We live in a culture dripping with fear. During Kinky Camp several of the men requested that their names not be public during the event. While I understand and respect their need for discretion, I was struck by the fact that they actually need this discretion.

It is absolutely ridiculous that in 2012 someone’s job could be in jeopardy because they choose or are even curious about a perfectly legal and consensual activity. Culturally, we’re afraid of sex.

At the airport on the way home there were many ‘God Bless the Troops’ signs. These signs were somewhat in my face – not because of the message – rather, it was a reminder of the constant and low level of war that had become the background noise of our culture.

We’ve made war more or less socially acceptable and a constant. I’m reminded of the original Star Trek episode A Taste of Armageddon (yes, I’m a trekkie) where two planets were fighting a war by computer for over 500 years. Since there wasn’t real destruction and real pain, the war just kept on going – there was no incentive to stop it. I’m concerned that we’ve entered into a not too dissimilar view toward war. For most of us, it’s just the background noise of life that adds a layer of fear to everything we do. Makes me want to go to the God Bless the Troops sale at Walmart and buy USA underwear.

Speaking of airports… The entire security process is designed to add to our fear. Of course, air travel should be safe. Unfortunately the security screening process seems more like a show than actual security. There’s lots of extra process and we feel exposed and vulnerable (ok, sometimes exposed and not vulnerable) while holding our arms up and getting scanned under our clothes, yet the risk reduction really isn’t that great given the extra invasion of privacy. But it’s a great show to remind everyone how fearful we should be! The primary security enhancement since 9/11 isn’t the TSA or all the extra security screening; instead, the real enhancement is the difficulty in accessing the cockpit of a plane – that’s the real control!

So then we get to Chicago for a 2 hour wait to change planes. As we’re strolling about the airport the pleasant, yet stern voice comes on the terminal speakers reminding everyone that germs are everywhere and that we should wash our hands to protect ourselves from those nasty germs. Do I really need a loud PA reminder to wash my hands? Oh yea, germs are gonna kill me too. Sorry, I forgot to be afraid of something that humans have lived with since the dawn of time. Quick get me to the soap, water and sanitizer – stat!

Whatever happened to common sense?