Sex is unquestionably a primary, essential impulse for humanity’s survival and individual pleasure. Whether we each choose to be sexual or celibate, guided solely by impulse or social/religious structures, we all navigate a diverse landscape of sexuality in America. Yet, there is no date specifically designated in our nation to honor and understand our sex.
America’s Sexuality Day– The March 3, 2010 Proclamation
We proclaim March 3, the historic anniversary of The Comstock Act of 1873– America’s Congressionally authorized national censorship laws against sexual free speech– to be the annual America’s Sexuality Day. The legacy of the Comstock Act and the laws it sired, makes it the most advantageous, encompassing date for celebrating the complex symbiotic relationship of sex, individuality, culture and our democracy.
History, if we let it, allows us to compare and advance its lessons to current culture; knowing the sexual history of our nation’s past, likewise reflects on the sexual history of ourselves to benefit our future.
Our Comstockery! Mission [This preliminary text welcomes comments and edits]
The Comstockery Collaborative was created to promote the importance of civil, respectful and responsible dialogue between all sexual points of view for March 3 and throughout the year.
Using the term “comstockery!”, coined in the late 1890s and publicized by the playwright George Bernard Shaw against censorship, we hold firm that each individual’s sexual choices is integral to his or her ”pursuit of happiness.”
However, as sex is fundamentally personal, it is complexly woven by political and cultural influences; our sex affects not only those we share intimacies with, but the balance of its liberties and protections in society are nuanced, and cannot be simply isolated or ignored. The Comstockery Collaborative, therefore, seeks to explore various aspects of sexual responsibility to self and others, publically engaging the questions of sexual awareness and sexual honesty, recognizing that belief, education, family, sexual experience , and much more, shape the richly varied interpretation of concepts.
We hold that this exploration of sexual responsibility with sexual free speech is vital to sexual knowledge. We are intent on furthering what even the ancients knew– the biblical Greek “gnosis” and the Hebrew ”yada” both each meaning the specific “to have sex” and the generic “to know” — that sexuality in its indulgence or abstinence, in its modesty or exhibitionism, is a uniquely special, individual, visceral knowledge, contributive to societal wisdom.
When a government or culture censors the individual and societal ability “to know”, it cannot rightfully call itself a democracy.
America’s Sexuality Day and the message of Comstockery! is that important.