Safe Sex Not Just for the Living

(© Lebrecht Music & Arts/Corbis)

Thanks to Marc Abrahams over at Improbable Research, we now know that the safe-sex message has reached even the darkest corners of human desire. Yes, necrophiliacs are making sure to pack a few condoms when heading off to the cemetery.

According to Channel 3000 out of Wisconsin, the state Supreme Court just decided in November 2008 that state laws forbid copulating with the deceased. A lower court had previously ruled that the state laws didn't take a stance on necrophilia, which according to "Stiff" author Mary Roach, isn't that uncommon. I mean, really, how often does this come up? As a result of the new ruling, the three men accused in a 2006 attempted grave robbing entered "guilty" pleas.

According to the original reports, the suspects were apprehended just before they could pry open the casket. They'd brought along a crowbar, three shovels and -- most notably -- a box of condoms.

I suppose, on one hand, they should be commended for some modicum of good sense in deciding to wear protection whilst violating a corpse. But really, aren't you far enough down the road to madness at that point to dispense with such human concerns? Lester Ballard, the troubled necrophiliac in Cormac McCarthy's "Child of God" didn't wear protection -- though he did buy her a nice red dress.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'd have found it less creepy if the suspects in the 2006 incident had brought chocolate and flowers. The story reminds me of the 2007 documentary "Guys and Dolls" about the owners of "Real Doll" sex dummies. The guys who lavished their pricey, plastic faux ladies with fancy clothes or snuggled with them tenderly weren't near as creepy as the guys who kept them stacked like firewood in the closet or had one hanging from a meat hook in their parent's basement.

Is romance dead in Wisconsin? Do they really have upwards of 3,000 cable channels there? So many troubling questions...

About the Author: Robert Lamb spent his childhood reading books and staring into the woods — first in Newfoundland, Canada and then in rural Tennessee. There was also a long stretch in which he was terrified of alien abduction. He earned a degree in creative writing. He taught high school and then attended journalism school. He wrote for the smallest of small-town newspapers before finally becoming a full-time science writer and podcaster. He’s currently a senior writer at HowStuffWorks and has co-hosted the science podcast Stuff to Blow Your Mind since its inception in 2010. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling with his wife Bonnie, discussing dinosaurs with his son Bastian and crafting the occasional work of fiction.