Wednesday, July 29, 2009

When things don't work well in the bedroom, they don't work well in the living room, either.

I can't let too long pass without some mention of Katie's column on Sunday, in which she picks up that most classic of themes for scolds: Sex. Katie's addressed sex in the past, and you can be pretty certain that she's never going to celebrate the joy in that particular part of life, no matter how wholesome the circumstances.

Of course, she's always been particularly appalled at civil rights for gay people, so much so that she even opposes anti-bullying efforts because some day, somewhere, some child perceived to be gay might be given some protection from getting stuffing beaten out of him. She was horror-struck at the idea of kinky people loving each other in a safe manner (although spanking is apparently permitted under the right circumstances), of girls kissing girls, even broadcasts of "Sex and the City."

She's not fond of condom use even though it saves lives, she bemoans the use of most contraception even though the vast majority of Americans use it, and questions the reports that show that abstinence as a form of sex education is an expensive joke. She disdains any reality-based sex education as divorced from the "true language of love."

But on Sunday she went far beyond her earlier efforts at Victorian pique. On Sunday, she used the personal lives of pioneering sex researchers Masters and Johnson as reason to reject the idea that there is any place in the world for research that makes people understand and enjoy sex. It's not just gay, kinky, young, interracial, or unmarried people who deserve shame heaped on them because of their enjoyment of this most natural of acts. Nope, Katie believes that we all deserve sex lives long on romance and short on facts, even wholesome, married, heterosexual trying-to-make-a-baby-like-Jesus-wants people. Well, mostly women, but men, too. Reminiscing about our long-lost ignorance, Katie sums it up thusly:
Sex is available without constraints or commitment. But love, romance and the beauty of a carefully guarded sexual gift are in short supply.

Something tells me that the "carefully guarded sexual gift" has little to do with fireworks, the earth moving, the big O, la jouissance, or anything that involves screaming like Meg Ryan in Katz's Delicatessen. Unless our sex lives are nasty, brutish, and short, we're apparently wasting this gift.

A while back, we had this to say about Katie's criticism of a group who dared to try to enlighten about a brand of sexuality Katie didn't like. But I fear that she appears to be going further, finding reason - any reason - to champion an ignorance that would begrudge all of us sexual joy we might manage to find in this world. How sad.

Note: The title is, of course, a quote from Dr. William H. Masters, that monster.

No comments: