Sexual Intelligence
Marty Klein pic

Each month, Sexual IntelligenceTM examines the sexual implications of current events, politics, technology, popular culture, and the media.

Dr. Marty Klein is a Certified Sex Therapist and sociologist with a special interest in public policy and sexuality. He has written 6 books and 100 articles. Each year he trains thousands of professionals in North America and abroad in clinical skills, human sexuality, and policy issues.

Issue #98 -- April 2008



Minnesota Justice Paralyzed By Facial

Former University of Minnesota football player Dominic Jones is accused of sexually assaulting a woman by, among other things, ejaculating on her face while she was drunk.

Despite eyewitness accounts that the woman asked to be "rained on," the State says it must be rape because no sane, sober woman would actually consent to such a perversion.

Jones' attorney requested I testify as an expert witness about the many ideas and practices regarding ejaculation and semen (and faces) that have developed over the centuries. The Chief Judge of the District Court approved the expenses for me to fly out.

But the State prosecutor pulled a legal technicality and challenged my expertise, and so the trial judge held a phone hearing. She was told I'd written five books about sexuality, trained almost 100,000 doctors and psychologists in sexuality, and done sex therapy and marriage counseling for about 30,000 hours.

And she turned me down. I hadn't written any books on "facials." I hadn't taken any courses on "facials." I hadn't done any research studies of "facials." It's all true. Of course, no one has.

Denying my sexological expertise because I haven't done research on facials--that's like saying an experienced architect isn't an expert because none of the houses she's designed have rose bushes in the front.

But the judge didn't stop there. She said even if I were an expert, such expertise wouldn't be relevant to the case--that is, wouldn't involve any special knowledge beyond what a typical jury member already knows.

In a single judicial gesture, Judge Rosenbaum dismissed an entire profession and its field of study.

Ironically, by displaying her ignorance of what sexologists know, the judge proved that the study of sexuality is indeed a technical profession beyond what lay people know.

Why would a woman invite a facial? Why would a man do it? Your honor, here's some damned expertise:
* For safer sex
* To prevent pregnancy
* To share intimacy
* To give a partner a gift
* Because semen is considered magical
* To share a laugh
* Because someone came quicker than expected
* To experiment
* To maintain one's "virginity"
* To mimic those hot ladies in porn

I'm annoyed that I've been insulted, although I don't take it personally.

I'm appalled that justice is so hard to come by in Minnesota, where the only place a woman could ever want a man to come is inside her vagina--her special semen receptacle.

It is, of course, a lot easier to get convictions when the defendant does not get to put on a complete defense. Apparently, some Minnesota prosecutors and judges prefer it that way.



It's Women's History Month--But Which Women?

March was Women's History Month.

Americans don't know much about history in general; why were Kellogg's Corn Flakes invented? Why was J. Edgar Hoover so feared? How did contraception become criminalized in the U.S.? Why did the American Psychiatric Association remove homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses? And if we Remember the Alamo, shouldn't we also Remember Stonewall, the Hays Code, and the Comstock Laws?

Anything that better acquaints us with our history--or herstory, if you will--is almost certainly a good thing. But which women's history? Which women?

Should we study ardent supporters of church-state separation like Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, or small-minded policy-makers like U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spelling, who fear that God needs the help of American law?

By "women," do we mean Margaret Sanger, who went to jail for opening America's first birth control clinic, or Bridget Maher (Family Research Council) and Jan LaRue (Concerned Women for America), who lie about the effectiveness of condoms and try to restrict the public's access to birth control?

Should we know about Andrea Dworkin and Catherine MacKinnon, who believed books and pictures of sexual activity were dangerous, or the ACLU's Nadine Strossen, who has spent her adult life crusading against the censorship that inevitably hurts women and their sexuality?

Should we learn about Deb Levine, who founded ISIS to create innovative sex education internet programs for teens, or Leslie Unruh, whose Abstinence Clearinghouse lies about the consequences of teen sex, and deliberately prevents teens from getting the healthcare they need and deserve?

The truth is, we need to know about all these women. We need to know the history of how our sexuality has been stolen and re-stolen from us by frightened do-gooders, religious fundamentalists, so-called feminists who don't trust women, and "decency" groups that try to enshrine their personal morality into law. Being female doesn't mean that someone is a friend of sexuality.

We're told that history is written by the winners. We need to know as much history as we can, to protect sexuality--and ourselves--from being the losers.



New New York Governor & Wife: 'We Had Affairs' (Yawn. Yay!)

It's a great country when a blind black man can become governor of the nation's most important state.

And David Paterson, within hours of his inauguration, made it an even better country by discussing the extramarital sex he and his wife Michelle each had several years ago.

Their acknowledgment was elegant in its frankness, lack of apology, and limit on details. "I didn't want to be compromised, I didn't want to be blackmailed," stated Paterson. He said he hoped his openness would help New Yorkers trust him and help everyone move forward to focus on governing.

What an amazing idea: a politician admitting he has a normal life--including sexual complications--and getting on with his job. "I betrayed a commitment to my wife several years ago, and I do not feel I've betrayed my commitment to the citizens of New York State. I haven't broken any laws, I don't think I've violated my oath of office, and I saw this as a private matter."

This sets a new standard for political discourse:
* News media will now have to prove that a politician's sexual behavior is actually newsworthy.
* Anti-sex "morality" groups will now have to prove that a politician's private life has relevance to his/her qualifications.
* All this hypocritical, neo-feminist criticism of political wives who choose to publicly support unfaithful husbands (Mmes. Spitzer, McGreevy, Clinton, etc.) can now stop.

At least, that's what should happen.

By telling the truth, the Patersons put sex right where it belongs: in the realm of other people's private lives. Bor-ing. With Britney Spears being the most googled term for six of the last seven years, Americans need the news to be way more boring.

Yesterday, Michelle Paterson said "A marriage is going to have peaks and valleys, so I want to show my kids how to get through them and how to work through them, because no marriage is perfect."

There is nothing more Godly, no leadership more competent, than that.



20/20, Age of Consent--and Me

A few weeks ago, 20/20 did an hour on various aspects of Age of Consent laws. I'm pleased to say they really got it right.

I was on screen for almost a minute (that's a year in TV time), pointing out how fear of sexuality is driving public policy about teens--who society trusts to drive and to work, but not to have sex. 20/20 showed the cover of my current book, with a voiceover describing the War On Sex. Very cool.

The program interviewed a number of teens who were arrested for having consenting sex with "underage" partners--that is, other teens who can't legally consent to sex. The boys' punishments ranged from probation to jail to lifetime registration as sex offenders.

Host John Stossel was appropriately indignant about this horrible injustice. The show gave airtime to lawmakers, the fathers of teen girls whose boyfriends had been arrested, and even vigilantes devoted to publicizing the home addresses of people busted for consenting sex with teens.

Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council said the solution to teen sex was for people to not have sex before they marry. It's an idea rejected by virtually all Americans (who now typically marry for the first time at 25), but various policy-makers on the show said that criminalizing sex that isn't wise may deter a few young people from making mistakes. As for the boyfriends and fiancés who can't get jobs or housing because they've been busted for sleeping with their girlfriends, one state lawmaker described that as "a necessary evil."

That's probably not the phrase he would use if it were his son whose life was destroyed for having sex with the girl who loved him.

ABC's article about this is pretty thoughtful, and even quotes me with facts about how rates of rape and teen pregnancy are declining--contrary to the predictions of those terrified or enraged by the increasing sexualization of our culture.

Some say you can judge a society by how it treats animals. Maybe we should also judge a society by how it treats human beings with adult bodies acting on adult feelings in private--who happen to be under 18.


Stealing Rights From the Federal Government

Most American kids grow up knowing that the Supreme Court is the ultimate arbiter of the law. While the Supes take only a small number of cases each year, they provide the final possible appeal for those whose rights are stolen by local governments and corporate bullies.

While not perfect, it's a wonderful system--which a Utah Congressman proposes to dismantle. Yes, Rep. Chris Cannon has sponsored "The Pornography Jurisdiction Limitation Act." This would strip all federal courts, including the Supreme Court, of the right to decide whether a state or local pornography law unconstitutionally limits the freedom of expression.

That's right, this bill proposes to exempt all state (and city, county, and zoning board) laws from being challenged as unconstitutional IF the subject is pornography. To put it a different way, the federal court system could still assess whether any law in America restricts your First Amendment right to free expression--UNLESS that law refers to pornography. In which case the Podunk Township Council can kick your constitutional butt.

What threat to our Republic could possibly drive a Congressman to such extreme measures? And by what logic could a member of our federal legislature try to destroy Americans' right to petition our own federal judiciary?

Cannon is one more guy obsessed with pornography.

This guy is so terrified--or so enraged--that he thinks it's necessary to steal the First Amendment from America and give it to states, cities, counties, and villages. Cannon's goal is to support local communities in banning adult entertainment--including the Vagina Monologues, Our Body Our Selves, and HBO, whenever such a ban gets five votes and the local newspaper's endorsement.
Cannon is a member of Congress. Other members will support this bill.

Pornography IS destroying America and what it stands for. Not watching porn--hating porn.


You may quote anything herein, with the following attribution:
"Reprinted from Sexual Intelligence, copyright © Marty Klein, Ph.D. ("