Many Sleepless Nights Indeed

From Chris Zammarelli @ Bookslut

When Earl Adams discovered his two teenaged sons had seen Felice Newman’s book The Whole Lesbian Sex Book at the Bentonville (AK) Public Library, he e-mailed Library Director Cindy Suter and requested the book be removed from the stacks. Suter had the book moved to what Richard Dean Prudenti described in an article for The Morning News as “a less accessible location” in the library.

Adams responded by faxing Mayor Bob McCaslin with the demand that the book be removed from the library for good because it is “patently offensive and lacks any artistic, literary or scientific value.” He also requested that Suter be fired and asked the city to pay him and his family $20,000 in damages because the library violated Arkansas obscenity law.

In an e-mail to McCaslin, Adams wrote, “My sons were greatly disturbed by viewing this material and this matter has caused many sleepless nights in our house.”

Adams said that his younger son Kyle found the book while browsing the library’s stacks for books about military academies. It’s worth pointing out that The Whole Lesbian Sex Book, which is no longer in the public library’s catalog, would probably be shelved in under the 613.9 section of the Dewey Decimal System. Books on military academies, (say, David Lipsky’s Absolutely American: Four Years at West Point, which is in the Bentonville Public Library collection), are classified under 355.

When asked in an interview for the San Francisco Chronicle about Adams’s contention that his sons were looking for military books, Newman told Violet Blue:

“Perhaps the book ended up in the military section because the boys hid it there. Or perhaps, having found the book in its proper section, the boys were reading it in the military section, where they had told their father they would be researching military academies. Someone catches them smack in the middle of the fistfucking chapter and they make up the story as an alibi.”

The library’s advisory board voted to remove the book from the stacks while, as Prudenti’s article notes, “a suitable book on the same topic” is found to replace it. Said board member George Spence, “A more sensitive, more clinical approach to same material might be more appropriate for the library.” Adams was invited to attend the board meeting on the book, but did not go.

“I’m not sure what Spence means by clinical. Some people say my book is pretty clinical, in that it gives basic health info, etc.,” Newman said in the Chronicle interview. “But if by ‘clinical’ Spence means boringly technical, I can’t see who is going to write it, let alone read it.”

Suter said that if a more appropriate book is not found, The Whole Lesbian Sex Book will be returned to the stacks. Adams responded, “Any effort to reinstate the book will be met with legal action and protests from the Christian community.”

The city’s attorney, Camille Thompson, told Prudenti, “There is not a valid legal concern here” because the book is not pornographic. She added that Adam’s demand for $20,000 “made me question his motivation.”

Suter, as it turns out, resigned from the Library Director position, effective May 31. Both she and McCaslin said that her resignation had nothing to do with the flap over The Whole Lesbian Sex Book. Suter said that she wanted to spend more time at her art gallery.

Newman sees a silver lining to the controversy over her book: “If there was one teenaged lesbian or bisexual girl in America who didn’t know there was a book about the sexual experiences she so desires, she knows now.”

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Federal Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs Not Proven Effective in Delaying Sexual Activity Among Young People

Final Report on Federally Funded Programs Released Today

[SIECUS.org] NEW YORK, NY— After years of delay in its release, a federally supported evaluation of abstinence-only-until-marriage programs funded under the 1996 federal welfare reform law has proven the programs ineffective in changing teens’ sexual behavior.  The report, conducted by Mathematica Policy Research Inc. on behalf of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, found no evidence that abstinence-only programs increased rates of sexual abstinence. Also, students in the abstinence-only programs had a similar number of sexual partners as their peers not in the programs, as well as a similar age of first sex.

“This report should serve as the final verdict on the failure of the abstinence-only industry in this country,” said William Smith, vice president for public policy of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS).  “It shows, once again, that these programs fail miserably in actually helping young people behave more responsibly when it comes to their sexuality,” Smith continued.

In 1996, the federal government attached a provision to the welfare reform law establishing a federal program for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs.  This program, Section 510(b) of Title V of the Social Security Act, dedicated $50 million per year to be distributed among states that choose to participate.  States accepting the funds are required to match every four federal dollars with three state-raised dollars (for a total of $87.5 million annually, and $787.5 million for the eight years from fiscal year 1998 through 2006).  Programs that receive the Title V funding are prohibited from discussing methods of contraception, including condoms, except in the context of failure rates.

On a call yesterday organized by the Abstinence Clearinghouse, abstinence-only proponents were clearly rocked by the potentially ruinous news in the report.  High profile abstinence-only advocate, Robert Rector, led the preemptive damage-control planning.  He outlined several strategies the abstinence-only movement could use to rationalize the findings in the report saying, “The other spin I think is very important is not [program] effectiveness, but rather the values that are being taught,” Rector said.  Whether or not these programs work is a “bogus issue,” Rector continued.  

Whether or not these programs are effective is the single most important issue.  Existing research has already shown that comprehensive programs that include messages about both condoms and abstinence have been proven effective, and yet, federal and state governments continue to dump millions of dollars into abstinence-only-until-marriage programs that are not effective, and, in fact, have been shown to cause harm,” continued Smith

Eight states have already made the decision to refuse Title V money.  The overwhelming feeling in these states has been that the money came with too many strings attached, was ineffective in achieving its goals, and promoted extremist policies. Even with increasing numbers of states recognizing the waste and futility of the Title V spending, a federal legislative solution is still needed to ensure that proven, comprehensive sexuality education gets the funding it needs.  

“This Congress has a momentous opportunity to end the charade and use these federal funds to support programs that actually work,” said Smith.  “We fully expect this Congress to look at the government’s own commissioned evidence set forth in this report and end funding for these failed and ideologically driven programs,” Smith continued. 

The program under scrutiny in the report is set to expire on June 30, 2007 unless Congress takes some action to extend it.

Shiatsu Self-Treatment for Dysmenorrhea (and bonus TCM Sex tips!)

Here is a Shiatsu treatment pattern that you can easily perform on yourself or another.

Dysmenorrhea:

If dysmenorrhea or painful mentrual cramping, began in your teen years, with your early periods, it is refered to as Primary Dysmenorrhea. At this younger age, your hormones were excitedly blossoming, ready for womanhood and yr stress levels would have had a direct effect on hormonal production.

Postaglandins or ‘local hormones’ will most likely affect yr cramping. These hormones cause muscular contrations of the uterus, and when overstimulated, can spread throughout the pelvic organs, causing contractions in many areas. This is a result, mostly, of stress, shock, or trauma, which upset yr system.

When dysmenorrhea occurs later in life, it is known as Secondary dysmenorrhea, and diff factors require our consideration. Stress, of course, is not limited to our adolecence, and may very well affect us in our adult life. Also, you could be influenced by the use of contraception or and IUD, both of which can have detrimental effects.

Your hormonal system is influenced by the Kidney chi and is esp sensitive to fear andaxiety which distrub the free flow of yr chi. The Uterus and its environment are regulated by Liver and Spleen chi. The Liver chi is responsible for blood storage and regulation as well as the muscular contraction inpetus; and the Spleen chi, for the quality of the flesh of the uterus. Other factors influencing yr moon cycle would be the invasion of cold and damp into yr body. This may be an accumulative effect of foods such as sugars, caffeine, or dairy products, which all contribute to chi stagnation.

External factors such as climate and such can also be influential on yr protective energy (Wei Chi) and immune systems. Try to keep yr pelvis well-insulated with natural fibre clothing during the colder seasons. The ankles have a special relationship to yr reproductive system, so keep them warm too.

TREATMENT:

Apply presure to the following points: LV 3, SP 6/10, & ST 36. As well as CV 3, & LV 13/14. Massage the nipples, as they will stimuate the ovaries and uterus, and using yr fingertips, gently massage the area btw the pubic bone and navel.

*

Heat (Yang) is relaxing for the cramping contraction (Yin), so a hot-water bottle on yr abdomen helps to expel the symptoms of the Cold and Damp. Try to avoid stimulants, such as coffee, tabacco, sugar, and chemicalised foods, to allow yr system to repair.

*

Here are two exercises that can be used to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles (mms) or ‘Ovarian Palace’. (It is also good as a sex improvement exercise, esp the second one which is kind of like a Chinese Kegel)

ONE:
This exercise strengthens yr LV and CV meridians, both of which pass through the vagina, cervix, and uterus. This area is refered to in Chinese as the ‘Gate of Life’ from which new life develops.

1.) Sit confortable in a chair, on the floor, or even lie down.
2.) Breathe into yr hara, by expanding yr abdominal mms, like a baloon filling, as u breathe in. On the exhalation, contract the those mms to flatten yr abs. Repeat thrice for relaxation.
3.) On the next inhalation, expand the mms while ‘pushing down’ on yr genitals – you will feel the pelvic floor respond. Pull up on the pelvic floor, as you exhale. Repeat thrice.
4.) Focus into yr vaginal mms and squeeze, lifting and releasing these mms 10 times in quick succession. Try another 10 reps until u feel warmth w/in yr vagina – this is an indication of improved blood flow.
5.) As you become experienced in this practice, you can ‘think’ yr way into yr vagina as you pull upwards and draw the chi into yr uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. Feel the glowing warmth spread throughout yr pelvis.

TWO:

This is a useful exercise, relating to yr urinations, as yr urethra and bladder are part of yr genitourinary stystem. The excersise involves the controlling of the flow of urine.

1.) Start peeing, allowing 1/3 of the urine to pass and then squeeze yr vaginal pelvic floor mms until the flow stops for a moment. Then resume yr flow again.
2.) Repeat 2 or 3 times with each urination. W/ practice you will be able to completely stop yr flow at will – an indication of improved mm tone.

* Please NOTE: It is harmful to hold off urination for any length of times, as this strains yr bladder. Gt the toilet asap when you feel the need to pee.

These exercises will not only help to improve the pelvic floor mms for the regulation of menstration and better elimination, but also have the added benefit of allowing for more enjoyable sex, as you will have greater control of yr vaginal mms and may experience an enhanced intensity in yr orgasm.