The beautiful and provocative cover of the July/August issue and the lead article's mention of haptic suits ("The Future of Sex," by Clay Farris Naff) recalls the "cold marriages" of the evil Selinites (moon-dwellers) C.S. Lewis described in his novel That Hideous Strength:
... the womb is barren and the marriages cold. There when a young man takes a maiden in marriage, they do not lie together, but each lies with a cunningly fashioned image of the other, made to move and to be warm by devilish arts, for real flesh will not please them, they are so dainty (delicati) in their dreams of lust. Their real children they fabricate by vile arts in a secret place. Not that I agree with Lewis that such a practice is necessarily bad. For some of us (*cough*) it may be the only way to enjoy a complete and fulfilling love life. It's just ironic, and a bit sobering, that he foresaw the technology. What would Lewis think now?
Kenneth E. Nahigian
Congratulations on your July/August issue, your best ever on sex and maybe your best ever on anything! I do have a quibble with Michael Werner's Humanism 101 column, "Sex: Our Wonderful Gift." The statement that "sex has traditionally been a source of power and control" puts the actual process in reverse. Traditionally, patriarchal societies have used all of the power at their command, from religion to the police, to control sexuality--specifically women's sexuality. At the extreme, this comes in the form of female genital mutilation, burkas and niqabs, purdah, foot binding, etc. In Christian societies, it is done primarily by shame.
Homer Edward Price
The July/August issue was a fountain of information. "The Future of Sex," however, did contain one contentious claim that "we have broken out of the Malthusian trap." Unfortunately, like the religious, we secularists also have an anthropocenric view of the world and disregard the enormous environmental and personal costs of that view. On NPR today there was a report of the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. This zone is due to agricultural...