Laws of distraction.
Jarg Rase-Oberreich

Sex laws of distraction

The world has some peculiar sex laws. But nothing’s more peculiar than the laws of attraction… These news flashes and more in this week’s Sex in the Press.

Gone to the dogs?

‘Finland is indeed a last bastion of bestiality. Here a person can have sex with an animal as long as the animal is not harmed,’ according to ‘Yes, in Finland you can have sex with your pet’.

From 1734, sex with ‘nature’s creatures’ was punishable by death in Finland. But by 1971, the country had joined a Europe-wide trend where it ‘was thought that criminalising the act was not the right way to deal with people who are likely to suffer from mental illness or who are simply lonely.’

Recently European countries have returned to criminalising the act. Most recently, Denmark banned bestiality in response to suspicions that animal brothels were operating in the country. Now Finland seems set to follow suit.

Finland’s Minister of Justice has already given nuance to the debate: ‘This subject of bestiality is morally loaded, yet moral indignation does not in itself necessarily mean something should be criminalised.’

‘She does note however, that the issue of animal welfare offers a compelling legal standard.’

(Meanwhile, in the USA: ‘A man accused of feeling up a farm animal argues an anti-bestiality law is unconstitutional,’ according to ‘A legal defense of donkey sex’.)

Crazy sex laws

Of course, the world is filled with odd laws. ‘14 of the strangest sex laws which could land you in the slammer’ collects some of the more curious.

For example in Thailand, the fine for having a sex with a bitch in heat is higher than if the dog is not in heat.

Then there’s the USA… In Arizona, you are only allowed two sex toys (‘Quality over quantity guys!’). In Bakersfield, California, you have to wear a condom if you want to make love with Satan (yes, The Great Horned One!). In Minnesota, it’s illegal to have sex with a live fish (but one assumes it’s okay to seduce a dead one).

Speaking of the dead, let’s take a moment to marvel at Abdel-Bari Zamzami, a controversial Moroccan cleric who loves issuing deeply odd fatwas. One of his interpretations of Islamic law included the ‘necrophilia fatwa’ which allowed husbands to have sex with his wife up to six hours after her death. Naturally, when a hoax article claimed that this law was about to be adopted in Egypt, Western media was only too happy to spread it as actual news.

In more heart-warming news…

‘Norman MacArthur, 74, and Bill Novak, 76, have been together for over 50 years. When they moved to Pennsylvania in 2000, a lawyer told them since domestic partnerships weren’t recognised in the state, if they wanted to retain familial legal rights, then Bill could adopt Norman – two years his junior,’ according to ‘Gay couple who were once ‘father and son’ are finally allowed to marry’.

But then same-sex marriage became legal and the couple decided to get hitched. But first Bill had to de-adopt Norman.

‘We had 30 friends in court to show that this case was out of the ordinary — though the judge knew that — and when the judge signed the order our friends burst into applause and I burst into tears,’ says Norman.

Laws of attraction

Indeed, one cannot fight the laws of the heart: ‘For couples, time can upend the laws of attraction’.

People usually hook up with people of similar ‘mate value’ – a shared level of perceived beauty and wealth.

‘By observing singles pursuing one another at online dating sites and in speed-dating experiments, researchers have found that people tend to end up with those of similar mate value […] That pattern also occurs in married couples: Attractive, well-educated, high-earning people tend to marry people like themselves.’

However, one’s perception of mate value shifts over time as you get to know someone better.

‘If they’d begun going out within a month of meeting, then they tended to be equally attractive physically. But if they’d been acquaintances for a long time, or if they’d been friends before becoming lovers, then someone hot was more liable to end up with someone not so hot.’

Called ‘slow love’, the process is becoming more common as people take more time before getting married.

Can this process also explain why some people end up with dogs?


Are there sex laws in India that you think are absurd? Leave a comment below or join the discussion on Facebook.

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