So now that a sex tape – or eight of ‘em – have torpedoed Carrie Prejean’s career as the pretty face of the anti-marriage equality movement, I have a suggestion for what she might do next.
What if Prejean were to become the pretty face – no, the pretty Christian face! – of a pro-masturbation campaign? No snarking here, folks; I’m dead serious.
Remember how, way back in 1994, Bill Clinton fired Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders after she advocated teaching kids to masturbate? Elders was onto a perfectly good idea. She regarded self-loving as a safe alternative to a lot of the other things teenagers get up to. And even though Clinton was a perfect hypocrite for firing her, she was right, doggone it. Here’s how Elders reflected on her experience in 1997:
In this so-called “communications age,” it remains a sexual taboo of monumental proportions to discuss the safe and universal sexual practice of self-pleasure. No doubt, future generations will be amused at our peculiar taboo, laughing in sociology classes at our backwardness, yet also puzzled by it given our high rates of disease and premature pregnancy. We will look foolish in the light of history.
Maybe it’s time for us to catch up with history. Here’s where Prejean could play a pivotal role. She could go on Larry King and say, “I’m not here to talk about that tape, which my asshole ex had no right to release. But I will say this: What I did on that tape was perfectly normal. Self-pleasure is perfectly compatible with my Christian beliefs. It’s a great way to get to know your body before you’re ready for partnered sex. It’s a wonderful way to extend your pleasure with a partner. If you’re waiting for marriage to have intercourse, masturbation can help you wait, and you’ll be a better lover when you do say yes.”
I’m still not snarking. If we could just get all those “good Christians” to admit they do it, all of us might be able to have open conversations about it without anyone getting fired or censored. Myself, I have no patience for abstinence vows, which I see as a way to police female sexuality, but all those girls wearing purity rings are the audience most in need of permission to explore and love their own bodies.
And for the record, “asshole” is a mild word for Prejean’s ex. “Sexual assailant” is more like it. I’ve been arguing since last spring that disseminating someone’s naked pictures without their consent ought to be punished as a form of sexual assault. It’s heartening to see that other bloggers are coming to similar conclusions (see these posts by Amanda Marcotte and Jeff Fecke). Now we just need a few legislators to pick up the ball and run with it.