No Sex Is Very Bad For You
Study says abstinence leads to blindness, screaming, Jenna Bush. Who will save the children?
By Mark Morford
April 25, 2007

In an unusual turn of events, a comprehensive new study from a team of world-class prize-winning nicely disheveled calmly titillated researchers from Johns Hopkins University, working in conjunction with various slightly frumpy but no less adorable teams from Sweden, the United Kingdom, Brazil and roughly 57 other nations, many of which have names that are still barely pronounceable by our own president, has come to a decisive conclusion regarding sex education in America.

Their astonishing research shows that the Bush administration’s abstinence-only sex education programs are not only utterly useless and a complete waste of taxpayer money, but they actually invite all manner of disease and destruction and savage karmic pain upon those who attempt to adhere to them.

It’s true. Such programs, long touted by sexually denuded Republicans and nervous Christian righters and applauded by the Taliban and fundamentalists and Ann Coulter as some sort of psychosexual panacea, some sort of dour, clinical, sex-is-bad-for-you hammerblow to the sensual human soul all meant to act as some sort of humiliating deterrent to our fleshy, dangerous, sex-obsessed culture, these programs lead directly to severe anxiety, hair loss, acne, whininess, temporary blindness, adult bed-wetting, screaming, lousy taste in shoes, death, pararectal abscesses and even, in rare and bizarre cases, an overwhelming urge to date Jenna Bush.

“We are completely stunned at these far-reaching, nearly universal results which have emerged from every country in the world except Saudi Arabia, Oman and much of Utah,” said Dr. Claudio Ortega, totally cute lead researcher of the Johns Hopkins team that studied the behaviors of roughly 420 million normal, “genitally tingly” elementary school and teenage kids across all nations and demographics and hair colors and general inexplicable affection for Avril Lavigne.

“No wait, check that,” Ortega would’ve added, with a sly and knowing grin, if he had actually existed, which he does not. “We’re really not stunned at all. Actually, the results make a whole heaping truckload of very obvious and forehead-slapping sense.”

Ortega, surrounded by his research team who were all dressed almost exclusively in American Apparel silver lamé workout shorts, leather handcuffs and classic Iron Maiden T-shirts from Hot Topic, seemed nonplussed by the need for his own study. “I mean, come on. Say no to sex until you’re married? Abstinence is the only truly moral path? Where are we, 1756? What’s next, trepanning and lobotomies and hurling virgins into the volcano to appease the corn god? Are you people high?”

The overwhelming findings, recently released to the entire planet via multiple media formats including a simple one-page PDF document, universal text message, whispering God-like voice in your dreams and also by way of a two-disk six-hour DVD movie starring Rocco Siffredi, Jenna Jameson, Belladonna, numerous perky cheerleaders and an Italian villa featuring 13 sex swings and 47 bottles of dark rum and an enormous hot tub filled with warm, melted chocolate, is being widely touted as both a radical breakthrough and also as so heart-crushingly, Bush-slappingly obvious it makes you want to spank yourself with a tire iron, and not in a good way.

“Put it this way,” he sighed. “Not only will anti-sexual thoughts make you into some sort of shrill humorless neoconservative evangelical QVC addict with a thing for plastic lawn ornaments, Purity Balls, Coors and all things pleated, but we’ve found devastating evidence linking the widespread activity of not having good, respectful, dirty, open-mouthed sex to everything from acid reflux to infertility to global biochemical warfare to a chronic adoration of Adam Sandler,” Ortega said, soaping himself up in the tub with a bright red and purple sponge shaped like a giant vulva. “It’s really quite astonishing. Except for the part that it’s totally obvious.”

The study comes as a severe blow to the legion of grim, devoted abstinence educators and sour Republican government officials who, nevertheless, still refuse to acknowledge that the U.S. government has now wasted upward of 1 billion taxpayer dollars in the past 10 years on abstinence programs that have had, to put it simply, exactly zero effect on teen sex behavior. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Unfortunately, this has not stopped the inept Bush administration from proposing $191 million for these unscientific, medically inaccurate programs for fiscal 2008, an increase of $28 million over 2007’s failed, useless levels.

“Here is the most astounding fact of all, the thing that makes you want to scream in the faces of these legislators and religious nutballs and pour a gallon of honey over them and then toss them onto a giant mound of gay fire ants,” Ortega would’ve added, between sips of margarita, had he been existent. And also very, very cool.

“Sex is just ridiculously good for you. Sex is good for the heart. It’s good for the blood. It’s good for the mood and it’s good for depression and it’s good for self-esteem and it’s good for making you feel more human and alive and present in your skin. Do it right and sex shoots huge gobs of endorphins and raw divine energy into your id and it’s good for raising your kundalini and inspiring awareness of the cosmos and it’s good for calmly and casually noting the interconnectedness of all things from all time in all places everywhere.”

Ortega then sighed heavily, his skin beginning to turn translucent, his bones fading away, his entire being beginning to soften and evaporate, much like the reality of this story, much like any hope-filled notions you may have that your government gives a damn about the sexual integrity of children and might actually reverse its degrading position and start treating youth with respect and love.

“Did you know sex actually improves your sense of smell? Helps the prostate? True. Also reduces stress. Improves sleep. Improves circulation. Relieves pain, menstrual cramps. Improves fertility. Helps you live longer. Look younger. Goes great with jeans. Goes perfectly with red wine, white wine, pink wine, sake, beer. Dress it up, dress it down. Take it out, or stay at home and rent a movie. It is the universal traveler. It is the Super Glue of the gods. It is the bond that connects all and to deny any of this to kids is abhorrent and insulting and you can rest assured that Jesus himself is just incredibly ashamed that these programs even exist.”

“Look me in the eye,” Ortega finally said, he and this whole tale disappearing into the sad media ether, to be quickly superseded by tales of death and war and blood. “Yes, this is a fantasy. I am a fantasy, OK? The sort of raw, real sex education human children deserve will never happen in your lifetime, not on any large scale, not with the whiny self-righteous Christian-righters screaming into their underwear and trembling at the sight of their own genitalia.”

“But here’s the thing: You need to know these facts. You need to keep this arrow of hot, deep sexual knowledge in your quiver, sharp and polished and ready to launch at a moment’s notice, OK? For when the time comes. For when the Great Transformation occurs. OK? Trust me.”

And just like that, Ortega vanished, leaving behind a small pool of fire and Astroglide and just a hint of eternal, grinning, inextinguishable hope.


The Hippies Were Right!
Green homes? Organic food? Nature is good? Time To Give The Ol’ Tie-Dyers Some Respect
by Mark Morford
May 2, 2007

Go ahead, name your movement. Name something good and positive and pro-environment and eco-friendly that’s happening right now in the newly “greening” America and don’t say more guns in Texas or fewer reproductive choices for women or endless vile unwinnable BushCo wars in the Middle East lasting until roughly 2075 because that would defeat the whole point of this perky little column and destroy its naive tone of happy rose-colored sardonic optimism. OK?

I’m talking about, say, energy-efficient light bulbs. I’m looking at organic foods going mainstream. I mean chemical-free cleaning products widely available at Target and I’m talking saving the whales and protecting the dolphins and I mean yoga studios flourishing in every small town, giant boxes of organic cereal at Costco and non-phthalates dildos at Good Vibes and the Toyota Prius becoming the nation’s oddest status symbol. You know, good things.

Look around: we have entire industries devoted to recycled paper, a new generation of cheap solar-power technology and an Oscar for “An Inconvenient Truth” and even the soulless corporate monsters over at famously heartless joints like Wal-Mart are now claiming that they really, really care about saving the environment because, well, “it’s the right thing to do” (read: It’s purely economic and all about their bottom line because if they don’t start caring they’ll soon be totally screwed on manufacturing and shipping costs at/from all their brutal Chinese sweatshops).

There is but one conclusion you can draw from the astonishing (albeit fitful, bittersweet) pro-environment sea change now happening in the culture and (reluctantly, nervously) in the halls of power in D.C., one thing we must all acknowledge in our wary, jaded, globally warmed universe: The hippies had it right all along. Oh yes they did.

You know it’s true. All this hot enthusiasm for healing the planet and eating whole foods and avoiding chemicals and working with nature and developing the self? Came from the hippies. Alternative health? Hippies. Green cotton? Hippies. Reclaimed wood? Recycling? Humane treatment of animals? Medical pot? Alternative energy? Natural childbirth? Non-GMO seeds? It came from the granola types (who, of course, absorbed much of it from ancient cultures), from the alternative worldviews, from the underground and the sidelines and from far off the goddamn grid and it’s about time the media, the politicians, the culture as a whole sent out a big, wet, hemp-covered apology.

Here’s a suggestion, from one of my more astute ex-hippie readers: Instead of issuing carbon credits so industrial polluters can clear their collective corporate conscience, maybe, to help offset all the savage damage they’ve done to the soul of the planet all these years, these commercial cretins should instead buy some karma credits from the former hippies themselves. You know, from those who’ve been working for the health of the planet, quite thanklessly, for the past 50 years and who have, as a result, built up quite a storehouse of good karma. You think?

Of course, you can easily argue that much of the “authentic” hippie ethos — the anti-corporate ideology, the sexual liberation, the anarchy, the push for civil rights, the experimentation — has been totally leeched out of all these new movements, that corporations have forcibly co-opted and diluted every single technology and humble pro-environment idea and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream cone and Odwalla smoothie to make them both palatable and profitable. But does this somehow make the organic oils in that body lotion any more harmful? Verily, it does not.

You might also just as easily claim that much of the nation’s reluctant turn toward environmental health has little to do with the hippies per se, that it’s taking the threat of global meltdown combined with the notion of really, really expensive ski tickets to slap the nation’s incredibly obese ass into gear and force consumers to begin to wake up to the savage gluttony and wastefulness of American culture as everyone starts wondering, oh my God, what’s going to happen to swimming pools and NASCAR and free shipping from Amazon? Of course, without the ’60s groundwork, without all the radical ideas and seeds of change planted nearly five decades ago, what we’d be turning to in our time of need would be a great deal more hopeless indeed.

But if you’re really bitter and shortsighted, you could say the entire hippie movement overall was just incredibly overrated, gets far too much cultural credit for far too little actual impact, was pretty much a giant excuse to slack off and enjoy dirty lazy responsibility-free sex romps and do a ton of drugs and avoid Vietnam and not bathe for a month and name your child Sunflower or Shiva Moon or Chakra Lennon Sapphire Bumblebee. This is what’s called the reactionary simpleton’s view. It blithely ignores history, perspective, the evolution of culture as a whole. You know, just like America.

But, you know, whatever. The proofs are easy enough to trace. The core values and environmental groundwork laid by the ’60s counterculture are still so intact and potent even the stiffest neocon Republican has to acknowledge their extant power. It’s all right there: Treehugger.com is the new ’60s underground hippy zine. Ecstasy is the new LSD. Visible tattoos are the new longhairs. And bands as diverse as Pearl Jam to Bright Eyes to NIN to the Dixie Chicks are writing savage anti-Bush, anti-war songs for a new, ultra-jaded generation.

And oh yes, speaking of good ol’ MDMA (Ecstasy), even drug culture is getting some new respect. Staid old Time mag just ran a rather snide little story about the new studies being conducted by Harvard and the National Institute of Mental Health into the astonishing psychospiritual benefits of goodly entheogens such as LSD, psilocybin and MDMA. Unfortunately, the piece basically backhands Timothy Leary and the entire “excessive,” “naive” drug culture of yore in favor of much more “sane” and “careful” scientific analysis happening now, as if the only valid methods for attaining knowledge and an understanding of spirit were through control groups and clinical, mysticism-free examination. Please.

Still, the fact that serious scientific research into entheogens is being conducted even in the face of the most anti-science, pro-pharmaceutical, ultra-conservative presidential regime in recent history is proof enough that all the hoary old hippie mantras about expanding the mind and touching God through drugs were onto something after all (yes, duh). Tim Leary is probably smiling wildly right now — though that might be due to all the mushrooms he’s been sharing with Kerouac and Einstein and Mary Magdalene. Mmm, heaven.

Of course, true hippie values mean you’re not really supposed to care about or attach to any of this, you don’t give a damn for the hollow ego stroke of being right all along, for slapping the culture upside the head and saying, See? Do you see? It was never about the long hair and the folk music and Woodstock and taking so much acid you see Jesus and Shiva and Buddha tongue kissing in a hammock on the Dog Star, nimrods.

It was, always and forever, about connectedness. It was about how we are all in this together. It was about resisting the status quo and fighting tyrannical corporate/political power and it was about opening your consciousness and seeing new possibilities of how we can all live with something resembling actual respect for the planet, for alternative cultures, for each other. You know, all that typical hippie crap no one believes in anymore. Right?