Thursday, February 24, 2005

"What Lies Beneath the Titillation"

Justin Katz has a good post up on Alfred Kinsey's continued popularity and asks "why?".

One line from Justin jumped off the page:
Rather, it has seemed to me, as I've grown older, that much of the sexual revolution is built on personal lies
He may or may not be correct. But as his Kinsey discussion shows, the revolution was heavily dependent on public lies and still is today.

One example is perfectly illustrated in this review of "Inside Deep Throat" from the New Yorker
It is now clear that what mattered, in 1972, was not so much seeing Deep Throat as saying that you had seen Deep Throat. In so doing, you bid farewell to any traces of inhibition that hung slack around your soul and equipped yourself to join in the bracing new conversation on which society had embarked. The possibility that such conversation was no less likely to bore and stultify than what came before would, of course, not occur to the makers of Inside Deep Throat, who are so enamored of "porno chic" (as it was then labelled in the Times) that they fail to recognize it as just another brand of self-obsession. The one thing we can say for certain of adult entertainment is that it is never adult; in its very eagerness to fence off sexual abandonment from other forms of lived experience, it betrays its origins in the hearts of the perpetually and perspiringly adolescent.
How did we come to describe pornography as "adult entertainment" when, as Anthony Lane notes, it appeals to what is adolescent in all of us.

Dawn Eden touches on a darker lie in this post. Most discussions of teen sexuality (including abortion and parental notification laws) treat the subject as though it is only about frisky sixteen year olds getting it on together. What is never admitted is that a non-trivial number of "sexually active" girls are victims of statutory rape at the hands of much older men.

(Two other interesting pieces one Kinsey are here and here. I posted about the continued influence of the cult here.)

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