Monday, September 7, 2009

SECKS: The "Bull-in-a-China-Shop" Approach to the Birds and the Bees

I think that we need to get laid. Like, every single one of us. I'm talking specifically here about the USA, but I suppose a good deal of this would apply to large chunks of Europe, as well as the "first world" in general. Consider how much our culture is steeped in sex, and how little we talk about it: advertisers make their money by literally preying on public perceptions of "sexy," underwear models adorn our buses, and we think nothing of the dating service ads and sex shops we see every day of our lives; but at the same time, we have people convinced that pornography is waging war on the human vagina, that breastfeeding in public is motherfucking dangerous, and that some people shouldn't be able to get a certain kind of contract signed by the state because of how they like to stick it in the naughty place.

This is fucking stupid.

Look, Humanity: Sex was here before we were, and it's got squatter's rights. We absolutely have to concede that point, or we're not going to make any progress on this one. But nooo, some people get all squeamish about the S-word, or the P-word, or the V-word, or the I-word, or whatever fucking word you want to use to talk about fucking. The truth of the matter is that porn is not intrinsically exploitative of women (though many men are - and so are some women, for that matter!), otherwise sites like (SUPER NOT-WORK-SAFE WARNING!) Men in Pain, Bound Gods, Naked Kombat, and Butt Machine Boys wouldn't exist. (And that's just one porn company!) The myth that seeing a breast is bad absolutely stupefies me - everyone has nipples, OK? And ain't nothin' wrong with a tit - it causes no harm, there's no such thing as "moral fiber" for it to damage, and if someone gets a little tickle in their "down there" because of it, I say good for them! As for our culture being stuck in the mud when it comes to recognizing homosexual relationships as legal, ugh, I don't even know where to start on that one. I'll just say I fucking hate Utah and leave it at that (and if you're reading this and happen to live in Utah... umm... well, OK, you're an exception). We really need to get over our bad selves - and I know just how to do it!

Here's my plan: we make a fucking float (i.e. "a float that fucks," I'm not just being foul-mouthed here) and put it in the Macy's Day parade. I mean one man, one woman, missionary-style reproductive intercourse. 1v1 PVI. We do it this way so that nobody can claim it's not as God intended - we're pandering to the Fanatical Wrong now, we just don't let them in on the Master Plan. And there's no way they'll find out, because there's no way they're reading my blog. Anyway, if they say they're offended, we can just slap them and ask what's offensive about the act that brought them into the world. Then we'll ask how they feel about their relationships with their mothers.

Think about that: everyone's parents fucked. Even yours. Your friends, too: ever meet a friend's parents? They fucked. Oh, they got it on! In fact, they probably tried everything you've ever tried - and since they're older than you, they've had more time to try more things. Please, take your time in pondering this.

Oops, got a little side-tracked there. OK, so we've got our fucking float, and now we just wait for it to become de rigueur, and then we start putting in a fucking gay float, and a fucking bondage float, and a fucking threesome float, and so on and so forth. We'll have all these fucking floats and as soon as anyone complains, we'll just slap them and say that people come in all shapes, sizes, and flavors, and we've had the first fucking float for forever, so everyone else needs to be represented here, too. Turn it into an equality/inclusion issue, that will almost guarantee a victory. OK, so that's phase two. Also, I may or may not be making this up as I go.

Phase three is "a miracle happens" and phase four is "victory," and those are pretty self-explanatory. I actually think my problem is in phase one, since people think they'll be harmed by seeing a naked body or a clear representation of the physical act of love (it doesn't harm them to have a naked body, such as their own, just to see another one). So, sure, maybe some people are offended by the sight of a nekkid body. So what? I'm offended by clothing: the proposition that there is something wrong with the human body which needs to be covered up is morally offensive to me, and I can't bear to see a human body hidden from plain view. But people's bodies are their own, so we should be able to do as we like, says I. Problem is, that's a rational conclusion, and people well and truly aren't rational about sex. I don't think they're capable of it, in fact, for what I think are some pretty embarrassing reasons.

We're a race of sex-crazed maniacs. People, that is. All of us. Every single one of your genetic ancestors had to lie, cheat, steal, charm, and/or muscle his and her way into the next generation by fucking. Fair enough at that: natural selection being what it is, those who are best at something will tend to keep on doing it, and sexual reproduction is certainly something one may be good or bad at. To that end, so much of our lives has been brought into the courtship, mating, and child-rearing rituals we've needed to survive; our lives are tied up in sex, it is an essential part of who we are and our instincts have been formed accordingly.

There's a problem with this, though, and like so many other problems, it is not inherent in the situation but arises from a mis-match between two things. Intellectually and technologically, we're beyond this sexy nonsense. Culturally and psychologically, we most definitely are not.

This needs some unpacking. OK, so sex is the way by which genes are able to ensure their transmission into the next generation - by "the way," I mean simply that there are plenty of other ways to improve one's odds, but sex is necessary in a way that other things just aren't. A horse can be as strong, fast, or intelligent as it likes, but without a mate and some offspring, that horse's genes won't propagate themselves into the next generation. Animals, accordingly, often act as if the genes inside them are taking calculated steps to increase their likelihood of continued propagation; this is just so, for the simple reason that those genes which have a tendency to cause their hosts to act in such fashion will, in the long term, win out over those which do not.

But the goals which may reasonably be imputed to genes are so far removed from the goals that humans choose in their individual lives, this often isn't worth thinking about - yet this mis-match is exactly what's at issue here. In fact, if we were not able to intellectualize our lives and consciously reject what our genes would say we "ought" to do, then nobody would ever adopt a child and all men would seek to become prolific sperm donors. Each of us is a collective of dead-end somatic cells with two tenuous glandular connections to the germ line, and as such we have all these instincts clustered around maintaining these connections and seeing to it that they do in fact convey our patterned base pairs to the next generation.

Intelligence changed this - sort of. Once we were able to realize our place in the greater scheme of things, we were on to the game and could see sex for what it is. And, well, it turns out that we need to be a little sex-nuts to win at genesmanship; more precisely, those individuals who are sex-nuts will tend to win at sex for the same reason sports nuts tend to be better at sports than non-enthusiasts, and so genes and culture "for" being sex-nuts get propagated. But being sex-nuts is just like being any other kind of nuts, insofar as it's fucking crazy. We have all these cute little ideas about sex: it's a private thing, it's special, it's only for two, you're a loser if you don't get any, a whole bunch of truly legendary nonsense about the hymen, and so on and so forth. These are all myths and contrivances - they're complications we add to sex because we're complicated, and we project those complications upon things that matter to us.

Sex had good reason to be private back in the day when someone could fuck with your fucking - especially if you were the fucker fucking with some other fucker's fucking. But honestly, there's no reason it can't be out in the open - we know enough about it and can keep it safe enough that there's just no reason we can't fuck in the street. I'm not saying we should, and I'm not saying you won't get arrested for it; I'm saying that there's no purely rational reason outside our own ad hoc psychology that prevents sex from being a wildly public thing. The idea that it "ought" to be private is only in our heads. That in and of itself is sufficient reason to make it private, but what I'm saying is that we're not rational for being this way in the first place - we're simply programmed to be that way, it's not a reasoned conclusion we arrived at after any deliberation. It's simple fucking insanity to have this idea for no reason and with no support, and most people never fucking question it their entire lives. It's much the same story for how many partners a person ought to have at one time or throughout a lifetime, who those partners ought to be, how regularly those partners should be replaced, and on and on and on. We are all naturally insane about this, and it will never be diagnosed as such until it's tremendously unpopular, because questioning this insanity, ironically, is what will make you dysfunctional.

We can make sex safer from STDs than ever before, we have the luxury of terms like "unwanted pregnancy" which would make no sense in the wild, we can check our DNA against that of our alleged offspring, we can fertilize an egg with a sperm in a test tube, we have mapped the human genome and we're hard at work demystifying embryonic development. We know so goddamned much about sex and we've made it safer and easier than ever before, yet while nobody bats an eye when a man wants to jam his peepee in a vajayjay, a lot of those same people absolutely lose their shit when a man wants to shove his wing-wong into another dude's manhole, or when a woman wants to do anything to another woman's hoohoo (this last one's way more popular on the internet, though). For the sake of social cohesion, we should call all of these activities "normal," as well as anything else that consenting adults care to do to each other; but in reality, it's all fuckin' weird. All of it. We're all just as weird as everyone else, only some people are weird in popular ways and other people are weird in unpopular ways. "Normal" is an invented, bullshit term.

This is exactly what I'm talking about: the fact of the matter is that people come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and flavors, and they have all sorts of desires and perversions and proclivities, yet we think sex "ought" to be this or that way because that's how we like it or that's how we were taught. That's fucking nuts! What is wrong with people? Worse still, we go and pass fucking laws about who's allowed to pair off with whom, and how and when we're allowed to stick it in the naughty place. We need these strictures, in the "just-so" sense that of fucking course we'd go and make rules about sex; but we need them because we can't be rational about sex, and these rules show just exactly how much we can't be rational about sex.

The rules aren't right, they're not rational, they're not just, they're fucking crazy. But so are we. I guess what I'm saying is that we need to accept that we're all bat-shit loco and just live with that - but then again, part of our butt-puckering insanity is that we can't just live with it, we angst over it and primp and preen ourselves and try to put on a show and act like we know what's what, when we're all just as confused as anybody else. Welcome to the human race, where nobody knows what the fuck they're doing, but everybody acts like they do, anyway. People are fucking complicated, The End.

My vitriol gland just ran dry, so I guess rant is off now. I don't really have a solution to any of this, I just wanted to yell and holler about how we're all necessarily crazy about this one stupid thing, because it was driving me batty. But I'm done now. Y'all have a good one!

Fun Fact: I used the words "fuck," "fucked," "fuckers," and "fucking" a combined total of 37 times in this post. All were legitimate; not one of them was necessary. As Penn and Teller put it, sex is an end in itself and everything around it is what's gratuitous.


Typhinius said...

I suppose I agree in principle with basically everything you said (except for the float idea, that's terrible ;p ), but have some qualms about the practicality of completely open sex.

Basically, having sex become this hugely open thing would require a major overhaul in society in general. The main (functional) reason for not having sex be this huge open thing is who is going to take care of babies left by teens or by uncertain fathers (uncertain mothers seems unlikely).

And I can hear the abortion argument coming, but that too would require a major overhaul in society since many many people are against it.

Another "solution" would be a more socialist take on child-care, with everyone paying for the babies care, but I don't really see society moving that direction either, since we can't even agree on socialized healthcare (at leas in the US). And I'm not sure what that kind of raising would do to a child depends on how it was done, I suppose.

Personally, I'd agree slightly more with the latter, as I haven't completely made up my mind about abortion yet. (I'm beginning to think I never will)

D said...

Abortion is a hairy issue, no doubt. Higgins actually told me about a series of essays written that clearly outline the issue and show how it's actually very simple, people just let their feelings get in the way.

It's the same thing with sex: it's very simple, but people's feelings get in the way all the time for the simple reason that our sex drives are feelings. There's no un-complicating it, because people are complicated and we already have our feelings of self-worth tied up in our thoughts on sex. That's just how it goes; we simply can't be fully rational about it.

Typhinius said...

Oh, I get it, I was just stating that not only would people have to change one of their major hang-ups, but two in order for any of this to have any shot of being functional. It would be a massive change in the social structure of humanity. Of course, any change to reproductive social systems would require a similar massive change, since as you said, we evolved to reproduce, and most of our social systems support that in one way or another.

D said...

Oh! OK, I get what you're saying now. Yeah, my suggestions are totally unworkable, that's why I added the "humor" tag.

But thanks for your comments just the same, they were definitely insightful. And traffic is always hooray.