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  • Kara Platoni discusses a little-known Victorian era sex survey

Slightly more than half of these educated women claimed to have known nothing of sex prior to marriage; the better informed said they’d gotten their information from books, talks with older women and natural observations like “watching farm animals.” Yet no matter how sheltered they’d initially been, these women had—and enjoyed—sex. Of the 45 women, 35 said they desired sex; 34 said they had experienced orgasms; 24 felt that pleasure for both sexes was a reason for intercourse; and about three-quarters of them engaged in it at least once a week.

Of course, celibacy is not solely responsible for these crimes. But it is the most important structural expression of the Catholic hierarchy’s inhibitions with regard to sexuality, evident also in its attitude toward birth control and other questions. In fact, a glance at the New Testament shows that although Jesus and Paul led celibate lives, they left others complete freedom to do so or not. Based on the gospel, clerical celibacy can be advocated only as a freely-chosen calling (charisma), not as a compulsory rule for everyone. Paul decisively contradicted those contemporaries who were of the opinion that “it is good for a man not to touch a woman.” As he wrote, “to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband” (1 Corinthians 7: 1-2). According to 1 Timothy 3:2, “A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife” (not “of no wife”!).

Seizing the moment I told him that I had been hustling him and had deliberately lost the first four games. His response was that I was a patzer. All during the filming of 2001 we played chess whenever I was in London and every fifth game I did something unusual. Finally we reached the 25th game and it was agreed that this would decide the matter. Well into the game he made a move that I was sure was a loser. He even clutched his stomach to show how upset he was. But it was a trap and I was promptly clobbered. “You didn’t know I could act too,” he remarked.

Wallace’s death was tragic, but the actual tragedy has been further wrapped in a mantle of hysterical pop tragedy, that process by which virtually any self-destroying celebrity is transubstantiated into the avatar of each fan’s personal misery. (Special bonus irony: Who would be perfect to write about this metamorphosis? David Foster Wallace!)

Written by menachemkaiser

8 April at 11:01

Posted in rants

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