“Sex & Punishment”

Take a look.

His book: Sex and Punishment: Four Thousand Years of Judging Desire.

The “raging frenzy” of the sex drive, to use Plato’s phrase, has always defied control. However, that’s not to say that the Sumerians, Victorians, and every civilization in between and beyond have not tried, wielding their most formidable weapon: the law. At any given point in time, some forms of sex were condoned while others were punished mercilessly. Jump forward or backward a century or two (and often far less than that), and the harmless fun of one time period becomes the gravest crime in another. Judging Desire tells the story of the struggle throughout the millennia to regulate the most powerful engine of human behavior.

Writer and lawyer Eric Berkowitz uses flesh-and-blood cases—much flesh and even more blood—to evoke the entire sweep of Western sex law, from the savage impalement of an Ancient Mesopotamian adulteress to the imprisonment of Oscar Wilde in 1895 for “gross indecency.” The cast of Judging Desire is as varied as the forms taken by human desire itself: royal mistresses, gay charioteers, medieval transvestites, lonely goat-lovers, prostitutes of all stripes, London rent boys. Each of them had forbidden sex, and each was judged—and justice, as Berkowitz shows, rarely had much to do with it.

With the light touch of a natural storyteller, Berkowitz spins these tales and more, going behind closed doors to reveal the essential history of human desire.

"When you think sex is bad, you make bad sex laws."

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Comments

  1. People in government or other roles of authority (e.g., churches, schools) want to control every aspect of the minion’s life, from sex to drugs to thoughts to guns to who you hire and who you fire to what you can’t eat and what you can’t grow, and therefore formulate rules/laws for the better good of all society, better yet, it’s for the children.

    Fuck them! I say if you want to go out and have sex with your goat, which produces your raw milk and pees on your hemp, all the while you’re thinking racist thoughts while loading your .22 getting ready to shoot that stupid goat, which ate your hemp, I say, go for it!

    • ladysadie1 says:

      Hey, that reminds me I need to go find the lady at the feed store that has milk goats… Thanks, Shelley!

      Oh, and you forgot that every action is taxed, and if they every find a way to tax sex, they will do that too…

    • Gabriella Kadar says:

      I don’t support being nasty to goats or any other animal. Eat them if you want (I do) butt sticking it to them is not cricket.

      • Aw come on — how do you know they’re not asking for it?! With those big bedroom eyes?!
        {wink}

  2. Taxes, ugh! Wouldn’t it be nice to actually have a say in where all that tax money goes!

    But, they’re already trying to glom onto pot: http://www.wtsp.com/news/national/article/296281/81/Congress-considers-taxing-pot

    Next, they’ll figure out how to tax sex because not everyone wants to smoke some weed, but most want to have sex. So, I figure they’ll have to set up some kind of tax plan for that:

    5% oral – Clinton made that so passe
    10% missionary style
    30% doggie style (maybe more because I have a feeling that most men prefer that position)
    50% for any type of bondage (because it hurts children, you know)
    70% for any fornication with animals (PETA wants their fair share)
    99% for men fucking around with someone other than your spouse because the feministas have gotten involved

    • ladysadie1 says:

      No, dear, all sex will be taxed at 100% because the feministas say that all hetero sex is rape.

      • Well, they did write a whole blog about you, so I defer to your judgment – better stock up now on all the sex you can get before they regulate that too!

      • Gabriella Kadar says:

        Congratulations ladysadie1. You are now an elite member of the slandered on the mental illness uber rantiferous blog. Too bad you don’t use your full real name because you have missed your chance at fame. Displaying your naked butt on Richard’s blog is, um, small potatoes by comparison. The self identified mental illness blog is very important and influential. All of 8 or 9 people read it regularly and spend their time sycophantically masturbating the psyche of the brilliant genius all seeing all knowing blog bitch queen. I wonder if she frothed and spat all over her computer screen more writing about you or me. Or Richard, or Guyenet or Carbsane or the latest hate in her universe of hate.

        I haven’t read what she wrote about you, just checked the title after Shelley mentioned it. Booyah baby! You have arrived.

      • Gabriella Kadar says:

        The butt was in reference to the goat business.

        Only read Ian McEwen.

        Why would I solicit Richard’s support? We disagree and often as we agree. Except he hasn’t sunk to the all time silly ass low of slandering me. Or you for that matter.

        I know, I know, I am such an important person in your life. You just can’t resist repeating my name in all sorts of irrelevant ways. Maybe you are secretly in love in that immature teeny bopper kind of way: show your love by acting out and being mean when you don’t get the adulation you desire?

        I’m way too old for you though. I could be your mother. Sure wouldn’t want to be. It would be a nightmare.

      • Gabriella Kadar says:

        So are you proposing that I adopt you? Would that make for even bigger tax breaks?

        You can dance. I’ll play the musical instruments.

  3. ladysadie1 says:

    +3 Shelley!!

  4. ladysadie1 says:

    Word.

  5. I understand the impulse to criminalize various sorts of sexual activity. The sexual urge is SO strong for some, that they assume that without laws to control them, other men will be unable to control those sexual urges.

    What these prohibitionists don’t understand is that prohibition never works. That by restricting some of these urges (btw woo, I’m talking exclusively about consensual adult activities) they actually give the urge more power.

    I also find it sad/interesting that these same men blame the desirability of women for their own inability to control their urges. In fact that seems to be a common thread for statists. They don’t trust themselves, and so they try to limit the freedoms of others.

  6. Where masturbation and homosexuality do not exist…

    Women in the workplace spells doom…

    Plus a link to a relationship between porn viewing and bi-sexuality that I can’t locate at the moment.

    In other words “a tribe” has an interest in treating it’s woman like the reproductive goddesses that they are.

    Western man will be extinct, in the blink of an eye, all because women are free to ride that alpha-cock carousal, thus breeding out the beta-males that make an advanced industrial society possible.

    Sexual anarchy devolves into third world matriarchy. Always has, always will. Of course I like third-world matriarchy…

    • first link:

      massive naturalistic fallacy, not to mention many other fallacies if taken beyond the pure interest of the n=1 data.

      second link:

      from 1913. Shortsighted then, absolutely moronic for anyone to take stock in now. It’s up to individuals to decide for themselves.

      I’m not interested in hand wringing over “disaster for the race”.

      Oh, about that masturbation thing Steve W, submissive beta male who’ll be our salvation. Check it out.

      This too:

      http://youtu.be/Ne3XojNonEU

      • When masturbation and homosexuality are ubiquitous versus masturbation and homosexuality not existing as concepts whatsoever.

        “Pornography adopts an individualistic, nonjudgmental stance on all kinds of nontraditional sexual behaviors and same-sex marriage attitudes are strongly linked to attitudes about same-sex sex. If people think individuals should be able to decide for themselves whether to have same-sex sex, they will also think that individuals should be able to decide for themselves whether to get married to a partner of the same-sex.”

        ********

        “I’m not interested in hand wringing over “disaster for the race”.

        In 1950 one-third of the worlds’ population was white. The white population is projected to be 10% by 2050 and lees than 3% by 2100.

        From an evolutionary point of view this is interesting, no? Do white people who do care about this trend have a right to attempt to reverse this course?

        From an anarcho-libertarian point of view it seems that this should interest you, since anarcho-libertarianism is a white sub-culture (both ideologically and in practice).

        When there are no more whites to tax in order to support the zoo animals you will not have anarcho-libertarianism; you will have anarcho-tyranny.

      • “When masturbation and homosexuality are ubiquitous versus masturbation and homosexuality not existing as concepts whatsoever.”

        How very Catholic.

        “Do white people who do care about this trend have a right to attempt to reverse this course?”

        What do you mean by a “right?” Does that mean that whites have a “right” to curtail births of blacks, browns, yellows & reds? Does it mean they have a “right” to force breed more whites?

        What does that mean, really, in concrete terms. State your terms. What do you advocate?

        I have no problem—though I think it short-sighted and ignorant—to say: hey, crackers, don’t masturbate—”waste your seed” in Biblical terms—drop them puppies into a vagina and let ‘em cook.

        Otherwise, I see no voluntary solution to _your_ perceived dilemma.

        I’ve said it a bunch of times going back years: in the end, we’re all brown. That is, in a modern society with quick migration that doesn’t take generations as it used to, skin color is going to homogenize and I figure if you mix everything together, you get brown.

        I don’t care about skin color. I do care about culture, but even that is a homogenizing trend over a couple of thousand years now….why do you think you like to go to Chinatown, or eat Italian, Japanese or Thai. What will be the dominant meta-culture in the end? I don’t know but as America has been the most attractive place to migrate to for a couple of centuries, I’m sure our own meta-culture (that absorbs and assimilates other cultures quite peacefully and easily) will have a major stake. OTOH, we’re not perfect so I’m sure there are still good practices (automatic ideas) from other cultures we can still absorb.

        “From an anarcho-libertarian point of view it seems that this should interest you, since anarcho-libertarianism is a white sub-culture (both ideologically and in practice).”

        Not in the slightest, and not for any anarcho I’ve known in 20 years. We all pretty much advocate totally open borders—and if you don’t want them sucking on the public teat, then get rid of the public teat and reduce the incentive to migrate in the 1st place.

        “When there are no more whites to tax in order to support the zoo animals you will not have anarcho-libertarianism; you will have anarcho-tyranny.”

        I should have let my Mexican gardeners and maids (the latter whom I’ve employed for 18 years) know that when they came yesterday to do a remarkably good job for me at a great trade in price.

        I’m not sure what to do about my employees, though, most of whom are women, black, Asian, Hispanic.

        I guess I’ll just have to muddle through it under this neo-xenophobia.

    • “When a young woman receives a big salary it means disaster for the race”

      Ha! That’s hilarious. Do you think the MAJORITY of women crave money more than the warmth of a strong man’s arms?

    • “Transgendered / sexually atypical people exist”

      Wooo, you left out the coup de gras: hermaphrodites. Ask them to explain that!

      • gallier2 says:

        Coup de grâce. But “fat slap” sounds fun too ;-)

      • Laf. I keep forgetting that the ‘ce’ is actually pronounced. Fat slap. Yea, that works. That could become the French equivalent of smackdown. :)

      • I’m probably being a bit pedantic but I believe you mean intersex when you say hermaphrodite? Intersexed people are different than transgender or transsexual individuals (gender identity not aligned with birth sex). Intersex individuals have ambiguous internal and/or external sex organs but they don’t have gender/body dysphoria.

      • I dunno. Isn’t a hermaphrodite an animal with either internal, external or both, both male and female sex organs in some degree or another?

      • I was going to reply last night but a friend of mine called me up for his birthday and I got shitfaced at his party and now I’m very hungover, anyway..

        You’re basically correct but real hermaphroditism refers to having both reproductive organs (having ovaries and testes) which is exceptionally rare in humans. psuedohermaphrodite = intersex (ambiguous genitalia) which is the preferred term now.

        Intersex individuals and hermaphrodites are no mystery. Chromosomal anomalies are often the cause. Now transgender people like homosexual/bisexual/pansexual, etc. is much less clear but obviously biological reasons exist.

      • Fair enough RobJ. My original point was simply that people look upon all this as some discrete condition, i.e., one is homosexual, or heterosexual, when in fact, there are all kinds of conditions, even physical ones.

    • “Scientists can alter the instinctual mating behavior of animals by modulating endocrine environment prenatally… this is an approximation of human homosexuality.”

      Finally! Can they do something about my 14-yr-old male rat terrier who loves to lick any male peepe he can, yet when there is a female around in heat (or freshly spayed—no idea why this is) he will literally hound her into exhaustion. Serious. He will go days without a single minute of sleep, whining panting, chasing at any and all opportunity. But he loves to give male dogs head.

      • “Male dogs hump stuffed animals”

        Two stories.

        1. Rotor, the male, had his “humping toy.” Back when he was young, we had a family party where everyone was sitting around a big circle in the living room. Like 20 people. Rotor was in the middle, just looking at people, vying for attention, the usual. I had an idea. Into the middle of the circle went the stuffed bunny, about his size. He went to work and I believe is was my paternal grandmother who laughed the most.

        2. Nuke, the female, is now about 7. Rotor gave up his humping toy at about 5, but Nuke still has her well worn teddy bear (about her size, lots of stuffing now gone). Every single morning after the walk and food, she goes in an has her 15-30 minute humping session. Then she goes to sleep.

        But isn’t it cool to have a child’s view of life, where we’re all just God’s creations and everything worth knowing was meticulously written out with quills from bird feathers 2000 years ago?

      • @Woo – “I’ve been jealous of the religious for many years.”

        Me too! I have tried and tried to get it, even going so far as joining one of the biggest southern Baptist churches in Atlanta. They all told me that I just needed to have faith, but I couldn’t figure out where I was supposed to get that faith because they certainly weren’t handing it out in the church bookstore – and I even contributed my dutiful 10% tithe, which frankly was a freaking mortgage payment, and volunteered for this and that. In the end, nothing.

        So, here’s one answer to Richard’s previous question giving an example of a dishonest truth – I felt like a complete poser. OMG, they show up at your door at all hours, like at Happy Hour and I felt like a child having to hide my wine; I was so nervous and upset they were at the door that I ended up spilling it all over the floor.

        I’m not quite ready to give up that there is some unexplainable force out there, but I can say that I will never feel guilted into stepping in a church again.

    • “Masturbation is an entirely natural activity virtually all animals engage in some form or other (masturbation defined as non-reproductive sexual behavior which is not homosexuality).”

      Why do male dogs lick their balls? Because they can.

      Now let’s move onto opposable thumbs, or for that matter, “tiny circles.”

    • “Homosexual people often show hallmarks of an endocrine milieu that is atypical for their sex, such as 2d:4d finger length ratio (this reflects prenatal testosterone), or the development of inner ear (different between males/females).”

      For 20 years now, I have told everyone who claims in binary fashion that homosexuality is either genetic or chosen that they are full of shit. Homosexuality is not binary. It is a continuum, and you have everything from queens (I have a few friends and they are absolutely the funniest people on earth) to lumberjacks and crab fishermen. And there is a lot in-between.

      It is genetic for some, and then there are some for whom it’s a cool lifestyle that’s rewarded by attention. And there’s even in-between in-between because I have known men who have a feminine side and you would swear they are gay but their wives tell you they are rock stars in bed.

      This whole deal is such “abject bullshit.” and BTW, this is an awesome comment, Woo, and I’m only about 1/3 through it but I thought it deserved as much excerpt highlight as I could give it. That’s how good. You rock sometimes.

      BTW, Bea and I lived in urban lofts for almost 6 years. Almost 30% “gay.” There was everything from guys who’s been together for 25 years to queens to promiscuous young professionals, dykes, shy lesbians who only told you after a long while, lesbians together for 25 years where one administers to her life partner until she’s gone from cancer (that’s the funeral I attended I mentioned in your comments, wool) and everything in-between.

      And then there were the gay guys you would never, ever know, still in the closet for part of their lives. Take my dog walking buddy Mark, from England, with a high-powered lawyer brother who’s name and who he’s represented is ubiquitous. Doesn’t look gay, doesn’t really act gay. He lies at work. Gets girls to take photos with him so he can put them on his desk.

      OK, now I’m getting pissed. Homosexuality is a spectrum, not binary at all, which is why there are plenty of bisexuals.

      Don’t be fucking stupid, people.

    • “In other words, homosexuality and masturbation are not evil jew leftist conspiracy to destroy the white race: sorry buddy.”

      Pithy.

    • Just too good.

      “human beings who have endocrinopathies affecting sex steroids, gender identification and sexual behavior can be atypical for karyotype/biological sex far greater than chance (21-hydroxylase CAH in an xx fetus, or 17-alpha hydroxylase in an xy fetus for example).”

      http://youtu.be/-FIMvSp01C8

    • “In other words, jesus loses, science/reality wins yet again. But I suppose if you actually cared about natural world and scientirfic reality vs your emotional crazy appeals to a pure white race and the leftist jeeeeeeew! scourge turning us masturbating homosexuals allowing our reproductive goddesses to work outside the home, you might know about these things.”

      As a final bit on this, what really amazes me is the persistent echo chamber that the Internet can provide. While I’m sure I know why I attract separatists, feminists, racists, xenophobes and all the others into comments (Google, 80% of lots of traffic natural search), I get a sense that they have their deal, don’t heed any word said, and go back to their echo chamber.

      But what amazes me more is the “we’re winning” confirmation bias of the whole thing and that goes even deeper and wider. Everybody thinks their pet group in winning.

      Hopefully, no group is winning. Hopefully, people are using the Internet to become more and more educated about myriad diverse things.

      This ought eventually shape society in totally unpredictable ways. We still have public indoctrination centers (schools and universities), but we have increasing self education. When everyone is taught the same stuff, one might have a shot at predicting how society might turn in say, the next generation. What happens if you have 300 million or 7 billon individuals with 300 million or 7 billion unique educations, where everyone is educated per their own interests?

      Food for thought.

  7. ladysadie1 says:

    +1 Shelley

  8. I’m currently reading my way through “Sex at Dawn,” to be followed immediately by what alleges to be a debunking “Sex at Dusk.” Like Elaine Morgan and her aquatic ape (to which I’m actually quite partial — all the rabid debunking notwithstanding!), the authors of “Sex at Dawn” are pretty doggoned persuasive so far.

    (I think your quote of Berkowitz is the same one I read recently in “Sex at Dawn.”)

  9. The go-to reference book on gay animals is called “Biological Exuberance” by Bruce Bagemihl

    http://books.google.co.nz/books/about/Biological_Exuberance.html?id=5CbRGV8AAIQC&redir_esc=y

    I promise you, you will never look at a dolphin in quite the same way after reading this book.

  10. Sort of relevant I think to this discussion which I think is fascinating. This study done about transgender individuals sexual orientation. It further opened my eyes that the inversion theory for homosexuality is bullshit i.e. gay men are actually women on the inside and wish to be that gender. Same for gay women.

    The study showed that for trans woman (male to female), about 1/3 identified as straight, 1/3 as homosexual and 1/3 as gay. For trans man (female to male) it’s 25% hetero, 13% gay, 13% bi and 46% queer. So there at least as many trans men (probably more) who are attracted to men as there are attracted to women. Get that? These were women who were attracted to men (sometimes exclusively) but identified with the male gender and transitioned to male. So superficially they went from hetero woman to gay man.

    page 29 http://www.thetaskforce.org/downloads/reports/reports/ntds_full.pdf

    Studies also show (Ehrhardt 1979, chivers & bailey 2000) that the butch lesbians and straight/gay trans men usually have gender nonconforming behavior in childhood i.e. wanting to wear boys clothes, playing with trucks, hating make-up, etc. But the lesbians don’t have gender dysphoria or body dysphoria, they are perfectly happy being female. So cross gender behavior does not equal cross-gender identity.

  11. Dr. Curmudgon Gee says:

    Ah, knowing that one has found the truth, & held the exclusive ticket to salvation must be very comforting.

    so i too envy those mind fucked.