Conservatives: Stop having sex for the pleasure of it!

June 8, 2007 | By | 19 Replies More

The Washington Post reports on a “controversial” meaure that would:

increase funding for family planning clinics, expand Medicaid and private health insurance coverage of contraceptives, require hospitals to make emergency contraception available to rape victims, and allocate money for comprehensive sex education programs that teach youths about birth control as well as abstinence.

Here’s the money quote.   You might have to read it several times to believe what you’ve read:

“There’s a utopian view that women ought to be able to have sex any time they want to without consequences _ that’s the bottom line of all these bills,” said Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for America, a conservative group which opposes the measures.

Now let’s see . . . whose body is it?  

There are many people in power who believe that the government has a right to keep citizens from seeking private consensual pleasure in a way that they choose.   Conservatives often attack Roe v. Wade on the alleged basis that Roe has no basis in the Constitution.  

On this issue of access to birth control I would respond: where in the constitution does it say that consenting adults don’t have a right to seek pleasure, where many of them are adults in their 20’s, 30’s 40’s and up, and especially where many of them are married to each other? 

For more on conservatives and their arrogant attitudes toward controlling the harmless sexual impulses of others, see here and here and here and here

For some of the real-life health benefits of having sex often, see this list, based on an article from Forbes Magazine.

Parting thought:  Wouldn’t we be better off as a society if people had babies only when they intentionally had babies?   I can’t believe that we’ve gotten to the point where such a position has become “controversial.” 

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Category: Politics, Reproductive Rights, Sex

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (19)

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  1. Craig says:

    I guess Janice Crouse has a problem with the Declaration of Independence also. since it mentions "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness" as our fundamental rights in this country.

  2. Chris says:

    You're taking her quote out of context. She's saying that someone who whores themselves out repetedly *has* to expect consequences – be it, pregnancy, STD's or worse (rape). No, the woman never deserves to be raped – but she shouldn't be overly shocked if she allows others to treat her body like an amusement park. It's a very tragic, and sad reality. Moral of the story: No matter what you do – expect consequences – like anything in life.

    Furthermore, no one should be required to pay for the choices of someone else. If you want to have sex – go crazy – no one has the right to stop you. But how dare you expect me to subsidize it w/ my taxes. Healthcare (which is indeed necessary for life) is *not* a right. Repeat, *not*. Just b/c it's a necessity, that does not make it a right (what's next, people are going to expect free food, housing, clothing?)

    Here's the bottom line: Go – have sex w/ anyone – as will I – but don't expect me to pay for any bad mistakes you make – and I won't expect you to pay for any of mine, ok?

  3. Erich Vieth says:

    Chris: I don't know where to start. Isn't there a vast continuum running from virgins to whores? Rather than yelling "whore" at women who choose to have sex in the same way most MEN have sex (you know, more than one partner over a lifetime), maybe we should consider using a non-judgmental term, such as "normal healthy women."

    You don't want to pay for birth control, eh? Don't you think you're paying for all of those unwanted children? What do you think costs more? Don't you think it costs 1000 times more to pay for prisons than for birth control? I'll bet you don't want to pay for those prisons. By arguing this, I'm not suggesting that all unplanned and unwanted children end up in prison (though many do).

    I think I get the image of what your utopia would be like. Tens of millions of healthy adults sitting around sexually frustrated. Sounds like a great place to live.  People people being severely punished for entertaining natural impulses.  Police officers who talk a lot like Chris walking around being judgmental, handing out tickets to women who who fail to wear chastity belts.

  4. Megaconservative says:

    Chris:

    I agree. How dare any American expect that here, in the richest and most powerful nation on earth, he or she has the right to any sort of decent health care of the sort all other modern industrialized nations provide to their citizens? This is America! Access to health care is based on your ability to pay! If you had had the foresight to be born to rich parents, or to enrich yourself at the expense of others like a good capitalist should, you'd have all the health care you could buy! But NO, you had to be born into poverty, and you either weren't clever enough or greedy enough to make as much money as Chris or I, so no healthcare for you! Chris and I refuse to pay for it! Don't you know that there are wars to fund? Military bases to maintain? Tsk tsk, really now. A right to health care – that'll be the day!

    I mean, where in the Constitution does it say you have a right to health care? NOWHERE! And the Constitution was written by the wisest and most brilliantest slave owners of their day, and every word they wrote was sacred gospel, to remain forever unchanging. Well, except for slavery. And women voting. And a few other things the Founding Fathers never thought of, or were completely ass-backwards about. But that's it!

    So, if you want to go whoring around, don't expect me to pay for your contraceptives! I shouldn't have to pay any tax dollars for anything I don't want! Just don't get any bright ideas about using that same principle to decide you don't want to pay for our wars and stuff, because sometimes you just have to pay tax dollars to support things you don't want. Wars, yes, birth control, no. It makes perfect sense if you're a conservative!

  5. grumpypilgrim says:

    Chris writes: "…she shouldn’t be overly shocked if she allows others to treat her body like an amusement park."

    Apparently, according to Chris, if a 75-year-old woman is brutally raped, or a 13-year-old girl is the victim of incest by her father, or an 8-year-old boy is sodomized by his pedophile priest, the victims all must have been asking for it and should never be given any taxpayer-subsidized healthcare. What a sick society we would have if everyone thought like Chris does.

    Chris continues: "Furthermore, no one should be required to pay for the choices of someone else."

    Let me ask you something, Chris — do you smoke? Do you eat red meat? Do you ever fail to exercise regularly? Do you ski? Do you drive a car? To you mow your lawn? Do you ever bathe?

    I ask these questions, Chris, because any one of these behaviors could injure you, thereby forcing the rest of us, through our insurance premiums, to pay for your risky choices.

    The fact is, Chris, we *all* pay for other people's choices, and you have given no reason (other than your own bigotry) that would justify singling out sexually-active women and denying them the benefits of risk-sharing that we all rely on every day. Your suggestion that, "don’t expect me to pay for any bad mistakes you make – and I won’t expect you to pay for any of mine, ok?" is naive at best and, at worst, idiotic. A modern society clearly functions better when its members pool some portion of their assets to help protect each other against catastrophic loss. Unless you live in a cave, Chris, and have no insurance, you benefit from this risk sharing yourself, even if you are currently blind to this fact.

    Chris also says that "healthcare is not — repeat *not* — a right." Why shouldn't it be, Chris? The American Declaration of Independence says that each of us has certain inalienable rights, including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Exactly why shouldn't the right to life include a right to basic healthcare, especially for people who are unable to provide it for themselves? What would you prefer…that poor people, elderly people, orphans, crime victims, etc., who have health problems, should all be left in our streets to die?

  6. Erika Price says:

    What makes pleasurable sex- or even prostitution- "treating your body like an amusement park"? And let's go with an extreme here, let's even look at prostitution and whether it compares to making the body an amusement park. One can freely, legally, and ethically pay for someone to cut your hair, or give you a back massage, or move your furniture for you. Those all involve using one's talent or a part of one's body for pay. What changes when, instead of one's palms or one's strength, one recieves pay for something done with their genitals? I don't think any of those services seem like "treating the body like an amusement park".

    But this has nothing to do with prostitution, anyway. It has to do with women enjoying sex however they choose. And what of this "utopian view" of sex without consequences? What does Janice Crouse mean by consequences? Sure, every choice you make has consequences; by having sex, you might get pregnant, or get an STI, or just have a lackluster experience that leads to awkward gossip at work. Choices do have consequences, but I think Ms. Crouse had something else in mind. What she says seems to imply that women who have sex for fun deserve extreme consequences that no one should have to face, like rape, and much higher chances of pregnancy and sti transmission. Will these threats teach women to stay in their place, or what? Why should they have to face consequences they could so easily avoid?

  7. David M. says:

    Translation:

    "IT'S GOD'S LAW AND YOU'LL BURN IN HELL, SINNERS!!!!!", said Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for America, a conservative group which opposes the measures.

  8. Dan Klarmann says:

    Women are property. The Bible says so many times in many ways. Genesis states clearly that women are a derivative sub-species put here either to serve men, or to tempt Man away from His true Holy Destiny.

    Given this a priori definition, why should Biblical Literalists consider a woman as a person? Where does either the Bible, or even our Constitution give women rights comparable to those held for men? What ever became of the ERA movement?

    What really puzzles me is, why women like those representing the Concerned Women for America are so active in repressing women's rights? Remember Phyllis Schlafly?

  9. gatomjp says:

    I think taking a ride on a roller coaster is "treating your body like an amusement park". I went on one recently and it wrecked my back! All that shaking can't be good for you!

    So now I have to go to physical therapy 3 times a week for who knows how long. I'm glad my medical insurance covers it! Thanks everyone, for paying for me to treat my body like an amusement park!

  10. Jeff says:

    I've taken to replacing "consequences" with "side effects" in these kinds of statements:

    “There’s a utopian view that women ought to be able to have sex any time they want to without side effects – that’s the bottom line of all these bills,”

    It really makes it clear which folks are concerned for others' well-being and which are just concerned with controlling others' behavior.

  11. grumpypilgrim says:

    Dan asks, "What really puzzles me is, why women like those representing the Concerned Women for America are so active in repressing women’s rights?"

    That's just one example of the groupspeak that comes from the religious right. The "Concerned Women for America" is active in repressing women's rights for the same reason the "Patriot Act" undermines the Constitution, and the "war on terrorism" has caused a gigantic increase in terrorist attacks: because the people who invent these phrases are liars.

  12. Jason Rayl says:

    Told ya….it's not about the fetus. It's about the sex.

    As for spending tax dollars on aid to people who suffer "consequences"…well, if one of the reasons for those consequences is due to the tax dollars spent on keeping people IGNORANT (abstinence only education, for one example) then that argument has no basis in any reality with which I'm acquainted.

  13. grumpypilgrim says:

    Jason, the answer is obvious: God has always INTENDED for us to be ignorant. That's why he barred us from eating from the Tree of Knowledge. Knowledge is EVIL. That's why God now leads his followers against science, and why so many scientists are atheists. Just remember: ignorance is bliss, and God wants us all to be blissful. He also wants us to practice unlimited procreation, so there should be no contraception — just ask the Pope. And if our unlimited procreation ultimately destroys our planet and exterminates all other species, well, that's obviously what God wants, too.

    But don't worry, because God will come to save us from ourselves, just like he has done so many other times before. Like the time when…well, actually, I can't think of any times before, but we must have faith that God really exists and really will save us after we've trashed his planet with our indiscriminant procreation.

  14. Ben says:

    Gato, in my experience, to relieve back pain…

    Stretch your calfs gently at least 4 times a day. Stretch your hamstrings gently 4 times a day, but do it one at a time, being careful not to put strain on your back. Stretch your quadriceps gently at least twice a day. Stretch your groin twice a day. Stretch your arms and chest a bit too. Yes, there is some stretching involved in "my" technique.

    The idea is that by taking some of the tension out of the large muscles of the body, the back itself is not under constant pressure. Remeber that if you do follow my advice and stretch, it is kind of addictive, in that if you stop stretching too abruptly, the muscles will tighten. Be careful in the morning, after a night's rest the muscles may also tighten up, make sure you at least stretch a bit before stepping out of bed, and even before sitting up, if you remember.

    If it flares up, or if you just need some relief, use a hot compress. You can just put a wet towel in the microwave or buy a special bean bag that you can heat up. Ibuprofen is my pain-killer of choice, it has some anti-inflammatory effect too. Take as needed, but don't fool yourself, the back may feel fine for a while, but don't go "spotting" Dave any time soon. At some point, once things seem healed up, you should start exercising again, ease your way back in though over a period of at least a month.

    Finally, keep in mind that your head is heavy, if you lean over just a bit, that puts lots of strain on the sore back. Try to keep your head centered, if you are standing, but when sitting, try and find a comfortable way to prop yourself, or recline.

  15. Erich Vieth says:

    Imagine a world where babies were created in factories through the use of sophisticated machines. Imagine that those baby-making machines started to malfunction, though, popping out babies even when no one had pressed the “Make Baby” button. Imagine, also, that babies were expensive to raise. Assume, therefore, that unwanted babies were a huge burden on that imaginary world.

    Imagine the reaction of tax-paying conservatives in this make-believe world. As soon as they found out that babies were being created when they weren’t intentionally being created, those conservatives would get to work to find a way to fix those machines. They’d get large teams of scientists on the project.

    “It is imperative that we find a way to produce babies only when we want them, but not when we don’t intend to make them. They should only be produced when we have the resources to raise them properly, not otherwise. To have machines haphazardly spitting out unwanted babies imposes a huge burden on our society."

    The conservatives in that imaginary world would be satisfied only when this directive was carried out.

    Now think about our real world and substitute “woman’s body” for machine. Why not the same result? Why aren’t conservatives clamoring to develop and distribute dependable means of birth control? Why aren’t they working hard to develop a way to guarantee that women would get pregnant only when they intended to get pregnant?

    The answer: check out Jason’s comment above: “Told ya….it’s not about the fetus. It’s about the sex.” And Jason did tell us (see http://dangerousintersection.org/?p=744).

  16. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    One of the things I've noticed about theocrats (whether that call themselves conservatives,christians , moslem, or what ever) is a stubborn refusal to acknowledge the animal nature of people.

    Most theologies claim that man is different from the animals, and is god-like (made in God's image) TO admit that we share any resemblence to the animals is an insult to mankind and to God in their way of thinking.

    The fact is, where sex is concerned, we are different. Most animals have a specific mating or breeding season. Humans do not.

    Most of the traditional restriction on sex actually date back to the days when mankind had settled into an early non-mobile agricultural civilization. It was noted that inbreeding introduced weakness into the population, and over a few generations, multiple partners homogenized the local gene pool, and spread desease. The taboos on sex were made law by the theocratic governments and those laws became interwoven into the religion. The church-states did not attempt to explain why it was bad, but ruled though superstition and intimidation.

    Our modern mobile society has made the probability of genetic disease through interbreeding almost impossible. There is no reason to ban polygamy in any form, however the politicians that try to rule through superstition and fear, still use this a club to beat us with.

  17. gatomjp says:

    Thanks Ben, re: your back pain advice. I must admit that I took a little artistic license when I wrote that post. It was all true, but it actually happened a few years ago. Since then I have learned many of the techniques you outlined but I will take your advice and let the other muscleheads in the gym spot Dave! Besides, I'm usually holding a videocam anyway!

    By the way, it has been my experience that during times of flare-up, cold works better than hot. People will disagree on this, but if the objective is to reduce inflammation it makes sense to ice the area rather than heat it which bring more blood and fluids to it. I use ice every time my back starts to hurt and I believe that it gets better faster.

  18. Ben says:

    Geez Grumpy, sounds like the Creationists have finally won you over, or were you being sarcastic?

    Erich writes "It is imperative that we find a way to produce babies only when we want them"

    Maybe this is being unfairly harsh toward the repugs. Democrats would also want to reduce unwanted birth in the alternate world, at least if you are gonna be fair. (For some reason this reminds me of The Matrix)

    "Science is a gift of God to all of us and science has taken us to a place that is biblical in its power to cure," said Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, arguing for the bill's passage. "And that is the embryonic stem cell research."

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/06/religi

  19. grumpypilgrim says:

    Yes, Ben, I was being sarcastic.

    Further to Niklaus' comment about humans being one of the few animals without a specific mating or breeding season, bonobo chimpanzees (a close genetic relative to humans) reportedly copulate all day, every day. The species is distinguished by an upright gait, a matriarchal and egalitarian culture, and the prominent role of sexual activity in their society: they substitute sex for aggression. If they had a human intellect, they would shake their heads in bewilderment at the Puritan attitudes of human social conservatives: why would people resolve their conflicts with aggression and slaughter when sex is so much more fun and doesn't hurt anybody? An excellent article about bonobos, by noted expert Frans de Waal, can be found here: http://songweaver.com/info/bonobos.html/.

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