Oh, So That’s Why Alabama Outlawed Dildos

Those Alabama dildos apparently have a way of finding themselves up dead ministers’ butts.

Folks, people never cease to amaze me.  How does a man even get two wet suits on?

There’s a deeper point here, too, about how we keep hearing “Conservative Christians” prattle on about sin and our evil society and temptation and how we must all strive to be “Good Christians,” which apparently means hating the people who are openly doing the shit your pastor is doing in private, which makes them look like packs of roving idiots.

And I’d make it with glee except that I feel bad for this guy.

No, really, I do.

As far as kinks go, I’ll admit, this one is a little out there.  But there’s nothing inherently wrong with it.  Butts have nerves that feel good when stimulated.  Prostates feel good when massaged.  Being confined can be erotic.

And there’s nothing inherently wrong with wanting to take pleasure in your body in any of the ways that your body brings you pleasure.

That’s what makes me sad about this.  I’m not sad for him.  I mean, come on, he died doing what he enjoyed.

I’m sad for all the people he knew who couldn’t just hear about the circumstances of his death, laugh a little about it, and then shrug and get on with life.  I’m sad for them that they feel confused and ashamed, that they’re so cut off from feeling certain of the okayness of feeling pleasure in yourself that they immediately assume dude did something wrong, something of which we should never speak, but always conceive of as sinful and ugly.

That part’s just not true and I don’t know how you convince folks of that point.

20 thoughts on “Oh, So That’s Why Alabama Outlawed Dildos

  1. Uhhhhh….ok. This is a little off-topic, I guess, but as a practiced reader of official documents and analyzer of the implications therein, may I just say that I’m puzzled that this isn’t at least a negligent homicide case? Because really…one can stick a dildo in one’s own butt (with a condom!) and crawl into a couple of wetsuits and do all the gimp buckles and put on the mask and whatnot, but at some point, the fellow had to put on the rubber gloves and tie his own hands behind his back and then bind them to his feet and then tie a choke cord around his neck in an elaborate fashion with plastic cuff cording.

    This really wasn’t “auto” erotic, y’know? He had help. And it’s sort of surprising that Alabama cops are too dumb or squeamish to run that scenario through in their head and come up with “accomplice in the fun and games who split and left good Brother Aldridge to die” or “murderer who wanted to be sure the Reverend died knowing he’d be found in the most embarrassing position a man in his line of work could be found in.” If I were writing the book, it would be the latter.

  2. I, for one, am outraged.

    The Rev calls, we are old High School chums, says, “Hey, Short and Fat, can I borrow your rubber suit and mask?”

    Then I was all, “Look man, I’ll let you use ’em but you gotta be careful with them and make sure I get them back…I’ve got plans next weekend.”

    Then he was all, “Careful? What can happen in a rubber suit?”

    And me? My plans got flushed down the shitter.

    Everything bad happens to the Fat One.

  3. Bridgett, good point.

    S&F, dang man, that sucks, but that’s what you get for consorting with those dildo buying Alabamans. Nothing but criminals, the whole lot.

  4. He’s rubber so that would make an accomplice glue. Now, if the glue happens to be an elected official, it makes sense that local authorities would want to label this one an “accident.” I’m just saying. Getting caught with your pants down or your toe tappin’ seems to be a trend among a certain group we all know and, well, love to feel glee about. (But not really)

  5. The whole issue of the anti-sex-toy law aside, your perspective is interesting AuntB, and I do think you’re sympathy is sincere, but if nothing else (and assuming, as you are that this was a solo act) this man was a hypocrite. It seems that offense usually doesn’t get a pass from you and yours.

    Mary’s partisan and wild speculation aside, I do find it hard to believe that a person could “auto” into that position. And given the extremeness of it all, Bridgett’s comment kind of resonates.

    Which leads me to my main reaction to the story, and where I have to disagree with your conclusions, AuntB. As this situation seems to demonstrate, pursuit of pleasure has diminishing returns, and that is one parameter (there are others, I’d say) on our actions. I know that this is an extreme case (even in your estimation, AuntB) but those close to this guy had reason not to simply “laugh a little about it, and then shrug and get on with life”–something was askew with this man (and it wasn’t simply that his friends wouldn’t let him be “him”), and it seems to me that acknowledging that point raises valid questions about any assertion that there is no moral dimension to individual actions.

  6. I’m confused. Is there something particular to this minister’s history that I don’t know? Was he vehemently against sex toys? Does using sex toys now count as gay sex?

    I mean, even if there was an accomplice (and I’m inclined to agree that the degree of confinement would require at least one other person helping), the point of the activity seems clearly to have been a one-man kind of thing.

    Sooo… where is the hypocrisy? I guess you could kind of read it as masturbation of a sort, which is considered to be sinful by many… but that hardly seems to merit, well, any of your comment, Ned.

  7. No, Ned, I’m with Mag. I don’t see how this counts as hypocrisy, if, indeed, he was alone. Strange, yes, even by my standards, but hypocrisy? As far as we know (though I think Bridgett is right to suggest that he may have had company), he was not cheating on his wife. Knowing what you find pleasurable tends to make you a better lover with your spouse, so I give him props for being willing to explore what he finds pleasurable, even if it’s taken him far afield from where I might go.

    And, just to bring a little snarkiness back into the conversation, with two layers of wet suit on and rubber underwear, it’s very unlikely that he spilled any of his seed on the ground, thus he wasn’t even committing onanism.

    Plus, and here’s the thing (and maybe I’m just sensitive because my dad is a minister), if we wait around for perfect people to lead us, we’re going to be waiting until Jesus returns for anything to get done.

    Would it be nice if all our moral leaders weren’t secretly weirdos? Yes, it would. Would it be nice if guys who liked to have dildos shoved up their asses or to have male prostitutes give them blow jobs would have a little mercy and compassion for gay people? Yes, it would.

    But here’s the thing, these guys (and I believe it’s no coincidence that they’re all tied to Daddy Dobson in some way) are advocating and promoting AND, most importantly for other Christians to consider, trying to live a life that leads to this kind of stuff.

    To me, that’s the larger problem. These guys are leading a lifestyle that is so… I don’t know… stifling, repressive, something… that when the spring gets sprung, they go all kinds of kinky wrong.

    That’s no advertisement for the lifestyle they promote. In fact, it suggests there’s something very wrong with the lifestyle they promote.

  8. Would it be nice if guys who liked to have dildos shoved up their asses or to have male prostitutes give them blow jobs would have a little mercy and compassion for gay people? Yes, it would.


    These guys are leading a lifestyle that is so… I don’t know… stifling, repressive, something… that when the spring gets sprung, they go all kinds of kinky wrong.

    Yes, perhaps if the gay people I have known were shown a little compassion earlier in their lives, they wouldn’t have made the many mistakes they did out of either rebellion (leading to carelessness & illicit sex…thus getting AIDS, etc.) or trying to live an impossible life by the prescribed “rules” of the church (marrying women, living double lives…thus hurting other innocent parties).

  9. Fair point about hypocrisy, though that was really just a side point, a snarky comment I probably should have left out.

    Though this man’s denomination is plainly on the conservative side of theology/Biblical interpretation, and though most of its pastors would subscribe to socially conservative policies, I don’t see any evidence that this guy was “socially conservative,” politically active or outspoken, or a son of Dobson or without “compassion for gay people.” So I think it is spurious to try and tie him (or any purported latent propensities w/ potential “acting out”) to persons who hold “socially conservative” positions.

    And I agree, AuntB, with your assertion about expectations of perfection, but do you think this supports that point? But what level of restraint would qualify as “stifling”? Can my wife (and my congregation if I were a pastor) expect me to restrain from sex outside of marriage or ogling nude women or being obsessed with “pleasurable” feelings to this degree?

    As far as “the lifestyle they promote,” how would you define that phrase? I don’t think sex is dirty or sinful or ugly, but it is more than chewing gum or jogging (and in more ways than lame comparisons with runner’s high). Would you agree that there is a moral aspect to the sex act. Even as I type that, I realize that it presumes certain things, but I’m still interested to hear your viewpoint.

  10. Holy crap. It FINALLY dawned on me where I knew this guy from!!! He was the Dean of Students at Liberty University when I attended there!

    This has been bothering me ever since I saw his picture.


  11. I’m just trying to stop laughing… damn it man, that autopsy is the best thing I’ve read in a while. (Insert snarky comment here) I just love it when the baptists get caught with their pants down – or up times two as the case may be. Aunt B’s right, when you are that tightly wound about anything, if you spring loose the pieces just go everywhere and onto everybody!

  12. Pingback: Christians and Cats, exactly alike! « The House of Flying Monkeys

  13. I just love it when the baptists get caught with their pants down

    There are times when I could do without the obvious prejudice against those who profess certain codes of faith.

    Tonight just happens to be one of those times.

  14. Heh, I’ll agree with you there, Kat. I don’t like it when religious people get all snitty about the morals (or lack thereof) of non-religious people or people of a different faith, and I sure as hell don’t like it when non-religious people get all snitty about the morals (or lack thereof) of religious people. Conduct, sure. Actual, visible contradictions between professed stances and behavior, sure. Logical holes in things people say, or beliefs they try to inflict on other people, absolutely. But the peurile “Ha ha!” thing drives me nuts.

    (Which, granted, isn’t usually the case ’round these parts, but does tend to send me raging when I wander into some bigger blogwaters.)

  15. > There are times when I could do without the obvious prejudice against those who profess certain codes of faith.

    Kat, they are not being criticized because they have faith, or because of their religious beliefs. After all, most Catholics have faith (in the same god as the Baptists, even). Hindus have faith. Some Neo-Pagans have faith (many have problems with the word “faith” as being both inaccurate and undesirable).

    Their downfall is being enjoyed because of their stuck-up self-righteousness, and their jihadist attempt to force everyone else to toe their line. I have no use for Baptist ministers because too many of them spew hate, and seek to control-through-violence (or kill) people who don’t share not only their beliefs, but their lifestyles.

    So, if you want to feel persecuted by the liberal intelligentsia, go right ahead. But that isn’t what is happening here.

  16. But see, and this is kind of tangentially related to the point I want to make to Ned. First of all, if we all lived in India, we’d hear all the time about nefarious Hindu holy people who were lying liars or deviants or whatever. The sheer number of Baptists in this country and thus the sheer number of Baptist ministers in this country means that, when ministers go bad, statistically, they’re likely to be Baptist (there are about 21 million Baptists in the U.S., compared to the second largest group of Protestants–the Methodists, of which there are about 8 million).

    Couple that with the fact that Baptists don’t have a church hierarchy the same way that other churches do. I could start a church tomorrow, call it the First Baptist Church of B., and in it worship Satan and there’s nothing other Baptists could do about it. If I tried to join one of the Baptist Assemblies, they could refuse to take me, but there’s not the same mechanisms for oversight as there are in other churches.

    This is both good–in that everyone in a Baptist church is supposed to be equal to each other with the pastor having no more authority than anyone else–and bad–because, if that’s not the case, there’s no one to complain to and all alarmed Baptists can do to attempt to make that church see the errors of its way is to leave the church.

    I like to see sanctimonious asshats fall as much as the next person, but I don’t think that these guys tend to be sanctimonious asshats because they’re Baptist. I think they tend to be Baptist because they’re sanctimonious asshats and they quickly figure out that it’s pretty damn easy to game the Baptist system.

    Since there is no central oversight and since a lot of people really love to follow a charismatic leader, even if that leader is leading them some place other than where they should be going, it’s easy for charismatic asshats to gain and consolidate power in Baptist churches.

    Again, I don’t think this is an inherent fault of the Baptist church. After all, it seems clear to me that Baptists set their churches up like they did in part because they thought it would prevent this kind of stuff. After all, if everyone is equal, if it’s not Reverend Jones, but just Brother Jones, how could anyone get too much power and hurt people with it?

    I’m not a Baptist, so I don’t really know how they can fix that, but my heart goes out to them because it really seems like, over the last twenty-five years, they keep getting rocked as scandal after scandal caused by these asshats ability to game the system, and I don’t think good Baptists have figured out a.) how to tell the asshats among them or b.) how to stop them once they’ve spotted them, because they tend to be so charismatic and able to consolidate power.

    Ned, good questions. I think this. First, every husband and wife should have worked out between them what fidelity means to them. If you’re Christian, using your Church’s framework as a starting point makes sense, but, in the end, it’s up to you and your wife to decide.

    For instance, some folks think that even having close friends of the opposite sex is a type of infidelity. Other folks could care less about who their spouses are friends with. This needs to be an expectation that is articulated and agreed to and then respected by an individual married couple. It’s not anyone else’s business or place to judge the agreement that each couple makes about this.

    I think the same is true for masturbation (though I think having hang-ups about masturbation is weird). One couple might think that each person having an outlet for just animal urges means that the time they spend in bed together can be focused on the “love making” (to be corny about it) aspect of sex. Another couple might think that masturbation is indeed sexual infidelity. Again, this is an understanding each couple must come to on their own.

    And, Ned, though I know you disagree, I believe the same thing about sex outside the marriage. I, myself, would not like it if my husband had sex with other people when we were married. And yet, I have very dear friends who don’t think that’s really a problem at all. They have rules that must be abided by, and only if those rules are broken, do they feel their spouse has been unfaithful.

    So, to make a long point short, I believe a wife has a right to expect her husband to remain faithful to her according to what they as a couple have decided that being faithful means.

    I think a congregation has a line to walk. On the one hand, it must respect that what a minister does in his own time is his own business and that they are not privy to the intimate details of his agreement with his wife.

    On the other hand, if a minister is continually preaching against behavior that he, himself, does not refrain from, I think they have a right to show him the door.

    We are all hypocrites to one degree or another, but the hypocrisy of arranging your life so that you can live in a way that you, in a position of authority, demand your congregation avoid is just too much. You cannot reserve for yourself behavior you forbid in other legal, consenting adults.

    What I mean by “the lifestyle they promote” is not just about sex. I mean the ways they take models for Christian marriage and Christian behavior and twist them to serve their own needs and to consolidate power.

    The sad part is that I don’t believe most of these guys even realize what they’re doing. They just know that they like being the head of their family. Then they like being the head of their congregation. Then they like being pastor at a big church with a lot of political influence. And so on. Maybe in the back of their minds they remember that they’re supposed to be equal servants of God with other folks, but they’ve convinced themselves that it’s okay to want to be equal to, say, Republican bigwigs and have influence over them, and not equal to Sally Normal Person.

    It seems clear to me that that’s the message here.

    You guys (speaking broadly) seem desperate to believe that the message is that you shouldn’t be masturbating in wet suits or getting hand-jobs from gay hookers while smoking meth or whatever.

    But it seems obvious to me that you wouldn’t do those things you find abhorrent unless there was something about how you were living your life right then that was having a corrupting influence on you.

    I, for instance, think that having sex with children is abhorrent. I think it’s wrong and I don’t think anybody should do it. That’s very different from most pedophiles who really cannot understand that what they’re doing is wrong.

    So, if I started having sex with children, something in me must have changed, something has been corrupted. Something about how I am living is terribly wrong if it leads me to do the things I find abhorrent.

    That’s the point I’m trying to make. These men stand up every week before congregations preaching a way of life that they know from personal experience is wrong and corrupting and can lead people to do abhorrent things.

    This tells me that there’s something wrong, deeply wrong, with the way of life these folks are trying to pass off as righteous.

    I know, though, based on your holy book, that you Christians have been warned about this repeatedly. The wrong path looks very similar to the right path. So, how do you know if you’re on the wrong path? Well, because it leads you to places you believe are wrong.

  17. I like to see sanctimonious asshats fall as much as the next person, but I don’t think that these guys tend to be sanctimonious asshats because they’re Baptist. I think they tend to be Baptist because they’re sanctimonious asshats and they quickly figure out that it’s pretty damn easy to game the Baptist system.

    This was pretty much what I wanted to say, but better. There are plenty of actual things to criticize, and plenty of ways to connect it up to a person’s religion or lack thereof (or gender, or class, or whatever other category we’re talking about), but the causal thing really bugs me.

  18. Pingback: Rubber Soul « GingerSnaps

  19. I feel sad for his family. Likely strong in his church, and they now have to live with this knowledge in the open. I’m against hypocrites( if he was one), but sometimes in life some information should be kept quiet.

Comments are closed.