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Letters to the Portland Editor, June 2, 2006

Readers sound off on Casey Sheehan, and last week's Phoenix sex survey

5/31/2006 12:46:32 PM

Fear US Down Under
SheehanI am sitting at my computer in Melbourne, Australia, and I just read this archived article a friend forwarded to me about Casey Sheehan. It's oddly moving. The author is to be commended. (See “Casey Sheehan,” by Neil Freese, August 26, 2005.)

I went along to meet Cindy Sheehan here in Melbourne. I have three kids the same ages as her remaining ones.

I’m gripped with despair about the frightening place those racketeers are making this planet (Dick Cheney, Halliburton). Australia’s prime minister John Howard has his own son being groomed by the Cheney entourage. Halliburton is at work here, and the media is massaging us into acquiescence to selling the USA even more uranium.

Thus, I expect Howard will reap unspoken benefits when he leaves office, seeing he has signed away Australia’s future by purchasing your Star Wars technology, and henceforth put us in the position of human shields if and when China decides that we are a proxy state of the USA.

How have small individuals become so vulnerable to the depredations of the state and the corporations, while increasingly, these suits can organize the game and set the rules any way they like? When they’ve finished with Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa, Europe — who will be next? How greedy can they be?


All that most of us want is a stable life, a loving family, and a humble regular job. What’s radical about that? Do these guys think that this is too much to ask for?

Maggie Morgan
Melbourne, Australia

Sex survey
Of course I filled out the sex survey and am surely just as excited as everyone else to see the results, but who wants to take responsibility for developing the questions? I want to know who to thank for that whole section on best spots for public sex, wildest escapade ever, favorite fantasy and of course, what really turns us Mainers on. The unabashed voyeurism is a real treat for all us closet exhibitionists though I confess to being unsure how useful it will be in tabulating results beyond our collective titillation. Perhaps you could have given us more space to let it all hang out, then posted all those naughty thoughts on the Web for all to see. While not necessarily original or edifying, it’d sure be fun!

More seriously, while I would be among the first to encourage and celebrate a more public discussion of sex and sexuality, the survey lacks context or a vision of what kind of information could be useful and genuinely facilitate communication and understanding of such a complicated and wondrous subject without sublimating the fun of it all. A tough balance, to be sure, but given how the twin poles of aversion and obsession dominate so much of our culture’s approach to the topic, surely we can do better. Considering the heated controversies that persist over the most basic forms of sex education, and how what we know informs what we do, a more coherent approach would ask how folks learn about sex and sexuality as well as what they are up to in their bedrooms or behind the bushes in Deering Oaks.

And finally, I suggest the authors submit themselves for a proper discipline session with your favorite domina. Not one question addressed current understanding of sexually transmitted diseases, safe sex practices, and perhaps most important, are folks in fact playing safely, why and why not? I could editorialize further on the significance of that erasure, but would rather hear your reasoning.

Gina Rourke
owner, Nomia


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