Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex.
Sex. Sex. Sex.
Anyone uncomfortable yet?
How about now?
I'd hoped it wouldn't come to this -- at least, not until you were all just a little bit older -- but recent events in the Top of Utah have forced my hand.
That's right, kids. It's time to have "The Talk" with you ...
When a man and a woman love each other, they have a very special way of showing that love. For the man, it generally means learning to pretend he's actually listening, and telling her that wearing a particular outfit doesn't make her look like the fat Elvis. For the woman, it means completely ignoring the sad truth that she's basically become romantically involved with someone who exhibits the emotional depth of a parking meter.
But there's another, equally special way that a man and woman express their love for one another. It's called -- and I'll spell it out here, so as not to offend certain delicate sensibilities -- S-E-X.
Today's discussion was precipitated by an incident a couple of Saturdays ago at the North Ogden Arts Festival. Local artist Steven Stones, known for his campy paintings with a 1950s-era sci-fi feel, had set up a display of artwork at the festival. And one painting -- featuring a fang-baring vampire, a large spider on a web and the term "Monster Sex Fiend" in large, attention-grabbing letters -- attracted a bit of negative recognition.
Apparently, members of the North Ogden Civic League (official motto: "Sex-free since 1934"), which sponsors the yearly festival, were upset that the word "sex" was featured in a work of art.
Following a conversation between Stones and event organizers, the artist ended up covering the offending word with a piece a paper upon which was scrawled "censored."
Local residents becoming agitated over naughty public displays is nothing new. Why, this year alone we've already seen: 1) North Ogden residents upset over a classic Greek statue of a topless female, and 2) folks in Kaysville get their unmentionables in a bunch over a lingerie display.
But this time it's different. This time, instead of an actual, visual representation of something, you simply have a word. A word, people.
I guess what I'm really wondering is, "So then, when did the mere term 'sex' become obscene -- like the n-word, or the f-bomb, or some other horrible collection of four letters? Indeed, of the three words featured prominently on this particular piece of art -- "Monster," "Sex" and "Fiend" -- it seems to me that "sex" would be the least objectionable to civilized society, based on their dictionary definitions:
SBlt Monster, "a person so cruel, wicked, depraved, etc., as to horrify others."
SBlt Fiend, "an evil spirit; devil. An inhumanly wicked or cruel person."
SBlt Sex, "a joining of the sexual organs of a male and a female"
And so, to all of you minors who happened to be at this year's arts festival, here's your take-home lesson, courtesy of your friends at the North Ogden Civic League:
SEX IS BAD. SEX IS DIRTY. SEX IS DISGUSTING AND UNNATURAL AND SINFUL AND JUST PLAIN ICKY.
Let's be honest. When our children hear or see the word "sex," we want them to feel ashamed, right? We want them to think of it as a taboo term that shouldn't be written, shouldn't even be spoken.
What we don't want them to learn is that sex is a beautiful -- magical, even -- act committed by two people in love.
We want our children to learn the pornography industry's definition of sex, not the hopeless romantic's definition. We want little Johnny associating "sex" with terms like "lust," "self-gratification" and " 'doing' someone" -- and not with terms like "love," "closeness," "sharing," "commitment," "intimacy."
And really, the sooner we pass along to our children that extremely base opinion of sex, the better off they'll be when they finally fall in love, get married and suddenly find themselves strangely ambivalent about their wedding night.
But wait, there's more!
The real irony here is that in the photo of the exhibit that ran in the newspaper, right next to "Monster Sex Fiend" you can see the extreme left edge of another Steven Stones painting, titled "Dr. Doom's Spook Show." That one shows a scantily clad young woman, bound hand-and-foot, stretched out on some sort of a torture wheel or some such, with a sinister-looking cloaked man wielding what appears to be a machete.
Whaaa? THAT image -- depicting violence against women -- is acceptable at the festival, but the mere act of combining the fifth, 19th and 24th letters of the alphabet in a specific order isn't? Sheesh.
So there you have it, boys and girls. "The Talk." And here's hoping that, someday, grown-ups in places like North Ogden and Kaysville will stop acting like a bunch of juvenile boys, giggling and saying "Ummmmm! I'm telling!" every time they come across a reference to ... well, you know ... S-E-X.
Contact Mark Saal, who is too sexy for his shirt, at 801-625-4272 or email@example.com.