Thursday, July 29, 2004

Sale of Sex Toys Banned in Alabama

Ok, this is just not right, people.

Supposedly, the "Constitution doesn't include a right to sexual privacy."

What the fock kind of shit is that? Isn't the sexual act a private thing between yourself and/or another person (and even sometimes 2 or 3 others)?

How is it not part of the human right to privacy which we all know is part of the constitution? Whether written in stone or not.

"Sherri Williams, an adult novelty retailer who filed the lawsuit with seven other women and two men, called the decision "depressing."

You got that right, sister. Shiet, sex toys are supposed to be able to knock you out of depression!

This is a sad day in America's well known history of anal (no pun intended) retentive behaviour towards sexuality. I just hope that other states don't follow their lead simply because I don't have money for that cute little butterfly contraption I have been wanting for a couple of years and when I finally have it, I would like to be able to purchase the damn thing.

The state law bans only the sale of sex toys, not their possession

Thank god! Well, Mama always said to treat my toys right so that they last a long time, and it seems like she was right.

Read more of this fiasco here


Anonymous Anonymous said...

welcome to the deep south. or the bible belt. Or any other stereo typical name for that backwards ass institutionally corrupt sespool. But don't you know that by outlawing sex toys, the odds of good ol boys gettin some go up. And that's what its all about. hell they'd probably outlaw masterbation if they could get away with it

9:43 AM  
Blogger Ari said...

I think actually that they would be less likely to get some. Women have cultivated many uses besides the penis before sex toys.

Also, sex toys aren't just for women, you need to think outside of the box on this one.

11:06 AM  
Blogger Cy said...

Oh my goodness. The actual written opinion on this case is hilarious. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals judges, writing things like:

"the district court further found that this right 'encompass[es] the right to use sexual devices like vibrators, dildos, anal beads, and artificial vaginas'..." (pg. 5)

and I can almost refrain from the obvious joke when I read:

"this conclusion was based upon the emergence and widespread acceptance of the electric vibrator ..." (pg. 35)

And I can ignore the historical analysis of the popularity of the vibrator ... (pg. 36)

BUT ...

All this being said, it's actually a good decision by the Court of Appeals. Now before you yell at me, hear me out.

What the Court actually said was that:

(A) Acknowledging a "fundamental right" means that it is untouchable by any action other than an Amendment to the US Consititution. Once elevated to fundamental right status, a right is effectively removed from the hands of the people and placed into the guardianship of unelected judges (who serve life terms and cannot be removed.) (pg. 41)

(B) The US Supreme Court had never recognized the "right to sexual privacy," despite numerous chances to do so. Many decisions touch on "sexual privacy," but actually involve other fundamental rights - right to marry, right to procreate/not procreate, etc. The 11th Circuit also acknowledged that the time may come where this right is accepted, but it's not there yet.

(C) In order to make a fundamental right (which again, would take it out of the hands of the elected officials, for the most part), it must not simply be "because they implicate deeply personal and private considerations, but because they have been identified as deeply rooted in this Nation's history and tradition and implicit in the concept of ordered liberty, such that neither liberty nor justice would exist if they were sacrificed." (pg. 8)

(D) The Court notes that the statutes invades the privacy of Alabama residents in their bedrooms no more than does any statute restricting the availability of commercial products for use in private quarters for sexual enhancements. (pg. 20)

(E) If the fundamental right of sexual privacy was established, it would "theoretically encompass such activities as prostitution, obscenity, and adult incest - even if we were to limit the right to consenting adults." (pg. 17)

(F) The Court also states that "the mere fact that a product is used within the privacy of the bedroom ... does not in itself bring the use of that article within the right to privacy. If it were otherwise, individuals whose sexual gratification requires other types of materials or instrumentalities -- perhaps hallucinogenic substances, depictions of child pronography or beastiality ... likewise would have a colorable argument that prohibitions on such activities and materials interfere with their privacy in the bedchamber." (pg. 20, fn 12)

(G) The Court rejects the idea that changing sexual mores should make it act - stating that this is the exact reason for the Courts to step aside, and allow the democratic process to work. (pg. 26, fn 14)

OK, done. Again, now all that being said, I don't necessarily agree with the RESULT - that you can't sell sex toys in Alabama - but I think that is more an issue for the idiot voters and legistlature of Alabama than it is for the Courts.

::getting off soapbox::

Heck, I think I just proved I'm overeducated. Feel free to disagree with me, and vent at me - that IS a fundamental right.

If you want to read the decision itself:

2:46 PM  
Blogger Ari said...

Cy, noone is denying the credibility of the decision, but it's not "a good decision", sorry, it's not.

It's good for people who have high moral standards that they insist on injecting into every American whether we like it or not.

One of your many valid points is the one that churns my gut the most and I did read it prior to writing this post.

"(E) If the fundamental right of sexual privacy was established, it would "theoretically encompass such activities as prostitution, obscenity, and adult incest - even if we were to limit the right to consenting adults." (pg. 17)"

To use this as a reason of why sexual privacy shouldn't be allowed is ridiculous. First of all, "adult and incest" don't even go hand-in-hand, I could see if it wasn't two consenting people (not that I condone it) but obscenity? FUCK! Give me a break...heh. And prostitution? They are arresting women and men left and right every day in this country, I don't really see the oldest job in the world as a real threat, do you?

Anyway, if you want to look at it from an "overeducated" point of view or even "lawyerish", it all is "right", but when it comes down to how people tell others to live and how things should be done in their own businesses especially if it isn't really hurting anyone, that's just not american at all.

But then again, what is these days?

2:58 PM  
Blogger Ari said...

Oh, and Cy, I totally agree that the actual logging of the this was hilarious. Sorta the same fun was had when reading the blue dress scandals lol

3:07 PM  
Blogger Cy said...

Like I said, I don't necessarily agree with the decision, but what I do agree with is that it should be the problem of the voters, and not the courts.

The other thing I thought of after I posted was that the 11th Circuit did NOT actually say there wasn't a fundamental right to sexual privacy - only that the Alabama law, against SELLING sex toys - does not infringe upon it.

It leaves things open to discussion as to whether or not the decision would have been the same had Alabama made it a crime to possess or use sex toys. Methinks that the outcome would have been vastly different.

4:13 PM  
Blogger Cy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:13 PM  
Blogger Cy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:18 PM  
Blogger Cy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:18 PM  
Blogger Cy said...

And I forgot to respond to your questions, too. (Not sure why I'm posting things twice - but I can't delete the duplicate, so please feel free to help if you can.)

(1) There is adult incest - brother/sister of legal age. Ewwww. Illegal? In all states. Should it be? Heck, I don't know - it's too gross to contemplate.

(2) Obscenity. The courts have been VERY careful about obscenity. They almost always fall on the side of free speach over classifying things as obscene. The notable exception that stands out is kiddie porn. So I wouldn't be overly worried about this one - even in far more puritanical times than now, obscenity laws haven't been much of an issue.

(3) Prostitution. Hey, if he (or she, don't want to be sexist) wants to pay her or him, and her or him wants to be paid, more power to both of them. As long as no one gets hurt, I say have at it.

I think you might have missed the point of my original response to your post - I wasn't saying not having a carefully defined fundamental right to privacy in the bedroom is a good thing, I was saying that the 11th Circuit gave other courts and legislatures, and indeed, the US Supreme Court, much to think about and work with. In that way, it's a good decision.

4:26 PM  
Blogger Cy said...

And lastly, blah blah blah. Sheesh, I blunder across your site like three days ago, and now I can't shut up. Feel free to tell me to move elsewhere.

4:32 PM  
Blogger Ari said...

Oh ok, then I can defintely see your point.

Yes, I agree as well that it's good that they are even coming to any decisions that could possibly progress society in some fashion but still doesn't mean we have to agree with it.

Great debate!

4:33 PM  
Blogger Ari said...

Hahaha, it's alright, Cy. I love having people who I can converse with and who find at least some of my postings interesting! I went to your site by the way and you have some great photos up.

4:36 PM  
Blogger Cy said...

Great photos? Splain. I can't tell sarcasm on here. ::smiles::

4:59 PM  
Blogger Ari said...

No sarcasm at all :D

6:56 PM  
Blogger Cy said...

Great. I write something just about every day, and all she says is "Great pictures."



7:27 AM  
Blogger Ari said...

Do you even have a blog?

I don't see one...

11:07 AM  
Blogger Cy said...

Hey, the comment thingy works again. My blog is

1:37 PM  

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