XXX: Sex Critic Susie Bright on Being Wrong

Gentle readers, a survey: Are you appalled or aroused by the idea of a threesome? Do you share Christine O'Donnell's views on masturbation, or are your browser's other open windows showing porn? Have you ever regretted a sexual experience? Do you sometimes wonder if you're doing it "wrong"? Have you figured out yet where babies come from?

As these questions suggest, there's a rich area of overlap between my area of expertise -- wrongness -- and that of famed "sexpert" Susie Bright. One of the country's foremost sex educators, activists, and writers, Bright is an outspoken advocate of sexual equality and freedom. She was one of the co-founders of On Our Backs, the first sex magazine by, for, and about women, as well as the founder and longtime editor of The Best American Erotica series. Her memoir, Big Sex Little Death, will be published in April 2011.  Over on Slate, the temporary home of this blog, Bright and I talk about why the Vatican is the original sexpert, whether anti-sex crusaders are also anti-intellectual, and which physical activity is (to her own surprise) making Bright sweat these days.  You can read the complete interview here
 

Okay, maybe you don’t have strong beliefs about the “right” way to load a dishwasher, or about your sweetheart’s propensity to do it “wrong.” In that case, either you are unusually saintly or (like me) you don’t own a dishwasher. But you almost certainly get involved in domestic disputes about who’s right and who’s wrong all the time; we all do. Although interpersonal arguments can have a number of causes – from serious and painful breaches in trust to the fact that we haven’t had our coffee yet – an impressive number of them amount to a tug-of-war over who possesses the truth. We fight over the right to be right.