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Sex on the Homefront

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The historian Amanda Littauer has a new book titled Bad Girls: Young Women, Sex, and Rebellion before the Sixties. She summarizes what I assume is part of it in this really fascinating post on mapping a landscape of sex on the homefront during World War II, using the military’s medical reports on soldiers contracting venereal disease as her chief primary sources.

Whites, who had the most mobility and freedom to occupy public space, had sex everywhere during World War II. Couples without access to an apartment or home or who lacked money for a hotel had to get creative. During a time of unprecedented mobility, buses, trains, roadsides, the outdoors, cars, and taxi cabs functioned as sexual spaces. One pair who met at a tavern had intercourse on a nearby roadside, putting them among the five to eight percent of exposures among army men that took place outdoors. “Evylan” met her evening’s companion at a bus depot, where about six percent of army men met their contacts. Somewhere between Washington, D.C., and Lexington, Virginia, Evylan and her companion got off the bus and had intercourse in the woods. Other sources reveal additional locations for sex that were suited to settlements near military camps, such as tourist cabins, trailers, empty buildings, barns, and fields. Newspapers such as the Chicago Daily Tribune noted yet more unconventional places, such as cemeteries, the grandstands of racetracks, and even steam tunnels under streets (which prompted the University of Chicago to place special locks on its manhole covers). Local newspapers reported on young people’s sexual adventures with (disapproving) candor, raising awareness of sexual nonconformity and generating concern about the war’s erosion of sexual morality.

Contact reports allow historians of World War II to put the sex back into the history of sexuality, seeing servicemen and civilian women as sexual beings for whom wartime mobilization brought unique opportunities for sexual connections and commerce, not only in taverns and brothels, but along the many paths that men and women traveled and in the many spaces that they fleetingly inhabited. These sources also suggest that heterosexual life in the mid-20th century was less private than we might assume and that individuals seeking sex enlisted remarkable creativity in identifying partners, choosing locations, and evading wartime authorities (if not sexually transmitted infections). Casual and diverse sexual practices on the home front stimulated a public recognition of the divergence between formal sexual standards and actual sexual behavior that outlasted the renewed conservatism of the long postwar decade and fostered the liberationist sexual ethics of the late 1960s and 1970s.

The Army tried to crackdown on prostitution during the war and was pretty successful, but as Littauer points out, it made no difference to VD rates because there was tons of unpaid sex happening as well and the military had to way to control that.

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  • BiloSagdiyev

    I blame the Negro jazz music.

  • Crusty

    You’ve got some strange interests.

    • Objectively true, but in this case, this is just new professional literature being presented to a broader audience.

      • Pat

        I think it’s pretty cool.

      • delazeur

        Careful Loomis, you don’t want to lose your Google Ads privileges again.

      • tsam

        There’s nothing strange about studying cultural history. I think it’s too neglected in historical studies, personally. That’s why people think crime is a brand new thing–or that sex was invented when the birth control pill became widely available. It’s because history focuses so much on the macro story and tends to overlook the most fascinating part, which is how people outside the history books acted and thought.

        • Bitter Scribe

          Sexual intercourse started
          In 1963
          Which was much too late for me…

          –Philip Larkin
          (probably not totally accurate)

    • Origami Isopod

      Sex is a strange interest?

      • Ronan

        It is when your nickname is crusty

    • tsam

      Why would a historian be interested in sexual cul–OH, the whole 4th rate thing. Right.

  • kerFuFFler

    When my dad assumed command of a base in Germany in the mid 50’s, the first order of business was to get the VD rates down. His approach was to buy reams of condoms and distribute them liberally. On one occasion he was buying a gross of condoms when the clerk teased him about the weekend he must have planned. My dad (a fairly prudish fellow) was very embarrassed as there was a woman in back of him in line. When he peered over his shoulder to see how much she may have heard, she laughed and told him she understood because she was doing an identical errand except for the WAC (Women’s Army Corps).

    He succeeded in bringing the rates down by being so pragmatic rather than by scolding, showing stupid films or restricting leaves. Funny that a no-brainer like that secured his promotion! Seriously, the higher-ups were VERY happy about the greatly reduced rates of VD.

    • wjts

      Now I had heard the WACs recruited old maids, dykes, and whores, but Mommy isn’t one of those – I’ve known her all these years.

      • Mike B.

        I always thought it was “old maids for the war,” but your version makes a little more sense.

        • wjts

          The line Rick Nielsen originally wrote was “old maids, dykes, and whores,” but it was changed to “old maids for the war” by squeamish record company executives.

          • The line Rick Nielsen originally wrote was “old maids, dykes, and whores,”

            Being (apparently—but correctably!—to my loss) hitherto unfamiliar with Mr. Nielsen and his oeuvre, I read that as “Rick Nelson” and was, to say the least, somewhat dumbfounded.

            “If ribaldry was all I had, I’d rather give a fuck”, kind of thing.

      • efgoldman

        I had heard the WACs recruited old maids, dykes, and whores

        When I trained at Fort Sam Houston late ’60s-early ’70s, many of the medical and dental specialist courses were co-ed. Despite the Army’s efforts to make the women look like sexless potato sacks, they were anything but old maids, etc.

        • SamChevre

          The one WAC I knew personally was amazing, and would never have called herself a dyke. (She had a long-term female housemate who everyone treated as part of the family, and would have been very well-described as butch.)

    • Hogan

      “Men, since you are all getting a three-day furlough before going into battle, we would like to show you this little hygiene play.”

      “Goodbye. I hope you had a good time.”

      “I did. I had a good time. . . . What’s this sore on my lip? I’d better see the doctor. Doc, I have this sore on my lip.”

      “You have a social disease, my friend.”

      “Oh, my God.”

      “If you do not treat it, you will go blind. Or insane!”

      “Well, men, that is the end of the play. Have a good time on your furlough, but look after yourselves!”

      • BiloSagdiyev

        Aw, you left out my favorite bit!

        Soldier: Well, what did you think of the play?

        Boris: Oh, it was weak. I was never interested. Although the part of the doctor was played with gusto and verve and the girl had a delightful cameo role. A puckish satire of contemporary mores. A droll spoof aimed more at the heart than the head.

        Soldier: As for me I’m planning to spend the next three days in a brothel. Care to come with me?

        Boris: No, I went to a brothel once in my life. I got hiccups you know, it was over like that.

    • dmsilev

      I’m so sad that that anecdote didn’t end with your dad saying “and that’s how I met your mother”.

  • Brett

    I definitely have to read this book. I love stuff on the history of sexuality and the like (I own Scarlet Sisters, for example).

    The Army tried to crackdown on prostitution during the war and was pretty successful, but as Littauer points out, it made no difference to VD rates because there was tons of unpaid sex happening as well and the military had to way to control that.

    Interesting. The wikipedia page on “history of condoms” says that the US military was actively promoting condom use, and this initially drove a decline in the STD rate. Maybe they were having so much sex that this was overwhelmed.

  • I thought there was no such thing as sex outside of marriage until the hippies invented it in the 1960s?

    • Brett

      Everybody Knows Sex was invented in 1960, with the Contraceptive Pill. Before that it was nothing but Storks and Shotguns.

      • Sexual intercourse began
        In nineteen sixty-three
        (Which was rather late for me)—
        Between the end of the Chatterley ban
        And the Beatles’ first LP.

        Up to then there’d only been
        A sort of bargaining,
        A wrangle for the ring,
        A shame that started at sixteen
        And spread to everything.

        Then all at once the quarrel sank:
        Everyone felt the same,
        And every life became
        A brilliant breaking of the bank,
        A quite unlosable game.

        So life was never better than
        In nineteen sixty-three
        (Though just too late for me)—
        Between the end of the Chatterley ban
        And the Beatles’ first LP.

        • Honoré De Ballsack

          Between the end of the Chatterley ban
          And the Beatles’ first LP.

          I was intending to post the exact same poem, but I hit “refresh” and saw that someone had beaten me to it. Gotta move fast here at LGM.

    • N__B

      That’s the weirdest form of hippie-punching I’ve heard yet.

      • Please set your snark detector to “subtle”.

        • N__B

          I didn’t mean you. I meant the people who believe what you said.

          • Brett

            It’s pretty typical for reactionaries to believe that kind of stuff, what with the whole “invented mythology of the past to rationalize my current beliefs” thing.

    • rea

      Well, you said this back in ’64 . . .

      Survival kit contents check. In them you’ll find: one forty-five caliber automatic; two boxes of ammunition; four days’ concentrated emergency rations; one drug issue containing antibiotics, morphine, vitamin pills, pep pills, sleeping pills, tranquilizer pills; one miniature combination Russian phrase book and Bible; one hundred dollars in rubles; one hundred dollars in gold; nine packs of chewing gum; one issue of prophylactics; three lipsticks; three pair of nylon stockings. Shoot, a fella’ could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff.

      • Mike B.

        I think he said “Dallas” when the film was shot. But then Kennedy was killed before the film (Dr. Strangelove, obviously) was released, so they redubbed it with “Vegas.”

        • You are correct. If you watch closely when Slim says the line you can tell that “Vegas” was dubbed in.

          (I’ve seen the movie enough times to have the script memorized)

          • efgoldman

            I’ve seen the movie enough times to have the script memorized

            Given who you are in real life, I don’t know if that’s wonderful or one of the scariest things I’ve ever read.

            • N__B

              There’s a ‘real’ life? Why didn’t anyone tell me?

    • DrDick

      Tell that to my great great aunt (and possibly her sister, my great grandmother), who had an illegitimate son in the late 19th century.

      • heckblazer

        My grandfather had an illegitimate daughter in the 1940s. My grandmother was reportedly not happy when she popped up on his doorstep looking for him around 1970.

        • DrDick

          My grandfather (on the other side) had an illegitimate older brother, born in the 1870s. They had the same parents, however, but their mother had not yet divorced her first husband.

          • efgoldman

            My grandfather (on the other side) had an illegitimate older brother, born in the 1870s.

            One of my great uncles fought in the Spanish-American war. Apparently, when he came home, Uncle Moe (yes, really) brought Aunt Kitty a little present in the form of VD. He lived well into his 90s (long enough for me to have met him in the late 60s). She died in an asylum.

        • Hogan
      • Brett

        When one of my cousins was doing geneological research on our family tree, she hit a wall in the early 19th century because one of my ancestors was the son of a woman who was not married – and there was no record of who the father was.

        • BiloSagdiyev

          Yep. I started to find genealogy a bit corny when I realized that all those family trees people are poring over are about marriages, not bonin’.

        • skate

          A very good friend of mine has the same last name as his paternal grandmother because no one except his grandmother knows who his grandfather is.

          In my own case, while doing genealogy research, I was able to connect up the dots when I noticed that my paternal grandfather and grandmother were married by a Michigan justice of the peace just north of the Ohio stateline, and my aunt was born six months later.

  • BGinCHI

    Wow. This really is a full-service blog.

  • Brett

    That poster made me smile. I almost wish they’d used “loose lips sink ships” – it has two meanings now!

    • Grumpy

      Down, periscope, indeed. Naval movies abound with suggestive titles. For example: Run silent, run deep. Das boot . . . y.

      • Origami Isopod

        Years ago, Alicublog regulars responded to some wingnut ranting about “gay Nazis” by coming up with a list of possible gay Nazi movie titles. I’ve forgotten most of them, but I do recall Rim Silent, Ram Deep.

  • Whidby

    and even steam tunnels under streets (which prompted the University of Chicago to place special locks on its manhole covers).

    And they succeeded in ensuring that no sexual activity would ever take place on that campus again …

    • Lester Freamon’s Tweedy Impertinence

      The locks on the manholes were to control the ninja turtle population. Don’t believe the liberal media! Youthful chelonian martial artists were a real problem in those days.

      • efgoldman

        The locks on the manholes were to control the ninja turtle population.

        Teenage Fig Newton Miniature Turtles?

        • Ahuitzotl

          a lot of people make that mistake, but they were actually tortoises

    • Denverite

      Or by graduates of the institution.

      • Whidby

        Indeed, by the time I arrived there, people could access the steam tunnels easily but the University has been so successful in its efforts to stamp out campus sexual activities that having sex in the steam tunnels would never even cross students’ minds. No, steam tunnels were for “urban spelunking”.

        • BiloSagdiyev

          That sounds like something that requires a gentle touch and a lot of lube.

    • wjts

      Those locks had disappeared by the time I got there, but the oppressive heat and the massive cockroach infestation managed to keep my libido in check anyway.

      • Denverite

        managed to keep my libido in check anyway.

        Also, the U of C undergrads.

        (I’m being very careful not to implicate grad students here for marital reasons.)

        • wjts

          Nonsense. I met any number of beautiful and charming young women undergraduates at the U of C that encouraged my libido. Sadly, I can’t say I had the same effect on any of them.

          • Denverite

            I kid, I kid.

            It is nice though that the U of C can break up the hegemony of the service academies and BYU at the bottom of the “party school” rankings.

            • Whidby

              Go Maroons!

            • Decatur

              Hey, we at Canoe U had steam tunnels too . . . And I am offended at the implication that a “university” partied less than us!

      • BiloSagdiyev

        Great zot! How big were these massive cockroaches? Was this anywhere near the site of atomic pile of 1942?

        • wjts

          Not really, no. And it was the infestation that was giant, not the cockroaches. They were normal-sized.

    • yet_another_lawyer

      Oddly, preventing sex with a “special lock on the manhole cover” sounds dirtier than it is.

  • osceola

    I know some commanders in Vietnam had their medics make regular visits to prostitutes to make sure they got their shots. The women were given cards that MPs could check to make sure they had been tested recently. They got in trouble and had to stop it when folks back home heard about the program and complained to their congressmen, who in turn complained to the Pentagon.

    Another fun factoid (this one from WWI): US soldiers were under strict orders not to have “intercourse,” so French prostitutes taught them about oral sex as a substitute so they weren’t technically in disobedience.

    • Derelict

      How ya gonna keep ’em
      Down on the farm
      After they’ve had BJs?

    • Brett

      Another fun factoid (this one from WWI): US soldiers were under strict orders not to have “intercourse,”

      That was in Greatest Military Blunders. The French were running a competent brothel system with health inspections, and offered to set up the same thing for American soldiers. The officer they spoke with declined, and said they’d better make sure that Woodrow Wilson never found out that they’d even asked about it.

    • DrS

      French prostitutes taught them about oral sex as a substitute so they weren’t technically in disobedience.

      Ah yes. It was in this way (plus around in back) that some of my more religious Catholic friends maintained their virginity before they were married.

    • guthrie

      My understanding from books I’ve read over the years is that, as reported below, American prudishness/ religious zeal torpedoed both the pragmatic approach in WW1 and in WW2 Italy, where apparently some chaplain or other got to hear of a local commanders efforts at VD prevention and stopped them.

    • TribalistMeathead

      That would explain Jimmy Darmody’s request to “do it the French way” with his wife in Boardwalk Empire.

  • Denverite

    which prompted the University of Chicago to place special locks on its manhole covers

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Oh, this is funny. (The idea of U of C students getting it on.)

    • wjts

      A U of C student goes to visit a buddy at Northwestern. “Wow,” says the U of C kid, “the lawns on your campus are amazing – so lush and verdant.” “Yes,” says the Northwestern kid, “there’s a tradition here. Whenever an undergraduate has sex, they go out afterward and plant a single blade of grass. Over the years, the practice has produced this remarkable gem of landscaping.” The U of C student nods. “Yes, we have a similar tradition in Hyde Park. Whenever an undergraduate has sex, they build a giant statue of Linnaeus on the Midway.”

      • Linnaeus

        Hey, I can make up for a lot of blades of grass.

      • Denverite

        On a related topic, would you count the dorms south of the Midway and/or the Quad Club “on campus”?

        • wjts

          Yeah, probably. Why?

          Edit: My definition of “campus”, which doesn’t take into account most of the recent building bonanza, would run from the buildings on 55th in the north (Smart Museum, Court Theatre, Pierce Hall, etc.) to Burton-Judson, the Law School, NORC, etc. in the south and from the Hospital Complex/Athletic Fields/BioSci in the west to Henry Crown/Ida Noyes etc. in the east.

          • Denverite

            Just curious.

          • Denverite

            Some people don’t count the buildings south of 60th and east of Woodlawn, since they’re interspersed with non-University buildings. But agree that between 60th and 61st from Woodlawn to Cottage is “on campus.”

    • Can someone explain the U of C students never having sex meme?

      • Denverite

        Especially for undergrads, Chicago is known for being an anti-party school where all the students do is study and complain about studying. There’s no Greek scene, Hyde Park used to be an absolute miserable place to go out (like three bars, all of them dumps), the weather sucks even by Chicago standards, no transportation, etc.

        (Says the person who met and married his spouse on campus.)

        • osceola

          It should come as no surprise that David Brooks is a U of C grad.

          One of my sisters lived in Hyde Park (public school teacher, no U of C affiliation). I noticed in restaurants the U of C students place their order, then pull out a book and study while they eat.

        • N__B

          You make Rensselaer and its 4;1 sex ratio sound like the better option. At least you can drink in Troy.

          • There’s actually an amazing brewery in Troy I stopped at recently.

            Rare Form, now that is fine beer. I’d dare say is is Oregon-quality.

            • N__B

              Next time I’m up there…

      • wjts

        Everyone who goes there is an unpopular nerd who never has any fun because they’re too busy arguing about the relative merits of Herodotus vs. Thucydides.

        Three popular t-shirts from my time there:

        “The University of Chicago: Where Fun Comes to Die.”
        “The University of Chicago: Where You Don’t Have to Have Fun to Drink.”
        “The University of Chicago: Hell Does Freeze Over.”

        Also, as Denverite noted above, someone or other (Playboy?) did a ranking of the top 300 party schools in the nation in the early 90s. The U of C was 300, while 295-299 were the four service academies and Brigham Young.

        • relative merits of Herodotus vs. Thucydides

          Herodotus has sex scenes (well, at least, sexual anecdotes). QED

          • wjts

            Some people prefer Pericles’ funeral oration and the Melian Dialogue to stories of furry gold-mining ants the size of foxes.

            No, I don’t understand them either.

          • rea

            There is sex in Thucydides, too (Harmodius and Aristogeiton) but everyone ends up dead

        • Bill Murray

          Sex Kills: Come to SD Tech and Live Forever

  • Halloween Jack

    Some book, I can’t remember which, had the narrator talking about how , during WWII, his father and his buddies would find used condoms washed up on Coney Island (aka the infamous Coney Island Whitefish), and rinse them out, dust them with cornstarch, roll them up on a broom handle, and sell them to GIs and sailors (maybe some of the same ones who had used them originally) for a nickel apiece. Entrepreneurship and recycling!

    • Caepan

      Thank you for this info. I now get the joke in the Futurama episode where Fry says that he had attended – and flunked out of – Coney Island Community College, then cheers, “Go Whitefish!”

    • DrS

      My father sells condoms to sailors
      My mom pricks the tips with a pin
      My sister performs the abortions
      And oh! how the money rolls in

      • My brother’s a street-corner preacher
        He saves little girlies from sin
        He’ll save you a blonde for a dollar
        My god! how the money rolls in

        Plus ça change, hein?

        • wjts

          I learned that verse as “My uncle’s a mission’ry worker/He saves fallen women from sin./For five bucks he’ll save you a redhead”.

          • The verse I quoted was collected by Gershon Legman, who reported it as Australian. I’ve never heard any of these things in the wild (my sheltered life).

            • Redwood Rhiadra

              I have – my father used to sing that song (among many others, both bawdy and clean) at Renaissance fairs.

              • Woodrowfan

                “Get off the table Mabel, the nickle’s for the beer”

            • Ahuitzotl

              Lee, if you havent heard them, it wasnt wild.

    • Lester Freamon’s Tweedy Impertinence

      It was Zodiac by Neal Stephenson. One of his more entertaining outings, IMO.

      • Halloween Jack

        I thought so, but I wasn’t sure, as I can’t put my hands on my copy. (Oh, and excellent username.)

    • Paul Goodman’s novelette (novela?) Don Juan: or, The Continuum of the Libido has a subplot about (largely gay) sex on the homefront during WWII.

  • Cheerful

    In Seattle during WWII, the military considered declaring the entire city off-limits to protect soldiers and sailors from VD. The embarrassed police force (which was widely rumored to actually own some of the brothels that were of concern) blamed the problem on some Negro troops that had recently shipped in. Seattle’s prostitutes, they claimed, had all been clean before then.

    • I can recall taking the Seattle Underground tour and being told about the “Seattle Seamstress Union”.

      • Linnaeus

        That’s how we roll.

      • Brett

        I remember going to a restaurant on 300 West and about 300 South in Salt Lake City, and then hearing from my mother later about how that was the Red Light District back when she was my age.

    • Ahuitzotl

      I believe they did that during WW1 for New Orleans, resulting in the prostitutes en masse moving out of Storyville & closer to the camps, outside the city limits of the time. They may’ve done the same for Big Two, memory is hazy on that though (i.e. I’d drunk more by the time we got to that part of the narrative).

  • Denverite

    Totally OT, but since a critical mass of regulars seems to be on here, I apparently passed the first interview stage of that job I mentioned on Monday. Going back next Tuesday to interview with the big boss and her senior staff. No clue who else made it past that cut, but I was able to sneak a peek at the sign in sheet on Monday. There were like judges and shit interviewing.

    Still not getting my hopes up.

    • Hogan

      I’ll keep mine up for you. Take it to the hoop!

    • tsam

      NICE. Get it, man. This job belongs to you.

      • Denverite

        I guess it’s an honor to be looking at the names of the other people who signed in to see the hiring contact and being like “oh, Judge So-and-So, I appeared before him a few of years ago. I didn’t know he was looking to leave the bench, but he’d be great in this same job that I’m interviewing for!”.

        An honor, but intimidating as hell.

        • tsam

          OH—I thought you meant judges interviewing YOU. Meh. Judges are old and crazy. You still own this. (I dont read good sumtimes)

          • Denverite

            Alas, this judge is relatively young and sane. I really did think “oh, he’d be good!” when I saw his name. He’s probably bored with the family and criminal stuff that district court judges have to do here, and wants to get back to actually making law and policy.

    • BigHank53

      Best of luck.

    • Linnaeus

      Let’s hope this keeps up.

    • Good luck!

    • Pseudonym

      Hope you have a historically great interview!

      • Pseudonym

        (What’s the job, btw? Missed the previous comment about it.)

        • Denverite

          Not saying specifically. Very senior position with a very big organization.

        • Still top secret. (And will, I suppose, remain so; we’ll be able to say “we knew him when”, but not “we know he’s what?”, I guess.)

          • Denverite

            Well, almost top secret. I told Scott offline. Mostly just to brag. (Also because it’s relevant to stuff he posts on occasionally.)

            [ETA: Also will remain almost-top-secret because when I don’t get the job — and I won’t get the job — I want to reserve the right to be dismissive and say it wasn’t that great anyway.]

    • efgoldman

      I apparently passed the first interview stage of that job I mentioned on Monday.

      Assistant GM and quarterback counsel for the Broncos?

      • Quarterback most likely. Sure he could beat out the Sanchize!

        • Denverite

          Alas, with the retirement of Hasslebeck, I’d officially be the oldest non-kicker in the league, so it might be time to give the dream up.

          • True. But the competition is Sanchez. So, you know. You have a shot here.

            • Pseudonym

              You don’t think the 49ers are going to pay Kaepernick to leave?

              • Denverite

                The issue is that if they do they’re going to want Denver to up its pick to a second or even first, and Denver won’t do that.

                The only way I could see it working is for Denver to restructure to spread the 2016 salary over two years and then have some obnoxious never-going-to-re-up second year salary. Something like $1M in 2016, $20M in 2017, with a $10M signing bonus.

      • Denverite

        Pshaw. As if I’d associate with anyone from Northwestern. That’s a Big Ten school in the suburbs.

  • guthrie

    Oddly for the time, the during WW2 memoirs of R. Bruce Lockhart, a WW1 spy, mention him being in hospital in Edinburgh for an illness, and seeing the queue for the VD clinic from his window, and it contained all ages and classes of women. (The men obviously going elsewhere)

  • tsam

    HAHA! I have an ad for KY Jelly on my page.

    • efgoldman

      HAHA! I have an ad for KY Jelly on my page.

      Since when is Kentucky a jelly center?

      • Hogan
      • tsam

        Since a plurality of men turned into fat, hairy, toothless dirtbags addicted to hydros and women needed some help getting things going?

        • Pseudonym

          Hydrocodone, hydromorphone, or hydroponics?

  • galanx

    Not only interesting but useful, especially given that the Rod Drehers of our time are all in a flutter over TIME’s new cover about “Teen boys can’t get it up because of pornography!!!”.

    At the TIME Editor-in-Chief’s office:

    Ed: “Smedley, you’re our only hope. We need a cover story about young people and their horrible sexual practices to draw some readers.”

    Smedley: “Pretty tough, Chief. Teen pregnancies are down, abortions are down, even teen sex is down….”

    Ed: “And circulation is down! Smedley, we’ve covered rainbow parties, hook-up culture, SM is the new bi, bi is the new anal, anal is the new oral, and oral is the new…something. We’ve done swingle’s, swinger’s Plato’s Retreat, Studio 54, love-ins, drive-ins, parking, petting, flappers, flivvers, young ladies riding those new-fangled bicycles unescorted….”

    Smedley:”Spring Break’s coming up- how about that?”

    Ed: “Naw, that damn Hannity’s got that covered- a whole week of bouncing boobs and booties for the 70-year-olds at FOX to slaver over. Wait a minute, teen sex is down? Why?”

    Smedley: “Well, I assume with the Obama Administration’s switch from abstinence-only sex-ed, plus all the stuff on the Internet, the kids are just getting a little better informed.”
    Ed: “Jesus, how many extra copies are we going to sell with a cover that says “Teens Getting Sensible About Sex”? Let’s blame it on…young guys can’t get it up. Our demographics will love that. And it’s because of….”

    Smedley: “Chemical pollution?”

    Ed: “That’ll go over real big with our corporate adverisers, won’t it? Naw, something sexy. How about… porn. Porn on the Internet! That way we can sneak in all kinds of references to kinky perversions. Get on it, Smedley- our bonuses may depend on this”

    Smedley: “You can count on me, Chief,”

    • TribalistMeathead

      Dr. Drew, too. He was on Marc Maron’s podcast about a year or two ago, talking about how there’s an entire generation that’s come of age with nearly-unfettered access to porn and no one knows what kind of impact it will have. On one hand, he’s not wrong; on the other hand, maybe the answer is “none.”

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