We probably shouldn’t be as tickled pink as we are over the fact that the presence of our humble little book, SEX: How to Do Everything, in a Michigan public library ruffled one pastor’s starched feathers so much that he filed an official complaint which resulted in an actual news article about it in The Lansing Journal yesterday!:
If Pastor Brian Henley were your 12-year-old son and he told you how he came across the book, “Sex: How to do Everything,” you might not believe him.
Henley said he was strolling through the Holt-Delhi Library recently when he spotted a book on the floor.
“I picked it up and opened it and saw full naked real-life images,” Henley wrote in an e-mail to me.
The piece, which reads like an Encyclopedia Brown mystery (how exactly did the pastor come upon the book, eh? why have all three copies of the book in the library district now gone missing?) is HI-lariously deconstructed by the blogger Ironicus Maximus here. In response to the quote from the pastor in the piece about how he “was not objecting to the book and the freedom of adults to use it (even though I am a pastor, and don’t approve of that type of material),” Maximus writes:
Right. The last thing we want is for people to learn how to do that sex stuff better. You know what that leads to don’t you? Why the wimmen folks will all be wantin’ to have them there whatdayacallit, Organisms? Then they’d start reading Cosmo and be all, “you never consider my feelings” and who needs that kind of pressure, you know?
Wait, it gets even better! Sarah Redman, the adult selection specialist for the Capital Area District Library, became our new hero by responding to the complaint in a letter which read, in part:
“Thank you for taking the time to express your concerns about our inclusion of ‘Sex: How to do Everything’ … I can certainly understand that the authors’ use of photos of a nude man and woman to illustrate the information could be disconcerting.
“Our patrons are interested in how-to manuals on every topic imaginable and sex is no exception. The use of high-quality, clear and instructive illustrations enhances the written text for books about plumbing repair and rose gardening. They are also helpful, although more unexpected, in books which help individuals understand their sexuality.”
Redman went on to say she found the photos in the book “clearly related to the written information the authors were sharing about safe practices, anatomy, sexual fantasies and aids and the wide variety of approaches couples can use for intercourse.”
As for the question of whether the book should be accessible to minors, Redman said the book is in the adult section of the library and that it’s up to parents to decide if their children should have access to that material.
We really should send her some flowers.