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updated 2/9/2004 1:50:18 PM ET 2004-02-09T18:50:18

I’ve finally decided to give up. No matter how hard I try it’s impossible to escape the grip of sex.

For days now, nearly everyone seems to be preoccupied with the performance of a pair of boobs during halftime at the Super Bowl. I never noticed because I sat like a stroke victim throughout the game due to questions posed to me after one of the very first commercials. It was for a product called Levitra. A man grabs a football and tries to toss it through a tire hanging like a swing from a sturdy backyard tree. He misses the first throw. The pill Levitra appears and the guy suddenly turns into Joe Montana as his wife hugs him and hauls him into the house.

My 11-year-old - Tim the sports guy, we call him - is sitting there with me. He asks me what this Levitra is. What does it do?

I mean, the kid is 11 years old. What do I tell him? Puts a little lead in your pencil? It’s what guys take to get straightened out?

I decide to tell him a lie. That Levitra is for guys my age who still like to throw batting practice or play catch with their kids but they have tendonitis of the elbow and this pill allows them to throw the ball with ease without having to undergo Tommy John surgery.

Tim seemed to buy that. Then there’s another commercial for something called Cialis. This one shows a man and a woman sitting in separate hot tubs side-by-side holding hands and staring at the ocean off in the distance. I guess this Cialis pill must be Levitra with a dose of crack added because the ad warns of a potentially harmful side affect: the possibility of an erection that might last 40 hours.

Naturally, Tim wants to know what the deal is with Cialis. I tell him it’s to ward off colds after bathing.

I spend the next couple days wondering exactly what demographic the National Football League is shooting for: the limp and the lame?

Then, the Massachusetts Supreme Court hands down its ultimate advisory opinion making gay marriage legal beginning this May. By the end of the week, the news was filled with the screams of those on both ends of the issue. One loud group claimed it was the beginning of the end for civilization. Gay activists were trotting out the moral equivalency argument; that if you had any qualms, doubts or disagreement with homosexual marriage you must be the kind of hateful, homophobic person who opposed school integration or interracial marriage.

Tim asked about this one, too. I told him that it was something four judges decided should be a law but that people are people and they ought to be judged by how they behave and what’s in their heart, and he should just concentrate on being nice to others.

I skipped the part about how sex has come to dominate too much of the culture around us. But I’m tired and sad because I know he has already figured that stuff out due to the fact he is living at a time when, at age 11, the news, the law, the life around us won’t allow him the space to live in a little boy’s world.

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