Northwestern University will no longer offer a popular course on human sexuality that made national news after the professor who taught the course allowed a live demonstration with a motorized sex toy.
The class, taught by Professor Michael Bailey, has been dropped from the psychology department’s curriculum next school year, chairman Dan McAdams told the Chicago Sun-Times on Monday.
“I did not make the decision,” McAdams said. “It was made by the central administration, either the president or the provost.”
McAdams said the administration doesn’t typically choose which classes are offered, but the human sexuality class was a “pretty extraordinary case.”
After asking about the class’s future, he received an e-mail from the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences informing him not to offer it next semester.
Northwestern spokesman Alan Cubbage issued a written statement on the class but declined to answer questions.
“Courses in human sexuality are offered in a variety of academic departments in other universities, and Northwestern is reviewing how such a course best fits into the university’s curriculum,” Cubbage said in a statement. “At Northwestern University, the dean of a college/school has the right and responsibility to determine course assignments.” ...
Dear Miss Manners: I have several friends in open or polyamorous relationships. Because I'm happy for their happiness together, I would like to make sure that I'm not excluding or slighting any partners.
If I am sending them an invitation to a gathering, how on earth do I address it? "Mr. and Mrs. Jane Doe and Ms. Lily Smith"? "The Doe and Smith Family"? "John and Jane Doe and Lily Smith"?
I don't want to draw overmuch attention to the fact that one couple is legally married and the other is "just" secondary. (This is insulting in polyamorous circles.) Also, am I correct in assuming that if the third partner has taken the legally married couple's name as part of a long-term arrangement, the correct address is "John, Jane, and Lily Doe" or "The Doe Family"? It seems silly to use "Mr. and Mrs. and Mrs. Doe."
Also, how do I introduce a polyamorous group socially? Do legally married partners have status over second partners, meriting first introduction, or do I simply say, "Ms. Jones, these are my friends, the Does" and leave Ms. Jones to establish how they interrelate? ...
Notorious "orgy" organizer Palagia has been banned from throwing her monthly sex bashes at the Chelsea Hotel. After throwing wild parties at the iconic location for 11 years -- allegedly attended by actors, musicians and TV personalities, as well as some hotel residents -- the 37-year-old Greek Madonna look-alike was notified her reservation was canceled just hours before her April 30 bash "due to liability."
Hotel manager Arnold Tamasar told Palagia in an e-mail obtained by Page Six: "We would advise not to book any reservations under your name or alias . . . We are not honoring your reservation for today or future." Palagia's rep blamed the ban on an impending change in ownership of the hotel. It's allegedly in contract for $80 million, but the buyer remains a mystery.
"Managers used to come to the party," her rep told us. "That's the saddest part because her parties are legendary. The Chelsea is her favorite location." Palagia was out of the country and couldn't be reached.
A Justice Department decision to fold a controversial DOJ anti-pornography task force has reignighted the battle over exactly what type of material and prosecutions the department should focus its attention on.
On one side are the senators and anti-pornography activists who say the DOJ needs to target pornography that features adults.
On the other side are DOJ officials who contend that they should focus their limited resources on the most egregious type of material - pornography involving children. ...
A San Francisco man who paid $621,000 for a condo to share with his 10-year old son is fighting to rescind the deal after learning the other unit in the two-unit building is home to a sadomasochism enthusiast who engages in loud “leather sex.”
Jack Hagerty closed April 25th on the 2-bedroom unit at 32-34 Natick St. in San Francisco’s quiet Glen Park village. Hagerty said he put down more than $300,000 — all his savings — in order to create a home for his son. Recently divorced, Hagerty has 50 percent custody of the boy.
Hagerty said that after closing on the unit he received a surprising email from Edward Gibbons, the owner of the other unit. In the email, which Hagerty made available to the Business Times, Gibbons explained that he is “a sexual enthusiast and enjoys leather sex.”
“If you don’t know what that means I have a brochure I can lend you so that you can learn about it,” the email stated. “I am currently not working so I don’t need to keep a regular schedule as a result week nights can be late for me. At times, it is possible and even likely that the sounds of leather sex will be coming from my bedrooms to your bedrooms without an effective sound barrier. While it is not my issue, you may find you need to explain things to your son as it could be confusing to him since it frequently doesn’t sound as pleasurable as it is.”
Hagerty said he has no problem with sadomasochism but he does not want to subject his 10-year-old to the screams of ecstasy and agony likely to emanate from the neighboring condo. He said the potential noise issues should have been disclosed during the sales process.
“I should make it clear I have no beef with Mr. Gibbons at all — Mr, Gibbons is welcome to his lifestyle,” said Hagerty. “We met in person and my son and I both said ‘what a nice guy.’” ...
...Having BDSM “depathologized” is one of the many projects on which the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom is working. According to its website (www.ncsfreedom.org), “NCSF is committed to creating a political, legal and social environment in the US that advances equal rights for consenting adults who engage in alternative sexual and relationship expressions. The NCSF aims to advance the rights of, and advocate for consenting adults in the BDSM-Leather-Fetish, Swing, and Polyamory Communities.” Susan Wright, the coalition’s spokesperson, explained that even the change to paraphilia doesn’t provide protection.
“Right now, paraphilias (unusual sexual interests) are often diagnosable as mental illness. One of the criteria is: is the behavior ‘obligatory’?” Wright said. “Many people who do BDSM believe it is their sexual orientation and can no more stop doing BDSM in their sex than homosexuals can stop having sex with same-sex partners.”
She noted that the group is seeing progress, fostered in part by a petition drive and survey of more than 3,000 BDSM practitioners to prove to the American Psychological Assciation that the DSM is being used against Americans in ways the association never intended.
“The proposed changes in the DSM from the paraphilias subworkgroup now differentiate between sexual behaviors and mental illness so that paraphilias – sexual sadism, sexual masochism, cross-dressing and fetishes – are considered sexual behaviors and not mental illness,” Wright said. “The final result won’t be announced until 2013, but NCSF is very hopeful that the APA has now seen the light. We are already using the proposed changes successfully in family and criminal court to help BDSM practitioners.”
Wright said that the group is seeing a change simply in the way the current U.S. presidential administration approaches the subject and prosecutions. Conservatives seem more focused on issues of socialism instead of alt sex.
“The Obama administration is also instructing the Justice Department to not pursue obscenity charges the way the Bush administration did,” Wright said. “That means that businesses that deal in sexual images and text have some breathing room, just as they did under the Clinton administration. That allows the alt sex community to grow stronger when businesses can grow.”
One business sector who feel particularly persecuted are pro-Dommes. As Wright noted, for pro-Dommes in the United States, the danger comes more from local enforcement agencies than federal ones, where, depending on the opinion of local officials, domination for pay could be treated as prostitution. ...
To the list of social issues such as abortion once thought to be off the 2011 political agenda and now making a comeback, add a hot-button one from the days of Reagan-era Attorney General Ed Meese — pornography.
The catalyst for a renewed fight over pornography is a recent, little-noticed move by Attorney General Eric Holder to shutter the Obscenity Prosecution Task Force, a special Justice Department unit set up during the Bush administration under pressure from conservatives upset about the proliferation of obscene material on the Internet.
Critics say the decision reflects a lack of interest in prosecuting such cases. The dissolution of the task force has touched off an angry reaction in Congress as well as from conservative activists pressing for a crackdown on hard-core adult pornography, and threatens to embroil Holder and the Obama administration in another culture-war confrontation.
Department officials say the administration is not giving up on prosecuting obscenity but that such violations are better handled by U.S. Attorneys’ offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section. Even some who support such prosecutions concede that they are increasingly difficult to pursue at a time when pornography is a multibillion dollar industry whose products are readily available to anyone with a computer — and when the lines between pop culture and X-rated entertainment are seriously blurred.
“Attorney General Holder told the Judiciary Committee last year that this task force was the centerpiece of the strategy to combat adult obscenity,” Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) told POLITICO in a statement Friday. “Rather than initiate a single new case since President Obama took office, however, the only development in this area has been the dismantling of the task force. As the toxic waste of obscenity continues to spread and harm everyone it touches, it appears the Obama administration is giving up without a fight.” ...