the anti sex left

joanna bujes joanna.bujes at
Tue Oct 22 09:56:24 PDT 2002

At 11:35 AM 10/22/2002 -0400, you wrote:
>So, come on, pro-sex left, I'm a potential convert here. Why is it that
>there's nothing wrong with my spending my evenings in strip clubs?

I never bought the thesis that the left is anti-sex, but this is how this thread started. My original response was that the left is generally neither more nor less anti-sex than the general culture allowed and that whatever anti-sex feeling there is in the U.S. is more the result of our puritan roots than anything else. I won't rehearse the argument: it's archived under "'sex and the left."

Subsequently, the discussion was distorted by the representation of sex as porn and a debate about porn. Thus, those lefties who were upset about porn and/or prostitution were deemed to be anti-sex.

I'm not upset about porn, but I don't equate porn with sex. To me, the point is not to condemn or praise anything, but to understand it. How does porn happen? Why do people use it? I'll try a definition first. Pornography is the use of mental imagery or actual images to cause or increase sexual excitement, inevitably leading to a bigger bang at the end. It's an artificial stimulant. Women are supposedly not affected by it as much as men, but you couldn't tell that by me; I have always found it extremely effective in doing what I described earlier: turning up the volume/heat and eventually producing a bigger pop.

That said, I would not argue that porn provides a more satisfying sexual experience, but then what I find satisfying about sex is not the heat but rather the experience of completely opening up to the other, the fact that time stops, and the fact that when this starts to happen, absolutely everything about the other becomes interesting, beautiful, sexy, and delightful. Of course, to have these feelings, one must have the ability to feel, and this, by the end of the day, is what most people have lost. I generally come home completely battered and exhausted. I am battered by having forced my brain to work all day on material that is of no interest to me. I am battered by the repression it takes to do that. I am exhausted by the number of tasks I have to juggle in order get through a normal day with little or no support. In this state, I get home where I have to cook dinner, help my daughter with her homework, handle paperwork of all kinds, and, generally, keep the show going no matter what. Guess how much sexual energy or desire I have by the end of the day?

So to the extent that my situation can be extended to others, and to the extent that other people have lovers and a sex life, I can see why porn gets used as an aid to a self that is not actually capable of sexual or any other kind of feeling. This is neither moral nor immoral, it's just how life is these days.

This post is long enough, and I will leave prostitution to another post, assuming the subject comes up.


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