An outsider looking at US law could be forgiven for coming to the conclusion that Americans hate sex. As Rutgers professor Margo Kaplan writes in the Washington Post, judges and politicians "are still strangely squeamish about sexual pleasure" when it comes to legislation. They hold their noses and use terms such as the "physical act" to describe sex, often treating it as an immoral, "joyless," and downright disgusting behavior. At best, in the eyes of the law, it's OK during marriage when used for procreation or marital bonding. But pleasure? Forget it.
"Real progress toward sexual freedom would involve courts and legislatures recognizing that there’s value in sexual pleasure," writes Kaplan. "And that would force judges and politicians to rethink the logic of various laws." In an age of Fifty Shades of Grey, we still have laws on the books against consensual spanking and sex toys? And "obscenity" gets less constitutional protection than racist speech? It's time for "more informed discussions" about life in the bedroom, writes Kaplan. "I’d like to think that courts, legislatures and voters are up to the challenge. So, let’s talk about sex." Click for her full column.