This Week in Sex: 6.29.99

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This Week in Sex   
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June 23–29, 1999

Do I Make You Litigious, Baby?

A Georgia woman filed an obscenity complaint against Toys “R” Us this week after her eleven-year-old son was asked, “Do I make you horny, baby?” by an Austin Powers doll. The woman claims the doll’s suggestive language put her in an awkward position and prompted a sex conversation that her son (or perhaps she) was not ready to have. In a related story, millions of eleven-year-old boys read the word “horny” in newspaper articles relating to this story and giggled. A Toys “R” Us representative explained that the company believed the outlet was stocking a PG version of the doll that instead asks, “Would you fancy a shag?” “Horny,” for any readers still in the dark, is defined by dictionaries as a slang adjective meaning lustful, while “shag” (both a noun and a verb) is British slang for fuck. Now get back to the harmless aisles, you crazy kids, the ones with all the toy AK-47s. Mommy, what does “lock and load” mean?

We’re Queer, We’re Here, We’re Pantsless

As Mayor Rudolf Giuliani marched in this past Sunday’s Gay and Lesbian Pride March in New York City, he was periodically heckled along the route. The Mayor is “just not popular,” parade spokesman Jimmy Riordan explained. Hecklers belonging to a group called SexPanic! were asked by the police to exit the parade. Lieut. Cory Cune insists this decision was not influenced by the fact that the SexPanic! troop used an old police car as a float, calling themselves “Rudy’s Sex Police.” Rather, “They were asked to leave the route because they were naked from the waist down.”

Well, He Was Killed in the Theater, Wasn’t He?

Residents of Springfield, Illinois — proud hometown of Abraham Lincoln — were incensed when their paper, the State Journal-Register, ran the banner headline, “Writer Asserts Proof Lincoln Was Gay.” The paper’s managing editor has since apologized for giving the story such prominence, while standing by the story’s importance to the town of Springfield, a town where Lincoln reverence is a significant factor in the local economy. The story details assertions made by gay activist Larry Kramer, who claims to have seen the personal diary of Joshua Speed, Lincoln’s intimate friend, bedmate and — according to Kramer’s reading of the journal — his lover. Historians acknowledge that Lincoln was awkward towards women and that he shared a bed with Speed for four years, but point out that — due to cold weather and the price of mattresses — the practice was not uncommon at the time. Kramer may have further weakened his case by suggesting further historical outings, including George Washington, George Custer and either Lewis or Clark (he couldn’t remember which). A factory worker from Missouri visiting Springfield for a Harley-Davidson rally underscored the town’s concerns when he told the L.A. Times that if the allegations proved true, “It would definitely be a turnoff.”

You Try Jacking Off to National Review

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a federal law which grants the U.S. Bureau of Prisons the power to ban prisoners from receiving sexually explicit publications like Playboy and Penthouse. The law, which was enacted by Congress in 1996, was initially overturned by a federal judge who ruled that it violated prisoners’ First Amendment rights, but an appeals court reversed the decision. Among the appellants in the case were Playboy, Penthouse and three inmates. Publications exempted from the ban include the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, the Victoria’s Secret catalog and National Geographic.

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©1999 Leif Ueland and