Sexual Morality and Ethics Catch-All

I use the honor system.

Get on 'er and stay on 'er.

(apologies, I couldn't help myself)

LobsterMobster wrote:

DanB, there's a difference between death rate and mortality rate

But the question is about harm done. If you give someone a flu infection and they subsequently die should you be held liable for that?

DanB wrote:
LobsterMobster wrote:

DanB, there's a difference between death rate and mortality rate

But the question is about harm done. If you give someone a flu infection and they subsequently die should you be held liable for that?

If you unreasonably gave it to them then it would be. For example bumping into someone on the street is not the same as sneaking into an ICU. Infecting someone with the flu in both situations is really only criminal in the second case.

Kier wrote:
DanB wrote:
LobsterMobster wrote:

DanB, there's a difference between death rate and mortality rate

But the question is about harm done. If you give someone a flu infection and they subsequently die should you be held liable for that?

If you unreasonably gave it to them then it would be. For example bumping into someone on the street is not the same as sneaking into an ICU. Infecting someone with the flu in both situations is really only criminal in the second case.

Also, having the flu isn't permanent. It doesn't become something you know about yourself that is always true, and even if you do manage to infect someone with the flu, that damage is usually limited and reparable. If someone catches your flu, it is usually not reasonable to assume they will die of it.

Kier wrote:
DanB wrote:
LobsterMobster wrote:

DanB, there's a difference between death rate and mortality rate

But the question is about harm done. If you give someone a flu infection and they subsequently die should you be held liable for that?

If you unreasonably gave it to them then it would be. For example bumping into someone on the street is not the same as sneaking into an ICU. Infecting someone with the flu in both situations is really only criminal in the second case.

But that's the point, the intent is at the heart of what makes the crime. Willingly infecting someone with a deadly disease, maybe that should be a criminal offence; but singling out HIV I'm not so sure about and I think is motivated more by AIDs hysteria than the risk it actually presents (assuming we're talking about having access to western medicine).

I just realized my last sentence is formatted strangely. Oh well!

I am fairly sure that in Canada at least it is already a crime to infect someone with a deadly disease. I don't think an exception is being made for HIV. So your position is I believe already the norm.

DanB wrote:

But that's the point, the intent is at the heart of what makes the crime. Willingly infecting someone with a deadly disease, maybe that should be a criminal offence; but singling out HIV I'm not so sure about and I think is motivated more by AIDs hysteria than the risk it actually presents (assuming we're talking about having access to western medicine).

If you actually manage to give someone HIV without them knowing there's even a risk, it doesn't really matter how people feel about AIDS in general, because you are then dealing with events that actually took place. Hysterical is when you think we need to quarantine victims because if you so much as look at them you will die within a week. Hysterical is when you want to start purging neighborhoods with fuel-air bombs, Outbreak-style. It's not being hysterical to think of HIV as an incurable, lethal disease, albeit one with very specific (and intimate) vectors, because that is what it is. HIV/AIDS is useful for this conversation because it's something with few symptoms, is transmissible through sex but not through any sort of casual interaction, and is one of the most serious STDs we have such that one could argue that being infected entails certain responsibilities for the protection of others. We can talk about incurable diseases in general if it makes you more comfortable. It doesn't even have to be lethal, as people have sued over all sorts of STDs, not just the ones that can kill you. I do think that the lack of a cure is important to the conversation though, as it means the damage is irreparable and permanent.

That's no less true of having the flu or an almost endless list of other infections though.

Yes, it is less true. To my best knowledge, HIV is always lethal for people who don't have the extremely rare genetic mutation that makes them immune. ALWAYS lethal. We can delay death for quite some time, but it is 100% fatal.

Even Ebola isn't that bad, and if you were deliberately exposing people to Ebola, you'd end up in jail for sure. You might end up executed.

Just because HIV is slow doesn't make it any less deadly.

Malor wrote:
That's no less true of having the flu or an almost endless list of other infections though.

Yes, it is less true. To my best knowledge, HIV is always lethal for people who don't have the extremely rare genetic mutation that makes them immune. ALWAYS lethal. We can delay death for quite some time, but it is 100% fatal.

That's the equivalent to saying life is always 100% fatal.

RoughneckGeek wrote:

That's the equivalent to saying life is always 100% fatal.

I now have to have a very difficult conversation with my wife.

RoughneckGeek wrote:
Malor wrote:
That's no less true of having the flu or an almost endless list of other infections though.

Yes, it is less true. To my best knowledge, HIV is always lethal for people who don't have the extremely rare genetic mutation that makes them immune. ALWAYS lethal. We can delay death for quite some time, but it is 100% fatal.

That's the equivalent to saying life is always 100% fatal.

Yeah, I think I'd take HIV over Ebola's 83% mortality rate, mainly because I'd rather have years of life than painfully bleeding out from every orifice in my body within a week.

HIV is not curable, it's only treatable, and the treatments have many side effects. You can never stop taking the drug cocktail, and eventually either the side effects will kill you, or it will simply stop working, and you will die, many many years sooner than you should. And those drugs are very expensive, meaning your entire life's focus will shift from doing whatever it is you wanted to do, to being absolutely certain you never spend a day uninsured. And, of course, a normal love life becomes impossible; even two HIV+ partners are supposed to always use protection, to avoid exposing each other to new mutations of the virus.

There's a huge cost to the person involved. It's a permanent impairment. Having sex with someone without telling them you have HIV is a terrible crime. I'd call it far worse than most crimes of violence.... probably just short of attempted murder.

I think almost anyone sane would take a severe beating over being infected with the AIDS virus, without even batting an eye. And we throw people into prison for long periods for doing that.

OG_slinger wrote:
RoughneckGeek wrote:
Malor wrote:
That's no less true of having the flu or an almost endless list of other infections though.

Yes, it is less true. To my best knowledge, HIV is always lethal for people who don't have the extremely rare genetic mutation that makes them immune. ALWAYS lethal. We can delay death for quite some time, but it is 100% fatal.

That's the equivalent to saying life is always 100% fatal.

Yeah, I think I'd take HIV over Ebola's 83% mortality rate, mainly because I'd rather have years of life than painfully bleeding out from every orifice in my body within a week.

In this case it was comparing HIV and the flu, not Ebola.

As for the "life is always 100% fatal" equivalency, I wonder how many HIV positive people would agree with that. I don't think that life with HIV is equivalent to life without it.

Malor wrote:

And, of course, a normal love life becomes impossible; even two HIV+ partners are supposed to always use protection, to avoid exposing each other to new mutations of the virus.

I will take some exception to the first part of this.

While in grad school, I was in a long-term relationship with someone that was HIV+ and we had a very active and "normal" love life despite his HIV status.

I don't see how the use of condoms would make a love life less normal for a couple where one is HIV+ any more than it would make a love life less normal for a couple where the man decides to wear condoms on a regular basis to prevent pregnancy.

LouZiffer wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:
RoughneckGeek wrote:
Malor wrote:
That's no less true of having the flu or an almost endless list of other infections though.

Yes, it is less true. To my best knowledge, HIV is always lethal for people who don't have the extremely rare genetic mutation that makes them immune. ALWAYS lethal. We can delay death for quite some time, but it is 100% fatal.

That's the equivalent to saying life is always 100% fatal.

Yeah, I think I'd take HIV over Ebola's 83% mortality rate, mainly because I'd rather have years of life than painfully bleeding out from every orifice in my body within a week.

In this case it was comparing HIV and the flu, not Ebola.

As for the "life is always 100% fatal" equivalency, I wonder how many HIV positive people would agree with that. I don't think that life with HIV is equivalent to life without it.

Malor was comparing HIV to Ebola. His statement following the snippet I quoted was "Even Ebola isn't that bad." I second OG_Slinger's sentiment that I'd rather have HIV than Ebola. Hell, from a health perspective I'd rather have HIV than be diabetic.

I'm not saying it's a pleasure to be HIV+, but it has not had a significant impact on my life in the 7 1/2 years since I was infected. I certainly don't advocate withholding HIV status before engaging in sex (protected or not). I just don't think the benefits to adding laws criminalizing HIV come close to balancing the costs... especially when those costs result in responsible people who do disclose being railroaded because of their status.

I say it has not had a significant impact because for the first 5 1/2 years my only treatment was having regular blood tests done to monitor progression of the virus. I started taking drugs to manage it almost 2 years ago. Within the first month my viral load plummeted to the point I test undetectable for HIV. The full extent of the side effects I've experienced is that I had a bout of diarrhea that lasted a few days when I first started taking them. My experience is not unique, though I do realize the generation before me didn't have it quite as good.

EDIT: My quip about "life being 100% fatal" was made because I'm far, far more likely to die through some means completely unrelated to my HIV status than I am to die to the virus.

RoughneckGeek wrote:
LouZiffer wrote:

In this case it was comparing HIV and the flu, not Ebola.

As for the "life is always 100% fatal" equivalency, I wonder how many HIV positive people would agree with that. I don't think that life with HIV is equivalent to life without it.

Malor was comparing HIV to Ebola. His statement following the snippet I quoted was "Even Ebola isn't that bad." I second OG_Slinger's sentiment that I'd rather have HIV than Ebola. Hell, from a health perspective I'd rather have HIV than be diabetic.

I understand now, after looking back. Yes, there is a bad comparison there too in my opinion. And somehow you caught on to a part of my situation. My 7-year-old daughter is a type 1 diabetic, and was diagnosed at 3. Dealing with something incurable and deadly has sensitized me somewhat to the subject. Thanks for explaining where you're coming from when saying that.

Yes, to those with advanced medicine on their side I'd have to admit that diabetes can be much worse. Even without it - for example, if our medical infrastructure collapsed - a diabetic would very likely have less time to live. Still, when I think globally, I believe that HIV has a far greater negative impact on humanity and quality of life.

I'm not advocating a position of singling out HIV, by the way. However, I do think that those who infect others with a serious disease either through intent or gross negligence are committing a crime and should be treated as such.

I think the key thought here is this: HIV is no more special than any other disease. There are many diseases that are fatal if not treated. There are many diseases that are incurable. There are many diseases that are transmissible. There is absolutely no reason to single out HIV right now except that having the disease is stigmatized. Having a law saying that intentionally infecting someone with an incurable disease is illegal is reasonable. Having a law calling out specific penalties for failing to reveal ahead of time to a sexual partner that you have a sexually transmitted disease is reasonable.

Having a law criminalizing only the disease HIV, however, is fear-mongering. It is not the most fatal, or the most incurable, or the most transmissible disease in the world.

It's just the one that raises the greatest public fear and outcry.

See also: Leprosy.

Sorry if I've fallen behind, but do we have any law that applies specifically and exclusively to HIV in any way? I've found cases of people suing over herpes. When someone sues over exposure to HIV, I don't think it's a matter of them hating HIV specifically. I think it's a matter of them being exposed to HIV, specifically.

I won't argue that as a society we may be over-sensitive to HIV and that there certainly is fear-mongering and paranoia there. I just wonder how far that extends into codified law.

LobsterMobster wrote:

Sorry if I've fallen behind, but do we have any law that applies specifically and exclusively to HIV in any way? I've found cases of people suing over herpes. When someone sues over exposure to HIV, I don't think it's a matter of them hating HIV specifically. I think it's a matter of them being exposed to HIV, specifically.

I won't argue that as a society we may be over-sensitive to HIV and that there certainly is fear-mongering and paranoia there. I just wonder how far that extends into codified law.

It depends on the state. Before I moved from Arizona (which has no HIV-transmission laws) I researched the laws in each state I was interested in. Colorado's transmission laws are specific to sex with prostitutes. Georgia's laws (and case history) on the other hand mean I'll never consider living there.

Colorado has prostitutes?

Well, I can't say I'm in favor of laws that are specific to HIV and do agree there's no need to target that as opposed to the many other diseases with similar vectors or effects.

But there aren't any other diseases that share both vector and effects. Most STDs are quite treatable; only herpes is a permanent infection, to my knowledge, and it's annoying, not fatal.

I think it's a special case. And I'm absolutely, utterly unsympathetic to those who "don't want to demonize HIV". They don't want to feel so bad about the fatal disease they have, being held at bay for some period by extremely expensive treatments, so we're supposed to make its transmission more likely? Words fail me. It is an argument of unbelievable selfishness.

Punishing people for transmitting HIV by misleading people does not demonize HIV, it demonizes liars. The consequences to the victim are dire, and I think the punishment should reflect that.

Malor wrote:

But there aren't any other diseases that share both vector and effects. Most STDs are quite treatable; only herpes is a permanent infection, to my knowledge, and it's annoying, not fatal.

I think it's a special case. And I'm absolutely, utterly unsympathetic to those who "don't want to demonize HIV". They don't want to feel so bad about the fatal disease they have, being held at bay for some period by extremely expensive treatments, so we're supposed to make its transmission more likely? Words fail me. It is an argument of unbelievable selfishness.

Punishing people for transmitting HIV by misleading people does not demonize HIV, it demonizes liars. The consequences to the victim are dire, and I think the punishment should reflect that.

There are several problems with the assumptions being made in your statement.

Demonizing/criminalizing HIV specifically is about as effective at preventing the spread of HIV as abstinence only sex education is at preventing teens from having sex.

If you were serious about wanting to fight the spread of the disease you wouldn't support laws that discourage testing. Currently, the most effective defense against being prosecuted for transmission or attempted transmission of HIV is to avoid testing. Then you can be as irresponsible in your sexual practices as you like, ignorantly claim you're HIV- and be passing on the virus with no risk of prosecution. Depending on which study you want to believe, 20-25% of those living with HIV in the US today do not know they have the virus. Because they are not being treated, they are also far more likely to transmit HIV to their sexual partners assuming the type of sex act performed is the same as those on antiretrovirals.

There are no studies to support your assertion that existence of HIV criminalization laws have an impact on the sexual practices of the public. Instead, transmission laws shift all responsibility to the HIV+ individual and undermine the message that all individuals should take measures to protect themselves and their partners from HIV and other STI's. Furthering the stigma surrounding HIV only makes those that are aware they have the disease less likely to disclose for fear of discrimination.

What I would classify as unbelievable selfishness is defending laws that allow those with HIV to be railroaded even in cases where transmission was not possible in exchange for an illusion of safety. As examples, there was an HIV+ man sentenced to serve 35 years for spitting at a police officer... or there's the woman in Georgia who received 8 years even though there were multiple testimonies during the trial that her partner was aware of her HIV status... or the man whose 25 year sentence was suspended but required him to register as a sex offender for having sex with a condom while having an undetectable viral load.

I don't have any need to feel better about the virus I carry in my blood. I would however like to see progress made towards reducing transmission and eliminating the virus over the course of my life. I see criminalization laws as a barrier preventing that from being possible.

Is there an ethical way to force/require testing?
I know the free clinics in my area require you to get a full screening for every appointment. Though they are frequented much more by young women than men (for free birth control).

Malor wrote:

But there aren't any other diseases that share both vector and effects. Most STDs are quite treatable; only herpes is a permanent infection, to my knowledge, and it's annoying, not fatal.

I think it's a special case. And I'm absolutely, utterly unsympathetic to those who "don't want to demonize HIV". They don't want to feel so bad about the fatal disease they have, being held at bay for some period by extremely expensive treatments, so we're supposed to make its transmission more likely? Words fail me. It is an argument of unbelievable selfishness.

Punishing people for transmitting HIV by misleading people does not demonize HIV, it demonizes liars. The consequences to the victim are dire, and I think the punishment should reflect that.

It's like the difference between a law against shooting someone with a gun and a law against shooting someone with a .45 pistol. You don't need the law against shooting someone with a .45 pistol because it's a gun and it's illegal to shoot people with guns.

Sorry to compare your disease to a firearm, Roughneck. One question, though. You suggest that it's impossible to spread the virus without a detectable viral load. Are we talking possibility, or probability? I understand how it would be improbable, but no detectable viral load does not mean no viral load. I'm not trying to pick apart your point here as it's well taken; I'm just curious.

LobsterMobster wrote:

Sorry to compare your disease to a firearm, Roughneck. One question, though. You suggest that it's impossible to spread the virus without a detectable viral load. Are we talking possibility, or probability? I understand how it would be improbable, but no detectable viral load does not mean no viral load. I'm not trying to pick apart your point here as it's well taken; I'm just curious.

I welcome the discussion, though now I think it'd have been wiser to spin off a new thread and not hijack this one. (And if I was thin skinned I wouldn't have disclosed my HIV status on an internet forum.)

I won't be so bold to say it's impossible for me to transmit HIV, but effective treatment makes it considerably more difficult to infect others. I say that because I don't think sufficient study has been done targeting this particular transmission risk question... though the Swiss Federal AIDS Commission disagrees. Early this year they made the bold statement that “People with HIV who are not suffering from a sexually transmitted infection and who are on fully suppressive antiretroviral therapy do not transmit the virus through sexual contact.” They define "fully suppressive antiretroviral therapy" as resulting in an undetectable level of the virus in blood for at least 6 months with no other STIs. The statement is admittedly controversial, but reflects the gap between reality and the sensationalism used to pass HIV criminalization laws.

Also of note, a trial called iPrEx prescribed HIV- men (who have sex with men) Truvada as a preventative. I'm quoting the parts from their findings I found most interesting.

Over 4900 subjects were screened, of whom 2406 were ineligible or never joined the study, 410 (8.5%) because they turned out already to have HIV.

So 8.5% men willing to sign up for a medical trial related to HIV transmission/prevention did not even know they already had HIV. For a self-selecting group of gay men, that number of previously untested cases of HIV strikes me as huge. It makes it quite easy for me to believe the CDC's numbers that 21% of those infected do not know. It's a lack of testing and treatment that make HIV deadly. Avoiding testing is how HIV cases land people in the hospital with opportunistic infections. Once the immune system is that badly compromised the HIV treatment becomes more difficult. Overall health will never be as good in those cases as it could have been with earlier detection.

Of the 100 infected during follow-up, 36 infections occurred in men given tenofovir/FTC and 64 in men given placebo, yielding an overall efficacy of 44% (95% confidence interval, 15% to 63%: p = 0.005).
Efficacy was also significantly greater than placebo in men reporting over 90% adherence (73% efficacy)
They found that drug levels were detectable in either the blood or cells of only 9% of subjects who became infected. But they also found that drug levels were detectable in only 51% of the HIV-negative controls, including 54% who reported over 50% adherence.

The drug level assays used could detect drug in the cells up to two weeks after a dose, indicating not only that far fewer subjects than reported were actually taking their pills, but that this was a long-term pattern and not caused by sporadically missing doses.

The investigators calculate on the basis of these figures that if all subjects had taken the study drug exactly as prescribed, the efficacy would be at least 92% and possibly up to 95%.

The lack of adherence to the trial is discouraging. The similar study done with females on Truvada (FEM-PrEP) was halted early for several factors... one of which was also a severe lack of adherence to the drug regimen. This is particularly disappointing when the extent of the regimen was to take one pill every day. But lack of adherence has been a problem for many HIV-related trials. Self reports have been shown to always reflect higher levels of adherence than blood tests for the drug. In the case of these trials, it means there are new HIV infections that could possibly have been prevented. It also means we don't have as accurate results as could have been obtained.

For the IPrEX trial, 77.5% of those participating reported having unprotected anal sex within the prior 6 months with a partner with an unknown HIV status. 2.5% reported unprotected anal sex with someone known to be HIV+. These are individuals participating in sex with the highest risk of transmission. IPrEX has been rolled into a new trial which a few of my friends are participating in. Two of the three I know enrolled in the trial have HIV+ partners they have been with for years without transmission occurring to the HIV- partner. How? Because the virus is not that easily transmitted and there are ways to mitigate risk. Some sex acts are lower risk than others. Condoms, properly used, are a huge preventative. The HIV+ partner of the pair is on an effective treatment... and now the HIV- partner is taking a preventative.

Maybe we should spin this off.

Thanks for the information. Some interesting numbers in there, but it raises some other questions that I will reserve for the other thread, should one arise.

I wanted to revive this thread because I have been thinking around what constitutes "sexual morality" and "sexual ethics." I am not sure I have anything close approaching universal answers, but I did want to recount something this past weekend that gave me pause for thought.

In Phoenix, we have a string of adult stores called the "Castle Boutique." They also operate in other states. Last Saturday night, I stopped in my local Castle Boutique to pick up a few items since Rubb Ed will be here over the Labor Day weekend (go me!). Anyway, the store is divided into two sections and covers about 2400 feet of space. The back half was nothing but videos. The rest of the space was broken into various sections: condoms, lubricants, sex toys, clothing (or lack there of), books on sex, board games, scents, and a rather tasteful whips and chains section (complete with fuzzy handcuffs). In the center of the store was the cashiers station with two late twenty-something guys answering questions and ringing up sales.

What was interesting was that I was the only single person in the store. There were about 10 other couples roaming the store, but none were in the video section. Most were looking at lubricants and the vibrators and the fuzzy handcuffs. It was an interesting anthropology moment because these people were shopping together and asking each other if they liked this viscosity on this lubricant or if one wanted to try the flavored lubricant or should they get the leopard skin or zebra skin fuzzy handcuffs. It was difficult not to hear the conversations. Lots of talk about "well, I want you to be pleased as well" or "I think this would be a lot of fun!" or "Oh, not that one because I hate how fast it dries up." There wasn't any shame or nervous laughter or people looking over their shoulders. The two guys at the register were giving matter of fact answers to questions including if a lubricant was good for vaginal sex versus anal sex and if a particular vibrator was good for the G spot. I asked a few questions of my own, but really didn't find much to suit my fancy and departed.

I walked to my car thinking about how nice it was to be in a store surrounded by people who were looking to enhance their sex lives and a staff that was providing honest answers to honest questions.

I then noticed something that made me think. The store was in a fairly windowless building. The parking lot was darkened and the way the parking spaces were laid out, you couldn't see license plates from the street. The entrance was sort of hidden so one could slip in under the cover of darkness and slip out, never to be seen by a passerby. Everything purchased was, of course, placed in a traditional brown paper bag. As I got into my car and headed home, I was rather sad about that realization.

If you were to take away the video section (which was in the back and no covers on the cases could be seen unless you actually approached the section), you basically would have a store that sold sexual enhancements. Yet, it is treated like a dirty little secret that needed to be hidden so that Grannie would get the vapors and clutch her fake pearls. Oddly, I noticed the Castle Boutique was more concealed than the stalls in the men's room where I work.

I guess my question is: Why?

What is so immoral or horrible or frightening about sex that it has to be hidden away like a revealing, embarrassing secret? Sex is one of the most pleasurable activities that humans can engage in and a wonderful gift from God/nature/whatever floats your boat. Yet, it is treated like a pariah in many ways.

Of course, I know our Puritanical history still takes charge on this and other issues. However, I am still hard pressed to understand why enhancing the sexual act making it even more pleasurable has to be hidden. People can stuff their oral orifices with food and we all but build temples to the practice, paying celebrity chefs $200 for dinner for two for the experience, and you can even do it outdoors, in public. But if you open a store that sells condoms or lubes or fuzzy handcuffs, it has to be in windowless buildings with dark entrances and brown paper sacks because - Quelle horreur - someone bought strawberry-flavored lube.

Perhaps I am missing something, but don't we want to encourage things like better sex, more pleasurable sex, honest questions about sex, couples talking about pleasing each other during sex?

And if we do, what purpose does it serve to hide it?

Phoenix Rev wrote:

Good points

My guess is someone shouted "won't someone think of the children?!?", without really thinking of the children. Americans, at least those who get to make decisions about such things, seem to think there's causal link between awareness of a thing and an uncontrollable desire to do that thing until it kills someone.

Is the US the only country so ashamed about its sex toy shops? I remember the titillation of going to Montreal and seeing the go-go bars and the shops after crossing the border, and thinking how odd they seemed. Since coming to China though, I am wondering if the US is the odd man out. Despite how shy Chinese people are about talking about sex and showing affection in public, the sex toy shops are everywhere, euphemistically titled "Adult Health Shops" in Chinese, but the English often just says SEX SHOP. Most are small and very plainly adorned from the outside, but they are right on the street. If the reticent Chinese are that ambivalent, why can't Americans be?

*So* happy this thread isn't about HIV anymore.

I like the concept of comparing the carnal act of eating to the carnal act of lovemaking. It's an analogy I hadn't considered before, and put in that context it really does confuse me as to why Americans (and Americans, specifically, as Mao illustrates) consider anything other than lights off missionary style sex between a married man and woman something to be ashamed of.

I'm guessing we have more than a couple regular posters who might vote against having a Velvet Touch (that's my region's equivalent of Castle Boutique) or whatever in their main shopping district, their strip malls or plazas, or butting up next to residential areas.

I'm not really qualified to speak on this. The Dutch have made Grand Rapids a bastion for haters of flesh. We have an ordnance requiring strippers to wear coverings on the bottom and top.

Seth wrote:

*So* happy this thread isn't about HIV anymore.

I like the concept of comparing the carnal act of eating to the carnal act of lovemaking. It's an analogy I hadn't considered before, and put in that context it really does confuse me as to why Americans (and Americans, specifically, as Mao illustrates) consider anything other than lights off missionary style sex between a married man and woman something to be ashamed of.

I'm guessing we have more than a couple regular posters who might vote against having a Velvet Touch (that's my region's equivalent of Castle Boutique) or whatever in their main shopping district, their strip malls or plazas, or butting up next to residential areas.

I'm not really qualified to speak on this. The Dutch have made Grand Rapids a bastion for haters of flesh. We have an ordnance requiring strippers to wear coverings on the bottom and top.

Same.

I do think the comment about "Only Americans" and "Only married and missionary" is rather overstating it, but it's undeniable that we have a screwed up (read: unenlightened) attitude towards sex.

Also, by Dutch, do you mean "immigrants from the Netherlands", or "Pennsylvania (or Michigan, I suppose)" i.e. Amish/Mennonites? If the latter, then I'm not surprised by the attitude that would lead to that ordinance, but I am surprised they have anything to say about local/regional politics. Around here, the Amish/Mennonites are pretty insular, and don't really interact with "The English" outside of commerce.