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'09 Authors Insider Tips

Everything About Epublishing
by Angela James
Digital Publishing & Print
Common Myths of Epublishing
Ebook Formats and Devices


FictionCraft
by Louisa Burton
Compelling Characters
Point of View, Part I
Point of View, Part II
Learning to Love Conflict
Story Structure
Keep ‘em Guessing
Keep it Simple
Keep Your Writing Real
The Importance of Pacing


Literary Streetwalker
by M. Christian
New World of Publishing
To Blog Or Not To Blog
Meeting & Making Friends
Thinking Beyond Sex
Selling Books
Walking the Line
e-book, e-publisher, e-fun
Still More E-book Fun


Shameless Self-Promotion
by Donna George Storey
Our Journey Begins
Pitches and Bios
Websites, Blogs & Readers
Publicists, Press Kits and...
Viva the Internet
Adventures in Cyberspace
Promoting In the Flesh
Make Your Own Movie
Bigger is Better
Looking Back, Planning Ahead


Two Girls Kissing
by Amie M. Evans
Questions to Ask Yourself...
Tough All Over


The Write Stuff
by Ashley Lister
Ideas
Practice Makes Prefect
5 Books for Fiction Authors
Poetry In Motions
Six Serving Men
Ashley Lister is Anal
Stealing Ideas
Celebrating Poetry


2009 Smutters Lounge

Ashley Lister Submits
by Ashley Lister
Myths
Graduation


Cooking Up A Storey
by Donna George Storey
A Year of Living Shamelessly
Adultery, Exhibitionism ...
John Updike Made Me Do It ...
Story Soup: Forbidden ...
Lessons from Amazon
Naked Lunches ...
Erotic Alchemy
Secrets of Seduction
Are You a “Real” Writer?
Don’t Fondle My Sentence


Cracking Foxy
with Robert Buckley
The Passionate Taphophile
Havens on Earth
A Knight Without Armor
Jail-Baiting
Magic Carpet Rides
Getting Hammered
Keep It Quiet
Hang Around for a Spell


Get All Worked Up
with J.T. Benjamin
Worked Up About Why
Worked Up About Why, Part II
All Worked Up About Porn
The Catholic Church
Purity Movement
The National Crisis
The Future
About Homosexuality
Public Indiscretions


Pondering Porn
with Ann Regentin
Premature Ejaculation
Auctioning Off What?


Sex Is All Metaphors
by Jean Roberta
Who's Who Around the Table
Retro-Shame
Ritual Sex
Mixed Legacy
The Spectrum of Consent
Drawing the Line
Marriage without the Hype
The Distracting Smirk
Innocent Guns
Gardens of Earthly Delights


Provocative Interviews

Between the Lines
with Ashley Lister
Anneke Jacob
D L King
Kristina Lloyd
Lisabet Sarai
Mitzi Szereto
Portia Da Costa
Shanna Germain
Sommer Marsden
Susan DiPlacido


Guest Appearances

Marketing a Self-Published Novel
by Jeanne Ainslie

All Worked Up About Why, Part I

by J.T. Benjamin

 

J.T. Benjamin

Notwithstanding the recent victories of the Democratic Party in the recent elections, it’s clear that as far as true sexual liberty is concerned, there’s still a long way to go. As evidence, one need look no further than the recent ugliness over California’s Proposition 8.

In case you didn’t know, or knew but had simply forgotten, last summer the California Supreme Court ruled that to deny gay people the right to marry was a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the California Constitution. That is, it was fundamentally unfair to deprive gay couples of the same marital rights to which heterosexual couples are entitled. California made national headlines, as it was estimated that somewhere between forty and eighty thousand gay couples legally tied the knot, including celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneris and her new wife Portia DeRossi and “Star Trek’s” George Takei and his longtime companion Brad Altman.

However, for every truly dramatic story there must be a twist where happiness once obtained must be then lost. Before the ink was even dry on the California Supreme Court’s decision, various anti-gay groups petitioned to have a ballot initiative, dubbed Proposition 8, put before the voters in November. The initiative passed by a narrow margin, rescinding the court’s decision and effectively making discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation a part of the California Constitution.

As I write these words, the issue has re-entered the labyrinthine legal system as the validity of Proposition 8 is being reviewed by the courts, not to mention the validity of all those previously-legalized-now-rendered-re-illegal gay marriages which had been performed last summer.

Unfortunately, while Prop 8 was the most public example of the American public’s persistent dislike of marriage equality, it’s far from the only example. Three other anti-gay ballot initiatives won last November, and to date, by my own unofficial research, every single attempt to extend marital rights to homosexuals has failed at the ballot box, and every single attempt to rescind or restrict the rights of homosexuals has succeeded, all across the country, ever since the idea first gained prominence. The only victories homosexuals have earned have been through the various state court systems, and those victories have actually been few and far between.

At this point, one has to ask why. The enormous majority of the groups which have opposed gay rights profess themselves to be politically conservative, and the last time I checked political conservatives make a big deal about advocating individual liberty and freedom from government restrictions. Where do these groups get off extolling the virtues of my own credo of “Mind Your Own Business” on the one hand, and on the other hand advocate interfering with the personal relationships of other people?

And it’s not all about gay marriage, either. As has been documented in this column for several years, the conservative elites in the U.S. have been engaged in a long-running battle against all manner of sexual freedom, opposing not only gay marriage and gay rights, but such other things as comprehensive sex education, birth control, women’s choice, sex toys, erotica and pornography, and even preventative measures against sexually transmitted diseases. In the eyes of these conservative elites, the only appropriate form of sexual congress is that between a heterosexual husband and wife, and even then, the only appropriate purpose of that sexual congress is reproduction. Sex is, simply put, a chore; “be fruitful and multiply,” says Scripture, and the bedroom (or the living room, or the hot tub, or the bathroom, or the back seat of the car, or the coat closet), is a No Fun Zone. Don’t plan to enjoy yourselves. Just get that ring on your finger, get naked, do the dirty deed, and get knocked up. It’s that simple.

And again, why? What’s the big deal to these people if other people whom they don’t even know want to engage in sexual practices the first set of people might find objectionable? Why can’t they just do what they demand be done unto them and respect these other groups’ privacy?

The short answer is that while these do-gooders claim to be politically conservative, they are, more importantly, RELIGIOUSLY conservative, to the point that they themselves freely lay claim to the word, “fundamentalist” when it comes to their religious positions.

So, what does this have to do with the price of a venti latte with cinnamon sprinkles in Starbucks?

Between 1988 and 1993, the University of Chicago conducted what was called “The Fundamentalism Project,” a study of fundamentalist movements around the world, and the study noted five points essential to virtually all fundamentalist ideologies:

1. The only acceptable rules must be God’s rules, and they must apply to everybody, in all areas of life. There can be no separation of Church and State, and anyone who says otherwise is not only a criminal, but a heretic as well.

2. Men are in charge. Period. Men are stronger, smarter, and more able. Men set the rules, by which women must abide. A woman’s worth is measured only by her biological ability to be a wife, mother, and homemaker.

3. It is critical that these predetermined rules and gender roles be passed on to the next generation, and no deviation from these principles is permitted. Education (or indoctrination) of children about these rules and norms is vital.

4. Nostalgia for an idealized “golden age” is prevalent. Things were better in the “good old days” before modern “corruptive” influences led the people astray. Things will be better once society returns to these “basic” core values of the past. In this way, fundamentalism bears a strong resemblance to fascism.

5. A love for nostalgia is different than an appreciation of history, and whenever the two collide, the idealized version of the past must prevail. Our forebears were rock-ribbed, unquestioned titans of virtue. Any challenges to their moral authority, any discovered chinks in their armor, any attacks on their character call into question their more perfect status, raise doubts about how good those “good old days” actually were, and likewise challenge the very values upon which those forebears so valiantly lived, and to which we now aspire. Modern historical scholarship, if it questions the accuracy of our idealized picture of the past, is therefore corrosive, as corrosive as other elements of “modern” society. Any ugly facts which put a tarnish on the “golden age” must be denounced, denied and ignored.

Looking over these key elements of most fundamentalist ideologies, it’s apparent that Pat Robertson, James Dobson, Osama Bin Laden and the Ayatollahs of Iran have more in common than they all care to admit.

Also, it’s apparent that the answer to the question, “Why can’t they just mind their own business” is, “It’s God’s Way or the Highway. We can’t allow any deviation from the norm or it’s Hell to pay. Next question.”

Okay, the next question is, “So what’s the big deal about deviant, non-procreative sex for fun?

The answer to that question has to wait a month.

Stay tuned.

J.T. Benjamin
jtbenjamin.blogspot
February 2009


Get All Worked Up with J.T. Benjamin in ERWA 2009 Archive.

______
"All Worked Up" © 2009 J.T. Benjamin. All rights reserved.

About the Author:  J.T.Benjamin says, "I'm a generalist. I write about what interests me, which is just about everything." His resume reflects the diversity of his interests. He's been a disk jockey, insurance salesman, private investigator, journalist, college professor, child advocate, political activist, truckdriver, thief,...doctor, lawyer, Indian Chief. He's currently trying to start a hippie commune in the Denver/Boulder area.
Email:  J.T. Benjamin



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'09 Movie Reviews

Blame It On Savanna
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Cry Wolf
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Faithless
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Heaven or Hell
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House of Wicked
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The Office: An XXX Parody
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'09 Book Reviews

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Best Women's Erotica '09
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Bottoms Up
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Enchanted Again
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Like a Thorn (ebook)
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The Mile High Club
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Playing with Fire
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Sexy Little Numbers Vol 1
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Up for Grabs
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