Sex is still wrapped up in power, shame and titillation. Shouldn’t it be usually about pleasure and sometimes about procreation? As long as sex isn’t about sex, it won’t be healthy.The RoK / Roosh V / pickup artist (aka amateur rapist) movement is a reaction to a really unhealthy dynamic around sex. Sex is linked to power. People lose power if they “give it up” or they can gain the upper hand by peddling sex strategically. It’s easy to see why sex is currency. It’s pleasurable. It’s one of our two big waypoints in life: sex made us; and on the far side of the trip, death takes us out of the journey. Many of us are driven to seek out sex. It's the essence of pleasure. It’s a bonding exercise. It’s a rite of passage. It’s how we make little genetic photocopies of ourselves. We are here because of sex. We stay here because of food, air and water. But we bundle sex into this exercise of shame and power. Imagine if we had to ship the kids off to grandma’s so that we could have dinner? What if we had to park on a secluded boulevard to have a bottle of water? What if you stayed with an abusive man because he let you breathe air? Sex is a really basic part of who we are, but we run into the shadows to partake of it. The problem with shadows: monsters lurk there. We can’t admit to sex. In a paradox, we can’t disavow sex. We have to be players and prudes. Sluts get shamed. Virgins get mocked. Sex isn’t only about pleasure, but it should be.
If there’s “a game” to sex, pickup artists pretend to know the game. The Roosh V crowd vacillate between saying they know how to manipulate women into sex and being frustrated at bitches who resist their charms. Their move to make rape legal in some circumstances is the way to take ammunition away from women who won’t put out. I have no wish to get into their heads, but were I to, it’s as though they think that taking away a woman’s recourse will pave their way to success. They’re using a power play to get sex. Their hamfisted approach will never work. Victoria was an excellent case in point: when the activists said they would gather and hold a public meeting, opponents rallied to counter them. In the end, the public meetings were shelved and Victoria chapter moved their meeting ahead a day. All of the pro-rape dudes assembled. Four guys. Four guys gathered and one of the four was an infiltrator who tipped off their opponents. The opponents numbered in hundreds, but the amateur rapists numbered less than a handful. That’s a microcosm of our society. A small number want to carry out harm and a large number is available to press for moderation, respect and civility. Every society is going to have outcasts and marginalized people, just like an otherwise healthy body can develop tumors. We shouldn’t pay so much attention to our social tumors. We should move sex out of the shadows; or shine a light into the shadows and flush out the Roosh V monsters who lie in wait.
We have a protestant work ethic tied into sex. Hard work gets rewarded. Smart work looks like trickery. We can call into work sick, but if we called into work ‘happy’ that wouldn't fly. If we took the day off work to enjoy the sunshine, we could lose our job. Our system is built around shunning pleasure. Pleasure is in a pot at the end of the rainbow. We sneer at people who blissfully dance between the raindrops. Pleasure shouldn’t be hard won. It should be ubiquitous. We shouldn’t dangle sex in exchange for power or hard work. We shouldn’t dole out sex to the rich and powerful. We should not make people who make pleasure into a priority into shameful or selfish lot. Still: we do all that. Gian Ghomeshi was able to barter his pop-culture prominence for sex. He was able to press his position of power to hold his victims in silence. He used shame to seal them in. While he was an active kinkster, his victims either dabbled in that medium, or were dragged into into it by Ghomeshi. His serial forays into kink were excused because his power. His handlers at the CBC did a lot to squelch the problems that arose from Ghomeshi’s behaviour. His victims’ practices in kink were shameful enough to keep them silent, so they couldn’t have a voice.
We need to move past power and shame and get to a place of respect. If you want to see my Fetlife profile, I’ll send you the link, but I won’t blurt it out. That’s the whole point. Be proud of your kink. Conversely, be proud to let people know that sex isn’t important to you, if that’s you. Be proud to be sure of yourself. Be proud to be able to sit in silence or sing to the rooftops-- whichever of those is the exposure of your true voice. That’s the one you should celebrate and the one I will celebrate with you. We need to have a sexual revolution that isn’t bent on overt sexuality, but candid sexuality that celebrates people’s choices. Take the shame and the power out of sex and let it be whatever remains for each of us. It’s okay to have a penis. It’s not okay to wave it into everyone’s faces and fish for acceptance. Candid sexuality would be a mindset where the showiness, the evangelism and the bravado is down played. If we take shame and power out of sex and leave the pleasure, we could be in a really great place. It means we can be honest about our sexual beings and our sexual identities. It means we can be quiet about it when it’s not relevant.
I hope we can move to the threshold of a true sexual revolution that allows sex to be about pleasure. It feels like we can approach that and in many ways, we are getting closer. The trick is to walk through that doorway. Then, we can use pleasure as the North Star of our sexual identities.
Last updated date
Wednesday, February 10, 2016 - 14:48