The Family Sex Show at the 2022 Norfolk & Norwich Festival
Artillery Row

Why are we allowing “The Family Sex Show”?

We need to ask hard questions about what we expose our children to in the name of “inclusion”

Can you imagine a five-year-old girl singing tunes such as “And now for a song about the clitoris!” with a 40-year-old male? Will this small girl be learning the words “cum”, “anal” and “blow job”? It’s not just the harmonies which would be off. Children are curious and trusting; in fact, the show advertises that it promises to spark children’s curiosity about sex in an audience mixed from reception class to adults of any age. It normalises the nudity of unknown adults in front of children and sets out to break boundaries and taboos. It could create the possibility of a child saying, “I don’t know what a clitoris is” and an adult responding, “Let me show you.” It is creating a gap, nay, a canyon, for predators to enter. There is no sexualised content that is appropriate for both five-year-olds and adults it is one or the other.

Relatives wanting to discuss orgasms with children should raise alarm bells

The adult audience attending any of the seven performances put on by Norfolk & Norwich Festival 2022, and partly funded by Norwich City Council and the Arts Council England, have not been criminally background checked. Nevertheless, they will be part of the hour teaching small children, possibly school groups, about sexuality and where to touch for pleasure. ThisEgg, who have part produced the content alongside the School of Sexuality, declare that they specialise in “celebrating the here and now of the live event”. Adult men wishing to talk about masturbation and orgasms around children is wrong; the presence of children should act as psychological napalm to desiring discussion of kinks and cum. Normal men would run from this kind of thing.

Why would a family feel this is appropriate to take their child to? Why is it being called “The Family Sex Show”? I cannot work out if the name is sinister or stupid. Incest, or intrafamilial sexual abuse (IFCSA), is alarmingly frequent yet difficult to find data on. The Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Gangs and Groups (CSEGG) exposed a trend of intrafamilial sexual abuse before these girls were preyed on by external predators. So much so that a rapid evidence assessment was launched by the Children’s Commissioner. The subsequent report stated that “prevalence rates range from as low as 2.5 per cent (under 11s in the UK population) (Radford et al, 2013) of the general child population to 33 per cent of girls in the US (Pineda-Lucatero et al, 2008)” but cautioned that “it is often suggested that the majority of IFCSA is not reported and consequently goes unrecorded, suggesting that victims are often reluctant to report abuse”.

Described as “inbreeding” rather than conception when the mother is raped by an immediate close relative such as a father, brother, uncle or grandfather, it was estimated through DNA data extrapolation that 13,200 people had been conceived this way in England and Wales. Smiley educated young professionals, a national newspaper and national theatres are now endorsing the message that young children discussing erections, arousal, the intricacies of sexual pleasure, while witnessing adults expose their genitals with their family members, is needed and beneficial to the child. No. That relatives want to discuss sex acts and orgasms and introduce their children to public adult nudity should raise alarm bells, not jolly Guardian reviews.

One indication of potential sexual abuse is hyper-sexualisation in children

Child sexual abusers work to target and victimise children outside of their familial circles, too. The Crime Survey for England and Wales for the year ending March 2019 estimated that approximately 3.1 million adults aged 18 to 74 years experienced sexual abuse before the age of 16, equivalent to 7.5 per cent of the population. The volume of those crimes necessitates that it is not seven men committing the offences. The Guardian, which has promoted this mixed-age sex show for children which contains adult nudity, led with a headline two years ago that a “fifth of adults in England and Wales abused as children”, which included the ONS figures on sexual abuse. The NSPCC states that “we don’t know exactly how many children in the UK experience sexual abuse. However, research with 2,275 young people aged 11-17 about their experiences of sexual abuse suggests around 1 in 20 children in the UK have been sexually abused”.

One indication of potential sexual abuse, that those involved in safeguarding are taught to spot, is hyper-sexualisation in children. Does the child behave in a way inappropriate for their age, or where did they learn that word? Shows such as this, as well as being sexually abusive by introducing children to ideas and images they are not ready for, also mask the signs of sexual abuse. Is an adult telling a child to touch it until orgasm, or has this child just attended “The Family Sex Show” at the N&N festival?

Predators require opportunity, access and disbelief. This is why few paedophiles aim to work on an oil rig, but will train to become teachers, sports coaches, entertainers, doctors, ministers and charity workers, for example. This is also why so many children are sexually abused within the family; it is simply ease of victim access. By bringing children to this show, parents are highlighting that they have weak boundaries to predators, and that they are not aware of the risks. Ann Salter, who has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and Public Practice from Harvard University, is an expert in sexual offenders. In her book Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists, and Other Sex Offenders, she uses interviews with convicted sex abusers to highlight their methods.

Using one young male music teacher who had been convicted of child sexual abuse with more than 100 known child victims, Salter described the careful planning which child sexual offenders undertake. It included starting with a group of children, choosing which were sexually desirable and then working out accessibility. He looked into the family background of the children to find an “in” and decide which adults would be easiest to groom. Salter repeatedly makes the point that the only thing different about child molesters is that they rape children they behave normally in public; they deceive and don’t wear a sign. One incarcerated child rapist had been invited to stay by his friend whose eight-year-old daughter he then raped so violently he tore her anus through to her vagina. He had groomed the community, chosen and then groomed his friend in order to access his child. Nice is an action, not a character trait. Abusers make themselves likeable. They cloak themselves.

Queer theory reframes child sexual abuse as progressive taboo breaking

It was no surprise that “The Family Sex Show” was spouting nonsense about promoting masturbation to five-year-olds as a way to promote inclusion and diversity, and has worked with a group which wishes to challenge “Queerphobia”. Queer theory reframes child sexual abuse, and the liberation of paedophilia from the margins of society, as progressive taboo breaking, sex-positivity and child rights. It has attempted to cloak itself under the rainbow and harness the energy, good will and gains that gay, lesbian and bisexual people have fought for over decades. It has forced teamed legitimate rights campaigns, but boils down to the academic justification for male sexual desires overriding the needs and consent of others. If men want it, they shall put their penises in it. This may sound extreme, but the titans of postmodernism and queer theory, Michel Foucault, Gayle Rubin, Pat Califia, have all justified child sexual abuse while Judith Butler defended incest. These texts and their arguments aren’t hidden on the dark web, but are considered core in most university social science degrees.

Sex education is not all or nothing. There is no other subject which we don’t apply age-appropriate learning to. For example, maths: a five-year-old child can’t do fractions, but we don’t say “you must know about differential calculus before your sixth birthday or we will give up on you; maths clearly isn’t your thing”. The government has said that if sex education is delivered in a primary school setting then it must be “a graduated, age-appropriate programme”, not singing songs about masturbating with weird Nigel from down the street. The NSPCC recommends PANTS in which Pantosaurus “helps children understand that their body belongs to them, and they should tell someone they trust if anything makes them feel upset or worried”. “The Family Sex Show” breaks the first rule of PANTS, that your privates belong to you and nobody should see or touch them with a few medical exceptions, by introducing children to naked strangers.

Alongside the almighty risks you are placing children at, please, pronoun people, recognise that the arrogance of youth means each generation often thinks that they are the first, they have reinvented the wheel. The fact that the global population is estimated to currently be 7.9 billion would suggest we are quite capable of getting down to it without your insights. You are not the first to have an orgasm; don’t try to teach your grandmother to suck eggs. Or children.

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