Despite the taboo, I decided to go into journalism and be a sexuality journalist because there are plenty of journalists and bloggers that can write about “healthy sex”, whatever that is, but such sex seems kind of boring to me. Just browse the pages of Psychology Today. There is all the safe sex talk you want, except such is like self-help books: if they worked, there wouldn’t be so many of them.
Who gets to decide what is healthy or not, right?
The ones making those rules believe that they are all somehow superior to us. They know better than we do, and that is really where real abuse starts to happen—when one puts oneself above others.
Sadly, we all do this. Kids are abused because adults or older kids put themselves in a higher position.
Sex-negative ideas foster lack of research
It may be safe to write about “spicing up your relationship with mindfulness,” and that can be important, but I want to discuss what people think about but don’t talk about. Such can be dangerous, for me. I want to write about taboo subjects. I wrote about the media conflation with pedophilia because I am really sick of so-called professional journalists and editors deliberately misleading the public because of profit motives rather than an ethical commitment to democracy and facts. Parents can fail to identify real offenders and risks because they are looking for “monsters.”
I noted in another article that the real fear people have about kids and attraction is their own fear that they will find a kid attractive. Very taboo. To say it leads to offending follows the misconceptions and lies the media feed us. Lawmakers use these false ideas to scare us into believing in easy fixes. In the U.S. every single thing is about money. Kids are a great way to make money and to look like the hero, so politicians are “tough on crime.” Being tough on crime has never, ever reduced crime.
People need to see their “brute natures” and their thoughts and feelings, and to own their feelings. We cannot do that if the media culture continues to foster myths about taboo sex as a way to have us run from ourselves while accusing others. We also need to research “icky” taboo topics that make us uncomfortable.
We refuse to learn about sexuality and now only want to “stay positive.” The result is that we criminalize non-existent kids and keep expanding child pornography law, so we have more offenders. Then we panic because we say, in yet another New York Times piece, that the crimes are still going up. Well, no kidding. We cannot make things better when in panic mode.
People are still medieval in their thinking. As adults, we still believe in monsters, even more than our kids do. There are no monsters, only our thoughts. Some act on thoughts, true enough, but most don’t act on such things. Sexual thoughts scare us the most.
News media entertains but seldom informs
The Baltimore Post-Examiner did something amazing by allowing me to post on sexuality. This is unusual for a mainstream news site. They had courage, but they also saw the need. Many people are very scared or squeamish about such taboo topics, but they really do want to read and discuss them. I hope I can create a place for people to do that and foster more funded sex research so that when we make initiative laws, such laws are well thought out and do what they are supposed to do.
We also have to do more research on taboo sex and prevention. I feel we run into a room, shooting and blindfolded, without wanting to understand why some people like what they do. More research will help our prevention efforts. When we look at paraphilias in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Disorders, it’s clearly the least researched, yet no category has more variety—nearly 600 different kinds of paraphilia. Researching sex means getting better at prevention, and focusing more on treatment than punishment.