Euphemisms tend to lose their protective magic at a fairly rapid rate. Like Sisyphus, the moralists can never seem to to carry, drag or otherwise schlep that ball to the top of the mountain and give it back to its owner. Modern prudery. Are we living in the twenty-first century, or do we remain somehow anchored in the late Middle Ages to the eighteenth-century with trial by ordeal, when they killed women for being witches if they were unlucky enough to have floated after being pitched into a pond, lake, or river, or unable to spit coins of precious metal when stood on their head. It seems there is always some organized interference with other people’s pleasure.
Too many kill-joys were here and not enough Killroy’s.The various stripes of prudes are obsessed by an expansive awareness of the vast amount of unregulated pleasure that is being enjoyed around them; commonly referred to as sin. You have to wonder to some extent, whether all the gossip sites are in part constant and frustrating reminders of the reader’s own frustration and unhappiness; a sort of impulse to punish their tormentors and themselves. As television preachers and self-styles moralists have found out, often to their own embarrassment, they have little chance of ever making sex uninteresting.
And what kind of thing were the censors objecting to? You name it. Anything that disturbed the status quo, politically or morally.Now, this all might seem of historical interest only – but it is not. Cast your mind back to Britain’s the Brass Eye furore, When government ministers condemn a television program they have not seen, and right wing columnists jerk their knee in the same way the National Post in Canada did over the Jennifer Peto thesis.Remember that there are still a lot of tiny minds out there who want to control what we watch and think about; and in particular how we think about it. We have some deplorable ancestral karma to shake off… still.Prudery, as we know it, is fear and hatred of pleasures, primarily of sexual pleasures…
THE CURIOUS WANTON
(By Thomas Rowlandson)
Miss Chloe in a wanton way
Her durgling would needs survey.
Before the glass displays her thighs
And at the sight with wonder cries,
“Is this the thing that day and night
Makes men fall out and madly fight ?
The source of sorrow and of joy
Which King and beggar both employ?
How grim it looks, yet enter in,
You’ll find a fund of sweets begin!”
“The Puritans and other intolerants by their processes of expurgation have succeeded in concentrating the basic human matters treated here to the point of virulence, thus making their complete suppression as impossible, as it is unnecessary. Only by ignoring things like excretions and copulation can their effect on our literature and our mores be diluted, and restored to the true proportion normally found in the lives of every kind and tolerant individual. …that false social customs, and NOT the obvious so-called pornography, are the causes which produce the sex maniac in the too-sheltered or psychologically ill. (SEXUAL BEHAVIOR IN THE HUMAN MALE by Alfred C. Kinsey, 1948, )
…”The ‘satanic abuse’ hysteria was particularly appalling, but
r after year in America prudery exacts a terrible toll – as witness the unfortunate female schoolteachers packed often to prison with hefty sentences for having affairs with boys in their mid to late teens.
Is America permanently lodged in the 17th century so far as moral policing is concerned? The answer is Not exactly, since gay marriage wasn’t a big item on the legislative agenda of the colonies at that time. But regulation of sexual behaviour is the preferred route to wider social control. The control of sex and pornography is a major part of promulgating a puritanical political culture without ever imposing overt political censorship. Sexual repression, often through the allegation of ‘deviant’ fantasy crimes, is the designated stand-in for violations of the social order that are hard to crush in a courtroom. (Alexander Cockburn )
“Certain academic researchers have found , basically,( no surprise here) that authoritarians show especial sensitivity about sexual matters. Kelley found that high scorers on a balanced version of the F scale were more loath than low scorers to be shown pictures of masturbation. This finding would appear to fit well with the psychodynamic explanation of authoritarianism proffered by Adorno et al. (1950), but there is a much simpler explanation….. Sexual prudery was a prominent component of the Adorno et al. account of authoritarianism. Kelley, in other words, was simply rediscovering what Adorno et al. said in 1950.How is the Adorno/Kelley finding of an association between authoritarianism and sexual prudery to be explained? …
Whatever the academics, and pundits say; we are living in a period of relative enlightenment and ambiguous tolerance despite attempts today to equate fear of sex with numerous new second and third tier euphemisms like saving the planet, the war on drugs, terrorism, new diseases, etc. in which valid issues are appropriated, and manipulated into reactionary new forms….
ADDENDUM (PICKWICK EXTRA):
“Furthermore most if not all of these poems are witty or funny, and since humor has a completely depressing effect on the erotic sense, one makes himself ridiculous in point of fact by charging them with aphrodisian properties. Under the stimulus of the erotic impulse it is true that our sense of values, our aesthetic sense, undergoes a complete reversal, and we do things otherwise ridiculous. The intelligent social reformer does not seek in these wide-spread folk songs for the causes of this change which so mysteriously takes place in all of us from time to time. He realizes that the needs of an erection are entirely disseparate forces from those that motivate our people to this poetry. These folk songs, therefore remain pure and harmless except to the self-appointed crusader whose miseducated and often maladjusted mind attributes to everyone else his own unhealthy reactions. Irrefutable proof of this salient point is found in A CHALLENGE TO SEX CENSORS by Theodore Schroeder, (Free Speech League, New York, 1938, 159 pp.) and in TO THE PURE …. A STUDY OF OBSCENITY AND THE CENSOR by M. L. Ernst, and W. Seagle, (The Viking Press, New York, 1928, 336 pp.)
THE CAMEL AND THE SPHINX
Now the sex life of the camel
Is not as one may think.
One night in a fit of emotion,
He tried to bugger the sphinx.
But the sphinx’s posterior entrance
Was blocked by the sands of the Nile,
Which accounts for the hump on the camel
And the sphinx’s inscrutable smile!
THE LARKING CULL
(By Thomas Rowlandson)
While on the bed the nymph reclined
Damon resolved to please his mind.
His generation tube he shows,
Between her swelling breasts it goes.
His fingers to her touch-hole sent
Alas to give her small content.
A larger thing would give more pleasure
She always loves to have full measure,
And who for greater joys do hunt
Than rising bubbies and a cunt.
…Just how funny was that story of the man in Fairfax County, Virginia, who got up early on Monday morning, October 19, and walked naked into his own kitchen to make himself a cup of coffee? The next significant thing that happened to 29-year-old Eric Williamson was the local cops arriving to charge him with indecent exposure.
It turns out that while he was brewing the coffee, a mother who was taking her seven-year-old son along a path beside Williamson’s house espied the naked householder and called the local precinct, or more likely her husband, who turns out to be a cop.
“Yes, I wasn’t wearing any clothes,” Williamson said later, “but I was alone, in my own home and I just got out of bed. It was dark and I had no idea anyone was outside looking in at me.”
The story ended up on TV, and in the opening rounds the newscasters and network blogs had merciless sport with the Fairfax police for their absurd behaviour. Hasn’t a man the right to walk around his own home (or in this case rented accommodation) dressed according to his fancy? Answer, obvious to anyone familiar with relevant case law: absolutely not. Williamson will be lucky if they don’t throw a cobbled-up indictment at him Peeved by public ridicule, the Fairfax cops turned up the heat…. ( Cockburn )
(By Lord Byron)
When in the soft still night all are asleep,
Into thy chamber of delight I creep.
Finding thee deep in innocent repose.
Lips half apart, like petals of a rose
In spring-time when they have just begun to spread,
So are thy lips-as delicate and red.
As I creep near, I see thee turn and sigh
(As though some spirit told thee what thine eye
Doth fail to see). And as I bend over thee
Through the darkness I can dimly see
Thy budding breasts, fair flowers of delight,
Gleam with a shimmer, fairly white.
Gently I raise the coverlet from around
The dearest treasure man ever found.
Soft sinuous limbs of matchless shape and grace,
Hips filled with pleasure, shoulders to embrace,
Soft round delicious body, white and warm,
Gould anything be sweeter than thy form?
Moments I stand, enjoying ecstasies
Of expectations-glorious moments these;
Then not postponing longer joys divine
I slip between the covers and entwine
My arm around thy body, and, in turn,
I feel thy soft arms grow tight, and seem to burn
With fires that are not earthly.
Now they find mine, and close I draw
Thy quivering lips.
Thy fairy fingers creep with soft caress
O’er my trembling body, and no less …