Brief Reflections on American Prudery (1)

“Still, when I’m not engaged in sexual activity, it makes me sad to think that my arousal is based in crude animality. On the most basic level, there is little difference between my fantasy life and a lion’s mating rituals: male finds desirable female; subdues; ejaculates. Yet I want sex to be a shared delight so strong it releases me from the strictures of everyday living. So the urge to dramatize poses of degradation is what Miller calls “a sultry, passionate rebellion” against the fact that one’s needs do not result in what one wants. I will always want sex to be more than the physical act of intercourse it will always insist on being.”

Hannah Tennant-Moore, A Rosier Crucifixion: the erotic world of Henry Miller

Americans, on the left as well as the right, seem to be using all kinds of rhetorical alibis to justify their fear of human contact; the right uses the old saw of “moral values,” “Christianity” and “immorality” and the left (like good Stalinists) loves to hide behind a solipsistic smokescreen, denouncing heterosexual desire as inherently “phallocentric,” “patriarchal” and “misogynist.” This is not quite true. It is just as idiotic as assuming that all white men are inherently Nazis with a genetic disposition to kill anything that does not look like them. Scratch the surface of either one of these posters and you will find just another uptight middle-class blue-stocking who simply believes that old white, patriarchal notion that sex is essentially “filthy.”

I know what I am talking about. I grew up in Reagan-Era America and attended a Parochial Catholic school which was rife with puritanical views about sex, heterosexual or homosexual, but largely heterosexual. It was an all-male high school. Every other day it was drummed into our heads that sex outside of marriage was “sinful” or that reading Playboy was “immoral” and “disrespectful towards women” and all sorts of other prissy bullshit. And yet the school teachers and administrators turned a blind eye to young male bullies molesting and even raping more vulnerable young boys in study hall, in the bathroom and in the gym shower. In fact homosexual harassment and bullying was so widespread it was considered a joke. I know because such bullying happened to me, and more than once. Yet on the other hand, gays were openly sneered at by the student body, porn (hetero) was passed around under the table and more kinky sex was being had by many of these students than in a public high school. The hypocrisy that these people had concerning sexual matters was so glaring that to this day, I refuse to believe a damned thing that Americans have to say on the subject of sex. The bottom line is that we still think sex is dirty, yet we have found far more creative and convincing ways of justifying our essential hatred of the physical.

The thing that browns me off about all of this is the way that many of these supposedly “liberated” and “self-actualized” women have internalized white, Victorian male paternalism towards their own gender–the main difference being that these women have reshaped these anti-sexual Victorian values to justify their own basic revulsion towards physical contact. It is nothing new, really. Anthony Comstock has made a comeback, albeit shaved, trimmed, toned, wearing hipster clothes and shrieking “misogyny” when he really means “too little morn and too much maid!”

It never ceases to amaze me, even now, how something as beautiful as a woman being confident in herself, in her body, in the power of her sex could be twisted into something dark, something shameful, something dirty. For a long time, I was blinded to its beauty because of that. I felt like I had to answer to society before I answered to myself and allowed parts of me to be hidden because I was afraid of what would happen if I let that truth out.

Sheriden Channel, “Confession: I Have an Insatiable Appetite for Sex”

We “Americans” love to prate on and on about “values.” We throw the word around without even thinking to analyze precisely what we mean when we bring it up.  Values to whom? Values for whom? And what on earth do you “value” so? And what is this thing do you call morality? I already know, the answer’s right there. “Morality” and “values” in that fucking country is simply a choice between putting a dick in your mouth and not putting it in your mouth—that’s all. Keep the dick out of your mouth and you’ll be fine, you won’t go to hell, and Jesus won’t shit all over your ass. You can bomb all the ragheads you please, but please don’t lick your girl’s cunt outside the confines of holy matrimony, because THAT is a sin. If it all sounds idiotic and primitive, that’s because it is.

This is a white, Christian hangup. It is no accident that among people who are not WASP or WASP-oriented (as are Saudis, many South Asians, evangelical Africans, etc.) these hangups are rarely, if ever present. Progressives in Brazil, in Italy, Germany, Japan, Turkey, Ghana, etc. thankfully deal with the issue of male privilege, patriarchy and domination in their own fashion and according to their own respective needs and generally avoid middle-class American solipsism about sexuality. It is very sad to see even progressives in that lousy country (USA) demanding more and more chains under the guise of “security.” If this insanity continues, one day the USA will be the least free nation on earth, and we will have nobody to blame but ourselves and our fear of our own minds and bodies, and our basic stupidity and spinelessness.

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Notes on The Sexual Misery of the Arab World (1)

On February 12, 2016, an Algerian writer, Kamel Daoud, wrote a perceptive article on the obscene levels of sexual repression in the Arab World. As someone who has traveled and lived in at least five of them between 1987 and 2003, I would have to concur with what Mr. Daoud has written, for the most part. Egypt I would agree with; the country has lost its soul. Morocco, Tunisia and even Algeria–at least in 1989–were exceptions, somewhat.

The responses to the article were predictable, nearly all of them coming from Westerners, many of whom had traveled to the Gulf States. My personal response was NO SHIT. The Gulf Region is the armpit of Islam itself. Everything they practice and preach goes tangent to reality and sanity, and even the Koran itself. The satraps of the Gulf States, as well as their ISIS henchmen who cannibalize children and slice off women’s breasts for kicks, are in the business of grabbing power from ignorant, frustrated and uneducated people; they don’t give a shit about religion, Islamic or otherwise. Islam is a pretext, a smokescreen for implementing some misguided Nietzschean Superman ideal of controlling the masses. It is not hyperbole to say this, especially when one notes that these fat, greasy oil sheiks and Arabian princes have carte blanche within and without the Gulf Region to do absolutely anything they want. And with few exceptions, they usually do just that. Rarely do they get arrested, save for this notable incident, which is most likely the tip of the iceberg.

Those who read and commented on Daoud’s article put the blame on 1,500 years of Islam and Arabism, while blissfully forgetting that the salacious Thousand and One Nights came out of that exact same Arab Islamic milieu. The Perfumed Garden, admittedly a piece of racist pornographic drivel, was crafted over 500 years ago in benighted, super-repressed North Africa–most specifically Tunisia, where frustrated and confused young men occasionally blow themselves to shit with misguided Wahhabi notions swirling around in their skulls.

A book such as Leg over Leg, written by a Lebanese writer in the late 19th century, would have never seen the light of publication in the New York or London of that time. (It was published in Paris in 1855, however.) While Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq wrote extensively about female genitalia, and in the most graphic detail imaginable; while Andre Gide found his sexual awakening with teenage Tunisian boys in isolated sand dunes, Oscar Wilde was getting raked over the coals for his homosexuality in “enlightened” England. And Walt Whitman was repeatedly ostracised and held in contempt for pinning sexually coy poems such as “Calamus” or “Children of Adam.” Well, “limitless limpid jets of love hot and enormous” and “love-flesh swelling” aren’t that coy, but it’s still a far cry from Leg over Leg.

Those who are chiming in with this article forget what the U.S. was like 70 years ago, when a black man could and did get his balls cut out of him (and worse) for whistling at a white woman (Emmett Till??), when being gay was considered a mental illness and grounds for imprisonment, when oral sex could land you in jail for a number of years, when possessing and distributing pornography could also land you in jail for a number of years…and where, by contrast, in Egypt, pornography was turned out by the truckloads, and where the social life was so licentious that Lawrence Durrell forever immortalized it in his Alexandria Quartet. The white West whines about the hysterical prudery of Saudi Arabia while forgetting that 150 years ago (and at the outset of Wahhabism!) prostitutes used to tempt pilgrims regularly while attempting to do the Hajj. What happened? European colonialism happened. It was the Europeans and more significantly the Americans and their old-fashioned, uptight Protestant views on sexuality that did the most significant damage to the Muslim world’s views concerning sex. And even today, sex is less of a hassle in places like Morocco or certain parts of Tunisia or Lebanon than it is in my stuffy-assed hometown of Adelphi, Maryland, let alone some asshole state such as Utah or Alabama. So it is good to put all of this insanity into some historical perspective.

This link, and the pictures below should give the lie to the notion that today’s “Islam,” which is an absolute abomination funded by CIA stooges (shades of Naked Lunch and Islam, Inc.), has anything to do with what Islam once was. Especially concerning sexuality. Note: these pics are not for the squeamish!!

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The above examples are from modern-day Iran and Pakistan. How things have changed since the good old days.

Thank you very much!