Platform - Federal
OUR FEDERAL PLATFORM To realize a sex-positive culture we need to: a) change our education system b) repeal sex-negative laws and regulations c) support sex-positive community.
The federal government has responsibility in each of these areas.
1) CHANGE OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM
Teach sexual gradualism in schools
Canadian studies indicate that the quantity and quality of sexual health education and sexual health services being provided to our youth are inadequate.
The Sex Party would establish a comprehensive national education program in sexual health and hygiene. But we would go further. We favour a school sexual education program that encourages sexual activity - but in a gradual and disciplined way. Our youth need to know that sex is enhanced in both the short and long term by a step-by-step process of sexual gradualism, whereby extensive sexual experimentation precedes first intercourse. Virtually every other learning system involves a gradualist approach, and children naturally embrace it.
Instruction in sexual gradualism would teach a teen a way to explore the erotic responsiveness of his or her own body without contact with another person. Teens would also learn how to set the stage for healthy and satisfying sexual liaisons. They would learn, for example, that trust, emotional intimacy, relaxation, and verbal communication are all key to an optimal first sexual experience. As well, a course in sexual gradualism would teach young people about erotic massage and would emphasize the importance of non-coital erotic experimentation prior to intercourse.
Parents play a key role in the sex education of their children, although that role is usually unconscious. The Sex Party would introduce a national program to support parents in their vital role as sex-positive educators.
Education is a provincial responsibility. The federal government can influence education policy through funding programs. The Sex Party would fund provincial and municipal education jurisdictions that adopt the national sex education program.
The Institute for the Advanced Study of Sexual Policy
Canada is the home of many world-class think tanks in the areas of medicine, technology and social science. No significant research program focuses on human sexuality and especially its public policy aspects. The Sex Party would provide provincial funding for an institute to conduct high level research into several sexuality policy issues, including enhancing sexual education throughout the lifespan, and eradicating sex negativity systems in the media, religion, the law, and family life.
2) REPEAL SEX-NEGATIVE LAWS AND REGULATIONS
The federal Criminal Code prohibits all recreational nudity in public areas. The provincial government controls the enforcement of these provisions. At present there is no systematic enforcement policy. As a result of history or geographic isolation, enforcement policies tolerate recreational nudity in specific areas, such as Vancouver's Wreck Beach. Relatively few such areas exist. Recreational nudists are denied rights to the vast majority of accessible public lands.
Public nudity has many social benefits for both nudists and non-nudists, chief of which is to normalize all parts of the human body and de-stigmatize human sexual organs.
The Sex Party would pass legislation requiring all public parks and beaches larger than one hectare to designate areas reserved for nudists.
At present federal criminal law prohibits almost all form of commercial erotic touch. Such a blanket prohibition has been implicated in the stigmatization of sex workers, which in turn contributes to violence towards this vulnerable social group. British Columbia is the setting for one of the most horrific mass killings of sex workers in the modern world. A serial killer is victimizing prostitutes in Edmonton, and is still at large. Despite this unspeakable violence against an identifiable minority, successive federal have done almost nothing to change the inhumane prohibitions aimed at sex workers.
Twenty years ago the Fraser Commission undertook an exhaustive study of these prohibitions and recommended radical change. Nothing has happened, except the deaths of dozens of sex workers.
Criminal sanctions against sex workers are within federal responsibility. The Sex Party would:
a) implement the recommendations of the Fraser Committee with respect to the repeal of laws prohibiting consensual, adult sex work in private;
b) establish the Sex Worker Empowerment Program (SWEP), a federally-funded agency providing counseling, education, and advocacy to sex workers in Canada.
Sexually Explicit Private Gatherings
At present many federal criminal prohibitions inhibit sexual expression in which only willing adults participate and observe. For example, the criminal code prohibits any "immoral, indecent or obscene performance, entertainment or representation." Police forces have used such provisions to threaten to charge adult, consenting artists and entertainers who seek engage in sexually explicit conduct before willing adult audiences. The criminal code also prohibits the keeping of a place where "indecency" regularly occurs. These provisions have been used to attack bathhouses where open sexual expression occurs, and gatherings of practitioners of group or fetishistic sex. Terms such as "immoral" or "indecent" have no objective meaning. Such laws unduly restrict sexual expression and send sex-negative messages about human sexuality. The Sex Party would repeal them.
Federal criminal law prohibits anal sex between individuals younger than 18 or in sexual activity involving more than two people. Such prohibitions are unreasonable. The Sex Party would repeal them.
The Sex Party supports all reasonable measures aimed at preventing the abuse of children involved in the production of sexually explicit media. Federal legislation prohibits the possession or production of photographs and films that depict real children involved in sexual activity. The Sex Party supports that law. But federal law also prohibits the possession of written material containing descriptions of sexual activity involving children. Such material could include novels, personal journals, or fantasies. No evidence suggests that the prohibition of such writing prevents harm to children. The Sex Party would delete that prohibition.
Canadian legislation gives Canadian customs officials broad powers to prohibit sexual media crossing Canadian borders. For the last 25 years, federal customs officials have exercised these powers with a high level of capriciousness. Courts have censured this arbitrary behavior. Customs officials have especially targeted the gay community. All such action is unecessary. The Criminal Code provides ample resources to police officers accross the country to seize and destroy sexual media that is truly dangerous to society. The Sex Party would abolish the censorship powers of the customs agency.
The federal government runs one of the most powerful media organizations in the country: Canada Post. Its unaddressed mail program has an audience reach as large as the entire radio industry, or television industry or newspaper industry. Every year it delivers hundreds of millions of unaddressed flyers to Canadian households, including material from charities, churches, government agencies, corporations and political parties.Yet Canada Post refuses to accept The Sex Party's election flyers because they include tasteful, non-pornographic sexual words and art images. To Canada Post any sexual content is prohibited regardless of its political, artistic or intellectual merit. Such censorship is a classic expression of sex-negativity. The Sex Party would re-write postal regulations to prohibit only sexual material that was clearly pornographic or designed to shock. (The Sex Party is also in the process of attacking these provisions in court.)
3) SUPPORT SEX POSITIVE COMMUNITY
Long Term Care
Many people in long term care find great comfort and meaning in sexual expression. Most long term care facilities have no policies respecting the expression of sexual needs. This usually results in stifling sexual expression or forcing it to occur surreptitiously.
The Sex Party would develop national code of ethics for long term care institutions that is non-judgmental about residents' sexuality and that aims to facilitate any desired activity among willing partners, who can be either fellow residents, visiting friends or spouses, or sex professionals.
The Sex Party would fund a program at nursing schools for specialized sexual care nurses. Their duties would include sexual counseling, risk assessment, and facilitating sexual expression desired by residents, including washing, undress and positioning residents before and during sexual activity, administering erection-producing injections, fitting condoms and helping patients with cleaning and dressing, providing sex toys and erotic material and facilitating contact with sex professionals.
Sex Positive Press Council
Often unconsciously, the media plays a key role in perpetuating sex-negative attitudes. Because the media is generally unaware of their role, they need assistance in recognizing it. Examples of such negativity include:
a) Overt Censorship
1) in images accompanying news stories involving nudity, the media digitally blurs the genital region of the body or female breasts, or hides them via camera angles. See examples from the National Post and Vancouver Sun and the New York Times.
2) the print media censors the spelling of sexual terms, such as depicting the word "fuck" as "f---". See an example from The National Post.
3) the audio media censors behind a beep sound the sounds of sexual words
Such censorship violates several principles of journalistic ethics and communicates negative messages about genitals and sex and the words, sounds and images that describe genitals and sex.
b) Subtle censorship
The news media has specialists covering every major aspect of human existence, including food, health, education, travel, the environment, business, the media itself, fashion, cars, and wine. Yet not a single journalist in a mainstream media organization focuses on sexuality. The subject deserves at least the same attention as fashion, cars and wine.
The Sex Party would create a Sex-Positive Press Council that would expose the overt and subtle censorship practiced by Canadian media.