …” and replacing “is” with “can be” in other places would’ve gone a long way in shifting the tone towards that of imparting wisdom rather than judgement…. but it’d still need soem work.

  6. 6
    Improbable Joe

    Wait… so, either sex is an expression of deep love and intimacy OR you’re only doing it to keep the other person from dumping you? Those are my two options? Thank goodness I’m married, because dating has become stupid since last I did it. I likes me the thrust of it “Sex can make you pregnant! Sex can make you diseased! Sex can cost you your job! Sex can KILL YOU! Are you ready to DIE? NO? No sex for you!!!”

  7. 7
    benjaminsa

    I think you are over reacting. No where is the author saying you shouldn’t have casual sex, or that your should abstain until marriage. I agree she is fear mongering over STDs and pregnancy, but that is advocating being careful and even the most sex positive columnist would advise that.

  8. 8
    Ginx

    I think you blew some of this out of proportion. For one thing, they said sex is “best” when between two loving individuals, not that you should only have sex with someone you love. Having done both, I can honestly say it’s better to be with someone I know how to get off than someone who’s barking orders at me during sex.

  9. 9
    Ian

    Seems fairly standard for sex advice. Better than many, though I agree it is a bit negative at times.I agree totally with Veritas though… to have a better book, write one yourself! Or at least collaborate with others and get something going. You’d have plenty of buyers out there.

  10. 10
    Gus Snarp

    I see nothing wrong with the comments on sex and your health. It’s a little lacking in detail admittedly, but I don’t think that it’s fear mongering. The fact is that young people often feel like things can’t happen to them, and then it does. Not just with sex, but with all sorts of risks. Young people are really bad at assessing risk. I think it’s pretty important to make the risks clear. Just because there are many STDs that aren’t such a big deal now as they used to be doesn’t change the fact that they are still unpleasant, and some are still deadly. I think part of this is the change in AIDS treatment. Us older folks watched what AIDS did to our friends. AIDS still means a lifetime of drugs and may still lead to death. Having seen the effects of AIDS I have no problem with telling people sex can kill them. My advice would sound rather similar to this. Don’t have sex without considering the potential consequences. The more partners you have, the higher your risk. You should know your partners’ sexual history and have a relationship that lets you truly trust them. If there’s any doubt or a history that involves multiple partners or any partners who might have had multiple partners (which is almost every case) then test results should be shared. And use a condom every time no matter what unless you are more certain about the monogamy of your relationship and the results of previous tests than about the effectiveness of condoms.

  11. 11
    All Nudist

    I didn’t see any mention of the fact that sex is, well, fun! Aside from all the aforementioned baggage (which all adults should already be aware of), sex need be nothing more than an enjoyable event, like a roller coaster!Our heads get all messed up when sex is involved precisely because we make such a big deal of it. Meaningful sex is wonderful, but casual sex is right up at the top of the list of enjoyable pastimes!

  12. 12
    Gus Snarp

    We have to be told that sex is fun?

  13. 13
    Sheryl

    I had never heard of the American Humanist Association’s Sexual Bill of Rights and Responsibilities so I went and read it. I’m not sure I read the same document Ms. Hancock did because it is quite sex positive, with not a hint of fear mongering.A excerpt: “For the first time in history, there need be no fear of unwanted pregnancy or venereal disease, if proper precautions are taken. The limitation of sexual expression to conjugal unions or monogamous marriage was perhaps sensible so long as reproduction was still largely a matter of chance–and so long as women were subjugated to men.”

  14. 14
    Larennaise

    I think the AHA Sexual Bill of Rights might have it wrong then. Even if condoms are used, there is still a failure rate associated with using them. Even a tubal ligation isn’t security against pregnancy. I don’t think any doctor or scientist anywhere is going to say that in the course of what is normal fluid exchange during sex that there is zero risk of pregnancy STD. Really, AHA?

  15. 15
    Julie

    No, only that sex is “best” when it’s a loving expression of your feelings for someone, directly implying that anyone having casual sex is having inferior sex. It’s a value judgment, and a highly subjective and naive one at that.

  16. 16
    Carl Viñas

    That Carlin quote is pure win. My personal favorite is “You can’t be afraid of words that speak the truth, even if it’s an unpleasant truth like the fact that there’s a bigot and and a racist in every living room on every street corner in this country.”

  17. 17
    splodie

    OK, so, yeah. Um, every action you take, whether sexual or not, has consequences. Always be prepared to pay the piper. That’s what I told my kids. It seems to have worked.Jen, I’d be more than happy to contribute to your book from a currently-middle-aged-mother-of-young-adults-but-totally-uncontrolled-manic-depressive-until-30 perspective. :)

  18. 18
    Andrew Hall

    I like sex.I like beer.I do not like sex with beer.Don’t judge me.http://laughinginpurgatory.blo

  19. 19
    Mommasxboy

    I recently met a woman through a fetish website who was somewhat of a submissive noob but definitely had real kink in her DNA. We chatted for a week on-line, then had a date. By the end of the night I had her tied up, nipples twisted and bruised, ass bright pink from hard spanking, and vigorously penetrated with her large toys, before finally having unprotected sex. We’re dating now. She has expressed a desire to be my collared slave. All from inappropriate use of pornography and risky sexual beaviour. It’s that damned internet…I tell you

  20. 20
    Bailey

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who had that reaction to the excerpt Hemant posted. I felt like I was back in my junior year abstinence-only sex “ed” class where we were presented with the story of a couple who had decided not even to kiss until their wedding day, and basically made to feel that if we made any other choice we were terrible, terrible people who would get pregnant and diseased and die a horrible death. Sex should be between two consenting adults who understand what they and their partner are looking to get out of it. It should not be something that ends in guilt, illness or unwanted pregnancy, and basic communication skills and protection are a pretty good way to ensure that all goes well. That should be all that needs said.

  21. 21
    Amilianna

    I agree that this author seems to have taken their personal views on sex (which seem to be pretty negative) and touted them as truth for all. Who’s to say that sex is “best” with someone you love? Sure, it may be that way for some people, but let’s face it – you don’t necessarily fall in love with the person that’s best in the sack. Not to say that loving someone and being in a relationship where you are both interested in mutual satisfaction doesn’t HELP with overall sexual pleasure in most cases, but is it necessarily the best sex you will ever have? I just can’t get on board with that.Also, on the issue of monogamy. My ex-husband (no, we didn’t break up for this reason as everyone assumes whenever I talk about it) were in an open relationship from the very beginning. We were both regularly tested, were with partners who had been tested and whom we trusted and actually had a lot fewer partners that quite a few of the “serial monogamist” friends we knew – those who would date someone for a couple weeks, have sex, break up and within a week be dating someone new. I am pretty annoyed at the common assumption that being in a non-exclusive relationship automatically means a) that you are screwing everyone who comes along and b) that you are being unsafe about it.As someone else stated above, most sexually active adults have had more than one partner. If you are in a committed relationship with the person with whom you mutually lost your virginity and neither of you has any intentions of sleeping with anyone else, you don’t really need to be reading a guide like this anyway. Since, therefore, most people reading this type of thing will have had one or two partners in their time (if not more) as well as any partner they come across, why make an issue of monogamy at all? Why not merely stress that you and your partner(s) should take all reasonable safety precautions to avoid STDs and unwanted pregnancy?On the STD front – I notice, Jen, that you mentioned HPV in there. I was doing some research on HPV about two years ago now and found that it’s not even an STD! Or, well, not *truly* an STD. It can be passed so many different ways that I actually wonder if the doctors know for a fact how people get it – the list I was looking at had everything from unprotected sex to kissing to merely hugging someone as potential transferrers of the virus. And things like HPV, Herpes, Hepatitis and Genital Warts are all STDs that, even with using a condom, can be transfered because merely the skin-to-skin contact of someone’s groin area against yours can transfer the virus – and condoms don’t cover that area. The best bet is to always insist that your partners get tested regularly as well as doing it yourself. Even if you aren’t sleeping with other people, getting tested at least once a year will make sure that you didn’t pick up anything (except for HPV, I believe, which is – to the best of my knowledge – the only one they can’t test for at current) from non-sexual contact.This list annoys me because rather than stressing the various things you can do/insist upon to keep yourself safe and behave in a responsible manner, it seems to place an untoward emphasis on the romantic and emotional aspects. Also, I do feel that having two sections – Health and Financial – that are nearly identical is a little bit more of the fear-mongering preachy feel that is putting me off. In my opinion, if someone was going to write something like this as advice to people on how to be responsible when having sex, they should emphasis things you can do or not do rather than railing about all the potential hazards without really all that much in the way of how to avoid them except for one sentence that crams all of that actually useful advice in. If they feel the need to talk about being emotionally responsible, then they should emphasis that you should be honest and upfront with your partner about your desires in the relationship – whatever they may be. You want casual sex? Tell the other person. That’s being responsible and owning your own desires.As for pornography and fantasy – this is just one of those things that makes me a little bit sick. Everyone fantasizes – whether they fantasize about what’s going to happen this weekend after their honey gets off work Friday or about a movie star in a BDSM outfit – and to make people feel wrong or dirty for fantasizing is horrible. Tied into that is pornography. Some people watch videos, some look at pictures and some read trashy bodice-rippers from the romance novel section of the library. It’s all vicarious thrills. The only time that this should even be looked at as being a potential problem is if it bothers your SO – and your SO should let you know this in their efforts to be upfront and honest. Censuring people for having natural desires, and natural thoughts in league with those desires, is more of the shame and guilt that gets heaped onto people for their sexual preferences that is completely unnecessary.I am horrified that this woman can say that (as a humanist) she believes that “The Humanist approach to sexuality is that it should be pleasurable, loving, and free of guilt.” and then can riddle every other aspect of her excerpt with exactly the kinds of statements that could make people feel guilty for their past, their present and their future in regards to their sexuality.And people actually paid her to do it.

  22. 22
    cakeisalie

    Given that I didn’t KNOW that until I was over 30 (due to much fear mongering, spazzing out about being monogamous and generally getting brainwashed about how evil and unclean it was) YES, actually. Some of us do need to be told sex is fun.

  23. 23
    Rollingforest

    I found a website that will rate your blog for you as they do the movies. I put blag hag in there and, lo and behold, it was rated nc-17. http://www.oneplusyou.com/bb/b…So you yungins betta stay away from this blog, ya hear?!. Jen’s corruptin’ ya lil’ minds! ;)

  24. 24
    pnw_greg

    Building on your point: if NOT having sex is not a big deal, then you are not doing it right!

  25. 25
    Nikki

    I got a little nauseated reading the excerpts, but had to laugh a little as I worked out to the extended version of “I want your sex” today and it’s still stuck in my head. Ok, off to work on my book where casual sex is just a part of life… because well, for some of us, it most happily is!!

  26. 26
    Kaleberg

    It’s like driving. The only way to drive 100% safely is not to drive. Whenever someone starts spouting nonsense that sexual abstinence is the only safe way to have sex, I always come out in favor of abstinence only drivers’ education. “Learner’s permit – just say no.” “No thanks, I’ll walk.” You can fill in the rest.

  27. 27
    Thomas W

    Yes, sex should be between two consenting adults. But sex education is given to teenagers, and much of the issue between abstinence and other education is because of the raging hormones of adolescents. But it’s probably best to consider sex and under age teens as a different issue from the book Jen’s commenting on.

  28. 28
    benjaminsa

    You are right it is a subjective value judgment, but it is her book, and she gets to make highly subjective bullshit (in my opinion) judgments. BUT that doesn’t make her sex negative, or on the same level as deep South sex ed. That is what I feel is an over reaction.

  29. 29
    Thomas W

    A few comments:One, in terms of accuracy, Jen’s source for abstinence only sex-ed increasing STD infections in teens doesn’t match up to the abstinence only talks I’ve heard. It also doesn’t reference any study showing teens receiving abstinence only classes have higher STD rates than those who don’t — these seem to be general statements and assumptions, not based on evidence. I’m not overly impressed with the study saying casual sex doesn’t cause emotional damage, it’s a university psychology department with the average subject age 20.5 years — most likely a survey of college psychology students, I’d be more impressed with a study of older subjects to bring out any long term effects.Two, this is an area with very wide individual variations. Some people are comfortable with many sex partners, others are not. Those who are comfortable with casual sex should not be insisting on this as the “norm” any more than those advocating life long monogamy. I’ve never associated monogamy solely with religion, or casual sex with atheism. I’ve known many strongly monogamous non-religious people, this isn’t just some “Christian bullshit”.Sex (and its side effect, children) does have long term implications. Abstinence advocates may push too far, but it’s very true that a misspent 20 minutes can completely change a person’s life. Too many people don’t consider protection, contraception, etc. (and I’ve known women willing to blindly ignore these, not just men). And even the best protection can fail. I think Jen goes too far the other way, downplaying emotional and other issues.I also think Jen goes too far downplaying STDs. Bacterial STDs are increasingly resistant to antibiotics (and can have serious long term health effects if they can’t be cured), HPV may clear without symptoms, but some strains cause cancer, the reason for the HPV vaccine given to women (and perhaps now men, it can cause throat cancer per WebMD).

  30. 30
    jimmyboy99

    Too fucking right! Sounded just like the sermons I used to have to listen to… I thought ‘d escaped all that bollox when I left the church. All that “what should a Christian do in this situation” BS.And who made this woman an authority for all Humanists?The arrogance of it makes me want to scream. I won’t coz my coleagues will wonder what I’m doing. But…Lots of good shagging is clearly good for us. Getting STIs or unwanted babies isn’t. And I’d say the evidence is getting pretty clear: not shagging is very bad for you. End of. No fucking moralising about who and where and with whom/what… I’ve had all I can take of that BS.

  31. 31
    bildungsroman

    I feel a book deal coming on…

  32. 32
    jimmyboy99

    But isn’t the issue that this woman is getting definitive – and it sounds like she’s moralising. I just want to shout “piss off” (in my very English way) when I read or hear people telling me what sex is best. I mean – really: thi is subjective bullshit and no better than my Mum telling me to wait till I was married. Proper fuck off all round on this one. The tone and approach are just shit.How about: hey folks, watch out for STDs (they can be very bad for you and your partners) and think hard about babies before you have them?And just leave it there? Anyone who wants to define normal in this arena has got a public spanking coming…it‘s just crass.

  33. 33
    jimmyboy99

    Jen – I can’t edit my posts afterwards: the edit button puts up a non-editable box with my original text in. Leaving all my mistakes there nicely laid out in public. I log in with disqus if that matters? Cheers.

  34. 34
    Julie

    Why is it that some people cannot distinguish the difference between criticism and censorship? No one is trying to prevent her from writing whatever she wants in her own book. We are calling her out for trying to ascribe her own personal values to the entire Humanist movement, and for parroting abstinence-only lines back at us in new clothes.

  35. 35
    Bailey

    This book is aimed at adults, which is why the angle of the writing seems misplaced to me -it feels like she’s writing an abstinence-only handbook for teens, not a guide to humanist and ethical sex for adults who should have more control over said raging hormones. That was kind of my point.

  36. 36
    Ivo

    I take the view that (early) abortion is a (hopefully rarely used) necessary addition to the arsenal of contraception, precisely in order to handle those few cases where the occasional sperm makes it through. Thus if abortion is included among the “proper precautions”, the AHA Bill has it right that “there need be no fear of unwanted pregnancy or venereal disease, if proper precautions are taken”.And anyway, you can’t be sure that you won’t ever kill yourself by slipping in the bathtub. There is certainly a “failure rate” attached to the proper use of bathtubs, so what are you gonna do? Are you gonna tell us that it’s wrong to say that “there need be no fear of dying in the bathtub”? PS: and I’m not trying to minimize the impact that even a very early abortion can have on a women’s body and psyche (although the latter is no doubt in great measure due to the social stigma attached to the practice), but it can’t be worse than, say, breaking a leg because of that passion for skiing.

  37. 37
    Ivo

    Precisely.

  38. 38
    cat

    As someone who does know people who are HIV positive and people with AIDS, I disagree that attitudes like those of the author of the book are helpful This person also has a history of associating AIDS with being gay and of saying that people who get AIDS deserve it. A description of how STDs are spread, how to get tested and treated, is perfectly okay. The problem is that this author is not presenting this in a nonjudgemental way, she is presenting it in exactly the same way that homophobes in the 80′s did, as a punishment for sexual deviance. This does not help people with AIDs, it stigmitizes them and reduces access to testing, research, and treatment. The fact is that people like the book’s author do not treat sex as a value neutral type of risk. Consider the issue of buckling one’s seatbelt. Buckling up can save your life should an accident occur, and reduces risk. However, if someone were in a crash and had no buckled up, I would not go on and on about how they were irresponsible and deserved to be injured or killed. People like Hancock see sex, particularly queer or nonmonogamous sex, as evil and deserving of punishment, which is the problem here. The slut shaming, heterosexist sex negativity is the problem, not that she mentioned STDs. There is a right way and a wrong way to discuss STDs in regards to sex. The right way is ‘there are these things called STDs, this is how they are spread. You want to take some steps for safe sex, like condoms or dental dams.’ The wrong way is making STDs the problem of certain groups of bad people “Having sex with the wrong individual can kill you.” Because sex with the right people, ie monogamous heteros, is the right and proper way to have sex and not get diseased like us slutty fags.To quote this woman’s website as well “Anyway, as it turns out, Rove isn’t the only one who now has a cloud of gay suspicion hanging over him. Yasser Arafat apparently had HIV. Yup. His aids are now saying that obviously, he must have been injected with it. But, that is so amazingly farfetched. It is much more likely that he just liked having sex with guys. Doesn’t make you gay, just means you like having sex with guys. I like having sex with my husband who is a guy and I am clearly not gay. But then again, I am a girl.This brings up my final gay question of the day. Gary Simons. Just look at this photo. He is gay right?” (http://sumogirl.com/sumomambo/… Somehow, I am unconvinced by all of her fauxgressive concern trolling that she is anything other than a judgemental homophobe .You may be trying to give a value neutral risk assessment gus, but Hancock is trying to promote hetero monogamy as the ideal and shame all other groups. She has also been known to engage in rape apologism http://sumogirl.com/sumomambo/…. She’s not trying to help our young people be aware of and fight AIDS, she is trying to push the same old tired hetero monogamy exceptionalism that was used as an excuse to ignore the people dying of the epidemic. I know AIDS is serious, but I also know people like Hancock are hurting, not helping.

  39. 39
    benjaminsa

    I have no problem with the criticism, apologies if I am being unclear. I have a problem with poor criticism. In this case, the attributing of false beliefs and attitudes. It is somewhat ironic that you are doing exactly the same thing with my comment. I have not said Jen couldn’t or shouldn’t be critical I am arguing against the critique.Please specify where is she promoting an abstinence only attitude towards sex? Some vague correlation in language is not impressive btw.

  40. 40
    Gus Snarp

    Thanks for the info, cat. Obviously all I’m commenting on is the excerpt quoted above, which contains none of the hate that you’ve found from the author in other places.

  41. 41
    Heather

    I had sex with this guy after knowing him for approximately one hour. Our son turned 13 in June and our 12th wedding anniversary is next Monday. It happens.

  42. 42
    Robyn M

    Has Dan Savage put a rein on bi-phobic comments in the past year or two? If he has, great. If not, I’d be a little wary of the second book, too.

  43. 43
    Julie

    Reading comprehension fail. I said parroting abstinence-only lines. i.e. That sex is better and more “magical” with someone you love. Also, demonizing sex outside of a loving, monogamous relationship by creating a false dichotomy between “loving” sex and emotionally unhealthy sex.Jen’s critique is right on the money. Things need not be explicitly spelled out in order to be understood. If you think that promoting monogamous sex over other forms is in any way “vague” as to her opinion about what sex people should be having, I’d say that on the human interaction spectrum you’re not scoring in the top 50th percentile when it comes to perception of social cues.

  44. 44
    EdenBunny

    Carl, usually I agree with Carlin, but the quote you gave regarding bigots and racists is just false, unless you use the broadest definitions of the two words: Source: http://www.merriam-webster.com…bigot- a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance racist-1: a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race2: racial prejudice or discrimination— rac·ist-sist also -shist noun or adjective So is everyone a bigot and a racist?Sure, as long as you expand the definition of “bigot” and “racist” to include tolerant, open-minded people who will gladly change their opinions if you show them strong valid evidence that contradicts it, and do not share in the delusion that race is even a real characteristic. Of course, that sort of waters down the meaning of the statement, but as long as the people on the receiving end of the statement don’t think to hard, the watering down will not be noticed.Is atheism just another god-centered religion?As long as everybody accepts definitions of words that are expanded to include the opposite of any rational person’s definition, even the most ridiculous statements can go unchallenged. The worst thing about these types of statements is that their only practical use is to distort the truth. A slightly worse version of the same type of distorted logic is its limited implied double-standard version. Some examples are:”All jews are racists”"All men are sexists”"All muslims support terrorism”"Atheists are just people who are not fully educated”…As for Hitler’s mom, I don’t think there’s any solid evidence that she voluntarily spread her legs around the time of his conception, nor any reason to be certain that she had any way of measuring the probability that her son would turn out to be a mass murderer. Of course, if everyone used the quote about Hitler’s mom as a tool for deciding whether or not to reproduce, it would probably take only a few generations for the quote about bigots and racists to become almost entirely valid…

  45. 45
    EdenBunny

    EVERYBODY has real kink in their DNA. Otherwise it wouldn’t fit in our bodies.

  46. 46
    EdenBunny

    To both Julie & Ben:http://www.youtube.com/watch?vhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v

  47. 47
    Azkyroth

    Why only two?

  48. 48
    Bailey

    Haha fair enough -I am totally supportive of polyamorous relationships/sexual experiences as well. Leaving off my unintentional exclusion, the point still stands: as long as everyone is informed, communicative, willing and protected in whatever way they choose, it should be all good.

  49. 49
    luke

    Ironically, there have been studies showing that abstinence education (which I disagree with) has actually been successful in some cases. And it’s not surprising: go to a very religious country like Korea, and (I can tell you from my younger days) the chicks do not put out like in other countries.

  50. 50
    Kayle

    Thank god you said that! Everybody seems to think that’s how it’s “always” been-going mentally defective when the genitals are involved, so get over it. WTF?No wonder everything is framed as ” war” between the sexes”. But hen I suppose that’s a chicken and egg thing, isn’t it? It just creeps me out even more when the heteronormative (the ‘Man’ in the relationship does x, and the ‘Woman is just insane to expect to be treated with fundamental decency outside of a relationship) weird crap like that is normalized in the gay community as well. Makes you want to lose hope.

  51. 51
    Kayle

    I think the person who wrote the darn article cited in the post doesn’t know much about sex at all and really made the AMERICAN part more important than the humanist or ethics part.

  52. 52
    Kayle

    I’m sorry but THIS says it all: “Sex is a big deal. There are consequences to having sex and you should be prepared for those consequences before engaging in sex with anyone. The Humanist approach to sexuality is that it should be *pleasurable (um, if you’re into that), *loving* (WTF???? That has nothing to do with humanism, but romanticism and maybe Buddhism), and free of guilt” (I have no idea where she’s going with that. If the first two are already prerequisites and there are two EQUAL-there’s an Actual Humanist value-and CONSENTING partners, why would it be necessary to speak to guilt? If she really believed in the first two as necessary for ethical sexual fulfillment, you wouldn’t need to add a “free of guilt “because there wouldn’t be an occasion for guilt. You know, redundancy (as opposed to rhetorical repetition) is my new red flag for theoretical hypocrisy.

  53. 53
    lm

    Please write that book. now!

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