Sexual fantasy versus reality
November 14, 2006
My brother died suddenly of a heart attack last November. He was a brilliant, gentle man who had a lot of anxieties: fear of flying, fear of making decisions, fear of dying.He lived a minimalistic life in a cabin in the woods in Washington state, and though he had a lot of friends – fellow computer geeks (his job was servicing PCs), fellow musicians (he played bass at regular gigs) and writers (he was an exceptional writer) – he was too tied up in knots to have any success in a romantic relationship. He loved women, but they scared the hell out of him, so in this regard he lived lonely and celibate.In the process of going through what was left behind, my daughter Skye found a lot of porn sites on his computer. I don’t know if any of them were child porn sites, but if there were, should he have gone to jail for it? Back in the ’70s, there was much ado about a piece of pornography written for women, “The Story of O.” There was even a sexy clothing store called “O!” in the corner of the Jerome. The story was that O willingly submitted to being held in captivity by a group of men, including her lover, all masked, who regularly tied her hands to a chain hanging from the ceiling and whipped her with riding crops. They also took advantage of her sexually in various inventive ways.I’m sure that most of the readers had no desire to be suspended and whipped; it was erotic fantasy. Fantasy is not reality.About that time, the Hite Report reported, in part, what women fantasize about when in bed with their lovers. Big shock! Did women think such things? It seems that most people do, in their own ways.I don’t advocate child pornography, but neither do I advocate putting people in prison for fantasizing. How does it serve society that Bill McDonough is spending four years in a penitentiary for exchanging risqué e-mails with a detective?How will it serve society to ruin Brad Moore’s life and possibly imprison him for looking at pictures? Do these men deserve to be branded as sexual molesters?The theory behind this is that to pay for child porn on the Internet perpetuates the industry – going after the user rather than the dealer. I’m sure they’re easier to catch, but a line should be drawn somewhere.There’s a candid-camera show on TV wherein detectives set up an assignation house to lure men who were caught e-mailing what they thought were young girls. I’m all for busting those greasers or anyone else inappropriately approaching a child. I’m all for throwing away the key for anyone engaged in sexual abuse of a child.But to arrest people for fantasizing seems perilously close to arresting people for thinking.Meanwhile, some of you had better start erasing your files, and be sure to get professional help doing it, because you know what happened to Oliver North. Su Lum is a longtime local who smells a witch hunt. Her column appears every Wednesday in The Aspen Times.The Aspen Times, Aspen, Colo.
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