The Joy of Sex

I think we all know sex is, or should be, enjoyable. Then why do lawmakers insist on giving it a bad rep? Sometimes we’re the culprit, claiming food, coffee, shopping, dancing, or just about anything can be better than sex. And that seems to be the only time we’re not too embarrassed to talk about sex – when we talk about what’s better than it. Margot Kaplan, assistant professor of law at Rutgers School of Law-Camden, recently wrote an op-ed piece in the Washington Post that should serve as an eye-opening reminder for women and men about the value of talking about sex.

In the piece, she offers fascinating insight on Supreme Court rulings and the impact it has on our society when we continually push sex back in the bedroom, sweep in under the rug or downplay the pleasure it brings:

  • Griswold v. Connecticut (1964): When the court ruled a law unconstitutional that banned the of contraceptives, they were clear to distinguish that they were protecting private acts in marriage, and not acknowledging that sex could happen anywhere outside the marriage bed. Kaplan’s take: Sex was considered bad, but marriage helped justify the act.
  • Eisenstadt v. Baird (1972): Kaplan points out that when the court down a Massachusetts law denying unmarried people access to birth control, Justices were more concerned about protecting the right to avoid pregnancy. Their ruling was “oddly silent” on why unmarried individuals may want to have sex.
  • Lawrence v. Texas (2003): A landmark case that ruled a sodomy ban unconstitutional focused on sex being more than just pleasure. When, in fact, as Kaplan acknowledges, sex is sometimes just about pleasure.

Kaplan believes that for society to be truly sexually free, we must speak openly and honestly about our sex lives. That’s something I wholeheartedly agree with. She goes so far as to challenge lawmakers to review the logic of certain laws. I, however, would just be happy if more people starting speaking more frankly about sex. When we speak openly about sex with our partners, we discover new things – from new fantasies to more honest feedback about what feels good, and what may not. My bet is, once you start talking openly about sex, you won’t be able to find a cake, book or anything better than the joy sex can bring.

 

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Contributed by

James A. Simon

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