All   About   Sex  

Contemporary Sexuality Pioneers
They Made This Age Possible

In case you didn't know it, the world is going through a tremendous change right now and it truly is a new age for sexuality.  The groups and individuals below have done so much to advance positive attitudes about sexuality that they deserve special recognition.  Even more importantly, we need to learn from them.   Without them, this website probably would not be possible, because in past decades ~ right up to the early 90's ~ people just did not talk about such things in public! 

As a result of sex being a shameful and forbidden topic, sexual problems and concerns were not discussed either, not even as they continued to get worse and worse, all underneath the surface -- out of sight.  They still happened, but you couldn't talk about it... you couldn't tell anyone.  This brought on a flood of wrong messages, sexual problems and a tendency towards violence.  Much of today's violence, and our apparent obsession with it, can be traced back to how people were raised and treated as very young children.  Many, many people believe that there is a definite connection between the lack of love and physical intimacy between child and BOTH parents during their most formative years (infancy ~ 8 years¹), and the youth crime statistics and lack of respect for life many kids are exhibiting today.  Also, parents did not talk about S - E - X in front of their children, and they never, EVER talked about it TO their children.

A lot of problems in our society are attributed to the religious beliefs, misconceptions, misunderstandings, arrogance and ignorant attitudes of the past.  If you want to learn more about the negative impact these things have had on our society, take this link.  Otherwise, these are some of the people, or groups of people, who opened sexuality to so many of us... and who are STILL working hard for us.

If you are glad to be alive in this exciting, more sexually open time in history and appreciate that you do not have to hide your sexuality - whether you are a child, a teenager, or an adult - these are some of the people who are making it possible.


NOTE:  Do you prefer the larger print (below) or the smaller print (above)? ~ Let us know


The Coalition For Positive Sexuality

Susie Bright ~ Our Best Hope For A New Sexual Revolution!

SIECUS ~ (The Sexuality Information Education Council of the United States)

Joani Blank    ~ and the "Down There" Press

Nancy Friday     ~ The Goddess of Sexual Fantasy!

Dr. Betty Dodson    ~ called "The Mother of Masturbation"

Dr. Joycelyn Elders    ~ our most excellent former U.S. Surgeon General

Dr. John Money    ~ easily the nation's #1 sexuality authority

WIRED Magazine / HOTWIRED e-Zine    ~ about youth culture and the Internet

The Society For Human Sexuality    ~ at the University of Washington

Dr. Susan Block    ~ known by her many fans as "dr. suzy"

Anita Bryant    ~ A former "Miss America"

Some Famous (and Brave) Photographers

Donna Rice    ~ yes, she's the one you're thinking of







© Copyright 1997 / All About Sex /rbb
All Rights Reserved


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Recent Sexuality History

One of the negative messages our society got was that sex was bad - unless you were "blessed" by the church.  Some of the pioneers I talk about helped us to understand our sexuality in the scientific and physical sense, while others helped us understand it in the spiritual and religious sense. 

For instance, scientists and doctors have taught us that all humans are sexual beings from the day they are born until the day they die.  As uncomfortable as it makes some people, that means that infants, children, teens and the elderly are naturally sexual also - not just adults.  On the religious and spiritual front, others have helped to dispell the religious myth that sex and sexuality was reserved only for certain people.  At one time, most Americans believed that absolutely no one should be allowed to have sex except for a male and a female who were married by the church. Some people still believe that way - and they even claim sometimes to be a "majority" in America - but hundreds of independent poles show that most Americans no longer feel this way.  If most parents will stop and really think hard back to thier adolescence, they will remember what it was like being repeatedly told that sex was just for other people - not for them.

They should also remember how they felt about sex (once they figured it out on their own) and should be honest with their children about whether or not they really waited until they were married to have sex.  In the 1950's, sex before marriage was forbidden - and only bad girls allowed it to happen to them.  This was also about the time when sex became a "guy thing" - something boys were supposed to discover and conquer, while girls were supposed to be the defenders.  "Good girls" did not like sex, did not have sexual desires, and did not let boys "touch" them. 

The normal, natural sexual feelings that both boys AND girls have were supressed, although the emphasis was clearly on the girl.  Girls were made into the defenders of sexual morality (which meant NO sexuality), while boys were made into the conquerers of that sexuality.  Girls were taught that their virginity was sacred and was to be saved, at all costs, for their husband.  Girls were supposed to resist sexuality, while boys were supposed to pursuade and overcome that resistance.

This placed an unfair burden on young girls because they weren't supposed to be interested in sex.  They weren't supposed to have sexual thoughts, feelings and desires.  For teenaged boys, however, it was considered "normal" to want to have sex with girls and the concept of "first base" was born.  If you (a teen boy) were able to talk a girl into doing more than just innocently hold hands or kiss goodnight, you were said to be well on your way to "first base".  Guys were supposed to press steadily forward, rounding the bases until they hit a "home run" - a euphanism for sexual intercourse (more commonly referred to as "going all the way").

As a result of this unnatural struggle, children were led to believe that sexual desires and behavior were normal for boys, and abnormal for girls.  On the surface, this is what American society believed, but deep down, most girls knew that this was not true.  After more than a decade of this kind of thinking, the surface tension broke and female sexuality took a giant leap forward.  This was known as the "Sexual Revolution", where women, as a sign of defiance over the supression of the past, openly burned their bras to make a statement.

The 1960's became a time of experimentation for teenagers and young adults, experimenting not only with sex, but also with drugs that altered their thoughts and beliefs (pot, LSD, peyote, etc.).  Since sexual behavior and drug use both have consequences - often negative consequences - they were coupled together and led us into the new era of supression, the 1980's.

Yes, those wonderful Ronald & Nancy Reagan years, where kids were taught to "Just Say NO!" to both drugs and sex.  The problem with that message for many parents was that while they never wanted their children to enjoy and become involved in drugs, the same was not true for sex (and at that time, this was very "forward" and "enlightened" thinking!).  Still, during this decade we saw the government and politicians get much more involved in our sex lives and many new repressive laws - especially concerning youth and nudity - were passed around the country.  The McMartin Pre-school sex case in California began what is still today a significant hysteria about children and nudity.  We had an era where parents (good parents) left and right were arrested for dropping off film at the Photomat of the kids playing in the bathtub.  Also, a number of famous photographers were raided by the police and FBI and had the professional equipment and plates seized because they had at one time or another photographed a nude child.  I'm not talking about child pornography.  Well known artists like Jock Sturges and Sally Mann were raided and accused of producing child pornography.  Thankfully, many other famous artists stood up for the beautiful artwork of Jock and Sally, as did Barbara Walters in a piece she did on 20/20.

Going from the eighties to the mid-nineties sexuality began to shift focus again, this time towards sex, sexuality and psychology as a science.  This was one of the better things to happen to our society in some time and adults began to understand sexuality much better.  There were a flood of books about sexuality, including many of those mentioned here, which gave sexuality a sort-of legitimacy.  Talking about sex used to be doing something "dirty", but all these books and radio talk shows allowed us to start talking about it seriously and openly - even in front of the K - I - D - S !

Another thing that brought sexuality out in the open as something we talk about with kids was AIDS.  Adults knew that they had better overcome their hestitancy to talk to kids about sex because teens left and right were getting infected with the deadly disease.  While we listened to the conservatives in America call AIDS a disease sent by God to punish homosexuals, the disease raced through the heterosexual community.  Even children were getting AIDS - not from sexual contact, but from blood transfusions in the early days before the nation's blood supply was protected.

Many of the people you can read about here helped us through these difficult times by speaking out and writing books for adults to read.  A few of the pioneers here have also written books for children about sex - a very bold step until just recently. 

We are now living with the effects and problems of decades of childhood sexual repression.  Of course it is not the entire reason for our problems today - I've never said it was - but it HAS played a huge role in how we got to where we are today.  Mix this sexual repression and fear of intimacy and fear showing of affection to children with poverty, falling education budgets, parents off "doing their own thing", and the way that so many fathers have abandoned their children, and you end up with a recipe that looks amazingly like US  (or is that U.S.?).

Finally, we come to the era we are in now, the "Information Age", where the Internet has brought together millions of people all over the world.  Suddenly, people in the USA were talking to people in Japan, South Africa, Europe and Russia.  Even more importantly, the Internet has allowed kids to talk to and learn about kids in other cultures.  Ironically, youth today have learned that the lives of teens in other lands is both very similar and very different than their own.

How can both things be true?  Well, teens today have learned that teens all over the world have problems just like they do.  Arguments with parents over independence, curfews, clothes and cleaning their room.  On the other hand, kids have begun to learn that many children in other countries are raised very differently when it comes to nudity and sexuality.  This is coming as quite a shock to many - especially to girls between the ages of 10 and 18 - who are learning that girls in cultures such as France, Spain and Sweden are not required to cover their breasts at ALL times.  At the beach, for instance, you will find more girls without a top than you will find wearing one.  Kids change into their bathing suits right there on the beach - in front of everyone... and you know what? No one thinks a thing about it.  Children in other cultures are typically much more comfortable with their bodies than are North American children, but there may just be some new sexuality pioneers out there right now (read my page on overturning some laws that send really negative messages to children about nudity).  Another shock for young girls is finding out that girls (8 - 14) in Japan participate in gym class topless - playing as "shirts & skins" just like the boys do! (I've seen it myself! - I was shocked and I'm not even a girl!).  Kids in America are also learning than in many, many other countries, the entire family bathes together, often in public bathes with other families.  I'm not talking about nudists, mind you, I mean the average, typical family - just like yours.

Even with these revalations, new Sexuality Pioneers are very needed right now - because even though we have made significant progress in opening up sexuality, there are those that are fighting to supress it again.  In fact, this website talks quite a bit about this latest battle and takes on those who want to return us to the sexual morality of the 1950's (right where we started this article, huh).

So, what do you think ?


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NOT! ~ Just Kidding!

Definitely Not! This former "Miss America" and official spokeswoman for the Florida Citrus Growers Association went on a very public crusade several years ago against homosexuality.  She taught us a lot about bigotry, intollerance and hate, and introduced us to the term "homophobia". 


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NOT! ~ Just Kidding!

Actually, Donna Rice is about as opposite a sexuality pioneer as you can get.  She is the obnoxious spokesperson for the religious right-backed "Enough Is Enough" censorship crusade.  They think you need to be "protected" from websites that have explicit information about sex... kinda like this one!


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