"My sons were greatly disturbed by viewing this material and this matter has caused many sleepless nights in our house."
— Bentonville, Ark., resident Earl Adams in an email to Mayor Bob McCaslin describing the turmoil that occurred after his two young sons found a copy of The Whole Lesbian Sex Book in the public library.
No sex, no drugs, no wine, no women
No fun, no sin, no you, no wonder it's dark
…That's why I'm turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so …
— "Turning Japanese" by the Vapors
When I was 12 or 13, I kept a copy of Playboy hidden in my cellar. My best friend back then had swiped it from his father's hiding place in his own garage and then given it to me, a girl, for safekeeping. We'd look at it a lot, both of us hoping silently that the day we'd see a sexy naked woman of the three-dimensional variety would come sooner, rather than later.
If there was a disturbing aspect to learning about the mature female body in a damp cellar, it wasn't a result of seeing Miss January on all fours, but rather the mold that grew on her curves over time. By May, all the really good parts of her were covered in a green-black slime. If only we'd thought to hide our contraband in a library.
Since it's doubtful that Bentonville, Ark., resident Earl Adams recently emerged from an alien spacecraft as a fully grown spoilsport, I have to assume that he was once a horny adolescent curious about sex and, like me, willing to take chances to feed that curiosity. It's probably also safe to assume that he would not have wanted the details of his inquisitiveness fed to the media. I know I wouldn't have. Yet that's exactly the position in which he put his two young sons, Kyle and Ryan.
Earlier this year, Adams' sons, ages 14 and 16, found a copy of The Whole Lesbian Sex Book at the public library while browsing for books on military academies. Hoo-ah! For those reading this who can't remember the feeling of excitement attached to such a discovery, consider how you might feel today if you found $50,000 in airport just as you're about to board a plane to Vegas. Jackpot!
But Dad didn't see it that way. In his view, a public library is no place for his boys to acquire accurate information about a topic they are justifiably interested in: sex. So he sent an email to Bentonville Library director Cindy Suter expressing his anger. "This book contains very graphic illustrations that should not be accessible to our children," he wrote on Jan. 26.
Clearly, Adams hasn't spent much time in a public library — a centrally located, purposely convenient and extremely appropriate home for lots of books that contain graphic illustrations of people having sex with their graphically illustrated sex organs. The Joy of Sex, The New Joy of Sex, More Joy of Sex and The Joy of Mature Sex can be found there, as well as two books that were perhaps written with Adams in mind — The Complete Idiot's Guide to Amazing Sex and Sex for Christians.
Why a book on lesbian sex was filed in the military section of the library is, officially, unknown. "All of our books are shelved according to the Dewey classification," Suter told the Bentonville Daily Record on April 20. "We didn't alter that in any way." Unofficially, however, it's suspected that the filer was not a dyslexic librarian, but a very clever boy with itchy little sausage fingers, perhaps named Adams.
Whether the boys stumbled upon the book in all its precise glory, or found it in its proper place and took it to the military section, hardly matters. The scam (one probably as old as sex itself) — hide something in plain sight and it'll never be found — worked like a charm. Kudos must go out to the kid who realized what I never did: Every teen deserves a dry, quiet place to come — of age, that is — and discover the things his parents won't or can't talk to him about.
The Adams boys are very lucky and now very enlightened victims of their own adolescence — not, as their father believes, of an "immoral social agenda." Adams' outrage over his sons' exposure to "graphic illustrations" is troubling given that he has no issue with his sons viewing graphic images of war, and that he supports their interest in the armed forces at time when the current administration is using the military to support an immoral agenda of its own. But what's more disturbing is that Adams' reaction to their find goes far beyond that of most parents when faced with a similar situation.
After contacting Suter, Adams' furthered his shameless invasion of his sons' privacy by writing a letter to the mayor of Bentonville, Bob McCaslin. The. Mayor. "My sons were greatly disturbed by viewing this material," he wrote, "and this matter has caused many sleepless nights in our house."
Unfortunately for the boys, they found Newman's book of positions before discovering West Point's secret position on girl-on-girl action: Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and for God's Sake Don't Let Your Uptight Father Find Out You Know More About Lesbians Than He Does!