Sexual Morality and Ethics Catch-All

Come to Detroit Seth, I can hook you up with clubs, and easy strippers.

Funny anecdote. When I was taking my date home, we get into my room. She points at this large, purple, conical object and asked what that was, somewhat freaked. I explained it was not what she thought it was, rather I still use my Crayon bank from the 80's for my change. I had taken the top off for meter money and it was on my nightstand.

I mentioned this in the dating thread, but I am so happy to have found a chick wihout the hang ups I have become used to. Somewhere between pull my hair and spank me with your belt, there was beauty there.

We had a frank conversation on a walk about likes, boundaries, pleasures. We played a little bedroom guessing game. It was so nice having an honest, open talk about sex between two adults on a date.

Garden Ninja wrote:

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.

Oh it's certainly an overstatement. Head to the Dunes in Saugatuck for proof of that. But by and large, I think pockets of enlightenment are the minority; even the vast minority, vs extreme sexual conservativism. For the sake of this discussion, even focusing solely on monogamous sexual relationships between comitted partners, I still smell a whif of anti feminism in the air: that is, sex is to be fun for the man, most certainly not fun for the woman, and if a child is not generated, then something went wrong. Again, I freely admit that's an overstatement, but that idea always seems to be lurking in the shadows of every conversation concerning the topic.

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.

A mix of both, actually. Dutch Immigrants were some of the first settlers in West Michigan, but we have healthy populations of Amish and Mennonite just a few miles south. But, as you say -- the Amish/Mennonite communities are largely isolated, and rarely make a big to do about city ordnances. It's the Vander-whatevers, the Van-whatevers, and the Dev-whatevers (and the Hoogen-whatevers, and the Vroog-whatevers, and the Dyke-whatevers) that are actively pursuing things like banning adult stores, adult cinemas, adult dance clubs, and gay marriage.

Oh and KG: every time I'm in your neck of the woods, I try to spend some of my time/money at gentlemen's clubs of merit.

Seth wrote:
Garden Ninja wrote:

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.

Oh it's certainly an overstatement. Head to the Dunes in Saugatuck for proof of that. But by and large, I think pockets of enlightenment are the minority; even the vast minority, vs extreme sexual conservativism. For the sake of this discussion, even focusing solely on monogamous sexual relationships between comitted partners, I still smell a whif of anti feminism in the air: that is, sex is to be fun for the man, most certainly not fun for the woman, and if a child is not generated, then something went wrong. Again, I freely admit that's an overstatement, but that idea always seems to be lurking in the shadows of every conversation concerning the topic.

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.

A mix of both, actually. Dutch Immigrants were some of the first settlers in West Michigan, but we have healthy populations of Amish and Mennonite just a few miles south. But, as you say -- the Amish/Mennonite communities are largely isolated, and rarely make a big to do about city ordnances. It's the Vander-whatevers, the Van-whatevers, and the Dev-whatevers (and the Hoogen-whatevers, and the Vroog-whatevers, and the Dyke-whatevers) that are actively pursuing things like banning adult stores, adult cinemas, adult dance clubs, and gay marriage.

Wait, what? Dykes want to ban gay marriage?

You may be right, in that the "enlightened" are a minority, and I just haven't been exposed to that majority attitude much. But then, I grew up in Madison, WI which is like wacko, lefty, hippie town. And now I live outside of Philly. So I haven't really seen much of middle of the country, which is where I think of lot of the majority attitude exists.

What I have experienced, though is a bunch of casual sexism and homophobia, from my friends, which is something I never experienced in Madison -- save for a brief period where I went right wing (It's okay: I got better), but even that was a philosophical/political position, not the "OMG, Gross!" attitudes I've seen out here. I'm not sure if this is actually a common attitude, or just nerds overcompensating by acting macho.

I prefer to think of the majority of the US as being slow to change rather than unenlightened. The signs of change are out there in terms of moving toward a less juvenile attitude about sex, but we're not past the tipping point where changes will filter upward from local areas to states in most parts of the country. The 1960's to early 80's brought about radical changes which I think would have brought us there by now if it weren't for the AIDS scare/awareness in the mid 80's (sorry to bring AIDS back in again, but I think it's true). Right now I think the US is treading ground that it's walked before, but our steps aren't confident yet and the generation that will lead the way has a bit more growing up to do.

Chairman_Mao wrote:
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?

It's funny you should mention Montreal. Rubb Ed and I spent our honeymoon in Montreal and I remember the adult stores right next to restaurants and bars and convenience marts with plenty of posters and DVD covers in the windows that left little to the imagination. These were very visible from the public street and I am sure children passed by them every single day. I seriously doubt the children of Canadians are out-of-control sex maniacs compared to their U.S. counterparts (well, except for Rubb Ed, of course. ).

In Halifax (also Ottawa) there is a sex toy/book store that is also extremely devoted to sexual education. You can listen to the employees doing a wonderful job of filling in where parents and public education have failed.

A lot of harm could be avoided if our culture would drop the whole taboo on discussions about sex, thankfully it does seem to be eroding although only slowly.

Do y'all want to hang out with me? Maybe I just live in a bizarre freak festival, but there is no shortage of good stores, fetish shops, shows, events. They are right on main streets, and part of the community. But it might just be that the cities imediatly around Detroit and Detroit are hyper liberal. Or am I the freak who will go to gay bars? Who will shop in those stores?

krev82 wrote:

In Halifax (also Ottawa) there is a sex toy/book store that is also extremely devoted to sexual education. You can listen to the employees doing a wonderful job of filling in where parents and public education have failed.

A lot of harm could be avoided if our culture would drop the whole taboo on discussions about sex, thankfully it does seem to be eroding although only slowly.

Babeland, an upscale toy shop with a few branches around the city is the same way. It's a great contrast to the sleazy peep-show joints that used to aggregate around Times Square.

Phoenix Rev wrote:

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.

Compare and contrast with my preferred adult store here in Seattle (Babeland, formerly Toys In Babeland). Now, admittedly, it's up on Capitol Hill, the 'gay neighbourhood', which is one of the most permissive areas in an already pretty permissive city.

That said, it's a brightly lit store with big windows that open onto a foot-traffic-heavy street surrounded by shops and bars. The staff are knowledgeable, friendly, and have told me that it's store policy for their staff to try as much of the stock as they are able to.

Far from a black featureless bag, they sell cloth totes with their name and logo on, and offer a 10% discount to anyone who brings a Babeland tote back with them. A few months ago, we went a little bit ker-azy in there, and dropped several hundred bucks on a myriad of items. We bought a tote and saved ourselves some money. I now carry that tote in my car with all the other totes, and routinely use it in grocery stores. So far, I've not noticed anyone acknowledging it, but I live in hope

Now that I think about it, I don't think they carry videos. Maybe there's the key dichotomy there - sex is wholesome, porn not so much.

There is a place exactly like that in Minneapolis called The Smitten Kitten. Well lit, clean, professional, and they have a decent selection of movies. Though they are all staff chosen, IIRC. So perhaps that has something to do with it. There's a pretty big LGBT/Sex-Positive community in the area, and a decent Sex-Positive podcast made here as well. As with most places (I assume) the city is diverse, accepting and quite Liberal, and the 'burbs are rigid and conservative.

Jonman wrote:
Phoenix Rev wrote:

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.

Compare and contrast with my preferred adult store here in Seattle (Babeland, formerly Toys In Babeland). Now, admittedly, it's up on Capitol Hill, the 'gay neighbourhood', which is one of the most permissive areas in an already pretty permissive city.

That said, it's a brightly lit store with big windows that open onto a foot-traffic-heavy street surrounded by shops and bars. The staff are knowledgeable, friendly, and have told me that it's store policy for their staff to try as much of the stock as they are able to.

Far from a black featureless bag, they sell cloth totes with their name and logo on, and offer a 10% discount to anyone who brings a Babeland tote back with them. A few months ago, we went a little bit ker-azy in there, and dropped several hundred bucks on a myriad of items. We bought a tote and saved ourselves some money. I now carry that tote in my car with all the other totes, and routinely use it in grocery stores. So far, I've not noticed anyone acknowledging it, but I live in hope

Now that I think about it, I don't think they carry videos. Maybe there's the key dichotomy there - sex is wholesome, porn not so much.

Assuming it's the same Babeland as in NY (which seems like a safe assumption) there are a few videos, but they're a pretty minor portion of the store. One small shelf in the back, and a hot item or two like "Pirates" with related merchandise (Pirates themed toys).

Phoenix Rev wrote:

It's funny you should mention Montreal. Rubb Ed and I spent our honeymoon in Montreal and I remember the adult stores right next to restaurants and bars and convenience marts with plenty of posters and DVD covers in the windows that left little to the imagination. These were very visible from the public street and I am sure children passed by them every single day. I seriously doubt the children of Canadians are out-of-control sex maniacs compared to their U.S. counterparts (well, except for Rubb Ed, of course. ).

Mrs. Dim grew up in NYC. As a young kid, one day she was walking with her mom in the Times Square area. An adult theater had a huge banner up of a stark-naked woman, star of whichever movie they were showing. Mrs. Dim tugged on her mom's sleeve and said "MOM! Look!"

Mrs. Dim's quite-conservative mother attempted to distract her by pointing out something on the opposite side of the street, but she's nothing if not persistent. She stopped on the sidewalk, waited for her mom to turn towards her, and pointed firmly at the banner again, while uttering, in total shock:

"That lady isn't wearing any shoes!"

True story.

Should I regale you all with my mother's first encounter with a crack ho?

Phoenix Rev wrote:

stuff

This reminded me of something that I was going to post in this thread. The University of Minnesota recently established the Joycelyn Elders Chair in Sexual Health Education. "[T]he first of its kind in the nation to focus on sexuality education" (press release). There was some minor outrage over this. Not because of the subject matter. Not because Joycelyn Elders wanted kindergarteners to masturbate (that's sarcasm by the way). But, it was when people found out that Adam & Eve was one of the more than 275 donors.

iaintgotnopants wrote:
Phoenix Rev wrote:

stuff

This reminded me of something that I was going to post in this thread. The University of Minnesota recently established the Joycelyn Elders Chair in Sexual Health Education. "[T]he first of its kind in the nation to focus on sexuality education" (press release). There was some minor outrage over this. Not because of the subject matter. Not because Joycelyn Elders wanted kindergarteners to masturbate (that's sarcasm by the way). But, it was when people found out that Adam & Eve was one of the more than 275 donors.

Unfortunately, it is reactions like that (to the Adam and Eve donations) that had made my job as a pastoral counselor that much more difficult. Part of my training, education and practicum included providing counseling related to sexual issues. Yet, it is one of the most underused areas of my training because people are afraid to talk about the fact that they may suffer from premature ejaculation, are interested in bondage during sex, or are just afraid of sex in general. That isn't just an issue of the general view of sex in American society, but also the fact the Church has done a horrific job of handling the faithful who have sexual issues.

I would love to have a Sexual Health Education Center here in Arizona, but the chances of that happening anytime soon are about as good as a blizzard sweeping across Phoenix.

Phoenix Rev wrote:

I would love to have a Sexual Health Education Center here in Arizona, but the chances of that happening anytime soon are about as good as a blizzard sweeping across Phoenix.

As another AZ resident in Tempe area I say we put one in the PV area.

Saw this and I thought about you guys in this thread:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOK0q...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nesRa...

Feel free to comment on those two videos as he does respond to some of them.

In regards to the blacked out sex shop, I wonder if maybe they thought they'd attract more of the introverted market if they made the shop a place that was not out in the open. This seems more likely if they have a large video section which is, I'm generalizing here, more likely to be frequented by introverts who may be more embarrassed on the subject. Just another viewpoint I thought was worth looking at.

Delerat wrote:

In regards to the blacked out sex shop, I wonder if maybe they thought they'd attract more of the introverted market if they made the shop a place that was not out in the open. This seems more likely if they have a large video section which is, I'm generalizing here, more likely to be frequented by introverts who may be more embarrassed on the subject. Just another viewpoint I thought was worth looking at.

Perhaps. However, Phoenix metro is a place where they put in asterisks on some of the billboards for the touring production of "The Vagina Monologues" as not to upset the fragile and delicate citizens in certain parts of the Valley of the Sun.

I am curious, though, what the reaction would be if Castle Boutique did put a leather teddy, split crotch panties, a selection of vibrators, and a full display of flavored lubricants in the picture window of their store.

We have two main stores in my area, Cirilla's off of Woodward's display is manequins wearing costumes and lingerie. This is not zoning, but you cannot see toys from the street on an 8 lane major road. And I doubt you want a dildo you can see from 50 yards.
Noir Leather is a few miles away, it is a bit off the beaten path, and as you walk past you can see the fetish wear, whips, chains. On warmer days they will have racks on the street. And that is because they are in major foot traffic.

And I doubt you want a dildo you can see from 50 yards.

I never expected such close-mindedness from you, 'Rilla.

That's not a dildo, that's a jackhammer.

LarryC wrote:

That's not a dildo, that's a jackhammer.

I've seen that movie.

Robear wrote:
And I doubt you want a dildo you can see from 50 yards.

I never expected such close-mindedness from you, 'Rilla. :-)

That's no dildo, that's a space station.

Good lord, even Lincoln has a decent place, with open windows, about 2 blocks away from a school and a grocery store. This isn't to say people didn't throw an ENORMOUS hissyfit about it, but they were able to open anyway, society did not crumble, so most people learned from that and shut up.

That's not a space station, it's a cow in Wellingtons.

One thing that amazes me is how moralistic Americans are when it comes to sex, yet completely amoralistic when it comes to doing business. It amazes me that conservative politicians can in the same breath talk about moral values while at the same time demand fewer regulations for business. Many other First World countries have decriminalized prostitution for example, so why hasn't capitalist America also done the same for the world's oldest profession?

Another good example is how blithely companies will throw out loyal workers who have spent years invested working their fingers to the bone for the company. Yet when men try to do the same thing to their wives, they are seen as monsters and often hit with huge penalties such as alimony. Isn't that a huge double standard?

BTW, I stand for regulating and taxing the heck out of prostitution, and giving greedy CEOs the same moral condemnation that cheating husbands get for abandoning their wives.

Jonman wrote:

Maybe there's the key dichotomy there - sex is wholesome, porn not so much.

Lets talk about this a bit. I happen to enjoy watching porn, but I find that I greatly prefer either couple who are filming themselves, or if professional, when they have an actress show up talk a bit and then get to the business. In the first case there is real passion and enjoyment and in the second you have an attractive woman who is being showcased and usually seems to enjoy herself, at least as a professional performing their craft.

Jdzappa - that is a really interesting observation.