I realize that some people are so frightened of their own sexual impulses (and their neighbors’) that they feel the need to erect and adhere to strict moral codes that tightly regulate sexual behavior (ie, no masturbation ever, heterosexual sex only, and only after marriage and, even then, never for pleasure – only for procreation). In this vein, we get the near-panicked Dennis Prager in his most recent gay marriage cri de couer testicules that The Eds linked to earlier this week.
I’m not sure if the type of Freudian analysis in his article is unintentional, or if hyper moralists like Prager regularly acknowledge the system of locks, canals, levees and damns that they take it upon themselves to defend for the greater good of human sexuality, but this bit is remarkably telling, possibly even insightful in some respects (more elegant than “God hates fags” at least):
Suffice it to say that, contrary to the sexual know-nothings who believe that sexual orientation is fixed from birth and permanent, the fact is that sexual orientation is more of a continuum that ranges from exclusive heterosexuality to exclusive homosexuality. Much of humanity — especially females — can enjoy homosexual sex. It is up to society to channel polymorphous human sexuality into an exclusively heterosexual direction — until now, accomplished through marriage.
He acknowledges that human sexuality is, by nature, amorphous and on a continuum, but then explains that this natural state of affairs is unhealthy and must be vigilantly guarded against. Because if not, the people guarding against it will be told that they were wrong for their past judgmentalism. Or something.
Perhaps Prager is a cynic. Aspiring rulers realized long ago that manipulating sexual fears, regardless of whether those same fears are held by the ruling faction themselves, is a very effective way to control larger populations. You get the masses by the balls so to speak, and what better way than through the threat of eternal damnation and the unraveling of society. Fear, sexuality, God, the after life and politics. That’s quite a potent blend.
But all that repressing, channeling and guilt mongering leads to some ugly outcomes. Polymorphous human sexuality doesn’t dutifully obey commands or religious doctrine. It’s polymorphous for fuck’s sake! The attempt to channel the flow of human sexuality into artificial containers causes the build-up of an irresistible pressure. When a leak springs, the now shame-ridden and distorted impulses are released in unpredictable and often unhealthy ways that the person holding them is not equippted to handle (he/she was too busy repressing to become acquianted and comfortable with their continuum).
So, regardless of whether the soi disant moral clarions are themselves scared of their latent and repressed sexuality, or cynically using sexuality as a means to a political end, a shocking number are at some point caught engaging in behavior that they have spent their lifetimes stigmatizing as so deviant that it threatens the fabric of society (sometimes, as in the case of pedophilia, rightfully so – but there might be a link there to: again, when you push sexuality down so forcefully, it erupts in deleterious ways).
This piece over at LGM seems fitting:
The successor of the Austrian far-right leader Jörg Haider was dismissed yesterday after he revealed a “special” relationship “far beyond” friendship with his former mentor.
In emotional interviews with the national broadcaster and a tabloid newspaper Stefan Petzner spoke openly about his affair with Haider, who died at the age of 58 in a high-speed car crash after heavy drinking session at a gay club this month. Haider’s party, the Alliance for the Future of Austria, captured 11 per cent of the vote in national elections last month .
“He was the man of my life. Our relationship went far beyond friendship,” Mr Petzner, 27, said after only a week in the job, adding that Haider’s wife, Claudia, 52, “did not object” to their relationship.
I don’t know if repressing human sexuality leads one to go Nazi (or neo-Nazi, or Liberal Fascist), whether it causes priests to molest children, whether it is the impetus behind preachers buying crack from male hookers they plan to fellate, or whether it leads to the urge to don multiple wet suits and a butt plug while suspended from the ceiling in a harness. And I’ve already engaged in enough armchair psychology to probe this any deeper. But I will simply say this:
Human society would be much healthier if people stopped trying to “channel polymorphous human sexuality into an exclusively heterosexual direction.” It’s not doing anybody any good. And even if fostering tolerance toward homosexuality doesn’t alleviate any of the aforementioned unsavory manifestations, at least people who are shamed for their natural sexual inclinations by all the self-appointed “channelers” will be happier. That should count for something.
Seriously, Mr. Prager: Live a little. Kiss a boy. Grab a dick. Embrace your inner-ghey, and leave everyone else’s continuum the fuck alone.