Note: I’m posting this to coincide with the prior link.
Conventional wisdom would say that the world is on a path toward ever greater sexual liberation. One would look at the acceptance of homosexuality and the sexual relations between unmarried people, and that conclusion would appear warranted. However, if one looks closer, one will see that we are still a long way from real sexual liberation.
I recently did a little research into the current literature being published on topic of human sexuality. I was a bit surprised that, with the notable exception of male homosexuals, the currently academia sees sexuality in a very negative light. As I reviewed the literature, I found that sex, particularly recreational sex, was inevitably linked with drug use, exportation and disease. I could not find a single recent study that linked recreational sex with any positive trait. Why? Because the researcher’s weren’t looking for it! All of these studies all started with the premise of ‘what are the bad effects of sex for fun?’
The current literature on pornography was mixed, especially noteworthy that those with a more positive view of porn were written in the Scandinavian countries, while those from the US were more negative (surprise, surprise). The majority of the research into porn was dealing with links between violence and child sexual abuse. It is good that at least there were a few studies that considered positive outcomes, but on the whole porn is still approached with hostility in the academic community.
The books were even aggressively anti sex and anti porn, though the number of volumes taking a positive view of homosexual activities far outnumbered those dealing positively with non-monogamous heterosexual activities. Why is it that when 90% of the US population say they are exclusively heterosexual (though there is some good research that suggests that far more adults do have occasional same sex contact than is reported in surveys). The point is that while the sex-positives have been focusing on the effort to legitimize homosexual relationships and sexual activity, the sex-negative forces have moved in to delegitimize recreational heterosexual relationships. Thus the well justified drive to ensure homo-sexual rights has eclipsed the larger drive for “sexual-rights”. In the end, unless the basic principle of sexual rights for all is successfully defended, the successes of GLBT rights will be short lived.
Who are the anti-sex forces and why are they trying turning back the clock to sexual liberation?
The most obvious group is the religious right. They have been sex negative for 1,700 years. There opposition is to be expected. The worldwide cabal of Christian and Muslim sex-negative clerics have backed up by use of force over the past millennium and a half their very narrow view of human sexuality. They have effectively created a worldwide norm of sex negativity. However, this group does not control academia. This group is not capable of maintaining the current sex-negative environment in an increasingly secular world. They certainly aren’t’ the ones behind the move in the EU to censor the net to eliminate erotic images.
The real force behind the current sex negative movement is an unholy alliance between the religious right and secular left. More particularly they, the religious forces have allied with followers of critical feminist theory. These new sex-negatives, who are significantly overrepresented in academia and the news media, are the new “Anti-sex League”. These ideologues are waging a holy war on recreational heterosexual and bi-sexual sex and its pornographic cousin. This movement could also be correctly called one of Marxist-Feminism, which should not be confused with mainstream feminism. They have simply replaced the capitalist as the center of world oppression to men being the great oppressor. Men, in their view are in a constant battle to oppress and harm women and heterosexual sex is a violent act of conquest of the female. It is from this group you hear the idea that all heterosexual sex is rape and marriage is prostitution. They don’t object to any form of male-male sex because that is just the act of one oppressor fucking another oppressor. Hence, there is an acceptance of BDSM homosexual behaviors that they rapidly condemn in heterosexual or bi-sexual liaisons.
It has been correctly said that the far right and the far left have far more in common than they have differences. Here the Christian and Muslim fundamentalists have a common goal with the Marxists to control the sexual behavior of everyone. They both believe they are the moral guardians of all the rest of us. Neither group is nearly as committed to personal freedom as they are to their ideology and their need to stamp out dissent. Both groups are highly sex negative. Both groups define “moral sex” as their own and “immoral sex” as everyone else’s.
I work at a major university and the climate of fear for saying the wrong thing about sex or sexuality is as real here as it was when I went to a Christian fundamentalist University twenty five years ago.
It is sad but clearly true.