A New Joy Of Sex, Censorship And Other Linky Stuff

Joy of Sex
Once again I’ve got a bunch of things to write about and I’m just going to be lazy and bung them all into one post with a nice sexy pic to make it a bit more fun.

First – they’re about to release the rejiggered Joy Of Sex. The New York Times has a great article about how the book has aged and it goes into some interesting detail about how some parts of the book weren’t very female-friendly.

If Dr. Comfort was a man before his time, he was nonetheless still a man, and his book was written from a man’s perspective.

“He had a section on tactful ways to take a woman’s virginity,” Ms. Quilliam said. “He had a section called ‘frigidity.’ I’m sure he was a lovely man, but he said that most men, given a young and attractive partner, can always get it up — it’s only when a woman lets herself go that he has a problem. And you’re going, ‘No, no, no!’ But that is what it was like then.”

Meanwhile, I’ve discovered a new French-language site that is pitching itself as porn for women called Second Sexe. Unfortunately I can’t read it so I’m not sure what the deal is, but it’s inspired this article at The Observers. Naturally I had to leave a long comment.


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The Porn for Women book keeps raising its determined little head, popping up in everyone’s Christmas wish lists and consequently setting off my Google alerts something awful. I did find this post at Jossip which questions the whole thing:

But what is this Porn for Women meme, where the joke is that the guys aren’t naked, they’re just helping out around the house and acting like gentlemen?

Is the implication that women are turned on by thoughtful gestures? Sure, that’s one way of looking at it. Another way is that it’s funny to imagine women thinking about porn, and ha-ha, I bet when they think of erotica they just imagine a man dusting! Get it? Because women don’t think about dirty things like sexy or objectifying men.

OK so now it’s time to get into “ooh that pisses me off” territory.

Indonesia has recently passed their “anti porn” law which effectively criminalises anything remotely sexual. It was fully backed by the Islamic heavies in that country who are pretty keen on turning Indonesia (and the region) into a theocracy. And then you get this: Indonesian clerics take child brides, back anti-porn bill. The guy has married a 12 year old and thumbs his nose at secular law that says she must be at least 16.

What a beautiful religion Islam is.

And while I’m bashing religion, the Catholics have weighed into the Australian internet filter debate, with a council of bishops happily supporting the idea. Somebody Think of the Children blog has a good post on the topic. One bishop has said that censoring the net is fine because it will bring it into line with all the other censorship we have. Here’s most of my comment in response to this argument:

My personal view is that Australia’s existing system of classification needs to be thoroughly overhauled to reflect the community standards of 21st century Australia: namely that Aussies like porn, that it doesn’t cause societal or personal harm and that consensual sexually explicit content should be legal to view no matter what media it comes in.

I would argue that, as it stands, the OFLC already tramples on our right to freedom of speech thanks to its ability to ban films by refusing classification. The classification system should be voluntary as it is in the US.

Essentially, it should not be up to the government or the OFLC to decide what I as an adult can view.

That should be the answer to the “bringing into line” argument – although I realise it may be considered a little too “out there” for some.

But if you think the current classification system is working, consider how the films of Tony Comstock were banned while other films like Destricted made it through because they were more “serious”.

Do we really think the people at the OFLC are representing society’s interests? What are they protecting us from?

We don’t need to bring the internet into line with current restrictions on freedom of speech because those restrictions in and of themselves should not exist in the first place.

I’ve been keeping fairy close track of No Clean Feed movement in the last few weeks. It’s so nice to connect with other Aussies who are opposed to censorship and moral panic. It seems the clean feed has created a space for better public dialogue about where we’re going with censorship in this country. And now some people are questioning the way child porn is increasingly used as an excuse to trample on our rights, in the same way that the spectre of “terrorism” is used.

I hope we can make a difference.