Gavin, Helen and Bent, Jacquelyn, eds. (2010) Sex, Drugs & Rock'n'Roll: Psychological, Legal and Cultural Examinations of Sex and Sexuality. Critical Issues . Inter-Disciplinary Press Ltd, Oxford UK. ISBN 978-1-84888-031-3

One topic is guaranteed to polarise any group that discusses it, and
that is sex. What other word is guaranteed to make the person you say it to
hot and bothered? Ask the people around you what is the most perverted
thing you can think of and there would be as many answers as there are
people present. One of the world’s favourite authors, Terry Pratchett, musing
on the difference between erotic and perverted, suggested that erotic would
be using feathers during the sexual act, whereas perverted means using the
whole chickeni. Some of the following chapters stretch this distinction to its
The perception of what is sexually perverted shifts dependent on
who is talking about it. A person’s profession, gender, age, race, proclivities,
education and even which century they live in, have all effected the
viewpoint on sex and sexual perversions. For example, homosexuality has
long been stigmatised as sexually perverted, (and remains so among some
portions of society), but in most of the world it is no longer considered
pathological. However, in some individual minds and religious dogma,
atypical sex and sexualities are still judged as wrong, unnatural, or immoral.
So what is bad sex? Indeed, do we even have an understanding of
what is good sex? The papers collected in this volume reflect debate and
discussion about these very questions that took place in Prague at the 2nd
Global Conference Good Sex, Bad Sex, Sex Law, Crime, and Ethics in May
2010. The deliberations covered issues of defining sex, sexual consent,
sexual law and its agencies and sexual crimes. Some papers are deliberately
provocative, designed to stimulate dialogue and debate. Others are intended
to be informative, or to signal areas of potential empirical investigation. All
of them address the vexed and vexing topic of sex.
In the section Defining Sex and Sex Crime, the editors’ paper on
sexual deviancy asks what exactly is bad sex? If it is an issue of consent, then
why do we still have intensely negative views about extreme, but consensual
sexual acts that involve no (clear) victim, such as necrophilia, or in which
lack of consent cannot be assumed, such as autassinophilia? We also explore
the background to sexual intolerance as one of state-controlled intrusion and
hypocrisy. In her paper, Claudia Lodia goes further, and suggests that
society’s pathologising of sex that is outside the strict binary of adult
heterosexuality is akin to other undesirable perspectives, such as racism. Just
as racism refuses to acknowledge the benefits of diversity, so does sexual
intolerance and inequality. The argument is extended to zoophilia by Brian
Cutteridge, who points out that the animal husbandry and harvesting
practices that we accept as normal, are exceedingly more harmful to anim

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