Eroticizing Sex September 2, 2012Posted by FCM in authors picks, books!, liberal dickwads, porn, rape.
Tags: eros, eroticism, intercourse, joanna russ, rape, we who are about to
this is actor/comedian julia sweeney giving a TED talk on how she introduced her 8-year old daughter to internet porn. har! you see, it all began innocently enough: she was answering the girl’s questions about animals, reproducing. for illustrative purposes, sweeney turned to the internet, and showed her daughter videos of animals, mating. the daughter of course asked if there were videos on the internet of humans, mating. sweeney replied that there were not. the audience laughs, because porn, and because porn + 8-year-old girls = FUNNY! oh, liberal dickwads, you all FUCKING SUCK so much! fuck you! but i digress.
now, in case anyone doesnt know this, animals, mating can be nasty and brutish and often is. ducks might be some of the worst? they are known to mate in the water, where the female is pushed under and can drown — an unreasonably dangerous activity, and likely to end in death for the female (but not the male). and male ducks appear to be exceedingly rapey — moreso than other male animals — and are often the subject of scientific study. of duck-rape. in this article, “rape” is in not-really-rape quotes, and in that form is used interchangeably with “unwanted mating attempts.” because “unwanted mating attempts” are only really-rape when human males practice this behavior on human-females, i guess? clearly, these similar behaviors are routinely framed as being distinct and different, but why?
cutting to the chase, i think something very serious happened when humans first eroticized mating. because the thing with mating is that its going to keep happening, whether the females want it or not — it just is. there is nothing inherently erotic about it — its nasty and brutish, and as inherently erotic as anything else — that is to say, its not. it is difficult to even imagine anything being inherently erotic, actually, considering that what is “erotic” is highly dependent on cultural mores. we know this. in fact, eroticization of intercourse has been criticized as being heterosexist — insofar as elite, straight males have linked (equated) intercourse to sexual desire or romantic love, it clearly *is* heterosexist, as even the pomos and queers point out. they would never go so far as to point out the misogyny of it, or the ways intercourse supports male power of course.
and vaginal-penile penetration specifically is not any more inherently erotic than any other penetration or even vaginal penetration, such as acupuncture, or gynecological examinations, or torture, is it? sure, there are some people who have managed to eroticize those things, but thats not because these things are inherently erotic — if anyone has managed to eroticize acupuncture, for example, and im sure its been done, it was deliberate, and probably took some work. or, perhaps some individual kinkster had a kink for needles, in true individualist fashion, or conceivably, “other” penetrations are modeled and eroticized after the primary one — intercourse. but many women dont even like intercourse, and many who do, now, didnt initially and had to train themselves over time. does this sound like anything resembling “inherent” to you?
in reality, the only thing i can reasonably think of that might be inherently erotic is genital friction, applied to the penis in males and to the clitoris in females, in that it is likely to induce sexual arousal across time and place, and with little room for variation among individuals. this has nothing, of course, to do with intercourse. especially not for women, but not really for men, either.
so regarding the eroticization of intercourse, what does it mean to have eroticized something thats nasty, brutish and often dangerous to the female — and something thats going to happen anyway, whether women want it to or not? if all women suddenly and collectively refused to consent to intercourse, are we to believe that no more instances of intercourse would take place, even to the point of population decline or extinction? i think we all know the answer to that. notably, joanna russ explores this in her book “we who are about to” where space-travelers in a future, post-patriarchal world crash-land on an uninhabited planet and patriarchy returns to the unintentional colonists’ unintentional society within two days, rape included. because propagation of the species.
so it is from here that we must examine the eroticization of intercourse, because we have, in fact, managed to eroticize inevitable intercourse — intercourse which cannot be avoided and which will occur regardless of consent. which is, by the way, rape.