Sodomy for the Masses | The Nation


Sodomy for the Masses

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With such reasoning, we're back to Leviticus and Sodom. No surprise, given that more and more people--one-fourth of the population at recent count--call themselves evangelical Christians or conservative Protestants. It's the same percentage of fundamentalists as in the last House of Representatives, most of whom voted to impeach Bill Clinton. Those folks dominated the yada-yada about the President's adulterous immorality and his "exploitation" of a poor intern, but few were frank enough to admit what was really bothering them: that the sex between Bill and Monica wasn't just extramarital, it was also oral-genital and oral-anal. That, according to the moth-eaten "crimes against nature" laws, is barely one step from--horrors!--sodomy. Maybe Hillary will now turn into a pillar of salt.

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Debbie Nathan
Debbie Nathan, a New York City-based writer, is the author of Women and Other Aliens: Essays From the U.S.-Mexican...

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The other three-quarters of the populace, however, fear not what the Almighty visiteth upon a lustful patriarch and his wife and concubine. Not only don't they care, but growing numbers are buggering even when they're straight. That's the impression of sexologist and essayist Carol Queen. She is a spokeswoman for Good Vibrations, a San Francisco-based cooperative that sells erotica, pornography, sexual-instruction books and toys--everything from cock rings to dildos. The owners of Good Vibrations run the sexual-orientation gamut from straight to lesbian to bi. Among its most intriguing products are strap-on dildos, which, as the name implies, can be worn by those who lack flesh-and-blood penises.

Originally, strap-ons were considered lesbian-only items. But over her eight years with Good Vibrations, Queen has noticed a new trend. "We see a lot of mixed-gender couples shopping in the strap-on-dildo aisle," she says. "There's a whole male-female phenomenon of doing erotic role reversal with them." Indeed, after Queen produced an anal-sex instructional tape last year for heterosexual couples called "Bend Over Boyfriend," it "immediately became the fastest-selling video we've ever sold." Queen thinks straight folks are "inventing new forms of sodomy."

She sees a felicitous connection between this experimentation and the impeachment fracas, which has prompted people to speak about and perhaps deal more openly with their sexual desires. "A year ago," she says, "who would have thought that eight months later we'd be reading Starr porn? The Clinton affair has turned 'deviancies' into water-cooler conversation." Good Vibrations is making mail-order hay from the buzz, even in the states that ban dildo sales. In the ACLU's case against the Alabama law, plaintiffs include, in addition to erotica store owner Sherri Williams, a woman who sells vibrators at Tupperware-style house parties for homemakers and brides-to-be. The Alabama judge who legalized this merchandise said he did so not to enhance erotic freedom but only to treat "sexual dysfunction."

No matter, pleasure is winning out over therapy. Some of the happy dildo consumers undoubtedly have seen "Bend Over Boyfriend," and it's fun to imagine the sex police busting in on a PTA mom while she's reaming the man of the house with her strap-on. When that happens, the rest of the sodomy laws surely will fall.

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