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periodicals, movies, videotapes, compact discs, digital versatile discs, novelty items, games, greeting cards and other materials which are distinguished or characterized by their emphasis on matters depicting, describing or relating to specified sexual activities: human genitals in a state of sexual stimulation or arousal; acts of human masturbation, sexual intercourse, oral copulation or sodomy; fondling or other erotic touching of human genitals (pubic region), buttocks or female breasts; or specified anatomical areas.

While there is a right to privacy, it is clear that municipalities still have the right to make pursuit of personal pleasure difficult. Many municipalities are adding more stringent restrictions to their zoning laws, marginalizing “adult shops” or forcing stores to diversify their inventory or call their products “educational models” (as one shop in Austin, Texas does) rather than “dildos”.  The federal government is also stepping up their prosecutions of “obscene” materials’ distribution, with statements by the Attorney General that he would consider prosecuting mainstream adult materials, “not just the kinky stuff” (said during his confirmation hearing).

It is prudent to be aware of the laws regarding both what is obscene, and what can and cannot be bought and sold as sexually-related products, and where these products can(t) be sold. There is no recognized right to “sexual happiness and pleasure,” and those who wish to legislate “morality” are using every tool available to limit access to information and items that may enhance one’s sexual health and/or pleasure.

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