After class on Wednesday, I thought more about Rubin's "charmed circle" and its presence in modern society, compared to when it was written 27 years ago. This topic was brought up in lecture, and I thought I could try to analyze it further. The "charmed circle" makes up basically heterosexuals and modest, "virtuous" sex practices, while the "outer limits" makes up abnormal/unnatural individuals or groups and "bad" sex practices. As we mentioned in class, some of these outer limits seem to have become less scandalous or "abnormal" over the last 27 years. I think that non-procreative, cross-generational, and unmarried sex, and sex "with manufactured objects," have become more mainstreamed via the media and changing values. However, I do believe that commercial sex, pornography, and public sex remain on the outer limits because of their shock factor. Homosexuality is on the border between outer limits and mainstreamed because gay marriage is still a controversial issue, but homosexuality in general is common and becoming more widely accepted.
I also think that the circle's boundaries are subjective. The sex practices I consider to be shocking could be normal to someone else, and vice versa. Perhaps this subjectivity is a result of the "evolution" of the circle over the past 27 years, meaning that sex practices have changed so that people classify them as good or bad individually, without a controlling consensus in society.
Why are these boundaries changing? People will always have a set of values, even though these might change over time, there will always be some. The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights movements beginning in the 80s is finally (or at least hopefully) starting to change people's values and morals. This is either because discrimination towards non-heterosexual individuals is seen as morally unjust and people don't want to admit that they discriminate, or people's values are actually changing because of the awareness that the LGBT movements have created.