Shock! Outrage! Sex! ... PSAs?

A new Planned Parenthood site leaves the Family Research Council "visibly shaken."

Published August 1, 2008 6:25PM (EDT)

The Northeastern branches of Planned Parenthood have pissed off the Christian-based Family Research Council -- which, frankly, does not require waking up very early in the morning. The FRC's beef concerns Take Care Down There, a new Web site filled with nontraditional PSAs meant to appeal to adults who are young and sexually active. (Hmm. Was that redundant?) The videos take on topics like masturbation and same-sex blow jobs with a clear message: There's no shame in sex, but hey, wrap it up. Get tested! Be smart! And so on and so on.

The approach proved a bit outré for ye olde FRC, which responded to the site (which it called "an online playground for the prurient") with the following press release:

"This item contains shocking and graphic content funded by your tax dollars. Given the recent allegations against Planned Parenthood, one would think the organization would play it safe over the next few months and try to exercise some restraint. But the plan to stay under the media's radar is failing dismally in Oregon and Washington, where the local affiliate is making a full-scale assault on the morality of the states' young people."

[Note: This press release should be read, if at all possible, with a trembling voice while crushing something in your hand -- like an empty can of some sort, or a very crunchy piece of paper. Right, then. Carry on, sir:]

"On its new website,, the group posts a series of videos so revolting that members of my staff were visibly shaken."

Members of his staff were visibly shaken?! Paging Dr. Freud!

Oh, but seriously, folks, it's a cute Web site that makes a better-than-average attempt at spreading a valid message. Now, considering the colossal cuts Planned Parenthood has faced -- and the skyrocketing cost of birth control there -- it's valid to ask if this is the best use of funding. I've never been a big fan of PSAs. But here's the other thing -- I've been shocked (shocked!) at the number of smart people -- from wayward New York governors to bloggers to girls I'm friends with -- who are not using condoms these days. You have to wrap it up, people. And if this Web site helps get that message across, then I'm all for it. Plus, the "Down There" theme song taught me some silly names for genitals that I didn't know about. "Furry pink canoe" -- who knew?

By Sarah Hepola

Sarah Hepola is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir, "Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget."

MORE FROM Sarah Hepola

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Broadsheet Love And Sex