Empty Taboos

/Tag:Empty Taboos

Every society has taboos. By their nature they are irrational – empty.

Sexting And Child Porn

I've been meaning to talk about this for some time. I've been prompted by the debate happening now in Australia. Seems people have woken up to the absurdity of the situation and there will be changes to the law. First a bit of background. Used to be that the age of consent of 16 meant you could also consent to sexual images being taken of you. Back in the late 80's (or was it the early 90's - I forget) there was an outcry when a 16 year-old posed for Australian Penthouse, which at the time published two editions; a [...]

Presentation Of The Virgin

Earlier in this blog I wrote a provocative entry entitled The Truth about the Virgin Mary (or why God is a paedophile).  In it I suggested the current concern of conservative Christians over teenage sex is hypocritical, given that their own tradition accepted that a girl could be married at age 12. I argued that it is possible to interpret the Gospels as suggesting that Mary could have fallen pregnant before the age of 12. The evidence is not found in the Christian Bible, which never mentions a specific age, but in supporting literature. In Judaism, the specifics of [...]

Clive Hamilton (3): Meaningful Sex

When the sexual revolution began to breach the wall of sexual repression it came first as a trickle then as a torrent, with no sign of surcease 40 years on, so that sex talk and erotic imagery pervade books, media, advertising, the internet and public discussion with a fascination that seems limitless. This is a constant theme of the moral conservatives – regret over the excesses of the sexual revolution. The problem is that they do not understand what the sexual revolution is actually about, at least, as defined the people who first used the term. The critical names here [...]

Cambridge Union Debate: This House Believes Pornography Does A Good Public Service

The Cambridge Union debates are famous. Here is an excellent debate entitled: This house believes pornography does a good public service. It features Anna Arrowsmith, an articulate female porn director speaking in the affirmative and Gail Dines for the negative.

A Billion Wicked Thoughts

I've just found out about this. A Billion Wicked Thoughts. Before Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam, the only researcher to systematically investigate sexual desires was Alfred Kinsey, who surveyed 18,000 middle-class Caucasians in the 1950s. But Ogas and Gaddam have studied the secret sexual behavior of more than a hundred million men and women around the world. This is a very interesting given the recent claims by Gail Dines about her own research. If Dines is right then this study should replicate her results. A quick look suggests it doesn't. One particular blog entry leads to a Psychology Today article [...]

The Porn Wars: Conflicting Sexualities

All too often in the debate about porn, the issue really seems to be about something else. In the current wave of anti-porn concern the real issue is competing sexualities. Not just men's versus women's, but transgressive sexualities versus a contested 'normal' and 'correct' sexuality. The recent criticism of gonzo porn is a convenient Trojan horse. Nearly everyone, including myself, finds violent, misogynist porn profoundly problematic. Of course it should be condemned. The problem is that once we accept the Trojan horse and open it, we find that the anti-porn campaigners object to a great deal more than gonzo. Melinda [...]

X-Rated Ethics

The Utne Reader recently published an article entitled X-Rated ethics: socially sustainable sex could save the economy, the environment and our society. While Gail Dines and Melinda Tankard Reist sound the alarm bells, this article paints a completely different picture. Interesting. Brooks-Gordon’s research has convinced her that there is huge latent demand for an ethical sex industry. Not only do most clients want to feel wanted, she says; many would be relieved to know that the sex workers starring in their favorite porn film, dancing onstage at their club, or available through their escort agency are there by consent, are [...]

Miranda Kerr On Breastfeeding

The more I hear from Miranda, the more I'm impressed. Yes, she's famous and glamorous, but she's also very honest and matter-of-fact. She's been talking about being a mother; about her natural birth (she persisted with a 27 hour natural labour) and about breastfeeding. I'm particularly impressed with the casual way she breaks a number of taboos. Recently she's been talking about how much milk she's producing and how she has to express constantly to avoid leaking, especially now that's she's back working. This is normally considered too detailed. Why? How is it that we have reached the point [...]

The Non-problem Of Sexual Arousal (2)

In 1977, as part of the Melbourne Film Festival, I saw Nagisa Oshima's erotic masterpiece, Ai no Korida (In the Realm of the Senses). This was a groundbreaking film because it dared to portray several real sex acts. The reason I was able to see it was because at that time Australian film festivals could get special permission from the censors.

The Non-problem Of Sexual Arousal

There's an unexamined assumption that lies at the foundation of the debate over pornography and obscenity and that is that sexual arousal is a moral problem. Why is it a problem?