Emory Law Journal


This Article challenges the underlying assumption in Lawrence v. Texas that sex is valuable only when potentially in service to emotional intimacy and proposes a new theory for extending legal protection to a wider range of consensual sexual activities. The current regulation of sex devalues both sexual relationships that lack an intimate component and intimate relationships that lack a sexual component. We argue that the state should independently protect both intimate relationships and sexual interactions because sex can constitute a vital part of individual identity and self-expression even when not channeled into intimacy. We challenge the dominant, almost sacred, understanding that the most important relationships between adults should always be both sexual and emotionally intimate.