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Sex, Iraq, and pop culture

The war for our attention
By ELLEE DEAN  |  January 11, 2007


How many times a day do you think about sex? How many times a day do you think about the war in Iraq?

I asked a friend what she thought about the war in Iraq.

“It’s a mess,” she said.

When I asked how so, she said, “Well, Bush is stupid.”

Bush is stupid! That’s it?

So then we talked about sex.

What do I think about the war in Iraq? Well, between I’m From Rolling Stone, Playstation 3, and Nintendo Wii (I’m still trying to beat Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on my Sega Game Gear), where did the time go? Think.

How many times a day do you think about sex? Every 52 seconds. Do 20- to 30-year-olds have more sex than 30- to 40-year-olds? Yes. Do drinkers have more sex than non-drinkers? Yes. Do extreme liberals have more sex than extreme conservatives? Probably.

In the 2006 Phoenix first-annual sex survey, when asked, “How often do you think about sex?” nearly 1000 readers responded “many times” throughout the day. And nearly 200 of you added bondage to your sexual repertoires last year. Asked, “What would be your fantasy place to have sex?” one reader responded, “In a public restroom. But the fact that it was a dirty public restroom would probably stop me.” Okay.

In his book My War, Killing Time in Iraq, soldier-blogger Colby Buzzell describes a 5 am wake “the fuck up” call — a female soldier was raped outside a “port-a-shitter.” How’s that for “in a public restroom?”

In Abu Ghraib prison, Lynndie Rana England, a US Army Reserve private, was photographed holding a leash attached to the neck of an Iraqi prisoner who had collapsed on the floor. How’s that for “adding bondage?” Around the time of the Abu Ghraib scandal, WorldNetDaily (WND) told us that at least 112 women in the military had reported being sexually assaulted by US service personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan. WND also broke the news that the Boston Globe had published fake photos — from a pornographic Web site called Sex and War — of US troops gang raping Iraqi women.

How many times a day do you think about sex?

On holidays, some troops eat rations; some drink alcohol-free Champagne or beer. Iraq is a dry zone. Colby Buzzell describes alcohol-free beer as being like “shitty, cheap beer.” And hangouts such as the Green Zone Café and the Green Zone Bazaar — where, Newsweek tells us, Iraqi kids once hawked pornographic DVDs to soldiers — have been lost to bombs in backpacks.

How many times a day do you think about the war?

Last week, Angelina Jolie topped the Yahoo popular-search list. Britney came in second — 179 days on the chart and counting.

The war in Iraq was not ranked.

The Phoenix’s article “The 100 Unsexiest Men in the World: Who Would Scarlett Least Like To Be With?” topped our “Top 20 of 2006” list,’s scorecard of the year’s most popular stories. The results of our sex survey came in third. “Code Yellow: Peeps Star in Porn, Snuff Films,” which is about online videos starring marshmallow Easter peeps, came in ninth. Aside from a Phoenix editorial about the Muslim-bashing Danish cartoons, in 19th place, articles on the Iraq War weren’t viewed enough to be ranked.

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