I've long had a nagging suspicion about accusations of sexual repression. Now, it's not actually clear what people mean by sexual repression. Sometimes they mean that a person isn't willing to acknowledge their own sexual feelings. Sometimes they mean that a person is deep-down really interested in sex despite the plain reality that they aren't. Sometimes they mean that not having sex somehow in a super-secret way causes neuroses. Sometimes they mean that a culture is sexually restrictive with it's negative messages and oppressive rules about sex. Sometimes they mean that a person isn't able to express their sexuality because of such rules. Sometimes that mean that a person who isn't interested in sex must be disinterested because of such societal rules, ignoring the fact there might be other reasons for not being interested in sex (like lack of desire, for example.)
Despite this slight lack of clarity over what is meant, we find accusations of sexual repression. Republicans are sexually repressed! Conservatives are sexually repressed! The religious right is sexually repressed!
I've sometimes wondered if this doesn't stem from a certain fact of the sociological situation of modern sexual politics. The main political opposition to of sexology, the primary polemics against "comprehensive" sex-education, and the principal resistance to LGBT rights all come religious conservatives, some of whom are known for condemning opponents of spreading sin and supporting evil, and sometimes even telling opponents they are going to hell.
Amidst the name-calling and accusations, among the insults and condemnations, throughout the cultural wars, it's hard to one-up eternal perdition. And for those on the political left--and even those in the political middle--such proclamations are either unavailable or unacceptable.
This may just be cynicism on my part, but I can't help but wonder. If warnings of condemnation in the world to come are not an option, declarations of condemnation in the present world may be employed. Or if, perhaps, not condemnation, at least accusations of being boring old fuddy duddies whose ideology prevents from enjoying the most awesomest thing since like ever.
But this accusation seems wrong. I grew up Evangelical and it seemed quite clear at the time that Evangelical teens are just as horny as, well, any other teens. And generally, as much as Evangelicals lament changing trends in cultural values about sexuality, as much as the bewail the effects of the "sexual revolution" on sexual beliefs and practices, it is clear that they have been enormously impacted by those trends, and their response to the "sexual revolution" fundamentally impacts their message on the matter. The message that they teach about sexuality is not that sex is bad, not that sex is dirty, not that sex is evil. It is that sex is good, that sex is holy, that sex builds intimacy, but sex is dangerous if misused. And, according to them, any sex outside the context of heterosexual marriage is such a misuse. I think that they have to emphasize how great sex is because otherwise, no one would take them seriously.
Consequently, accusations of sexual repression strike me as generally nonsensical. Granted, don't believe in sexual repression, but still the point seems clear enough: lots of people with conservative values about sex enjoy sex just fine.
I also think that in politics, name-calling is of rather limited value. It makes people feel good about themselves and their own moral (or, evidently, pleasural) superiority without having to understand the perspectives of the people they're disagreeing with. It works well enough to embolden and enrage those you already agree with. But in advancing your cause, a task of fundamental importance to persuade the people in the middle--politicians wanting to win elections know this well enough. Name calling and insults don't help with swaying those who don't agree with your position but aren't dead set against it either. Ultimately, social progress regarding sex-education and LGBT rights isn't about who is "repressed" or who is is "liberated"; it's not about who is "erotophobic " and who is "erotophilic". It's about getting people to recognize the impacts of ideologies and the consequences of policies on the lives of real people.
For those interested, I've made a threads about "sexual repression" on AVEN (Do you believe in sexual repression? I don't) and Apositive (Sexual repression?.)