Murder of the Seed

‘Sperm Is Life And We’ve Gotta Legislate That Sh*t’ – Sarah Silverman

Sarah Silverman Thinks Male Masturbation Should Be Legislated Like Abortion, Because Equality


Republican legislators all over the country are obsessed with legislating women’s innards – specifically, reproductive innards. Whether it’s forcing doctors to perform unnecessary transvaginal ultrasound probes (government mandated rape) before legal abortions, the Republican war on contraception, or forcing women to carry a dead fetus to term, the GOP has proven their real agenda is controlling women; and they’re getting away with it by calling it religious freedom.

Sarah Silverman came up with a brilliant idea after she learned that sperm cells have a sense of smell. As reported in the Huffington Post, Silverman was delivering a stand-up routine at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York City recently, and she posed a pertinent question – she suggested that since we defend the right to enact laws that makes it difficult for women to terminate unwanted pregnancies, shouldn’t we also legislate male masturbation?

“Here’s something that I learned that is fascinating, and it’s this: Scientists have found that sperms cells smell,” Silverman said. “Like I know sperm smells, but sperm cells have the sense of smell, and you know what that means: Sperm is life. And you know what that means: We’ve gotta legislate that shit.”

Here’s a sad reality: While abortion became legal on a federal level in 1973, access to it remains highly restricted due to anti-choice legislation in states across the country. Mandated waiting periods, state-directed counseling meant to mislead and discourage women, 20-week bans, and unnecessary requirements that can force abortion clinics to shut down are all ways laws still control women’s bodies, and beyond voting and protesting, there isn’t much we can do to stop the war on choice. However, there might just be a way to make the playing field equal, and, according to comedian Sarah Silverman, it’s legislating male masturbation. What? I like it already. It’s Sarah Silverman; let’s hear her out.

Silverman described how it would work:

““What we’ll do is — it’s a real simple procedure. We take a really long needle – like basically (a) GoPro camera and we put it down your penis hole, urethra … then down into your testicular sack. We’re going to show you the ultrasound, so you can see the life in your balls.”

She explained the procedure would help save some of those innocent sperm from the men who recklessly murder them with their bare hands, and added “You would not believe the amount of men that do not want to jerk off after that.”

In a stand-up routine Silverman performed last weekend at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Silverman blessed audience members with both her inspiration for the potential bill, and her conniving plan to execute it.

“Here’s something that I learned that is fascinating, and it’s this: Scientists have found that sperm cells smell. Sperm cells have the sense of smell, and you know what that means: Sperm is life,” Silverman said, and, getting in touch with her inner-lunatic, anti-abortion lawmaker, added, “And you know what that means: We’ve gotta legislate that shit.”

Studies published as early as 1992 have confirmed that sperm do, indeed, have a sense of smell which helps them to find an egg. While it remains up for debate whether or not this means sperm cells are alive, in the same vein, doesn’t the whole debate about abortion center around answering the question of whether or not an unborn embryo/fetus constitutes a human life?

The difference here is that we give men the benefit the doubt and not women. And since Silverman understands it’s frankly wishful thinking to hope misogynistic lawmakers will modify their shitty treatment of women, maybe, just maybe, they’ll adhere to the 14th amendment’s provisions for equal treatment under the law and, well, give men equal treatment?

Alas, how would this be executed? Not forgetting the crucial step in anti-choice lawmakers’ pursuit of their interpretations of justice, Silverman determined an appropriate way to shame men for murdering their innocent sperm: “We’re going to show [them] the ultrasound, so [they] can see the life in [their] balls.”

“What we’ll do is — it’s a real simple procedure. We take a really long needle-like basically GoPro camera and we put it down your penis hole, urethra… then down into your testicular sack,” Silverman elaborated.

Alas, it’s unlikely Silverman’s brilliant plan will ever see the light of day in a Congress (literally) dominated by old white Christian men. And while sperm cells can smell in controlled environments, they lose that sense of smell in the outside world. This more or less weakens the case for sperm cells being considered alive, but, hey, to scientists and even the Constitution, the case for a fetus counting as a human life isn’t that strong either.

Following the Constitution, only born babies are American citizens/living human beings with rights, and it’s generally agreed within the scientific community that a fetus only becomes viable and able to survive outside of the mother at or past 22 weeks gestation. Just throwing those facts out there, because why not, they can’t really be said enough.

At any rate, I hope Silverman is able to run her plan by her boy Bernie before the Democratic National Convention. I’d frankly love to hear his thoughts on it.

Comment: Sarah Silverman is right. Masturbation leading to ejaculation comes closer to abortion than masturbation leading to clitoral orgasm. Judith Reisman also made the case that masturbation is linked to pedophilia in her book Kinsey: Crimes and Consequences. Again I stress than ANY avoidance of reproduction, even celibate chastity, can only be allowed if euthanasia is allowed as well. Hell is eternal, hell is eternal, hell is eternal…


The old dilation vs circumcision debate gets interesting

Divergent views having been expressed on this subject, may I attempt to sum up and clarify the position?

Dr McAuley’s letter raises the point which is the crux of the matter: Should the prepuce be removed whether phimosis is present or not? I suggest that phimosis, especially if extreme, demands circumcision for these reasons. (1) Many infants so affected cry excessively until the operation is done: thereby (2) they may develop hernia. (3) Various troubles – for example, nocturnal enuresis, “fits”, and, in later life, epithelioma of the glans and paraphimosis – are associated with phimosis. (4) In patients with phimosis suffering from gonorrhoea, complications arise, and treatment is more difficult than in the circumcised. (5) The disadvantages in the event of marriage are obvious. Although difficult of proof, there is little doubt that the prepuce, especially a long one, renders boys more likely to acquire the habit of masturbation. For this very good reason alone I think circumcision desirable, phimosis apart, If the reasons given for circumcision are sound, then stretching operations find no place.

I venture to describe the method I use, as it is not the orthodox one. It is well to wait until the infant is 2 to 3 weeks old, and feeding is well established.

Local anaesthesia is  always used, novutox or locosthetic (P.D. & Co), being injected with a fine needle at the root of the penis on the dorsum and below at the peno-scrotal junction. This makes the operation entirely painless, as I have repeatedly proved. After thorough sterilising of all the parts with spirit and biniodide solution, the end of the prepuce is seized on the dorsum on each side of the middle line with small, narrow-bladed Spencer Wells forceps. Traction on these parts puts the prepuce on the stretch. A similar forceps is then passed down under the prepuce (dorsally), and opened widely, stretching the prepuce and freeing it from the glans, right down to the neck of the latter. The blade of a pair of straight, blunt-pointed scissors is then passed under the prepuce and the latter slit down dorsally to the neck of the glans. The prepuce is then separated, if necessary, from the glans on each side, and cut away, beginning at the fraenum and ending on the dorsum. The cutting is carried round close to the neck of the glans, leaving just enough skin and mucous membrane to be stitched together. During these various manoeuvres traction is made on the forceps originally applied, so as to steady and stretch the prepuce. Often no vessels need tying – at the most, one on the dorsum and one on the fraenum. The free edges of the skin and mucous membrane are united by a few sutures of fine iodised catgut, using a small, half-circle Hagedorn needle. A narrow strip of sterile gauze is  wrapped round and tied on. The operation takes very little longer than the usual one, and the skin edge left is almost a perfect “circle”; any after-trimming of the edges is rarely necessary.

The advantages of this method are two: (1) there is no possible risk of injury to the glans; and (2) seeing exactly what one is doing, it is possible to remove the whole of the prepuce, which is the main point. results are entirely satisfactory, and in my experience shock, sepsis, haemorrhage etc are unknown. Stitches absorb or work out, and healing is complete in five to ten days.

I hope I have shown, in reply to the flagrant statements of one of your correspondents, that “circumcision” is not a “horrible mutilation”, that it “has a sanitary and therapeutic value”, and, being ordained by Providence from very early times (doubtless for good reasons), it is not a “cool assumption” on the part of  surgeons doing this operation that they “know better how little boys should be made”. And if phimosis is to be relegated to the list of imaginary diseases, why not make a clean sweep, and say that cancer, tuberculosis, and the rest do not exist?

G.W. Thomas

With regard to your correspondence on circumcision the following case may be of interest.

My son, now aged 6, was born with a long, tight foreskin. As I was against circumcision at the time, he was left uncircumcised. When he was 6 months old I noticed that he continually handled his penis. A colleague found adhesions, which he freed, and since then the foreskin has been pushed back every night at bath time and the parts thoroughly washed. There has been no recurrence of the handling on his part, except on one or two occasions when nightly washing has been omitted and there has been some slight inflammation. The boy now does the washing himself as a matter of routine, which falls into place with the cleaning of ears, teeth etc.

The points I wish to stress are: (a) it is really difficult to keep the parts clean in the uncircumcised, and (b) regular pushing back of the foreskin and washing does not always conduce to masturbation, whereas dirty, itching parts do. I hesitate to have the boy circumcised now because I think it quite likely that a psychological trauma may result from the operation at this age. I know of at least one case where a boy of 4 years, one of twins, was circumcised, in which the operation was undoubtedly a great shock, and this may have farreaching results.

With regard to what Dr H.M. Hanschell says of the preference of copulating women for the circumcised male: this may be due to the fact that the glans is less sensitive after circumcision in infancy and that therefore coitus can be prolonged. If this is the explanation it is an argument in favour of circumcision which should not be overlooked. Ejaculatio praecox with its concomitant unhappiness to both partners is common enough to call for investigation.


Comment: These quotes give a very interesting perspective to a time period generally considered to be patriarchal and prudish.

What Could Possibly Be Wrong with Christian Masturbation?(2)

Masturbation is the use of sexual urges, and sexual ecstasy, for the self alone. (I’m here talking only about masturbation by yourself, not touching yourself as part of sex with your spouse.) Instead of our urge driving us to pour ourselves out for others—and to accept all the hard, weird, disappointing realities of sex and marriage—we seek to satisfy our urge on our own terms. Ecstasy becomes something we achieve by and for ourselves.

In Christian tradition, we are given two ways to accept and live out our sexuality. Both occur in the context of relationship. Marital sex places us in union and relationship in a fairly obvious way. Continence—refraining from all sex if you are unmarried, what a lot of people casually call “celibacy”—is the other. This is the way I try to live out.

In this form of sexuality, we may sublimate our sexual urges, transforming them into forms of love such as prayer, service to others, artistry, friendship. Or we may seek to sacrifice these urges, pouring them out over the feet of the Crucified. Either way, our sexuality is a gift we give to God and to those he places in our lives, both neighbor and stranger. It is not for ourselves. The ecstasy on the face of Bernini’s Teresa is the mark not of solitary pleasure but of contact with her Lord.

On an artistic level, sex serves as an image of encounter and reconciliation with the Other. Masturbation, by contrast, reflects our self-ownership at best, narcissism at worst. We are taught nowadays to think of our bodies in terms of use, not in terms of iconography; we are taught to think anti-poetically. Only artists still maintain that the body has meaning.

The ballet-horror movie Black Swancaptured this poetic meaning of the body brilliantly. A ballerina escapes her anguished reality in lustful fantasy and masturbation, where she can achieve orgasm—attaining ecstatic release without ever giving up control. A more sympathetic portrayal comes in the recent movie The Babadook, where an overwhelmed, widowed mother is about to use her vibrator to fall asleep when she’s interrupted by her son. Here, the movie’s use of masturbation is more ambiguous; the scene underscores the woman’s loneliness and exhaustion. But the overall arc of the film is about the widow’s attempt to avoid the grieving she must do. Masturbation, then, is a part of her attempt to escape the life she has been given.

I have read one portrayal of masturbation as a way of reclaiming one’s body after sexual abuse, and I think that will ring true for some. Yet even in such circumstances, we reclaim our bodies in order to give them to God and others. The path of healing and reclamation still leads us to a place where we can give of ourselves, through celibacy or marital sex. This position of “self-gift” can be stressful. Chastity is nearly impossible for most people I’ve talked to.

But our nearly universal failure at chastity is not an argument against it. My inability to be “good enough” is in its own way a gift. It reminds me that virtue—like orgasm—is not something I must strive to attain by and for myself. I depend daily on God’s mercy. And I hope knowing this affects how I treat others. The admission, “I can’t,” prompts us to be gentler with other people’s struggles and sins, whatever they may be—not to justify our own.

Much of the resistance to the traditional teaching against masturbation comes from a desire to reduce sexual shame. Shame isolates us in secrecy, its own secluded poison garden. It drives us to hide, separating us from God and others. Shame militates against self-gift.

For me, the confessional has been the place where shame is healed. I am set free by revealing my stumbles and failures and hearing in unambiguous terms the words of mercy. The priest hears the things I’m most ashamed of and responds, “May God grant you pardon and peace.”

Whatever I think of the specific priest and his advice or lack of it, in these words I hear Jesus. Sin isolates; confession reconciles. Even when I have turned away from relationship with God and sought ecstasy on my own terms, I can always return to him in the intimacy of prayer and penitence. Relationship is restored as repentance and forgiveness kiss.

What is the world, O soldiers?
It is I:
I, this incessant snow,
This northern sky;
Soldiers, this solitude
Through which we go
Is I.

—Walter de la Mare, “Napoleon”

Eve Tushnet is the author of Gay and Catholic: Accepting My Sexuality, Finding Community, Living My Faith and Amends: A Novel. She blogs at Hobbies include sin, confession, and ecstasy.

What Could Possibly Be Wrong with Christian Masturbation?

Masturbation doesn’t fit within typical modern ethical concerns. It’s not unsafe or cruel; in moderation it does not interfere with academic or economic performance, and it doesn’t make your children more likely to flunk high school or get pregnant out of wedlock. There are no peer-reviewed studies linking it to obesity or reduced charitable giving, and it is virtually the only thing on earth that doesn’tgive you cancer. Conventional wisdom tells us it’s a healthy form of stress relief. It’s organic, and nothing could be more local.

So the question for Christian ethics is not, “Is masturbation sinful?” It’s, “What could possibly be wrong with it?”

Now, this is the best-case scenario we tend to believe about masturbation, though many times the habit becomes compulsive and tied up into the exploitative porn industry—which are compounding issues on their own.

But for masturbation itself? I approach the issue from two perspectives. First, I have my own experience: I’m an artsy, celibate convert; I’ve masturbated since childhood; and I’ve never been able to give up this habit for more than a couple months at a time. The other perspective comes out of my faith as a Roman Catholic. Catholic teaching offers what seems to be a compelling argument against masturbation, but ultimately my ethics are rooted in my relationship with Jesus and his bride, the church. No Christian is left alone with her reason and experience; she is also given the church, which nurtures us with Communion and teaches us to follow Jesus.

The significance of relationship—the way love, contact, kiss lie at the beating heart of Christian faith—anchors the argument that masturbation squanders our sexuality. Scripture is the great love story of God and humans, climaxing at the wedding feast of the Lamb. Christ is himself an image of union: justice and mercy (echoing the promises of Psalm 85:11), man and God. The doctrine of the Trinity teaches us that relationship, union with the Other, is part of the inner life of the One God.

In this sense, Christianity is an erotic religion, in that it compels our longing for and contact with the Other. Our bodies are gifts given to us by God, and we give them to him and to others. We are not meant to keep them for ourselves. The sexual union of lovers shows an image and prophecy of our union with God. Sex is to prayer as masturbation is to comforting self-justifications.

Is masturbation a public health crisis?

Michael Flood, the Australian academic, approaches it from a feminist perspective. At a recent conference at the University of New South Wales organised by Collective Shout, a lobby group “for a world free of sexploitation”, he listed some well-documented harms.

Pornography is becoming a primary sex educator for boys and young men, displacing explanations from parents, formal instruction in schools, and even conversations with peers. However, what they learn from pornography websites is kinky practices which strip sex of intimacy, loving affection and human connection. And they learn that women are always ready for sex and have insatiable sexual appetites.

Women feel betrayed by men who use pornography. Most often men conceal their use of pornography. When a partner discovers it, she often feels as if he was having an affair. Pornography use decreases intimacy and makes women feel less attractive and more like mere sexual objects.

Pornography may become an addiction. Flood is cautious about analogies to drug addiction. He points out that attachment ranges from recreational users to compulsive and self-destructive users. However, as with other addictions, some people experience social, work or financial difficulties because they use pornography.

Pornography entrenches sexist attitudes. Abundant research shows that men who use pornography are more accepting of attitudes that sexualise and objectify women. They tend to want sex without emotional involvement.

Pornography disposes men for violence against women. Flood writes, “Exposure to sexually violent material desensitizes male viewers to sexual violence, diminishing their emotional response to the stimulus, eroding their sympathy to victims of violence, and informing more callous attitudes towards women rape victims.”

As a pro-feminist man, Flood and other activists view the sex industry as patriarchal, misogynistic, and brutalising. They call upon men “to quit pornography and forge ethical sexual and gender relations.” Their strategy for change is good sexual education, mostly in schools.

But this does not exclude the possibility of “good pornography”. And it includes acceptance of masturbation as a normal and natural part of human sexuality. Even more troubling, a feminist approach to pornography isn’t interested in the context of sex. It doesn’t need to be within marriage; it doesn’t even have to be heterosexual. The key thing is that it should be mutually pleasurable and lead to greater intimacy and affection.

Flood characterises the other approach to fighting pornography as “Christian”: it is based on total abstinence outside of marriage and it frowns on masturbation. He believes that this approach is limited, because “the contrary tenets of a powerful sexual culture” make it unrealistic.

However, in many respects, the Christian approach might be more realistic, if harder. Fundamentally it is based not on “narrow sexual proscriptions”, as Flood calls them, but on virtue, building up good habits that lead to human flourishing. What the feminist approach lacks is a clear vision of the purpose of sex and how it can be integrated into a mature personality. At the conference, for instance, the idea that sex is connected with babies, children and marriage was barely mentioned.

Young people need to be exhorted to struggle to control their unruly sexuality. The task is made much easier if they realise that this is part of their capacity to participate in procreation and the even greater and more absorbing responsibility of raising children and participating in society as mothers and fathers. Without a unifying vision like this, feminist exhortations also shrivel up into “narrow sexual proscriptions” like “No means No”, “Yes means Yes” and elaborate parsing of the meaning of affirmative consent to sexual activity.

A public health crisis  

These important differences can put feminist and Christian activists at loggerheads. The beauty of describing pornography as a public health crisis is that they can work together in the same tent. Perhaps we can finally make some progress.

The idea had been kicking around for a while before Senator Weiler’s resolution in Utah. Cordelia Anderson, an anti-pornography activist from Minnesota, told a Congressional Symposium in Washington DC last year that “Individual stories and realities do not constitute a public health concern, but when the reach of today’s pornography through ever expanding and changing technologies create what some researchers, academics, and activists have called ‘the largest unregulated social experiment ever,’ we have reason to be concerned.”

“Various studies document the harms of viewing pornography [she said] including sexually aggressive behavior in adults and youth, sexually reactive behaviors in youth, desensitization to others in sexual situations, rape supportive attitudes, arousal to increasingly violent content, increased levels of sexual insecurities, and difficulties with intimacy or sexual functioning such as erectile dysfunction in males.”

Activists’ model for social change is the complete reversal of attitudes towards tobacco. In the 1950s, most people smoked and doctors even said that it could be good for people’s health. Today, smokers are treated like pariahs.

To be sure, pornography is deeply entrenched in the culture and the pornography industry is well-funded and powerful. But this was also the case with the Big Tobacco.

In 2009 social researcher Mary Eberstadt made a powerful comparison of the tobacco industry with the pornography industry. They both dispute the harms of their lucrative product; they both use bogus science to bolster their claims; they both rationalise addiction; and they both use sophisticated marketing techniques.

Bizarre as it seems, like Big Tobacco, Big Porn even uses philanthropy to burnish its image as a good corporate citizen. Earlier this month Pornhub pledged a one-cent donation to saving the whale through the Moclips Cetological Society, a non-profit organization, for every 2,000 videos streamed from its website in February. “This initiative allows us to demonstrate our sincerity and integrity when it comes to helping out one of the planet’s most sacred populations of creatures,” said Pornhub’s vice-president.

So if society turned its back on tobacco, why can’t it kick its addiction to an even more serious public health crisis, pornography?

– See more at:

The Case for Male Circumcision

Christine A Scheller


What mother hasn’t, in the halcyon days after the birth of a son, felt her ferocious she-wolf instincts kick in when it comes time for her boy to be circumcised? Having perhaps suffered violence to her genitals during the birth, the physical ache to all that is vulnerable in her world can seem unbearable. And then it is done, and life goes on.

Anti-circumcision activists would have us believe that life does not in fact go on, that boys grow into men whose sexual pleasure (and that of the women they love) is compromised by this act of “genital mutilation.” While increasing numbers areswayed by both argument and sentiment, I’m stupefied by the controversy.

Male sexual pleasure is not my highest priority, having rarely witnessed a lack thereof. Nor is my own, if in fact I’m speaking out of my ignorance of the delight foreskin can deliver. What I am concerned about is sky-rocketing rates of sexually transmitted diseases, and the gender inequality evident in these rates.

A 2008 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studyestimates that 25 percent of American women ages 14-19 are infected with at least one of the four most common STDs. Eighteen percent of them have human papilloma virus (HPV), which can cause genital warts and cervical cancer. Four percent have chlamydia, which, if left untreated, can lead to Pelvic inflammatory disease and sterility. Chlamydia can also bepassed from mother to baby during vaginal birth, and is reported to occur in women at three times the rate it occurs in men. Furthermore, nearly half (48 percent) of African American women in this age group were infected with an STD, compared with 20 percent of white women.

Based on multiple studies suggesting that male circumcisionreduces the risk of STDs, U.S. health officials are encouraging routine circumcision for male babies at a time when circumcision rates are declining. In a discussion with colleague Emily Bazelon, DoubleX editor Hanna Rosin surmised that the recommendation is ultimately about confronting a decline in Medicaid funding of the $300 procedure in at-risk communities.

Even if STD prevention benefits are as overblown as critics suggest, the risks are far less dubious than those related to prevention measures like the HPV vaccine Gardasil, which young women are coerced by their governments into receiving. Last year Andrew Jones, also known as Tall Skinny Kiwi,reported that his 13-year-old daughter had been “jabbed” with the vaccine in her British school after she and her parents had opposed it in writing. Earlier this year, the FDA agreed to investigate possible risks for deadly Lou Gehrig’s disease-like symptoms after at least three young women developed such symptoms soon after being vaccinated.

Meanwhile, Intact America, an anti-circumcision group, saysthat boys can be taught the good hygiene necessary to ensure that their foreskins don’t harbor disease. As the mother of boys, I wouldn’t entrust my sexual health to the grooming habits of young men.

And why should women?

We bear the brunt of the communal sexual and reproductive health load in our bodies. We take birth control pills and fertility drugs laden with side effects. We have unnecessary C sections and hysterectomies. We are surgically sterilized at five times the rate of men. We have elective surgery, both cosmetic and bariatric, to attract them. We diet obsessively.

Opponents would argue that we have choice in these matters, while baby boys don’t. To which I say, “Hooey!” Absent the enthusiasm of a male OB-GYN and the cultural ascendancy of second-wave feminism in my formative years, I doubt I would have had an irreversible tubal ligation at age 23 or taken birth control pills at 16.

Call me ignorant if you want, but in this debate, I’ll side with women—women like Marjan Hezareh, scientific director of the Los Angeles-based AIDS Research Alliances. In 2007, sheconcluded, “The health benefits for women of having a circumcised partner have been sufficiently proven, and the medical benefits should outweigh any stigma against both adult and infant circumcision.”

As for the biblical mandate to circumcise, the apostles settled that one for Christians in the first century (Acts 15:6-11; Gal. 5:6). It’s unnecessary.