Sexual Intelligence
An Electronic Newsletter

Written and published by Marty Klein, Ph.D.

Issue #10 -- December 2000


1. Sexual Intelligence Goes Mainstream
2. Just Another Romance
3. Even Fewer "Safe Days"
4. Criminalizing Sexual Fantasy
5. Making The Morning After Safer
6. Book Review
7. Professional Conference
8. Calendar

* * * * * * * * * * * *

1. Sexual Intelligence Goes Mainstream

Last month, you read (issue #9) about Alabama's diabolical plot to ban sex toys from its pristine shores. A mere four weeks later, the prestigious L.A. Times reported the same story -- based in part on the article you read, with the attribution Sexual Intelligence. The name is now in the Times archive -- prime time!

You can see it (free until 12/9/00) at

2. Just Another Romance

You may have seen "Just Shoot Me," an NBC sitcom starring get-a-clue George Segal, horny Wendie Malkie, and wiseguy David Spade. NBC describes the November 16 episode thusly: "Finch [Spade]'s boyhood friend Bert visits with surprising news -- he's now a sexy woman named Brandi. This causes problems for Finch when he becomes attracted to Brandi."

It's TV, and so we get a M-t-F transsexual who comes out of surgery looking like -- Jenny McCarthy! Yeah, right. Hey, if that were a guaranteed result, I think I might do it.

That said, what an amazing 22 minutes. Bert/Brandi shows up, and Spade is, of course, turned on by the unknown gorgeous woman, then shocked by who it really is. Bert/Brandi stays at Spade's house for a few weeks, and they do all the guy things they used to: Play video games, watch sports, gobble their food, and, presumably, fart. Spade remembers what great pals they were, and finds himself enjoying his/her company. So far, so good -- but since it's a gorgeous woman, he becomes sexually attracted. And freaked out that he's attracted.

The freakout is good clean fun, and since it's TV, he doesn't get fired, rape anyone to prove his masculinity, or kill himself for being queer. But eventually, all that sitting around scratching their crotches and walking around half-nude sends Spade over the edge, and he jumps her.

"Yuck," she says -- she says, not he says -- "I'm not attracted to you at all!" Spade is crushed -- "Why not? We have a great time together, and you're beautiful!" "Because," says Brandi, sounding like an absolutely normal human being, "You're just not my type. Besides, it would be just too weird with you."

Now that's progress: boy meets boy-turned girl, boy wants girl-who-was-boy, girl-who-was-boy acts... normal! It's pathetic that "normal" represents cultural progress, but let's take our progress where we find it.

And if you hear of any doctors who can turn me into Jenny McCarthy, let me know. Tell Spade, too. I dig him.

3. Even Fewer "Safe Days"

A week doesn't go by without my website getting a question or two about "the safe time" for sex -- that is, the time when intercourse can't result in conception. I've always advised people to assume there is no "safe time." And I've always found it curious that so many men and women refuse to have intercourse during menstruation, when the risk of conception is lowest -- and then take unwise chances, or complain about condoms. Where are the sex educators and parents advising teens, "if you're gonna screw, do it during your period"?

The British Medical Journal now reports that the fertile window of most women is much, much more variable than previously thought. Of 221 healthy adults, only 30% ovulated between days 10 and 17 of their menstrual cycle. Between days 6 and 21 -- that's over half a month -- women had a least a 10% chance of being in their fertile window.

The report concludes "there are few days in the menstrual cycle during which some women are not potentially capable of becoming pregnant" -- even including the day on which they expect their next period to begin. That's why people who use the rhythm method long enough are called parents. And it's why we should stop using the expression "rhythm method," and considering rhythm a form of contraception. Let's call it what it is -- high-stakes erotic gambling -- and let's consider it a paraphilia, like voyeurism or exhibitionism.

4. Criminalizing Sexual Fantasy

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a ruling that extends the definition of what constitutes child pornography.

Before 1997, it was against the law to own or sell a photo of a minor engaged in sexual activity. The rationale was that the creation of the photo hurt the young person.

In 1997 it became illegal to own a picture that appeared to be of a minor engaging in sex, even if the owner knew the picture was of an adult.

It then became illegal to own a picture of minors that, while not explicitly sexual, was used by the owner to become sexually aroused. It's also against the law to computer-morph legal images of minors into a creation that depicts these minors engaged in sex.

It is now against the law to distribute a picture of an adult--an adult--having sex if you "convey the impression" that it depicts a minor engaging in sex.

The protection of children is a very small part of some of these laws, and completely absent in many of them. These laws are a heavy-handed abuse of government power to regulate what people imagine. It is already against the law for adults to be sexual with children. It has now become against the law for adults to stimulate themselves by thinking about such behavior. A society that truly loves children would celebrate the freedom of human imagination, not shackle it with laws driven by fear, ignorance, and repression. No one with a healthy attitude toward their own masturbation could pass such a law. And no one without it should be legislating for the rest of us.

5. Making The Morning After Safer

How many people know that there are not one but two brands of "morning-after" pills that are safe and effective emergency contraceptives?

The catch is that they must be used less than 3 days after intercourse to be useful. You need a prescription, so you need to see a doctor, which can take several weeks. At that point, forget it.

Solution? Get an undated prescription from your gynecologist and put it away for a rainy day. That's what docs at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and elsewhere are now doing. (Better solution? Don't have a rainy day -- but that's another story. Some of you are just human... sigh... you know who you are.)

What about selling these morning-after treasures over the counter? Roderick Mackenzie, chairman of Gynetics, estimates it would take 2 years and over $3 million to get FDA approval. We need some dot-com millionaire who's recently dodged a pregnancy bullet to fund this. For real immortality, forget having a child -- help people not have unplanned ones.

6. Book Review

Sociologist Pepper Schwartz, coauthor of the landmark study American Couples, has written Everything You Know About Love & Sex is Wrong (Putnam, 2000). It bursts two dozen bubbles of myth, ignorance, and pop psychology that have undermined relationships for the last half-century. Schwartz challenges such popular ideas as "your lover should be your best friend," "you should always be 100% honest with your partner," and "never go to bed mad."

The book provides powerful ventilation for a world choking on the smog of Oprah, Redbook, and Mars/Venus. Get it for your twenty-something nephew -- and maybe for yourself.

7. Professional Conference

If you have a professional interest in sexuality, check out the next west coast meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality. The April 19-22 meeting in Newport Beach will feature papers on sex therapy, religion, breast cancer, orgasm, fetishes, marriage, the Internet, and much more. For information, see

8. CALENDAR: Marty Klein's speaking schedule

January 13, 2001
The Social Construction of Sexuality & Gender

  Center for Inquiry, West
  Los Angeles, CA

March 3, 2001
Diagnosis & Treatment of Sexual Issues

  Long Beach/South Bay CAMFT
  Redondo Beach, CA

March 31, 2001
Diagnosis and Treatment of Sexual Issues in Couples:
Counter-Intuitive Approaches

  Phillips Graduate Institute
  Encino, CA

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