Sex in the News

Last week, these news articles about sex made national headlines and created some conversational buzz.


The North Carolina Ethics Commission publicly announced that it is “perfectly legal” for a lobbyist and a government official to have a sexual relationship with one another.

The commission’s opinion, as reported in The Daily Beast, “essentially says that your body is a temple and sharing it with anyone else is a priceless gift.” The commission’s view that sex is “priceless” equates to “sex has no value.” Items of value need not be disclosed, according to the commission.

In an editorial published by the Beaufort Observer, the paper denounced the commission’s opinion. “[S]ince the Ethics Commission has now ruled that sex has no value how will prostitution ever be prosecuted any more in this state? If sex has no value, how can prostitution be illegal?” the paper’s editorial argued.

I prefer to think that the commission meant “having incalculable monetary, intellectual, or spiritual worth” or even “precious” as the meaning of “priceless.” In this regard, sex would indeed have value, even if we cannot describe that value in monetary terms.

At the very least, a sexual relationship between a lobbyist and a government official should be considered unethical, a position that U.S. Senator Tom Tillis supports.

In 2012, two of Tillis’ staff members due to relationships with lobbyists. Tillis, a Republican from North Carolina, enforced his personal policy of banning such behavior between lobbyists and members of his staff.

“What these people are guilty of is very bad judgment,” Tillis said at the time of this staff members’ resignations.


Since mid-December 2014, 26 individuals have tested positive for HIV and four others have preliminary HIV-positive status, as reported by Indiana Deputy Health Commissioner Jennifer Walthall.

Most of the cases are linked to people injecting the prescription painkiller Opana with a small number being linked to sexual transmission, reported Indiana Health Commissioner Jerome Adams. The sharing of a dirty needle appears to be the source of the outbreak.

Opana is an opioid painkiller containing oxymorphone, which is more powerful per milligram than the prescription painkiller Oxycontin, which contains oxycodone. The two are not the same chemically, but both prescription medications are controlled substances. Addicts typically obtain either of these drugs illegally for their own recreational use.

“Investigators are interviewing those infected about their needle-sharing habits and sexual partners… to identify, contact and test individuals who may have been exposed,” to the HIV virus, Adams said.

The HIV cases have been confirmed in Clark, Jackson, Perry, Scott and Washington counties, said Walthall. Five of those infected are prostitutes and ten others are inmates in local jails or prisons, according to WLFI Channel 18 news.

According to the 2014 Indiana Annual Report, published on January 1 of this year, there were 421 new cases of HIV diagnosed in the state of Indiana in 2014.


The controversial reality television show, Neighbors with Benefits, will air March 22 on the cable network A&E. The show follows five suburban Ohio couples, most in their 30s, and consists of nine, one-hour episodes. Producers of the show estimate there are “upwards of 15 million swingers in America,” according to the New York Post.

At the center of the show is married couple “Tony and Diana McCollister, described as the de facto leaders of a thriving swinging culture in their neighborhood,” reports The site reveals the couple hosts swinger’s parties at their Hamilton Township home in Thornton Grove, which is north of Cincinnati.

The show features four other couples, described by several news outlets as: “Brittany and Cody, who struggle with playing by the rules within the lifestyle; longtime swingers Lori and Eric, who fear the judgment of others; Vince and Penny, swinger newcomers who balance pressure by couples both for and against swinging; and Mark and Amy, a monogamous couple who feel their friends Tony and Diana are always on the prowl for new recruits.”

“Besides giving a glimpse at the sexier side of swinging, the series will delve into the specific challenges of these special relationships… as well as the potential devastation an open marriage risks,” reports The New York Post.

“We’re in an interesting place with social mores in this country,” said Aaron Rothman, the show’s executive producer.

Other television shows about controversial sexual views include Sister Wives, which is a TLC show about polygamy, and 19 Kids and Counting, which is about a devote religious couple who does not believe in birth control that airs on TLC as well.


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