Elizabeth's picture

"Doing it Decent" answers your questions about sexual ethics

There are lots of sex advice columns out there. Most deal with practical, technical, emotional and idenity-related questions about sex. Now there is a place you can go to get your ethics questions answered. Cory Silverberg, the sexuality guide at launched Doing it Decent, a twice-a-month column that will address your thorny sexual ethics dilemmas.

Here's a peek at the first two questions:

My girlfriend and I both work from home and last Wednesday we took a lunch break to go for a walk in our local park (which I’ll add is usually deserted). I was feeling bored and horny and suggested to my girlfriend that we have sex in an area almost completely hidden by bushes. She didn’t want to and said it was wrong, I think she’s just a prude. Is there anything to her argument?

Read the answer here.


Chris's picture

The Ethics of Fantasy

Fetish Diva Midori, who's long been one of the smartest perverts on the scene, started a particularly interesting conversation on her Yahoo discussion group recently: are there fantasies that are, in themselves, unethical? Are there things that are such inherent breaches of morality that even if you never intend to act on them, that it's immoral even to fantasize about them?

From a sex-positive viewpoint, the immediate impulse is to say unambiguously, "NO!" The opposite answer has always been the hallmark of the puritans who police desire, and has destroyed more lives than can be counted. The idea that we have a right to our own desires as long as they either stay in our own heads or are acted out with consenting adults is the very core of the struggles for queer rights, for the acknowledgment of transgenderism, for the legitimacy of BDSM, and for the free manufacture and sale of pornography and sex toys of all kinds. It defines the difference between the people who see sexuality as normal and natural and those who see it as a dark, animal part of ourselves that we must transcend.

But I think that for most of us, no matter how expertly pervy and kinky and open-minded we are, the answer becomes more ambiguous once you start delving into particulars. For instance:

Elizabeth's picture

Quickie: Max Mosely Wins Privacy Case

Max Mosely, head of Formula One racing, won his privacy suit against the British tabloid "News Of The World." The New York Times reports

The judge, Sir David Eady, awarded Mr. Mosley, 68, damages equivalent to about $120,000 and legal costs estimated to be at least $850,000 in his lawsuit against The News of the World.

Question: Because this was a lawsuit it had to be framed in terms of a legal question, hence the focus on "press freedom" v. "individual privacy", but wouldn't this kind of thing be better discussed in terms of journalistic ethics? Instead of worrying about whether this decision represents a limiting of freedom of the British press, should the British press be discussing ways to make sure its members adhere to ethical reporting standards?

I'm all for investigative journalism, but there has to be something in the public interest to justify it. Exposing a person's private, legal, consensual sexual activity is certainly not in the public interest. It may be very interesting to the public, but that's not the same thing! 

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