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Sioux Falls Pride Festival Today at McKennan Park: Music! Inclusivity!

...and smut peddlers.

Speaking of subversive activity, the Center for Equality is hosting the third annual Sioux Falls Pride Festival today from noon to 5 p.m. at McKennan Park in Sioux Falls. Promoting "a vibrant positive interaction within the community through advocacy, education, visibility and participation of LGBT and Allied members" (Allied! There's the label I can use!), the Pride Festival will feature music from Mike & Jay, Freewryte, Kat Jax, and Rick Weiland. Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether will offer opening remarks; visitors can also hear speeches from the newlyweds leading the lawsuit to overturn South Dakota's same-sex marriage ban, Nancy and Jennie Rosenbrahn, and their lawyer, Joshua Newville.

In the juxtaposition of the day, the Pride Festival will offer a kids' zone complete with face-painting and, starting at 3 p.m., an all-ages drag show what I'm sure will be more remarkably painted faces. When you get done outside, you can head to the Icon Lounge downtown for the official Pride After Party (there will be no kids' zone here).

I'm mostly excited about this event. A number of sponsors are: Wells Fargo Bank, the Sioux Falls Free Thinkers, Midcontinent Communications, Alphagraphics, Great Plains Zoo, and the New Joy Community Church, a Sioux Falls United Church of Christ congregation that preaches extravagant love for everyone, including Socialists.

Alas, Pride Festival sponsors include Sioux Falls smut shop Annabelle's, which will have a booth at the event along with their Tea sex-commoditization counterpart Olivia's. I don't know if Annabelle's and Olivia's will be displaying their standard masturbation aids, but my tolerance has limits. Inclusivity and equality are cool; the objectification of sex is not.

While I wholeheartedly support the overarching message of the Pride Festival, I cannot in good conscience take my child to an event where smut-peddlers are present, and I must recommend that other responsible parents not subject their children to that particular negative influence.

West River, you'll get your dose of Pride next month: the Black Hills Center for Equality is hosting a full weekend of LGBT events July 11 through 13.


  1. Tim 2014.06.21

    I find it interesting that these businesses would be invited to sponsor an event that has kids involved, seems they would have been better suited for the adult only part of the event at the Icon later in the day.

  2. Roger Cornelius 2014.06.21

    Having smut shop displays at an equality parade is exactly what wingnut extremist like to see.

    Their "I told you so, it is all about sex", will be bouncing around the internet.

    I don't understand the lack of good planning on behalf of the organizers.

  3. JeniW 2014.06.21

    You mean to say that the owner of Annabelle's money is not as good as all the other vendors? LOL --- Just kidding.

    I am pretty sure that the organizers of the event established guidelines as to what the vendors can/cannot display, give away and etc. Just like how the organizers at other festivals/fairs have guidelines, such as not giving/selling beer to anyone under the age of 21.

    Too dang hot and humid for me to be anywhere outdoors. I am roughing out the day where it is air conditioned. :)

  4. Steve Sibson 2014.06.21

    What do you people expect at an event the celebrates sexual immorality?

  5. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.06.21

    Sexual content at Pride events is always an issue. For several previous centuries the heterosexual world focused exclusively on homosexual behavior as it related to the sexual act. There was nothing else in the homosexual world according to public media. A few centuries of that tends to affect the perceptions and behavior of the people being thus stereotyped.

    In the middle of the 20th century, as LBTG folks began to courageously risk their lives by coming out, the only commercial support they received was from sex shops. Thus a loyalty was born.

    In 1997 I participated in a bike ride from Minneapolis to Chicago. The purpose was to raise funds for groups and facilities that offered services such as health care, food, housing, etc., to people who had AIDS. The chief sponsor was Tanqueray liquors. Some participants thought the organizers should have found a more appropriate sponsor than a booze business. The organizers said they couldn't find a willing one. In 1997.

    Some Pride festivals, especially in more well supported areas, like the Twin Cities here in MN, can afford to limit the participation of sex shops. But it's always controversial. Is it right for LBTGs to turn their backs on the only businesses that publicly supported them in the bad times? Most commonly their participation is controlled.

    One thing that is common at nearly every Pride Festival is condoms. Hospitals and clinics usually have a booth and a container on the table full of free condoms. Personally, I don't consider that to be something children should not see. It's just condoms. There will be many brochures relating to sexual behavior and health. They won't be explicit.

    One of the struggles, especially for white middle and upper class families, has always been their extreme discomfort and even shame relating to sexuality and sexual behavior. And that's one role homosexual sexual behavior has always filled for those individuals. They get to talk about sex openly - as long as it's not their own.

  6. JeniW 2014.06.21

    Is this event any more, or any less immoral than events that allows cruelty to animals (rodeos?)

    Is this event any more, or any less immoral than events promotes the use of alcohol?

    Is this event any more, or any less immoral than events that promote people beating the crap out of each other (mix/max style wrestling or boxing?)

    Is this event any more, or any less immoral than paying to watch openly violent movies, including the movie about the murder of Jesus?

    What vendors are considered immoral to have at the so-called "family oriented events?" Those that sell alcohol, those that sell hookahs, those that sell tobacco products, businesses such as Annabelle's, bookstores that sell books, music, and etc about a variety of topics, including books about the different religions or non-religious? Banks that have credit card services?

    From what I can tell, there are a lot of people who attend a wide variety of events, whether they considered immoral or not. The beauty of every event is that adults are not forced to go, and if they do go, they can leave at any time.

  7. M86 2014.06.22

    As a gay male, I really do not care for these "pride" events. It paints the broad stereotypical brush across all of us that are gay, lesbian, etc.

  8. larry kurtz 2014.06.22

    Is this event any less moral than white people passing a resolution to impeach a black president?

  9. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.06.22

    The event is certainly less objectionable than the Sturgis Rally, a large portion of which objectifies women and is inappropriate for children. The Pride Festival at least seeks to empower an oppressed class.

    The historical link to early commercial support from sex shops is facinating. Unseemly, but fascinating. The connection does make it harder for me to respond to comment's like Sibby's.

  10. Anne 2014.06.22

    If you would open your mind, you would not be saying these horrible things about the adult stores. They were more appropriate than the planned parenthood booth who had condoms out on the table. What about the community health place that had a syphilis image posted? Or the art tent with full frontal nudity? But shame on an adult store for coming out to show support. The freebies were in black plastic bags (which contained condoms/lube/etc.-nothing horrible for a child to find), and sold a variety of rainbow colored pride merchandise. These stores you shame house a variety of products for men, women, gay, straight, trans, etc. Because of places like Annabelles and Olivias, many couples have been able to find products that enable them to have a closer, intimate relationship. Trans people are welcome there, with one of the only places in town to find products to make them look and feel more like the person they want to be, including special ordering. Stop into one of your 'smut' stores before you judge. And please stop spreading the negativity.

  11. Thomas Christiansen 2014.06.22

    This is Thomas Christiansen from The Center for Equality and the organizer for Sioux Falls Pride. We had a great event yesterday, and amazing attendance. We heard nothing but positive comments on how the event was organized from attendees and vendors. It was a beautiful day and our largest Pride to date.

    With the concern of Annabelle's and Olivia's being at pride and being a sponsor, there was much consideration with the Pride Committee and series of discussions. You can rest assured that you have a very educated, respectful, and well organized Pride Committee that considered variables in every situation.

    Annabelle's and Olivia's are very supportive the the LGBT community and made sure their booth was very family friendly. If you had a chance to attend the festivities, this would have been clear. There were hundreds of families in attendance with their young children and had nothing but a great time. We addressed the concern with an adult superstore and which items they would have at the event. We worked closely with Annabelle's & Olivia's and our contact with Wells Fargo with on this subject.

    It's sad you would miss out on an opportunity like Pride which celebrates diversity and acceptance because of your assumptions of how the festival would be run. If you have any questions feel free to contact us at

    Thank you,
    Thomas Christiansen
    VP of the Center for Equality & Sioux Falls Pride Organizer.

  12. Jerry 2014.06.22

    Out of 11 comments, my own not included, there was really just one negative and two more that were kind of fence sitting. Pretty astonishing for South Dakota to see that there is not so much hand wringing anymore. That is progress. For those that see there is nothing unusual to see there, good on you man. For those who do not, There's none so blind as those who will not see.

  13. Anne 2014.06.22

    Thank you Thomas for your professional response! Jerry, if your comment was a response to mine, I meant it as a comment to the article, not so much the comments.

  14. bearcreekbat 2014.06.22

    Anne's comment is right on. Sibby's pre-occupation with "immorality" likely stems from his particular interpretation of biblical passages rather than any objective understanding of adult sexuality. Indeed, isn't being naked alone immoral due to Eve's "original sin" transgression which lead to "knowledge" - i.e. the unfortunate conclusion that human bodies are something dirty and to be ashamed of rather than venerated.

    And Cory, while your concern for children and what they are exposed to may well fit in Sibby's world view, it seems to demean both parents' ability to communicate with kids about what they are exposed to, and children's inherent curiosity and ability to benefit from learning about sexuality rather than being kept in the dark, or worse yet, being told that they lose value as humans whenever they lose their virginity or otherwise explore their sexuality as they mature. Parents who educate their children about sexuality in a positive manner help the kids make better choices as they grow and value themselves rather than despise themselves through unfortunate imposition of guilt for natural curiousness about human bodies and sexuality.

  15. Jerry 2014.06.22

    No Anne, I was not directing my comment towards you. I did include it in the positive comments though as I thought it was pretty good. I was speaking in general terms about the number of comments and the fact that the vast majority of them were in support of the event and those involved in the event. Every event must have sponsors and these two seemed to be just business people who want to have their name out there. Capitalism is always on the move.

  16. Roger Cornelius 2014.06.22

    First of all, I need to apologize to Mr. Christiansen and the Pride organizers for not only my skepticism, but my hasty coment.
    After reading Deb's comments I had to rethink my position and now understand how difficult it must be to get and keep sponsors for these events.
    If you remove the snarkiness from Anne's comments, she too offers a valuable comment.

  17. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.06.22

    Anne, I am under absolutely no moral obligation to set foot in a smut store. I do not have to try everything before determining that I don't like it and that I don't want it around my daughter. Instead of exposing myself and my daughter to such unnecessary ills, I ask you to explain to me the positive side of the commoditization of sex. When you say "stop spreading negativity," you're basically asking me to shut up, because I have a hard time finding the positivity in such commerce.

  18. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.06.22

    Bearcreek, I dispute the whole "original sin" doctrine, but I'll save that for another time. For now, I'd like to point out that even the part about blaming Eve is verifiably incorrect. Check those first few chapters of Genesis.

    God tells Adam not to munch on that fruit tree. God never told Eve, and there is nothing about Adam sharing that tidbit with her. The myth that blames Eve is one of the many distortions the early Christian/Roman Catholic Church promoted as part of their plan to dehumanize women. The RCC admitted their deception 1-15 years ago.

    It's always better to have correct information.

  19. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.06.22

    Thomas, glad to have you! And I'm glad to hear that you feel the event succeeded in bringing lots of people to share in the positive message of the event.

    Yes, it is sad that I would not be able to bring my family to the event to share in its positive political message. But I would not have missed your event because of assumptions. I would have missed it because of the simple fact that two merchants that peddle products that are inappropriate for children were on site. I would not take my child into a beer garden. I would not take my child into a smut shop or within sight and sound of a smut shop booth at an outdoor festival. I would not take my child to any public event, regardless of the political content, that has Annabelle's, Olivia's, or any other smut shop on site as vendors.

    The items Anne mentions (condoms on the Planned Parenthood table, graphic images of STDs) only strengthen the case that the event was not appropriate for my child. My wife and I are in charge of how our child will be exposed to adult content. There is nothing sad about our restricting the content to which she is exposed.

    I am glad that the management at Annabelle's and Olivia's appear to share our political goals of equality for LGBT citizens in South Dakota. I hope they will all vote for Rick Weiland and other politicians who will fight for that cause. But I still won't expose my daughter to their offensive business.

    Diversity and acceptance should not extend to everything under the sun.

  20. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.06.23

    Bearcreekbat, I don't demean parents by suggesting they have a right to choose when and where to expose their children to sexual content. I would also challenge the notion that Anne is "right on" when she says I've said "horrible" things about smut shops. She seems to be exaggerating for effect. I said they commoditize sex and sell masturbation aids. Are those true statements in any way improper?

  21. Steve Sibson 2014.06.23

    "God never told Eve"

    That is false.

    bearcreekbat's worldview creates an environment where pedophiles have willing victims. Isn't that the next path of sexual immorality that America will be forced to travel down?

  22. bearcreekbat 2014.06.23

    Sibby, no, it is your world view endangers the physical safety and emotional health of children by trying to keep them ignorant. It should seem self-evident that children who learn about human sexuality at an early age will much more capable of seeing through the lies and tricks of pedophiles, including adults who purport to be family friends, or adult relatives (the most common perps). Under your world view, however, it appears sex and bodies are bad and not to be discussed with kids. Under your worldview young women are labeled as worthless sluts if they engage in premarital sex, and are taught to view themselves as spoiled goods, which can be extremely harmful to their emotional development (it is also interesting that the bible encourages the rape of young girls captured in combat, such as virgin Midianite girls, and incest between daughters and fathers, such as Lot and his two daughters). Under your view, kids who are kept in the dark are more likely to believe that when an adult takes sexual liberties with them, it must be because the kids are bad and evil (sinful), and it must be the kids fault that tempted the adult to do these things. Under your world view the molested kid feels dirty, used, responsible and ashamed to tell anyone what happened to them, which is exactly what enables perp to repeatedly assault children.

    Under my world view children should be educated about their bodies and sexuality. This can help them understand that they have the right and power to say no, and that it is wrong for adults to attempt to convince a child to engage in sex. Further, children who are not kept in the dark learn that if an adult takes inappropriate actions with them that they can go to parents or other adults and no one will blame the child.

  23. bearcreekbat 2014.06.23

    Cory, I have to admit that I have not frequented either of the stores you describe as "smut shops." Yet, I harbor certain intuitive beliefs about these stores.

    First, it is my understanding that they are for adults only and that they seek to provide products that their patrons desire. You call this commoditizing sex as if that is somehow evil. Don't grocery stores and restaurants commoditize eating? I am unsure why you see it to be an evil thing if one adult provides lawful goods and services for other adults in exchange for payment, whether adult sex items or just plain food.

    Second, it is my impression that the commodities and services that such stores provide are neither unlawful nor obscene. I am not interested in the wide variety of human sexual practices that I assume such stores address with their products, yet I realize that just because they are not of interest to me, there are many other adults that enjoy perfectly lawful sexual practices I might find unattractive. Who am I to demean those people who offer products for such lawful activities?

    Third, you repeatedly call these stores "smut shops," which carries a very derogatory meaning. The online definition of "smut" includes "obscene language or matter." If the materials sold in these stores met this definition, the stores would be operating in violation of the law. Obscenity is defined in part by contemporary community standards, not by the views of one individual or group of individuals, such as a church. Thus your repeated labeling of "smut shops" seems consistent with Anne's view when she says you say "horrible" things about these shops. It is a horrible thing to accuse a business of criminal activity. Since it is a federal crime to transport or mail obscene materials, possess obscene materials on federal land, etc (18 U.S.C. 1460 to 1470) and since the definition of "smut" includes such materials, it appears that you are saying these stores operate not only contrary of your personal views, but also apparently operate in violation of federal (and perhaps state) laws.

  24. bearcreekbat 2014.06.23

    Deb, I fully appreciate your comments about Eve and Genesis. Unfortunately, as you have pointed out, church leaders for centuries have asserted that this was Eve's original sin and that all women thereafter must be subject to male domination and punishment. Here is an interesting link discussing the subject and pointing out some of the biblical verses relied upon to demonize women.

    As Sibby's frequent biblical assertions help us understand, there are numerous ways to read the Bible, and anyone who has studied it in depth can cherry pick justification for nearly anything. For example, most Christians likely think that Jesus was peaceful and loving, and these views are supported by most of the New Testament. But those who want to claim that Jesus was, in fact, a hateful murderer of innocent children need look no further than Revelations 2-23. And, of course, those who want to argue that Jesus hated unmarried sexually active women will explain that Jesus murdered these kids because of the sins of their mother, Jezebel.

  25. Steve Sibson 2014.06.23

    " It should seem self-evident that children who learn about human sexuality at an early age will much more capable of seeing through the lies and tricks of pedophiles"

    Sorry, but the increase in statutory rape proofs otherwise.

    "all women thereafter must be subject to male domination and punishment"

    That is also a false representation of the Bible.

  26. Steve Sibson 2014.06.23

    "Under your world view the molested kid feels dirty, used, responsible and ashamed to tell anyone what happened to them, which is exactly what enables perp to repeatedly assault children."

    Versus your world view that the children have a right to have sex with a perp. Your world view does not teach abstinence until marriage.

  27. Lynn 2014.06.23

    Steve whatever happened to your blog? You stopped posting on it a while back.

  28. Jamie Scarbrough 2014.06.23

    My 15 year old daughter went with her friends and had a great time! When I asked her what she saw there, she talked about the music and drag show and showed me all of the free 'loot'. Pencils, rainbow stickers, and rainbow condoms, etc. Since my daughter talks to me about such things, I asked her what she was going to do with all of them. She said she has no use for them yet. There was nothing prurient about her experience, at all. Educational comes to mind.

  29. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.06.23

    Jamie, when my daughter is 15, we may have that conversation. But we're not having it at age 8.

  30. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.06.23

    BCB, let's not tangle ourselves in legalisms. Smut is not necessarily illegal. I'm not making a legal argument. Smut is offensive sexual material. Smutty reading material, smutty videos, smutty toys... I'm not going to outlaw smut. I'm not going to stop others from playing with smut and with themselves. But I'm not going to patronize establishments that make a living peddling smut, and I'm going to keep my daughter away from such places as long as I deem reasonable and feasible.

    As for commoditization... I could bite the hobgoblin consistency and advocate full socialism to avoid commoditizing any human need or function. If you strip me of all rhetorical alternatives, I'll go there and die swinging (dang: that sentence sounded a little smutty!).

    But I'm not out of alternatives. Send the kids out of the room.

    Sex is not sandwiches. Selling me a 12-inch sub is not morally equivalent to selling me a 12-inch dildo or a 12-disc set of porn films produced by an industry that thrives on objectification, exploitation, a significant dose of misogyny, and a perpetuation of unhealthy and false images of sexual life.

    Food is appropriate in the marketplace. Sex is not. Sex should be rooted in shared emotion, commitment, and trust. Freighting sex with toys and false images and other consumer products takes something away from the specialness of two people can create share by themselves.

    Maybe there's my problem: when they commoditize sex, Annabelle's and Olivia's seem to be shouting at me (from their billboards and the radio), presuming to tell me how I ought to have sex. Now fortunately, I'm getting better at decoding and filtering media and marketing and making my own decisions But that confidence and independence takes time to develop, especially in matters of sex. Young people growing up surrounded by ads that say, "Sex requires magic lube! Exotic toys! Expertise in multiple positions featured in this video on sale now!" miss out on the fact that the best sex isn't on the radio or TV. It's not going to come from a goodie bag handed out at the Pride Festival. It's not going to come from any shop. It's going to come from finding that one partner to whom you will quite literally open up a part of yourself that no one else will see.

    Commoditization makes one's sexual practices public. Sexual practices should not be public.

  31. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.06.24

    Cory, I disagree with your perception of some of the items sold in sex shops. Things like dildos, vibrators, and condoms are not smut. They are simply things people use as part of their sexual experience.

    They are not good, nor are they bad. They do not have a moral value. They are not intrinsically demeaning or misogynistic.

    I'd have to say the same about most products sold in sex shops. There are things people use as part of their sexual activity that I don't understand at all, that are reprehensible to me.

    My point is that a blanket statement that everything in a sex shop is smut is incorrect.

  32. Jamie Scarbrough 2014.06.24

    Granted my daughter was physically mature very early, so it was appropriate to start our conversation at age 8. This is not everyone's experience I realize, but I have a problem with the blanket statement about smut.

  33. Robert 2014.06.24

    The term smut is offensive. I do not eat meat, but I don't call a butcher shop a smut shop, nor do I condemn those that do eat meat. I do not drink, but I do not boycot bars. My wife had cancer, and we were recommended to visit the adult stores. You see not everyone does need those products you speak of to have sex. They are not telling you that you do, either. They are simply a retail business that offers goods to those who choose to buy them. No, not everyone needs "magical lube" to have sex, but for most women over 40, or that have had issues such as female cancer, it is needed. There are a few other items that without, some people could not connect on a sexual level. I'm not even talking about gear for gay/lesbian couples. Even the straight ones. I'm not as young as I used to be, but I can still perform thanks to some products I have picked up from an adult store. Yes I understand there are doctors peddling pills too, but this was a quick, unscheduled, inexpensive fix. No need for embarrassment either, since everyone there is there for the same things. Anyways, I guess my point is that I don't judge you for needing a steak for dinner, so please don't judge me for needing assistance to make love to my wife.

  34. Andrea Iossi 2014.06.24

    Hi, this is Andrea from Annabelle's and Olivia's. I feel a little late to this conversation, but I only just heard about it.

    First, to the author of this blog, I understand that you are very convicted in your beliefs about our stores and I recognize that there is nothing I can say or do to change those beliefs. You are entitled to believe what you want and we mean no offense to you.

    What I do want to say is that we work hard everyday to combat these stereotypes about adult stores and what they represent. We run our businesses on the principle of sex-positivity and that means we only advocate safe, consenting sex between adults. And we understand that not everyone needs or wants the products in our stores. But a lot of people do want them. Annabelle's and Olivia's also believe that sex is special and we are in business because not everyone has a perfect sex life and a lot of people have questions. Our customers come from all walks of life, all ages (from 18 to over 90), and some even come from their doctor's office. We try to offer as much education about the safe and proper use and care of all items in the store so our customers can make informed decisions regarding their sexual experience.

    Annabelle's and Olivia's wanted to be involved in the Sioux Falls Pride event because it is very near and dear to us. Over the years we have had many employees that are members of the LGBT community, so we wanted to share and support the message to be proud of who you are. Not only do we have LGBT employees, our employees are also brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, mothers and fathers. Because of this, we understand more than anyone how important it is for us to have only the most appropriate products when we set up a booth at any family-friendly community function - whether it be Sioux Falls Pride or bridal shows or women's conventions or any other of the many events we are invited to attend every year. Our inventory is vast and includes so much more than the movies and toys that first come to mind. We have the rainbow bracelets, cups, flags and more that we brought with us to pride. We have bachelorette party favors that we have brought to bridal shows. We have bath and body products and lingerie including "daily-wear" lingerie (such as bras and panties) that we have brought to women's shopping days.

    Annabelle's and Olivia's would like to thank Thomas and The Center for Equality as well as all the event coordinators in the area that include us in their events. I also wanted to thank some of the other commenters. We appreciate the kind and open-minded things you all had to say about adult stores and products. It makes us feel lucky to be a part of a community that is so open-minded and positive about sexuality!

    -Andrea Iossi and the entire management staff
    Annabelle's and Olivia's Adult SuperCenters

  35. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.06.24

    We raise children with blanket statements. We unravel the blankets as they get older and can handle greater complexity. But with much greater complexities to unravel, I see no need to carve complicated exceptions for folks who commoditize sex and make a living selling smut.

  36. Steve Sibson 2014.06.24

    Jamie, do you know the symbolism behind rainbows:

    " Although the rainbow seems to be only a coloured arc of light refracted through raindrops, to both Christians and New Agers it has a deeper meaning. According to the Bible, the rainbow is symbolic of God's everlasting covenant that he would never again destroy the earth by a flood. However, the New Age Movement uses rainbows to signify their building of the Rainbow Bridge (antahkarana) between man and Lucifer who, they say, is the over-soul. New Agers use the rainbow as a decoration, unaware of the growing popular acceptance of its occult meaning and hidden dangers."

    So Jamie, which way would a "Pride event" go...Christian or New Age? Hint: The Bible makes it clear that being proud of oneself is the main source of sin. So it is logical to then argue that the use of Rainbows at "Pride" events symbolizes Lucifer. Thought you should know the hidden dangers your child and her friends were exposed to. Those same hidden dangers apply to adults too.

  37. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.06.24

    Andrea, thank you for dropping in. I am glad we share a commitment to GLBT equality in the workplace and in marriage. Please keep supporting that message and voting accordingly.

    Whatever your business intent, you do offend me when you advertise on billboards my child can see and radio my child can hear. You intrude upon my efforts to raise my child as I see fit. I exercise my parental prerogative to protect my child from your business's unhealthy influence.

    "...not everyone has a perfect sex life"? No one has a perfect sex life, not even after buying products from your store. There lies the fundamental deception that bothers me, not just about your marketing but all marketing.

    Your presence at any event by definition makes the event not family friendly. An adult-only store doesn't belong at an all-ages event. I can have a positive attitude toward sexuality, I can be politically open-minded and fight for equality, and still define proper, healthy boundaries for my child.

  38. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.06.24

    And just ignore Steve. Everyone knows rainbow symbology comes entirely from the Muppets.

  39. bearcreekbat 2014.06.24

    Cory, first, I really appreciate your efforts in taking the time to discuss these issues. When I see the numerous and complex excellent posts that you put up every day, it amazes me that you still make the time to interact with the various commentators. And I fully support your efforts to protect your 8 year old from any and all experiences that you find to be against her interests. That is exactly what a good parent attempts to do - protect his or her offspring.

    I also think Deb and Robert make compelling points. In particular they recognize that we live in a complex society in which each of us has the opportunity to decide how we will deal with life's issues and opportunities. If some of us find pleasure in sex aids, then what business is it of others to judge or condemn?

    Your comment that "Smut is offensive sexual material" begs the question - offensive to who? As Deb points out, sexual aids are objects with no moral value. Recall that old rummage sale observation, "one person's junk is another person's treasure." By the same token, as Robert's comment makes clear, there may be things you deem offensive, while others might find the same things to be pleasurable or helpful.

    And when you argue, "Sexual practices should not be public," that seems to conflate sexual practices with knowledge or information about sexual practices. Engaging in sexual practices in public is unlawful. Learning about various sexual practices, including about related products is not illegal and, many would contend, is beneficial. Knowledge empowers and we can empower our children by helping them obtain knowledge about the world and the behaviors of others in the world. The timing of providing such knowledge to our kids is an important consideration, but attempting to keep them in the dark about behaviors we find offensive does not help our children make safe decisions in life.

  40. Steve Sibson 2014.06.24

    Pretty funny Cory. I do respect the stand you are taking on this issue. I too moved to the right when I took on the challenge of raising children. I wish you well in your attempts to protect your children from the dangerous elements found in American society today. It is a full time job.

  41. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.06.24

    Steve, don't be fooled: I'm not moving to the right. My opposition to smut shops is as rooted in distaste for the amoral forces of the free market as in discomfort with sloppy, anything-goes relativism.

    BCB, I love knowledge. I make my living spreading knowledge. But knowledge introduced too early does not empower children.

    I'm not begging any question on the offensiveness of smut. Go look the word up; that's how the word is used. It's offensive to me and to the moral bounds I've defined in cooperation with my wife. I acknowledge that others in this conversation apparently do not take the same offense. Annabelle's and Olivia's have an extensive field of customers, and that's great for the bottom line (more sneaky smut in my prose).

    But Pride organizers are just going to have to understand that including adult-only content in an event makes it not family friendly and decreases the chances that they will get to reach my daughter with their message... for a few years, at least.

  42. Steve Sibson 2014.06.24

    Cory, thanks for the clarification that your position is based on totalitarian reasons, instead of protecting the traditional family structure that is the bedrock for a moral society. That is the only kind of society that can handle a free market.

  43. JeniW 2014.06.24

    Corey, IMO, events that promote and/or sell alcohol should not be considered "family friendlt" events, including fairs and festivals. The promoting/selling of alcohol is no different from events that would promote/sell any other type of drug (meth, crack, marijuana and etc.)

  44. Steve Sibson 2014.06.24

    JeniW, you are right. America is not a family friendly society, and is becoming less so with these pride events that promote sexual immorality. Sad that the government schools are leading the charge in making America family unfriendly.

  45. larry kurtz 2014.06.24

    How family friendly is Mitchell, Steve?

  46. bearcreekbat 2014.06.24

    Cory, we agree that timing is important in educating your kids. When is the best time to tell them that Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and God are all myths? In one hilarious Curb Your Enthusiasm episode Suzy Essman went crazy when Larry David inadvertently told Suzy's tween daughter that the Tooth Fairy was a myth. When kids are ready for new information about the world they live in, they are empowered by obtaining this information.

    As for the definition of "smut," I did look it up as you suggested. defines smut, when used as a noun, as:

    "Full Definition of SMUT

    1 matter that soils or blackens; specifically: a particle of soot

    2 any of various destructive diseases especially of cereal grasses caused by parasitic basidiomycetous fungi (order Ustilaginales) and marked by transformation of plant parts into dark masses of spores; also : a fungus causing a smut.

    3 obscene language or matter."

    I was referring to definition 3 in an earlier post when I said that accusing a business of peddling "smut" is accusing the business of criminal activity. In Miller the Court defined obscene. One part of the definition indicated that to be obscene the work must depict or describe, "in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by the applicable state law." That appears to be the only connection that the definition of "smut" has with the term "offensive." And if that is what you mean by "offensive material," then you are undermining your earlier claim that you did not intend to accuse this business of criminal activity.

    As for the marketing of sexual products, you and your wife certainly have the option to consider such a business to be offensive, but that does not seem to justify publicly calling it "smut" under the above definition.

    I understand that you support the concept of equal treatment for LGBT individuals. I also expect that you have the full ability to help your daughter understand the message of the LGBT community. It would seem reasonable for you to decline to attend any event that you choose. The only problem I have is when someone as important as you unfairly and publicly criticizes folks who are only trying to better the lives of LGBT folks, or those with an interest in, or need for, adult sexual products.

  47. larry kurtz 2014.06.24

    great comment, bear. curious how are you being received at DWC since i only go there when i'm really bored.

  48. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.06.24

    (Now that Robert has confirmed he is a distinct individual—thank you, Robert!)

    A butcher shop does not sell smut. Annabelle's and Olivia's do. It's a darn shame that folks who need assistance such as Robert describes have to patronize smut shops.

  49. Steve Sibson 2014.06.24

    Cory, perhaps you should consider saying 'peddling "legal" smut'. That should get you around bearcreekbat's technicality. You would no longer be accusing anyone of criminal activity.

  50. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.06.24

    I reject the contention that there is a technicality here in need of rectification. Smut bears no inherent legal meaning. Smut can mean "pornography," which is not illegal. BCB is playing definitions on stilts to draw me into a legal argument. I make clear from the top that I am not making a legal argument. I am not trying to rise to the Supreme Court's standard of demonstrating that Annabelle's and Olivia's smut rises to the level of obscenity by offending community standards. Evidently, a sizable portion of the community is not offended by Annabelle's and Olivia's smut.

    But I will argue that if my community accepts the presence of Annabelle's and Olivia's smut around children, then my community's standards are wrong, and I will raise my child according to different standards... which I will wager will give her a healthier attitude about her body and about sex than anything the smut shops peddle.

  51. larry kurtz 2014.06.24

    great comment, cory. curious how are you being received at DWC since i only go there when i'm really bored.

  52. mike from iowa 2014.06.24

    For the record,smut,to me is either really bad pornographic material(books or movies) or the ugly,black slimy mold that grows on cornstalks. Everybody,except Sibby,is right.

  53. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.06.24

    Mike, is smut a subset of porn? Are you saying that smut is porn with low production values or that smut is really really nasty porn?

  54. Steve Sibson 2014.06.24

    "Everybody,except Sibby,is right."

    That is a real turnaround. (grin)

  55. Steve Sibson 2014.06.24

    "But I will argue that if my community accepts the presence of Annabelle's and Olivia's smut around children, then my community's standards are wrong"

    I agree with that and would add that a gay football player kissing his boyfriend also are community standards that are wrong. With that said, I see no problem letting the gay football player play football. I am against discrimination.

  56. bearcreekbat 2014.06.24

    Cory, I see that the link you provided to define "smut" extends the definition, beyond, to include pornography, which I agree is not illegal. Perhaps on line dictionaries are a bit like the Bible - we can find support for almost anything that we want to believe.

    In any event, staying with your dictionary, I also checked the definition of "pornography" and it makes no mention of "offensive" materials. Rather it says pornography means:

    "1. Sexually explicit pictures, writing, or other material whose primary purpose is to cause sexual arousal.
    2. The presentation or production of this material.
    3. Lurid or sensational material: "Recent novels about the Holocaust have kept Hitler well offstage [so as] to avoid the ... pornography of the era""

    Given this definition, I suppose one also could also call doctors and drugstores smut peddlers since they prescribe and sell materials that have the primary purpose of causing sexual arousal, such as male and female hormone treatments, viagra, cialis, etc. Indeed, the various activities engaged in by married couples to help their partners become sexually aroused in the privacy of their homes also appear to qualify as pornography, hence smut under this definition.

    The only explicit mention in either definition of what you call "offensive" materials, however, is the reference to obscene materials, which is different than pornography and is illegal.

    Further, regardless of which definition you prefer, I expect that you would agree that your use of the term "smut" in describing these lawful businesses was clearly intended to disparage how they earn their income, with perhaps the unintended side effect of shaming their customers. The only point of my comments about the definition of "smut" was that using it as a hurtful pejorative to describe someone else's lawful conduct seems unfair (and arguably defamatory under the merriam-webster definition).

    I guess I have to concede, however, to each his own view of the nature of his neighbors' lawful endeavors to earn income by helping others. In the words of Andrea, I now "recognize that there is nothing I can say or do to change [your] beliefs. You are entitled to believe what you want and [I] mean no offense to you." And on a side note - It is interesting to see you a Sibby on the same side of an issue.

  57. larry kurtz 2014.06.24

    bear: this is way off-topic but have you a memory of having a cannibalism v. transubstantiation discussion with a punk student in the Rotunda in about '74 or so?

  58. Samantha 2014.06.24

    Annabelle's and Olivia's presence in the community really should be the least of your worries. Their billboards have nothing graphic on them. They do not seem to be going out of their way to throw "sex" in your daughters face. You're all concerned about what your daughter is exposed to, well you better just have her locked up in a room with no TV, Internet, Radio, and so on if you don't want her exposed to things. I didn't read you trying to protest Wal-Mart and Walgreens. Both of these "Main Stream" chains are becoming more modern buy adding a variety of things mostly things that aid in sex! Have you every been into these two places? They both has a part of the aisle dedicated to sex! You can get lube, massage oils, condoms, and even vibrators. If you go onto the Walgreens website, they have Lelo Toys for sale there.
    Annabelle's and Olivia's have a professional adult image. They follow the policies by carding everyone who enters the store. It is not like they are sitting outside "Build a Bear" handing out porn magazines. Have you ever drove by them? You cant even see in their windows! No one is forcing you to go into their store, and they aren't at your door either. It just doesn't make sense you think having these types of stores in the community is going to make it "harder for you to parent". Have you seen Movie "Coraline" , there is a scene where this lady has huge breasts and only pasties on, or the movie "Monster House", this has scenes of drinking and cops shooting guns. Both of these are aimed for KIDS, Annabelle's and Olivia's is doing nothing to draw attention from anyone under 18.

  59. mike from iowa 2014.06.24

    Really nasty,gross stuff like Hustler magazine was back when.Flynt went out of his way to make everything about women and sex dirty and disgusting. Otoh,he bested Jerry Falwell in court,so that is a plus.

  60. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.06.24

    Samantha, smut stores are among the lesser of my worries. My worry is no greater than the worry that motivates you to defend them.

    I'm glad Annabelle's and Olivia's card everyone coming in. That emphasizes my point that they are adults-only establishments and that their presence makes an event non-family-friendly.

    Doing nothing to draw the attention of anyone under 18? Then why do they advertise on radio stations frequently listened to by kids? Why were they handing out goodie bags at an event with children present? (Jamie, just to clarify: did your daughter bring home goodies from either Annabelle's or Olivia's?)

    You are right, Samantha, that no smut store is forcing me to enter their premises and hand them money for their unhealthy commercial activities. But their presence at various public events requires me, in accord with my parental values, to not bring my family to those events, just as I forego going to certain movies and plays because of their adult content.

  61. bearcreekbat 2014.06.24

    Larry, I have been involved in more than one interesting discussion comparing transubstantiation to cannibalism. In 1974, however, I was deeply involved in regular off campus philosophy club meetings at a Catholic Newman Center studying the writings and teaching of Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, Descartes, Kierkegaard, Kant, Hegel, Marx, Sartre, Camus, Nietzsche, Dostoyevsky, Heidegger, Wittgenstein, and various others, with some of the brightest folks I have ever met, both religious and non-religious. I ultimately found the writings of Sartre to be the most persuasive and compelling philosophy of human existence. I still have my copies of various books written by these philosophers in my personal library and enjoy going back to them from time to time

    It was several years later that I decided to study in depth the Bible, Koran, Book of Mormon, and various theological writers, like Paul Tillich (thanks to Bill Fleming!).

    I still have a lot to learn, but I did conclude that transubstantiation seems to be an odd variation of theoretical cannibalism that most Catholics apparently have never thought about in that way. Several Mount Blogmore commentators and I may have explored that issue a bit in the Mount Blogmore 500+ comments about stem cell research in June 2005 (if memory serves me correctly).

    Why do you ask?

  62. JeniW 2014.06.24

    No, Steve, you put words in my mouth that I did not say. I am disappointed that you took my message and twisted it to fit your agenda.

    I did not say that America is not a "family friendly" place. YOU did. What I wrote was alcohol being promoted and sold at events, the events should not be considered "family friendly."

    If I thought our whole country was/is becoming not a "family friendly" place, I would have said so.

  63. bearcreekbat 2014.06.24

    mike, the one great thing about the Flynt/Hustler case that I recall is the point that the first amendment is unnecessary to protect popular speech, rather, its main function is to protect speech that folks likes Cory and Sibby cannot tolerate. That said, the first amendment still does not protect obscene speech (unless it is an obscene magazine that someone looks at is the privacy of his or her own home (excluding child-porn)). But it does protect unpopular speech, such as the pornography described by Cory.

  64. larry kurtz 2014.06.24

    You read like Bob Burns, bear: that professor patiently listening and talking, amidst the gasps from the rest of the class, to a punk kid in a leather jacket smoking a cigarette because it was commonplace then, that transubstantiation is a metaphor.

    Being ambivalent about smut myself, i am curious whether Cory takes his daughter downtown Deadwood or would take his daughter to the Buffalo Chip during the Rally?

  65. mike from iowa 2014.06.24

    Bcb, your philosophical readings would most assuredly land you a starring role in a Louis L'Amour western novel. Have you by chance studied boxing under Jem Mace in New Orleans?

  66. Roger Cornelius 2014.06.24

    Cory has remained consistent in the protection of his 8 year old daughter from __________(pick one: smut pornography, obscenity) and is being challenged for his choice of words by parsing them to death. I get it.
    There has been no challenge to anyone's freedom of speech, their desire to attend the Pride event, or use sexual aides of any kind.
    He has simply stated his personal choice on how and what an 8 year old child should learn about sex, and he is correct, that is a parental responsibility.
    Additionally, I don't view Cory and Sibson on the side here simply because Sibson inject his Christian God in every thought he has and Cory is an avowed atheist. Steve has a way of viewing everything he disagrees as immoral and supports the Heritage Family Values as a part of his agenda.
    This is simply about one man's preference and how to raise a child by his and his wife's standards.
    The real obscenities, pornography and smut are not in adult sex shops, they are are in the streets and battlefields.

  67. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.06.24

    Well put Roger.

    My concern is not only that I feel most adult stores are being unfairly and inaccurately portrayed, but that they are such small potatoes when it comes to dangers to children. The real threats are overarching, systemic, corporate moneymakers.

    Still, I get that this is the post's topic and is very important to him. I guess I'm surprised at Cory's lack of nuance, his absolute black and white thinking.

    Just surprised Cory. I've learned something new about you. That's your business and I don't think less of you. I wish you and your wife all the best raising your children.

  68. Roger Cornelius 2014.06.24

    The real surprise to me in this discussion is not Cory's firm position, but you, an ordained female Lutheran minister in support of sex shops. Intriguing, really.
    Ordinarily you would think that a minister of any religion (Where's Hickey when you need him?) would be opposed to adult sex stores. How'd that come about, Deb?

  69. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.06.25

    I enjoyed Woody Harrelson's portrayal of Mr. Flynt. I should get nervous when anyone uses the phrase "folks like Cory and Sibby."

  70. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.06.25

    Deb, I have a strong absolutist streak. It comes out in odd places.

    Larry, yes, we've been downtown with our little one. She had dinner with us and Bernie Hunhoff and other interesting people during the Festival of Books. Ken Blanchard was there; he said nothing obscene or smutty.

    We have not taken our little one to the Sturgis Rally. We likely will not... because, frankly, getting around Sturgis during the Rally is a pain in the butt, and we'll have more fun riding our own bikes on the Mickelson.

  71. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.06.25

    Good question Roger.

    I've been in sex shops. I know that the things someone said earlier about needing help to maintain sexual intimacy is true. I've talked with people who work in adult stores.

    The Smitten Kitten is a store in Minneapolis which caters specifically to women and their sexual questions and needs. It's a place women can ask questions they are too embarrassed to voice anywhere else. Most often, they want to know if they are "normal." At this store there are no judgments, no shame. The store is brightly lit, clean and arranged as nicely as any boutique. The staff is knowledgeable, understanding and patient. They understand sexual intercourse as something adult human beings do as a healthy part of normal existence. There is no sleaze, no exploitation, no lewdness. It's not a shameful, dangerous place.

    I have also been in a sleazy sex shop. I wasn't there long. It was dim, dirty, lined with shelves of videos that, judging from the images on the covers, were demeaning, shaming, disgusting and without any true value. The place also had small booths. I forgot what they are called. Men (I didn't see any women there.), pay a certain amount of money. There is a woman on the other side of a glass partition. She does whatever while the man watches. I'm sure that's not all he does in that little room. The place was skin-crawly disgusting.

    I've been in a few others, and made a point to talk with people who regularly frequent or work in adult stores. More adults than most of you might guess have issues with sexual behavior and they apparently find a female reverend less intimidating. Nothing they discussed was dirty or bad. It was all human.

    Here's an important thing for you to know about me Roger. My job as a pastor is not to judge. In fact, I have no desire for such a job description. What I am called to do is take people where they are, hear them without condemnation, (unless they've done something truly horrible), give them whatever help I can, remind them they are acceptable and loveable.

    See, very, very few people can easily and readily believe how completely loveable they are. They find it ludicrous that God could truly find them completely delightful. Shame is insidious and stunts human development like nothing else. Folks can forgive many, many things. The last, most difficult, nearly impossible one to forgive is one's self.

    I'm not going to add to their shame.

    Unless they've molested children, committed a violent crime, defrauded an old man, etc. For those kinds of things I'd gladly turn their nasty butts in first. Then I'd visit them in prison. Except the child molester. I couldn't do that. My problem.

  72. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.06.25

    I'd rather go into 10 adult stores than spend a day at the Rally. Massive misogyny, sleaze, shameful behavior, drugs, booze, dangerous driving. Ugh.

    I worked at Fort Meade for 6 years. Six looong years - in terms of having to endure the rally. Ugh.

  73. mike from iowa 2014.06.25

    Deb-you are right about more adults have issues with sexual behavior. It seems the vast majority have problems with other people's sexuality. The new Puritans. They stick their noses in it and that makes them seem .......kinky.

  74. Jenny 2014.06.25

    I agree with Cory, as I have a daughter close in age to his (nine years old).
    Human beings will continue to struggle with their sexuality as they always have. It's such a huge part of who we are. Pornography is becoming a huge addiction in this country, thanks to the internet. I sometimes think God (or whoever) should not have made the human sexual urge so strong as there probably wouldn't be this obsession and addiction to it for some people.
    As a parent, thanks Cory. It is especially a challenge raising a daughter in this looks obsessed society.

  75. bearcreekbat 2014.06.25

    I agree with Roger that "real obscenities, pornography and smut are not in adult sex shops, they are are in the streets and battlefields." And Deb makes a most excellent point - judging businesses based on negative stereotyping is just as big of a thinking error as using negative stereotypes to judge people.

    Deb, I am pleased to learn of your vocation. A while back on Blogmore I interacted with another lady of the cloth on several threads. She opened my eyes and my mind to the wonderful teachings of the New Testament relative to treating other humans. After studying my grandfather's Bible from cover to cover, I evolved from a disinterested agnostic to a confirmed atheist. The frequent negativity in the Old Testament in particular, and in some parts of the NT, sort of blinded me to the many positive messages of the NT. For example, the pernicious OT Passover story had a powerful effect on me - how in the world can people claim to be loving when they celebrate an event premised on the slaughter of innocent Egyptian children?

    The threads discussing religious issues on Blogmore really helped opened my mind and focus on more than the constant deist anger and slaughter of innocents expressed in the OT. After reading your thoughtful comments in Cory's smut thread, I look forward to reading and thinking about your comments in future posts.

    no mike, I haven't lived quite that long, but I did work at a paper box company for a while.

  76. mike from iowa 2014.06.25

    I didn't mean to insinuate you were old. Last I heard L'Amour's son and daughter were carrying on his western traditions. There may be hope for your inclusion,yet.

  77. Jenny 2014.06.25

    When did sex shops quit selling porn movies?

    Alcoholism is not found in bars either.

  78. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.06.26

    Thanks BCB, that's very nice of you to say.

  79. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.06.26

    Deb, that's the most interesting use of the word "lovable" that I've heard. I approve.

    Mike, the Puritanism in my parenting swings this way: I won't intrude on anyone else's sexuality with legislation, but I don't want anyone intruding on my sexuality or the development of my daughter's sexuality with their commercialization.

    Jenny, I'm happy to lend my strange Puritanism to our common cause in jamming the culture and protecting our kids from porn addiction.

  80. Steve Sibson 2014.06.26

    "My job as a pastor is not to judge."

    That is false based on the Bible. See 1 Corinthians 5:12

  81. David Bergan 2014.06.28

    Hi Cory,

    I'm curious where you draw the line for your personal standard of "smut".

    Victoria's Secret? Abercrombie? Savers?

    Perfume companies? Axe body spray? Shampoo ads? Makeup...

    Rated R movies? Movies with a sex scene?

    Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On"? I'm too sexy for my shirt? Gangnam Style?

    Kind regards,

  82. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.06.28

    David, may I appeal to Justice Potter Stewart and say I know it when I see it? Or better yet, I know it when I'd rather my daughter did not see it, which standard would apply to the R-rated portions of movies, sex scenes, possibly Victoria's Secret, and probably everything sold at Annabelle's and Olivia's?

  83. David Bergan 2014.06.28

    Sounds good. It's just atypical to see a totally subjective argument on this blog, when almost every other post relies on objective studies and pragmatic analysis.

    e.g. I've never heard you opine that you'll know bad teaching when you see it... you always have stats and metrics to identify bad teaching.

    With respect to sex stuff, I've learned that everyone has a different threshold for icky-ness... and you really can't move that threshold with reasoning. Some people blush at the thought of thong underwear. Others are proud to be the recipient of a chili dog.

    That's one of the reasons why morality is hard. For the most part our intuitions form our morality... and, in this area, intuitions vary widely.

  84. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.06.28

    I don't need objective evidence to support my parenting paradigm of keeping my child away from the commoditization of sex.

    Perhaps related: I don't need objective evidence to justify feeling offended when young males walk by my daughter in public with their pants hanging low and their underwear no longer under. I don't explain to her the whole problem of aping prison-rape culture (that will come later), but I do mock those low-riders to my daughter and say it's called underwear for a reason.

  85. mike from iowa 2014.06.28

    There was music and Spock talking on video.

  86. larry kurtz 2014.06.28

    Weird, Mike: couldn't get sound on laptop but it works fine on the phone.

  87. David Bergan 2014.06.29

    Hi Cory,

    Thanks for the interesting reads. It was fun to learn about routine activity theory and secondary effects research.

    The data supplied, however, showed only that a certain adult store in Sioux City logged about as much criminal activity as the hotel just up the street from it.

    The article also stated that currency exchanges are major crime magnets, because illegal immigrants get their cash converted there, and since they rarely report crimes, they are ideal victims for predators.

    We aren't going to boycott hotels and currency exchanges, are we? (Although I will take a little more caution next time I visit these businesses.)

    Similarly, the article observed that some patrons of the adult store acted in ways that indicated they would be easy marks (driving around the block several times before stopping, parking several blocks away, waiting outside until the store is empty before entering, buying merchandise with cash... all signs to a predator that you don't want anyone to know that you're there... hence, an indication that you won't report a crime in this situation).

    Anyway, albeit interesting, this seems pretty far afield from your main arguments regarding commercialization/commoditization/objectification/exploitation of sex/women/masturbation.

    I was looking for the harms evidence to back up statements like:

    "Food is appropriate in the marketplace. Sex is not. Sex should be rooted in shared emotion, commitment, and trust. Freighting sex with toys and false images and other consumer products takes something away from the specialness of two people can create share by themselves."

    [do you have evidence that it's impossible for a couple to feel more "specialness" through toys? and a pair of fuzzy handcuffs seems like a step of increased trust...]

    "Young people growing up surrounded by ads that say, "Sex requires magic lube! Exotic toys! Expertise in multiple positions featured in this video on sale now!" miss out on the fact that the best sex isn't on the radio or TV. It's not going to come from a goodie bag handed out at the Pride Festival. It's not going to come from any shop. It's going to come from finding that one partner to whom you will quite literally open up a part of yourself that no one else will see."

    [And there's no possibility of sharing even deeper levels of sexual satisfaction with that partner through devices designed to increase its pleasure?]

    "Commoditization makes one's sexual practices public. Sexual practices should not be public."

    [Public sex works fine for bonobos.]

    "No one has a perfect sex life, not even after buying products from your store. There lies the fundamental deception that bothers me, not just about your marketing but all marketing."

    [95% of all marketing is deceptive and I just made that up. My breakfast is not going to suddenly become awesome if I switch to Smuckers... but the ad sure leads you to believe that.

    Reflecting on the notion of a perfect sex life is kinda fun. Nirvana + unlimited stamina? Sex + the thrill of scientific discovery... a eureka orgasm? exponents of awesomeness...

    Anyway, in declaring none sex life perfect, first, is that your conclusion based on an exhaustive survey of all sex-havers? Didn't think so.

    Thus, since we're waxing philosophically... are you invoking the Greek tradition of Plato's cave... saying we're doomed to only shadows of the "ideal sex life" which floats around next to the ideal triangle and dogness in some museum of perfectness we can only imagine?

    Or are you drawing on the other great Western tradition of imperfection, the original sin motif, saying that we are born imperfect sexual creatures... spirits cursed with the knowledge of what is theoretically possible, but our flesh can't achieve it despite our best human efforts?]

    "But I will argue that if my community accepts the presence of Annabelle's and Olivia's smut around children, then my community's standards are wrong, and I will raise my child according to different standards... which I will wager will give her a healthier attitude about her body and about sex than anything the smut shops peddle."

    [Wrong, huh? Tell me again how you bridge the is-ought?

    Moreover, it sounds like you're equating "the community allows x to exist" with "the community endorses x's beliefs and propaganda". If the Supreme Court hands down a decision allowing the KKK to exist... that doesn't mean they endorse them.

    I wouldn't even say that shopping at a certain store endorses that company's beliefs. I can buy all my quilting ribbons from Hobby Lobby (which I totally do) even though I believe all health plans should cover birth control.

    Parent as you wish, shop as you wish, enjoy sex as you wish, speak as you wish... I'm just not seeing where you get off telling the internet that sex with things bought from a "smut shop" leads to a less-intimate relationship, and that peddling said things corrupts the youth.]

    Kind regards,

  88. JeniW 2014.06.29

    I have not been to a Ribfest, so I am wondering if John Morrell's has a booth there to give out mini hammers, knives, hooks, and whatever else to represent the items that are used to kill and dismember pigs?

    I do not shop at Hobby Lobby because of their stance about their health insurance not including coverage for birth control pills. There are other places to get the same things. I don't shop at Lewis Drug because of its policy about allowing staff to refuse to sell birth control pills. I know that I can get my medicines and other items from other stores.

    My not doing business with Hobby Lobby or Lewis Drug does not mean anything to the owners of those stores, but at least I know that they are not earning a profit from me.

  89. Lynn 2014.06.29

    No more Taco Tuesdays for me or any business at Taco Johns and especially the Taco Johns in Yankton, Norfolk, NE and Wendy's at Yankton since they are owned and managed by the same family and have handled what happened to that gay teenager poorly and also from calls I made to corporate HQ and to the management at the franchise.

  90. bearcreekbat 2014.06.29

    David, that is an interesting post with some great questions. I hope Cory addresses them. Thanks!

  91. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.06.29

    Jiminy crickets.

    David, perfection is an illusion.

    We are not bonobos.

  92. David Bergan 2014.06.29

    Sweet! I just won an argument on the Internet!

  93. Jerry 2014.06.29

    Well played sir, sometimes even a blind squirrel finds an acorn.

  94. JeniW 2014.06.29

    Maybe, maybe not, but you have not changed Corey's opinion.

    Just as no one will ever convince me that fairs, festivals, and other events where alcohol is promoted and sold, should be considered "family oriented (or family friendly,) events, you probably have not convinced Corey.

  95. Roger Cornelius 2014.06.29

    This weekend is quickly becoming known as Pride Weekend across the country with major events in Detroit, San Francisco, Chicago, and New York.
    Sponsorship of these events are also growing and now include Starbuck's, EBay, Macy's, Chrysler, American Express, J.P. Morgan, Budweiser, Kroger's, General Motors, Ford, Whole Foods, and Delta Airlines to name a few. These sponsors have come to recognize that the LGBT communities injects $830 Billion into goods and services they provide.
    The Pride movement is not just about equality, it is about recognizing the economic impact the LGBT community has.
    These events are recognized as "family friendly" and not much has been reported of any violence or disruptions or counter demonstrations.
    When adult sex shops promote their products at Pride events, they are not just promoting them to the LGBT community, they are promoting them to the many heterosexual advocates for equality.
    Cory is absolutely right to protect his daughter from any openly display of sexuality and Pride organizers need to separate sex shop displays from the family event activities.
    The Pride events need to keep their focus on equality and gaining support for their efforts and not alienate potential supporters with sexuality.
    If I was still in the child raising business, I would want to know that I would not to have to shield my child from any displays that may clutter the mind of a vulnerable child.

  96. mike from iowa 2014.06.29

    David Bergan,bonobos are quadrasexual or less. They will do anything with any bonobo for a quarter or less,including youngsters.

  97. Jeff 2014.06.30

    If you had actually been at the festival, you would have seen that their booth was not "peddling smut" and they were not "alienating potential supporters with sexuality." They were selling rainbow hats and cups and such. You have allowed your imagination to get away from you a bit when in reality there is more "smut" available in any "family planning" section at stores like Walmart, Walgreens, Target, etc. than what they had to sell that afternoon. I don't blame you for not wanting to bring your child into an adult store - that is why they are called ADULT stores. But the truth is this wasn't their whole store on display. It was just a booth at an event selling merchandise specifically for that event and it WAS in fact family friendly and I thought the event as a whole was great. I think it is disrespectful to the LGBT community that you have taken this event about celebrating equality and (without even attending it) sensationalized it into some kind of fictitious drama.
    Did you ever stop and ask yourself why the local news agencies didn’t pick up on this “controversy”? They certainly reported on the event ( Maybe it’s because they actually went there and it turns out there was nothing to see but Gay Pride items. You had an opportunity here to post a positive article about diversity, acceptance, and equality but instead you posted this sarcastic piece advocating people to not attend because of your personal beliefs about one booth and what you mistakenly thought was going to be presented. You just keep sticking to your guns about how you want to protect your child from seeing all those rainbow necklaces they were selling just because of who was selling them. I get it that you won’t just admit that you weren’t there and don’t actually know what you are talking about. But maybe next time you will think twice and post something worthwhile for the LGBT community that you claim to support.

  98. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.06.30

    But that's the thing, Jeff: with smut shops on the guest list, I can't take the chance of going there with my family. I am disappointed that an event that would reinforce the lessons of equality that I teach my daughter chooses to host vendors to whom I will not expose my daughter.

    "Claim to support"? Jeff, you are now the one creating a false controversy that you do not want. The only disrespect here is (a) my disrespect for Annabelle's and Olivia's and all other smut shops (real, complete, and unapologetic), and (b) your disrespect for my real political views. Review my very public record of statements on LGBT issues, and show me the hard evidence that my support is a false claim.

    "Sarcastic"? I missed the part where I said the opposite of what I meant for effect.

  99. mike from iowa 2014.06.30

    Smut is in the eyes of the beholder.

  100. Jeff 2014.06.30

    I never said your claim was false. I said "maybe next time you will think twice and post something worthwhile for the LGBT community that you claim to support." I acknowledge that you claim to support them. You said so at the end of the article and in the comments. My suggestion is that in the future you post articles to support them, not articles discouraging people from attending the festival.

  101. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.06.30

    Own your words, Jeff. People say "claim to believe" to foster doubt. You foster false doubt about my commitment to supporting equality for the LGBT community. You can make a perfectly good argument defending the value of smut shops (David is trying!) without cluttering the debate with an effort to call into question my credibility on larger political issues.

    So, Jeff, reality time: do you believe I support the LGBT community or not? And to support the LGBT community, am I obliged to expose my child to smut vendors?

  102. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.06.30

    Cory, it appears to me that you have a highly biased view of adult stores and adult use of various sexual aids/toys/etc. Do you understand that your statements about the use of those items in sexual activity is simply inaccurate?

    They do not destroy the psychic and emotional depth of the relationship between two adults. They do not cause harm or abuse between two adults. Those items are merely inanimate things with no innate value attached, except what we humans give them.

    Yes, there are uses and items, especially SM things, that can be deleterious to human relationships. I have no problem seeing SM stuff discontinued.

    I guess I am puzzled by your take on this topic because you seem so determined to condemn adult uses of sexual aids/toys, without and even in spite of any evidence.

    I'm not talking about your parenting skills or about minor children. I don't think they ought to be exposed to adult stores and products either. I do think that, pending the teens maturity level, a parent might choose to accompany their older teen to a clean, reputable adult store.

    In summary Cory, I think you are wrong to lump all adult stores together and wrong to condemn adult use of many of the aids/toys/etc. available in adult stores.

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