Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Oral Sex Laws

This poor kid. From the Volokh Conspiracy.

Ten Years in Prison for 17-Year-Old Who Had Consensual Oral Sex with 15-Year-Old: The Georgia Supreme Court just upheld this. The sentence strikes me as unduly harsh even on its own terms, but it seems especially unjustifiable given that:

1. The age of consent in Georgia is 16.

2. In 2006, the Georgia Legislature amended the statute to provide that oral sex between an under-18-year-old and a 13-to-15-year-old is only a misdemeanor, with a maximum penalty of a year in jail. This revised statute would have thus made the defendant's conduct a misdemeanor had he committed his crime after the statute's enactment, but the statute expressly provided that it wasn't retroactive.

3. Even at the time the act occurred, genital sex between an under-18-year-old and a 14-or-15-year-old was also a misdemeanor.

4. This defendant had no criminal record that would justify an especially long sentence.

Here's a brief opinion from presiding justice Carol W. Hunstein:

Wilson was convicted of aggravated child molestation based upon an act of oral sodomy performed on him by victim T.C., which was documented on videotape and seems to show that the victim's participation in the act was voluntary. Wilson was 17 years old at the time of the act; the victim was 15 years old. Pursuant to the version of the aggravated child molestation statute then in effect, Wilson was sentenced to ten years imprisonment without possibility of parole. See former OCGA § 16-6-4 (d) (1).

The sentence sounds mandated by state statute, and I don't think there's any Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause problem here. One can argue that the distinction between between genital sex and oral sex violates the Equal Protection Clause, but while this argument was accepted in a related context by the California Supreme Court, which held that the distinction lacked a rational basis, it was rejected by the Georgia Supreme Court in Odett v. State, 541 S.E.d 29 (2001), on the grounds that "General Assembly could reasonably conclude that the psychological well-being of minors is more damaged by acts of sodomy than by acts of intercourse" — not very plausible grounds, I think, but likely sufficient to pass the rational basis test (see also this related item from the California Appellate Report blog). The equal protection argument also seems to have been procedurally forfeited, because it wasn't raised until after the guilty verdict; and while the defendant might have argued that there's an equal protection violation in treating pre-2006 actors differently from post-2006 ones, that argument likely wouldn't work, either, and in any event likely wouldn't have been made.
But while the conviction is constitutionally permissible, it hardly seems like a just result. This is so even given that the sex here was public and videotaped and thus more likely to have been psychologically and emotionally injurious to the girl. Such uncharged and even not independently illegal aspects may be relevant in evaluating the overall moral fairness (though not legal validity) of the sentence, but they nonetheless don't seem sufficient to justify a 10-year-term here — especially when the same conduct would have been treated so much more lightly had it happened after the statute was changed, and had it involved genital sex (which tends to be more dangerous for the girl in various ways than oral sex).

Monday, December 18, 2006


The post entitled conspiracy against cuckolds, by Robin Hanson, reminded me I've wanted to look into the origin of the use of the term cuckold.

What is a cuckold?
A cuckold is a married man whose wife has sex with other men. In current usage it sometimes refers to non-married couples in committed relationships as well, although the traditional meaning is a man whose wife is adulterous.

There are connotations of helplessness and humiliation attributed to the word: implications that the husband lacks the strength to enforce the fidelity due to a man, and is too weak, too stupid, or henpecked to leave or divorce her. Although historically it was a term in general use, nowadays it is much more frequently associated with female domination, power exchange, sexual humiliation, erotic sexual denial or sexual fantasy based on those themes.

"Cuckold" is derived from the Old French for the Cuckoo bird, "Cocu" with the pejorative suffix -ald. The earliest written use of the Middle English derivation, “cokewold” occurs in 1250. The females of certain varieties of Cuckoo lay their eggs in other bird’s nests, freeing themselves from the need to nurture the eggs to hatching. In mediaeval Europe, the law, custom, and the church all defined married women as a category of property held by her husband. Although Christian marriage vows strictly enjoined sexual exclusivity in a marriage for both partners, custom and doctrine rarely enforced it on the husband. A married woman who was unfaithful to her vows made a “cuckoo” of the husband who unknowingly provided her, and potentially her illegitimate offspring, with shelter and protection as a tricked bird does to the cuckoo’s eggs.

I've been surprised at - what seems to me to be - the recent surge in cuckold porn. It seems to be pretty clear evidence disputing the myth that all porn objectifies and humiliates women doesn't it? Apparently some males fantasize about being humilitated.

Cuckolds apparently are paid about $100 per scene, whereas the male performing talent might make $500-600 for the scene.

There was this interesting discussion on Adultdvdtalk where some guy was contemplating being a cuckold in a film which offered to pay him $500. Most of the posters thought he was being conned into producing some solo footage for gay porn. You can read it here, though it is all text some ads may not be safe for work.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Last Minute Gift Ideas

For those last minute gifts for your favorite tech nerd, you might want to try this USB Pole dancer.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Girls Gone Wild

From the Pioneer Press:

'Girls Gone Wild' fined $1.6 million

The "Girls Gone Wild" video empire agreed to pay $1.6 million and its founder was sentenced to community service Wednesday for filming drunken, underage girls in the raunchy videos. The guilty pleas by Mantra Films Inc. and its multimillionaire founder, Joe Francis, stem from the company's use of two 17-year-olds in its DVDs and videos, which feature young women baring their breasts in public. The videos at issue were filmed in Panama City Beach, Fla., during spring break in 2003. U.S. District Judge Richard Smoak ordered Francis to read aloud in court a victim impact statement from one of the women, who said she was emotionally tormented by her appearance on a "Girls Gone Wild" video and that the video damaged her relationship with her family. Smoak told Francis he added the community service because it did not appear a fine would be a meaningful punishment. The fine represents less than 3 percent of Mantra's profits since 2002 and only 12 percent of Mantra's 2005 profits, Smoak said.

So profits, where about 13 million in 2005 and about 53 million from 2002 through 2005. Every article refers to profits, but I have to imagine its probably gross revenues?

Further investigation reveals I would be wrong. The LA Times reports it is a 40 million dollar a year business. With that kind of profit maybe congress should consider a windfall profits tax? I'm going to start the $9.99 a DVD is price gouging campaign, but where shall we picket?