Today, in lieu of responding to a reader query about not getting enough, being asked to do something freaky or requesting instructions on how to do something freaky, we here at Sex with Timaree would like to have a quick rant about hypocritical sex negativism and general prudery.
Here’s a quick summary of random events that have caught my eye in the last week or so:
- Feminique Boutique, a small store in West Chester, PA, is under fire by the local Catholic Church, a candidate for state legislature and other assorted wackos for selling such soul-killing items as lingerie, body lotions and, in a back room accessible only to adults, a smattering of sex toys. In addition to sending the owner of the store incredibly offensive letters and emails, they have brought legal proceedings to rid the town of the scourge of flavored lube.
- Due to a complaint made by a woman sitting nearby, two women were asked to leave a Seattle Mariners game for kissing. The complainant made the infallible argument that she didn’t want to have to explain the spectacle to her kids.
- A consistently conservative 9th Circuit chief judge presiding over an obscenity trial is revealed to have inadvertently hosted a variety of bizarre pornographic images on a website he assumed was private storage. The incident, drawing wide criticism, will likely end an otherwise stellar career that was rumored to be leading to the Supreme Court.
What can we take from these recent events? What patterns emerge in the examination? We find that sexuality is real: a verifiable presence in our lives and that, for reasons beyond my comprehension, something that invokes such fear and anxiety in some members of our culture, that they will devote their very existences to wrestling it into a tiny manageable box.
Our bodies are made to be sexual- fetuses get erections in utero and infants are commonly observed masturbating. We are healthier, better adjusted people when we have opportunities for sexual release and it’s nearly universally agreed that sexual union is on the really short list of Most Intimate Things You Can Do with Another Person, aside from sharing a toothbrush.
So why are we so scared of it? What is so daunting about the prospect of having to even mention some facet of sex to a child that it makes more sense to a person to have two adults ejected from a sporting event rather than say, “honey, some people are straight, some are gay, and some are a little bit slutty and indiscriminate.”
I feel at a loss for an explanation for this element of our society. There are, of course theories about why some of us feel such a strong need to keep sex away from public life:
- Sexual pleasure is one of the only things that we can get for free and do not need to have money, influence or authority to obtain and enjoy. If the peasants are aware of their autonomy over their own bodies, they might rebel against other ways in which the societal structure contains them.
- Sexuality has long been the province of women, as they are the keepers of fertility. If women are allowed to be sexual beings aside from their role as potential Tupperware for infants, they will become unmanageable.
- Sex is such a powerful drive that if we really let loose and cut down the provisions that keep us from doing what we want, the whole world will be chaos, with no one ever wanting to go to work and random fires breaking out throughout the land.
Ironically, as Foucault argued, historical attempts to stymie sexuality have backfired, giving even greater power to its pull. Try to make a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages and we will respond by flocking to a mindless movie about nothing more than having sex… in some city… in expensive shoes.
All right, readers, your charge today is to post a comment about the most hypocritical, backwards sex negativism you’ve encountered as of late. Let’s just take today as a chance to rant about the nonsense we see every day.