It's Not The Sex, It's the Phobia

My post yesterday was originally intended as fluff, but I find that it has stimulated (or re-stimulated) a long-suppressed diatribe in me.

The longer I live, and the more cultural dysfunction I witness, the more I think that the majority of my culture's problems are rooted in sex-phobia.

That's right. I said it. Sex-Phobia.

Seriously -- people in this culture seem way more freaked out by shitting and peeing than they are by vomiting, even though the latter is usually an indication of ill-health, and the former is a necessary, daily, health practice.

Hmmmm. I wonder why that is? Could it be that the orifices involved in shitting and peeing are simply too proximate to . . . . genitalia?

That's right. I said it. Genitalia.

Vaginas and Penises. Cunts and Cocks. Dents and Dicks. Pussies and Pricks.

If you're feeling a bit uncomfortable with that last line, you're proving my point -- and even if you aren't personally feeling uncomfortable with that line, let it be known that simply by using these words, I have just placed my blog (further) into the depths of parental control blacklists.

Why? Why? WHY?!?!

Why do "family level controls" deny the sexual nature of human beings, when every single human being (at this point, anyway) is the direct result of some kind of sex act? -- When "Teh Family" couldn't exist with "Teh Sex"?

The longer I examine it all, the more fucked up it looks:

Abercrombie and Fitch may display shirtless men everywhere that they want to -- as long as no actual shirtless men shop in their store.

Cuz, if shirtless men actually shopped in their stores, somebody might actually have sex instead of just thinking about it -- cuz we're all just mindless sex-drones who could not possibly resist a shirtless person of either sex -- and if we laid our mindless little sex-droney selves down in the aisles of A&F and did it, did it, did it -- then we wouldn't take all that roiling, boiling, sublimated sexual energy (that A&F is quite intentionally attempting to stir up in us) -- and channel it into . . . . . shopping.

Which leads me to my next point: I think that it is obvious that our culture is Actual Sex-Phobic -- not "Idea-of" Sex Phobic -- since sex is used to sell everything from soup to nuts:

In other words -- not only is it OK for you consider the idea of sex -- but it's completely necessary that you a) do so -- and then b) quickly suppress it -- in order for "Sex Sells" to work -- because if you considered the idea of sex and immediately carried on with a quick wank or a nooner with your sweetie, you'd be so mellowed out you'd never get to the fucking store.

Advertising analysts admit quite frankly that they use sexual imagery as a manipulator because it is the second-most primal human drive after eating. At the same time, we are barraged with cultural messages that sexuality is dirty/forbidden, that sexuality is part of our base, animal selves -- and, supposedly, the sworn enemy of our rational, civilized selves.

That's why the "family-values" folks are always ranting about how civilization is doomed -- Doomed! I tell you! -- if the homos can get married, or the kids see a naked boob at half-time, or Jane Fonda says "Cunt" on national TV.

Of course, since sexuality is such a primal urge, those who do the most to suppress it are probably setting themselves up for a knock-down drag-out internal cage-match with a mighty, mighty beast, who is likely to be royally pissed-off about having been locked in a tiny closet while simultaneously being poked with sticks like this:

I believe that Sex Phobia gives rise to an enormous host of societal ills -- including, but not limited to: child sex-abuse, the porn industry, rape, the subjugation of women, and homophobia -- I'd even go so far as to say that it plays a role in the creation of "Sheeple".

Explain? Of course:

Sex Phobia and Child Sex Abuse: When children are "protected" from real information about sexuality (while simultaneously being indoctrinated with the idea that sexuality is reserved for marriage between one man and one woman --a situation portrayed as the pinnacle of L.O.V.E., and anything else is dirty, wrong, bad, evil, perverted -- but never mind that we haven't told you much about what the whole sex thing is, just trust us) -- then kids are ill-prepared to understand what constitutes consensuality and healthy sexuality, or how to know when they're being abused, because they equate sex with love, but if they aren't married, then they're being dirty/wrong/bad, so they can't tell anyone about it, and around and around and around it goes.

Not to mention that suppressed sexuality in adult perpetrators is, I believe, the active ingredient in child sex-abuse -- because when you believe that sex is dirty/wrong/bad but are still faced with this primal urge, it makes perverted sense to channel that urge into something that must, by its very nature, be completely hidden. I believe that this is why so many pedophiles work hard to maintain a "squeaky-clean" image -- on the outside.

It's been my experience in analyzing my own experience of abuse, and hearing the stories of others, that pedophiles play willfully on the ignorance of sex that we actively foster in our culture's children. So it is that, when Uncle Greebly wants to play "find the candy in my pocket", the child is often left with a sickening sense of dis-ease and no functional words to describe what it is that they are experiencing. They just know that somehow, it is wrong, and usually, they project this wrongness onto themselves, rather than their perpetrators.

Sex Phobia and Porn/Rape: When sex is dirty/bad/wrong, then often, the only way to deal with the inevitable failure of repressing sexuality (and I do believe that repressing sexuality is pretty much always a losing battle in the end) -- is to de-humanize anyone with whom you might engage sexually. After all - if they aren't real, then the sex wasn't real, right? This is the primary distinction I make between "porn" and true erotica -- that erotica is designed to lead you to connection, while porn takes you to increasing levels of dissociation (and we've already covered what I think about dissociation).

Sex Phobia and the Subjugation of Women: I'm constantly assaulted with the insanity-inducing Madonna/Whore Complex. You're supposed to be sexy, but not sexual (you filthy slut). If you're a virgin, you're a prize -- but only insofar as you are valuable to a man for deflowering and possession. While you're a virgin, you're supposed to be demure, dainty, and . . . well . . . virginal, but once you're a wife you're supposed to be a sex-goddess who knows 12,200 ways to please her man. This is supposed to happen overnight (your wedding night), with only shitty women's magazines as your guide, since all you learned in sex-ed was this:
I believe that keeping women confused about their roles (don't cry or you're weak, cry or you're a Frigidaire -- I'm sure you can't imagine who I'm referring to) -- is key to keeping them disenfranchised. While women keep running to fulfill the role that they think will lead to their equality, the ground keeps shifting -- because they are still primarily valued as a sexual object -- in a sex-phobic society.

Doesn't that sound fun? To be primarily valued as something which is considered innately dirty/bad/wrong? Wheeee!!

Sex Phobia and Homophobia: I believe that one of the reasons that homosexuality and other forms of sexual queerness is threatening to fundies, etc. is that it puts sexuality directly in the spotlight. For centuries, religious institutions (especially Christian) have dealt with the icky, messy, dirty, bad, and just plan wrong reality that Humans Have Sex by dressing up sexuality as an unfortunate necessity to follow the divine command to "be fruitful and multiply".

Homos just ruin the living shit out of that concept -- fornicating their perverted brains out with no end product in mind but pleasure (filthy sluts). In a sex-phobic society, queers actually do pose a threat to the status quo, because they demonstrate that baby-making may not actually be the entire purpose of the dangly-bits and the sticky-bits.

One of the things I've witnessed over the years in terms of LGBTQ rights activism is the intentional toning-down of presentation of queer sexuality in an attempt to assimilate into the status-quo culture. I've always argued against this, because I realize that, to a homophobe who wants to remain a homophobe, no amount of "See! I'm just like you!" is going to make them forget the real problem they have with me -- who I have sex with. The proof of this is that most fundamentalist churches do not throw homosexuals out of their congregations -- as long as they abstain from having queer sex. They don't have a problem with me living with my girl-friend -- they have a problem with me licking her pussy (and other stuff).

And finally:

Sex-Phobia and the Creation of Sheeple: If the powers that be can convince you that one of your most natural and powerful human drives is dirty/bad/wrong, and get you to devote a lot of energy suppressing, hiding, and attempting to subjugate it, you're going to have less energy to do important things like think, speak, act, vote, etc..

You're going to walk around in a state of fear that someone might actually figure out what a filthy little slut you really are, and spend a lot of time trying to keep this enormous part of you under control. You're going to be worried that, any moment, the scolding may start, if you slip up and say something honest and truthful that just happens to be "one of those words we don't say on TV".

In the dynamics of power, it's much easier to control someone if you intimidate them to a state where they will control themselves. It follows, then, that if you can intimidate someone into suppressing something as primal as their sexual instincts, you've penetrated into their psyche very deeply, indeed.

The only more primal instinct that would allow you to exert a greater level of control over a human being would be eating -- and surely you've noticed that the powers-that-be have been working on that one too -- shaming the nation for enjoying food, ringing alarm bells and screaming shrilly about the "obesity epidemic" -- an epidemic that they invented by arbitrarily changing the BMI and making 25 million Americans fat who weren't fat before -- literally overnight.

But once again: I digress.

There are many who say that the increasing sexualization of our society is a problem -- but I don't think that sexuality is the problem at all -- I think that it's the suppression that is the problem.

The one-two punch of sex-phobia wouldn't be a problem if we just got the first punch -- the sexuality -- without the second -- the socially-sanctioned and required suppression of the sexuality.

Take the porn industry, for example -- if porn were really out in the open, our society would be forced to take a look at the demeaning aspects of it -- but that's not how porn exists in our society. It's secret. It's shameful. It's everywhere, but under the surface. I think that the damaging aspects of porn rest precisely in its hidden-ness.

Let's look at that Target ad again:
In a way, I think this is porn at its worst. I believe that the advertisers intend for us to be titillated by this -- but we're not supposed to acknowledge that titillation -- just respond to it unconsciously -- because the underlying message -- "Woman as Target. Point Dick Here," -- if discussed frankly, would force us to talk about predatory sexuality as opposed to consensual sexuality, and to talk about either of those things, we would have to talk about . . . . . sex. Ewwww.

So the designers can maintain a level of plausible deniability, and say that it was just a design-choice, and that if they moved her down, you couldn't recognize the logo and, and, and, and . . . . when in fact, the design, as it is -- sucks, in my opinion. The pose looks completely artificial, and I can't really see the person I'm supposed to be relating to (unless I want to relate to her crotch) -- the person who I'm supposed to see and go "Gee! She looks really happy! Maybe if I buy some shit at Target, I'll be happy too!" (Wow. Now that I think of it, advertisers at Target have a really hard job -- cause I don't want to buy any of Target's shit. I can almost whip up some sympathy for them. Almost.)

I say: Down with Sex Phobia! Stop the Suppression!

Regardless of the current level of your sex-drive, you have one -- stop letting them talk you into suppressing it -- go to Abercrombie and Fitch and hump the first mannikin you see.

If the security guards come for you, tell them that A&F led you on.

Hell, it works for rapist.

Posted byPortlyDyke at 11:59 PM  


The Cunning Runt said... February 17, 2008 at 11:51 AM  

Nothing gives me wood faster than a scantily-clad A&C mannequin!

NameChanged said... February 17, 2008 at 8:10 PM  

Excellent post!

Anonymous said... February 18, 2008 at 12:47 AM  

Fabulous! So well put and totally accurate. :-)

Jenny Penny said... February 18, 2008 at 7:07 AM  

Excellent post, thank you! It's going in my weekly "go read this" link round-up.

I live in a society with a more relaxed attitude towards sex (Sweden, where even a g-rated movie is allowed some sexual content and where the biggest newspaper in the country can publish a breastfeeding picture without any fuss about it). However, we are not free of sexual hung-ups - the "sexualization of public space" is a big discussion here and even if I agree with the idea of a having less misogynic and heteronormative messages filling our public spaces, the discussion often turns into "moral panic", which is the last thing we need. As you say, it's the suppression that is the main problem.

Anonymous said... February 18, 2008 at 7:39 PM  

What they pay big money to say scares me. I don't watch a lot of tv so don't see many ads on air. I do see print ads sometimes and just as you say, it's all point dick here.

Another portly dyke here, and I'm pretty good at sussing out the message of print ads. Women loose their "being" to be objectified and men get to think that their dick is the holder of the credit card and bigger than the credit line might say.

Scary it is.

Rachel said... February 19, 2008 at 11:23 AM  

And that's why I write porn. (Besides the fact that it's, you know, porn.)

Anonymous said... February 22, 2008 at 7:52 AM  

This here post is one a dem der examples of how scarily parallel our thought processes are. I also suspect that the US is gravitating towards a "porn-centric society" ... fueled by exactly the kind of duplicity which you describe.


Brave Sir Robin said... February 22, 2008 at 8:44 AM  


That may be the best post I have ever read in the history of blogging.

I'm at work, so I can't write a lot, but you just summed-up the extent of an argument (friendly)that I have been having with a couple of friends about the nature of sexual abuse.

Wonderful post!!
Can i come back and discuss it later?

PortlyDyke said... February 22, 2008 at 9:43 AM  

You're always welcome, BSR! I'd love more discussion at this blog, anyway. Maybe I should consider haloscan after all?

No wait. What am I thinking?

Anonymous said... February 27, 2008 at 1:40 PM  

As usual, I come here and love what I reads. Thank you, Portly.


Anonymous said... March 5, 2008 at 5:01 PM  

"people in this culture seem way more freaked out by shitting and peeing than they are by vomiting"

Just wait until they are over 60, and they will be way more freaked out about NOT shitting and NOT peeing (efficiently). The state of bowels and bladder then become a popular topic of conversation.

Found my way here through random link-clicking on interestingly named blogs. You write excellent posts and I am glad to find another corner of the lesblogosphere.


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