Sexual Intelligence
An Electronic Newsletter

Written and published by Marty Klein, Ph.D.

Issue #50 -- April 2004


1. Celebrating Our 50th Issue
2. Stealing Planned Parenthood's Slogan
3. "Yours is Indecent; Mine is Entertaining"
4. Warning: Condoms Work--Don't Use!
5. Correspondence


1. Celebrating Our 50th Issue

This is our fiftieth issue, representing an unbroken series of monthly newsletters dating back to early 2000. In many ways, of course, our world is fundamentally different now than it was then.

But as Sexual Intelligence documents, America today is unchanged in some sadly familiar ways. Issue #1 discussed ACLU lawsuits over internet censorship, TV programmers' hypocrisy about sexuality, and political conflict over the definition of marriage. Issue #2 discussed cleavage on the Oscar telecast, reviewed the film "American Beauty," and lamented the new, terribly exaggerated "disease" of cyber-sex addiction.

How to mark the anniversary of our little publication? One suggestion was inviting readers to send in mega-bytes of praise--why you love SI, how you send it to friends, etc. This seemed self-serving and trite.

After careful consideration, it seemed that the best way to celebrate this milestone would be...publishing issue #50. Also, I'm going to depart from our usual editorial policy and say "I" instead of "we" for just a few sentences.

Writing and publishing SI is one of the most exciting, aggravating, confusing, satisfying things I've ever done. I wouldn't do it without readers, so thank you. If you don't get SI by the 10th of the month, please let us know, as your ISP may be blocking it. And if you get a new spam filter, please remember to add our address.

To answer one of the most common questions about SI, no, I don't get paid or financially supported to do it in any way. In fact, each issue costs me about $300 to publish. Fifty issues times $300...hmm, this is an expensive little hobby.

Virtually all of that money goes to SI's unsung hero, LeAnn Erimli. You see her tag at the end of each issue: "Production work by Virtual Office Assistant." LeAnn manages the subscription list, deals with bounces, posts every issue to the website, and faithfully sends out SI every month. SI gets from my mind to your inbox through LeAnn, and I'm grateful to her. If you're interested in a similar service, webdesign, or software training, I recommend her enthusiastically.

Each month I get about two or three dozen responses to SI, ranging from "that was great" to "you poor deluded fool" to thoughtful agreements and disagreements. I love hearing from you. Please keep writing me, or start writing me, in any of the above categories.

That's one thing you can do to keep SI going--encourage me. You can also subscribe your friends, or encourage them to do so. Please circulate SI--single articles or an entire issue--to your local newspaper, radio, or favorite website (please include "from"). I'm not accepting cash contributions, but if you want to throw a few dollars my way, buy one of my books, tapes, or CDs, which are described at and

I'm doing one more thing to celebrate issue #50: I promise to publish 50 more issues. Assuming, of course, that the country still needs more Sexual Intelligence.

2. Stealing Planned Parenthood's Slogan

The federal government has blatantly lied about Planned Parenthood's mission, lied about the consequences of abortion, and lied about the effectiveness of contraception.

Now the government has simply stolen the trademarked name of PPFA's comprehensive reproductive services program, "Responsible Choices." PPFA has written the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services demanding that the Bush administration stop using the phrase "Responsible Choices" to describe their abstinence-only education initiative, a program that has never been shown to reduce teen pregnancy (issue #42).

This is like the Mafia stealing "To Protect and Serve"--the L.A. Police Department's slogan--to describe its law-and-order campaign.

3. "Yours is Indecent; Mine is Entertaining"

As we discussed last month (issue #49), the FCC is going after "indecency" (sexual ideas, images, and words) on the airwaves. They're enforcing the ludicrous rule restricting references to sexuality on any broadcast radio or TV between 6am and 10pm--that is, when 90% of adult Americans listen or watch.

You'll recall that the government has increased fines and is terrorizing stations carrying anything inappropriate for children (which helps explain the acceptability of simplistic shows like Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh).

Only recently, Howard Stern's show was slapped with huge fines, and dropped altogether by ClearChannel, one of the world's largest media companies. Now Stern is firing back, encouraging listeners to complain to the FCC about sexual words on Oprah Winfrey's show. "If they fine me," he says, "they gotta fine Oprah--the darling of the world." (For my article on "What Oprah and Dr. Phil Don't Understand About Sex," see The DJ directed listeners to his website for a transcript of an Oprah broadcast about teenage sex, with instructions on how to file a complaint with the FCC. Seven hundred complaints later, the FCC has opened a formal investigation.

Meanwhile, the FCC's next attempt to scrub the nation's airwaves may focus on daytime TV soap operas. FCC commissioner Michael Copps told The Washington Times last week that he saw "some pretty steamy stuff for the middle of the afternoon" while channel surfing recently. (He didn't mention why he wasn't working.)

If you pray, pray for the FCC to go after both Oprah and the daytime soaps. Maybe this will anger soccer and NASCAR moms enough to mobilize them. Many of them have been strong supporters of censorship--as long as it involved stuff they didn't care about seeing. Too often, attitudes about censorship involve whose ox is being, uh, broadcast. Perhaps losing Oprah or the soaps would finally provide an apathetic America with a reason to challenge censorship, since Constitutional principles haven't been enough so far.

The possibility of losing something they want might help people understand what a slippery slope censorship is. Those who want "cleaner" airwaves complain about giving "pornographers" and "smut peddlers" rights--totally ignoring that the censorship fight is about Americans' rights to see and hear what they want, not just some money-grubbing Lucifer's right to make it.

I dream of the natural alliance of consumers of porn, soaps, video games, strip clubs, romance novels, and Victoria's Secret stores (and catalogs). It would add up to about 437% of Americans. People rarely vote according to sexual rights (except, recently, regarding abortion rights); we never have a chance to, as politicians don't brag about supporting sexual rights, or challenging overzealous laws. Being called "soft on porn" is still a political kiss of death.

So while the networks, newspapers, and government get complaints about a nude breast here, and a "goddam" there, most sex-tolerant people are silent. No one complains about a lack of nudity on sitcoms, the bleeping of "bad words" on talkshows (is there a phrase more childish than "bad words"?), the refusal to run contraceptive commercials on publicly-owned airwaves, newspapers' refusals to run ads for NC-17 films.

People of all persuasions can take their cue from conservative Howard Stern. His livelihood at stake, he's now calling for listeners to defeat George Bush, whose administration keeps trying to silence the totally harmless Stern. I'd prefer Stern care about the First Amendment, but a blow for freedom is a good one regardless of motive.

4. Warning: Condoms Work--Don't Use!

President Bush, not content with discouraging adolescents from using condoms, now wants to discourage adults as well. Bush has asked the Food and Drug Administration to put a warning on condoms that they don't protect users 100% from genital warts. Scientific groups--including the International Papillomavirus (genital warts) Society are appalled.

Groups that hypocritically claim to care about people's health, like Focus on the Family and Project Reality, say that spreading the word that condoms don't work perfectly will discourage people from having sex altogether. Such groups obviously haven't learned much from the world's recorded history of sexual behavior and motivation. Perhaps they believe that increasing unintentional pregnancies will create more Republican voters.

Meanwhile, most of the international community appears increasingly impatient with the American government's bizarre anti-contraceptive stance. In various meetings on population and development, the U.S. is pressing developing countries to back down from their 1990s family planning and women's reproductive rights goals. At a March meeting in Santiago, Chile, 40 countries rejected a U.S. move to stress abstinence over contraception, per Bush government priorities. Yes, the U.S. was outvoted 40-1 among Catholic-dominated nations that wanted more access to birth control.

The Bush administration's hand-wringing about AIDS in Africa and elsewhere is a hollow contrast to its call for decreased use of condoms. The ultimate White House hypocrisy is boasting about their record of advancing women's rights in Afghanistan and Iraq--while women's organizations around the world oppose U.S. policy to limit women's reproductive rights.

5. Correspondence

"Somehow this struck me as a Marty Klein line. Feel free to use it if you like," writes world-class psychologist (and SI reader) Bill O'Hanlon: "President Bush couldn't find Weapons of Mass Destruction, so he's focused our government on finding Weapons of Mass Commitment."

Yes, the federal government's position on marriage is extraordinary. On the one hand, it declares marriage to be so positive that it will spend a billion dollars promoting it among poor people who don't want it. On the other hand, it's committed to withholding this supposedly marvelous thing from gay people who do want it. And this is supposed to "protect" the marriages of everyone else? Like the war in Iraq, it doesn't make me feel any safer. Like the war, it's just violence against what our government doesn't understand.

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"Reprinted from Sexual Intelligence, copyright © Marty Klein, Ph.D. ("