Shame – from childhood to one’s last days – is a first-rate form of social control. Shame is what keeps us in line, and what prevents us from discovering not so much who we are, but what we might become…The only way to fight shame [about sex] is to return to an earlier vision of sex as liberation and as joy. The sex clubs and alternative cultures that were envisioned by and created by the queer world, and which only became possible after the gay movement created a public space for them, were, at heart, a form of political resistance to a so-called “normal” world that attempted to control queerness through shame.

-- Michael Bronski