Sexual Intelligence
An Electronic Newsletter

Written and published by Marty Klein, Ph.D.


Annual Awards Issue

Each year, we indulge ourselves in the delightful task of honoring those whose work or life exemplifies our own ideals. If publishing SI is a labor of love, giving Sexual Intelligence Awards is our annual Valentine's Day gift--to you, honorees, and ourselves.

Readers will recall that last year's winners were:

To revisit their accomplishments, click here and click on Annual Awards.

Winners of the 2005 Sexual Intelligence Awards are:


Dr. Eli Coleman, Sexologist & Visionary

Dr. Eli Coleman has created a flame that will burn long after we're all gone.

He has directed the University of Minnesota's Program in Human Sexuality since 1991. One of the oldest and largest such programs in the country, it has been a center of sexuality research, education, and patient care for 35 years. The Program's commitment to the principles of science and social justice are a direct reflection of Dr. Coleman's vision.

This alone merits (and has earned him) tremendous recognition. But in 2004 he accomplished something absolutely unique: he created the nation's first Endowed Chair in sexual health. He launched a fundraising campaign, criss-crossed the country, and persuaded several hundred donors to pledge a total of more than $1,000,000.

During his 30-year career, Dr. Coleman has been president of both the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality and the World Association of Sexology. He was honored for being a Senior Scientist contributor to the 2001 Surgeon General's Call to Action to Promote Sexual Health. He is particularly known for his research on the treatment of compulsive sexual behavior.

Above all, it's creating the Endowed Chair that shows Dr. Coleman's true Sexual Intelligence. Because no matter how hostile to sexuality America's political or academic environment becomes, training and scientific research in sexual health promotion will continue in at least one place.

To contribute to the second phase of the endowment, write Julie Barger at


Candye Kane, Red-Hot Musician

A voice like Janis Joplin, a life story like Billie Holliday, a soul like Etta James, and the eroticism of the girl next door--if the girl next door is a 200-pound bisexual ex-stripper.

Born in East Los Angeles, taught by her parents to shoplift at the age of 9, Candye Kane has lived the classic blues life. At 16, she abandoned a music scholarship when she became an unwed mother involved in gang culture. On welfare to support herself and her young son, she became a sex worker. She appeared on the covers of skin magazines such as Hustler, Juggs, and Floppers.

But she never lost her devotion to music. Using money from her lucrative sex work, she hired musicians, wrote songs, and booked studio time. In 1986, Kane finally signed a development deal with CBS and recorded a demo. But the label dropped her when they found out about her "inappropriate" experiences. Managers and agents encouraged her to lose weight, renounce her past, and reinvent herself as a wholesome country singer.

Kane continued writing songs, and accidentally discovered brash blues women like Big Mama Thornton and Bessie Smith. She found a universe where women had colorful pasts, and were often plus-sized like her. Most had grown up in oppressive circumstances, which they turned into passionate music, celebrating their sexuality. Candye Kane found a home in the blues.

With even more resolve not to change or hide her Dionysian character, Kane finally recorded her first commercial CD in 1994--and has made six more since then. She has played with or supported B.B.King, Ray Charles, Etta James, Johnny Lang, Jerry Lee Lewis, k.d. lang, Van Morrison and many more.

Candye's live show honors the bold blues women of the past and today's modern sexual woman (and man). She delivers barrelhouse blues and soulful ballads, often laced with sexual innuendo. She sometimes says she's a black drag queen trapped in a white woman's body; in her low-cut gowns, she sometimes strides over to the piano to "play the 88s with my 44s." No one in the audience can miss her message: everyone needs love, everyone deserves respect, and everyone should enjoy their body and sexuality. No wonder she's especially loved by the disenfranchised, such as bikers, porn fans, the overweight, the kinky, and the misunderstood.

At this point, Candye Kane doesn't apologize for anything--and offers the best damn blues show money can buy. She sings about sex, love, sex, loss, sex, desire, and sex, never far from the many forms of sexual imagination. When she sings that she's 200 pounds of fun, she obviously means it (although she passed 200 a few years ago). Unwilling to renounce her sexuality as the price of a career, building her success around her sexual integrity (sure, a fantastic voice and band help, too), feeling and being sexy in her own way--no matter what she looks like or what we think--those add up to Sexual Intelligence, which we're glad to recognize.

For some good clean fun, catch one of her shows or albums. Her website is


Frank Rich, Columnist

If you don't read the Sunday New York Times, Frank Rich is enough reason to start. In his weekly column on page 1 of the paper's Arts section, he often discusses Sexual Intelligence--and bemoans its opposite--with ascerbic wit and sophisticated research. His recent titles include "The Great Indecency Hoax"; "The O'Reilly Factor For Lesbians"; and "It Was the Porn That Made Them Do It."

Keep in mind that this is the New York Times--not some blog read by 12 people. Some memorable Rich quotes:

Will it be the Jews' fault if ''The Passion of the Christ,'' ignored by the Golden Globes this week, comes up empty in the Oscar nominations next month? Why, of course. ''Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular,'' William Donohue, Catholic League president recently said.

If we lived in Afghanistan under the Taliban, perhaps it might make sense that Janet Jackson's breast (not even the matched set!) would lead to one of the most hysterical outbreaks of Puritanism in recent, even not-so-recent, American history.

For exposing bigotry and hypocrisy in high places, showing the profound financial and operational ties connecting today's political, media, and Christian organizations, and consistently believing in the twin ideals of public information and private choice, we recognize Frank Rich's Sexual Intelligence.


Catholics for a Free Choice

After the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, Catholic bishops suddenly emerged as the principal opposition to legal abortion. To organize resistance to the church hierarchy's campaign, Joan Harriman, Patricia Fogarty McQuillan, and Meta Mulcahy founded Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC). These three women believed that the bishops did not represent American Catholics on reproductive rights issues. They knew that Catholic women had abortions and that Catholic women and men supported legal access to abortion. They decided their task was to get that fact out to the public.

Today, 30 years later, CFFC sponsors a variety of campaigns. These include (“we believe that sex is sacred; good Catholics use condoms"), (“The Bishops gain little and risk a lot from their use of the sacraments as a political football"), and statements about how Catholic theology can support the choice to have an abortion. They also publish Conscience, the news journal of Catholic opinion.

Many people think religion is all about fearing God, attempting to stay out of hell, adhering to a complex set of rules that have nothing to do with them--and involves little compassion or attention to individual circumstances. They think that people should serve religion, rather than the other way around.

CFFC doesn't dismiss religion--it's a group of religious people dedicated to showing their fellows how Catholicism can offer them grace and healing. CFFC uses church law, history, and loving logic to show believers how contraception and other sexually responsible choices can bring them closer to God and their faith. They offer hope to millions of the faithful who feel cruelly forced to choose between the affection of the church and the decisions they believe will best nourish themselves and their families.

This is the essence of Sexual Intelligence--seeing our sexuality as a gift that each of us can administer in our own unique way, understanding that if our decision-making involves honesty, responsibility, and consent, the community cannot be harmed by our sexual choices.


Henry Waxman, Congressman

"An honest man in politics shines more there than he would elsewhere," said Mark Twain in A Tramp Abroad. And that helps explain why Congressman Henry Waxman's publication of an accurate evaluation of federally-funded abstinence programs is so astonishing. The repercussions are still vibrating; as you read this, a national campaign is gathering Congressional resolve to continue Waxman's investigation.

As described last month (issue #59), Waxman's approach was simple and elegant. His report is an exciting read; to see it, click here.

The report provided wonderful media and educational opportunities. For example, SIECUS's Vice President for Public Policy, Bill Smith, was on TV two dozen times the day the report was released.

For years, the government has sponsored a nasty ideological war over sexuality education. It has given hundreds of millions of dollars to its religious allies, in the guise of educational support. Waxman's report is a key moment in opening a second front in this war--science. Fact. Data. Numbers.

Information, leading to more enlightened public policy and better individual decision-making: that's Sexual Intelligence at its finest.


Jeff Laurie, Publisher, SexNewsDaily!

SexNewsDaily! was just that: a news service devoted to sexual issues. Two or three times a week, some 15,000 subscribers received news from around the globe about sex--health, surveys, politics, history, and the just plain goofy. The price was more than fair: it was free.

Unfortunately, SND! ceased publication last month. After 541 issues, publisher Jeff Laurie simply couldn't keep pouring money into it, and advertisers just never saw it as an opportunity for them.

SND! Drew from an enormous range of sources, and it was always a valuable resource for SI. Publishing one issue of SI per month is daunting enough; it's almost impossible to imagine publishing eight to 12 issues per month, exclusively as a labor of love.

For his outstanding contribution to the public (and to us), we recognize publisher Jeff Laurie. We look forward to welcoming him back into the world of sexuality publishing soon.


Bill Condon, Writer and Director, "Kinsey"

When SI reviewed the film Kinsey two months ago (issue #58), I didn't mention the setting in which I saw it--a screening for 200 sexologists at a conference. It was an extraordinary experience: a group of prestigious, accomplished professionals, most of them marginalized all their careers, watching the life of our scientific ancestor as it rose, blossomed, and was destroyed. There wasn't a dry eye in house--nor a single person whose resolve to carry on wasn't strengthened. No one felt alone that night.

Reviews by the general public have been divided according to agenda. Critics say it's good filmmaking. Audiences apparently find it entertaining and rewarding. Those who hate or fear sex (almost none of whom have seen it) call it an ode to depravity.

In contrast to those erotophobes, Director Bill Condon trusted Kinsey. He trusted him enough to show his imperfections, his obsessiveness, his naivete. Condon wanted to show us the man as he was, and the times as they were. Both were flawed.

Millions of Americans have learned from Kinsey, but not enough have learned from the times. There will never be another Kinsey. Unfortunately, Kinsey's time--defined by a fear of information, belief in the value of ignorance, reliance on superstition, and the demonization of sexuality--is still too much with us.

Highlighting Kinsey's majestic accomplishments without making him a saint, and portraying sexual ignorance and fear honestly, without preaching--that's Sexual Intelligence.


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