August 30, 2007

Combine a culture of sexual repression, shame, fear, and self-loathing with a politics of authoritarianism and a practice of totalitarian power, and you get centuries of rape and torture—glossed as the psychological problems of a few aberrant priests— or reactionary politicians burning their imagined witches by day and sneaking an anonymous forbidden look or touch whenever possible.

“I’m not gay,” the senator from Idaho wailed on TV as he held tight to the humiliated wife’s hand, busted in an airport bathroom reaching into a nearby stall, and of course he’s right: he’s neither gay nor happy nor free nor sane.

I remember a book written almost half a century ago about the anonymous sex scene in the public parks of Idaho’s largest city. It was called The Boys of Boise, and it might be worth another look.