When In Doubt, Offer a Blow Job

That’s Sharon Stone’s advice to girls, as noted in this review in the conservative magazine American Spectator of Prude: How the Sex-Obsessed Culture Damages Girls (and America, Too!):

"Young people talk to me about what to do if they’re being pressed for sex. I tell them what I believe… if you’re in a situation where you cannot get out of sex, offer a blow job. I’m not embarrassed to tell them." – Sharon Stone

Obviously, idiotic (though hilarious) advice. I’m equally dismayed, however, with the suggested path offered by religious or conservative organizations around abstinence-only education, particularly if it comes at the cost of real sex ed in the classroom. Sharon Stone, after all, does not speak for the pro-sex ed, pro-individual choice, pro-"have-sex-if-you-want-to-it-feels-great-just-be-safe" contingent.

The book Prude, by the way, seems like the latest book to sensationalize the sexualization of America’s youth, replete with dirty little anecdotes designed to shock and awe parents into a state of oblivion. Enough, already.

(Hat tip to the single-best source on the internet for stimulating links, BookForum.com)

10 comments on “When In Doubt, Offer a Blow Job
  • Your concluding paragraph is not what I would have expected from a self-described feminist. What bothers you most about these books? If you had a daughter, do you think you’d feel pretty much the same?

    Genuine questions – I haven’t quite worked out how I feel about it, though any overstuffed genre is always somewhat tiresome.

  • Jackie,

    While I haven’t read all of these kinds of books — or even most of them — from those I have read (and excerpts and reviews of others), I notice a strange, breathless quality. It’s as if the author is genuinely trying to freak parents out even if it takes exaggeration and dire predictions. Anecdote after anecdote of young Jane who’s been corrupted by the evils of TV or pornography or over-aggressive boys.

    I have a huge amount of sympathy for the underlying concerns: I happen to think most TV shows and movies are too sex-laden (for my taste), I think the omnipresence of pornography is changing the way boys think about sex (not for the better, I’ve blogged about this), I think rap music has a negative influence on how youth think about women and sex and life (I’ve blogged about this as well), and so forth.

    What bugs me is the way these concerns are expressed, always held together with overblown pessimism by the vanguards of the “family values” crusade.

    As to your question of whether I’d feel different if I had a daughter, I might. I don’t know.

  • Ben,

    You say, you are hugely sympathetic towards those concerns but don’t approve the way they are expressed.

    I am curious, what do you think is the *right* way, so that the pessimism is not overblown…?

  • Ben,
    You miss the mark here.

    The real question is whether or not the state government or the federal government should even be in the business of educating kids about sex in the first place. In a world where information is so readily accessible and where the message, “want some love, wear that glove” has been so ubiquitous, do we really need to be funding this programs at all?

    I am sympathetic to the concerns of most parents out there. There has been significant trends towards oversexualization.

    In Maine, for instance, a school board okayed the state-funded allocation of birth control to middle school kids even though the evidence showed that those middle school kids weren’t having sex.
    That just isn’t appropriate.

    The images that young girls are bombarded with also represents a serious issue. Eating disorders and other disorders are occurring in record numbers and that’s in part due to this hypersexualization we’ve cultured. Women want to diet because the stars are thin and therefore they feel as if they must compete for a mate. It’s basic evolutionary psychology meets the free market. I don’t like the combo, but I live with it.

    Do I think that those books, like Prude, are preying off of parents’ “Chicken Little” fears? Absolutely. But I also think we have a societal problem when the notion of childhood is removed by fiat or by school board. Why not just let the kids have a few more years of childhood? After all, they’ll get all the sex they can imagine in college.

  • Charles,

    The assumption you make is that withholding sex ed or delaying the distribution of contraception will in some way extend the golden “childhood” years for kids.

    I disagree.

    I had sex ed in school in 6th grade. My friends and I weren’t sexually active, nor using drugs, nor drinking, but all that information was good background to *understand* the messages coming from pop culture.

    The idea that being informed suddenly leads to action — if we start educating 7th graders, we’re motivating 7th graders to start having sex — is misguided.

    Krishna, I’m not sure the ideal way to communicate these concerns — certainly in a way that’s more balanced and less charged with the moralizing that certain “family values” organizations love to employ.

  • In contrast to Jackie, I think your concluding paragraph is perfectly consistent with being a self-described feminist. On the one hand, I understand why writers in this genre are a little horrified at the over-sexualization of popular culture. On the other hand, they tend to frame the discussion in terms of poor, helpless teenage girls who can’t be trusted to make good decisions for themselves and sex-crazed teenage boys who only have one thing on their minds and will stop at nothing to get it. Those stereotypes are as old as time. I think it’s pretty feminist to be skeptical of them. We should be giving teenagers a little more credit.

  • I had interesting chat in my dorm lobby. On our co-ed floor (freshmen) roughly 80 percent of the individuals are sexually active.

    We come from all over but mainly the east coast and it’s funny to see the differing academic coverage of sex-ed.

    Students who grew up being taught abstinence only, unanimously wished they had received a more fulfilling exploration of the topic.

    Evident last week during secret santa when one girl received a porn DVD and watched it with a group only to ask whether if the couple was having anal sex because she didn’t believe it was possible for people to have sex without facing each other.

    I believe the widely available pornography available today is of concern, yet failing to teach kids about as much as possible only leads to a group of narrow-minded, overeager teen girls. I’d like to see a study on the psychological effects of not knowing what your peers do. I think it is actually devastating to the individuals mental health.

  • And Sharon Stone is so the best person to offer somebody advice on this matter! Shall we extrapolate something about her Hollywood success from this “advice”, or is she a case of ‘say something, do something else’? Tough choice that.

  • The sensationalizing of sex in media is the natural culmination of the insatiable hunger of corporations, producers, and performers for profits at any price.

    No matter the bad example set by the likes of Soulja Boy, the seventeen-year old spammer whose ‘lyrics’ boast of his unlikely exploits as a ho beating pimp.

    I think it’s a sickness in our society, analogous to our childish social attitude toward drinking.

    We absurdly forbid minors to drink legally even though they are bombarded by the same media images as adults, and the reality is that most of them start drinking earlier anyway, especially college students, the biggest bingers of all.

    Likewise, we, as a society that never fully shed its puritan inheritance, invest sex with all the allure of forbidden fruit, rather than treating it naturally, as did the Greeks and Romans.

    Their public spaces and forums were adorned with giant marble phalluses, and their villas were decorated with ‘pornographic’ mosaics and murals.

    So of course their children grew up with less anxiety about sex, regarding it as one of the natural pleasures of life– just as societies who allow children to drink have fewer problems with teenage alcohol abuse.

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