The Taming of the Sex

This weekend I am flying up to Portland for a quick visit home…you know, to reconnect with my parents, visit old high school friends still sitting at the local bar talking about Homecoming ‘97, climb on my elementary school jungle gym, do some soul searching, all those things that aimless 20-somethings do in the movies when they go back to the hometown. While I may not find my soul this weekend, I will get a chance to do some undercover work at a Rodeo on the 4th of July in the super swell town of Molalla, Oregon. Needless to say, I'm gonna find me a real tough cowboy up in there. Time to move beyond these spineless Los Angeles pansy boys.

So, yeah, listen up, o sensitive, prudish ones. I respect your chastity and non-sex-ical values and all that, but today’s topic is the wrongful repression of sex, so if you’re gonna be offended, stop reading and go treat your body like a sanctuary. Maybe I’m not listening hard enough, but nobody seems to be talking about sex anymore. Movies? Not about sex. I thought the sex scene in Mr. and Mrs. Smith was gonna be hot, but if you take away the preceding violent exchange, there was nothing worth getting divorced over. It's like the porn industry has Hollywood by the balls, mysteriously censoring even the most modest sexual tension in blockbusters so the pervs will come running desperately out of the theaters and right to the Tomkat (the best homoerotic movie theater marquee in the West) or the nearest XXX-rated sidewalk sale. Pretty soon, nymphos like Austin Powers and Rollergirl from Boogie Nights will be a distant memory and we'll be stuck with tame-ass characters that become friends and share their feelings...before they decide to (gasp) sleep together for the first time. Must Love Dogs, the upcoming John Cusack/Diane Lane romantic comedy, better be smokin', or I'm going to have to investigate and see if the Christian Coalition hasn't taken over the script revision mill.

It’s not just movies that are taming down the sex. The only band/musician (other than Bruce Springsteen) I've heard singing overtly about sex lately is The White Stripes, fittingly within an album called Get Behind Me Satan (mini-song review: "Instinct Blues" makes the rather urgent argument that sex is an instinct, one of the most powerful instincts we have, an instinct we share with all walks of life, and everything from big jungle cats to strawberries are getting it on. The lyrics wonder where this instinct has gone. "They just happen to know exactly what to do. So why don't you?" For humans, sex has become civilized, complicated by social conditioning, morality issues, and health risks. For some of us, the natural instinct is still there, but for others, it's gone, lost within good, evil, penis size, the G-spot, and Cosmopolitan. And so goes the blues). Who will be music’s sexual voice now that Madonna’s gone all Kabbalah, Britney’s pregnant, Bobby Brown has a reality TV show? I don’t watch much TV aside from C-Span, Comedy Central, and HBO, but if the FCC has its way, I’m guessing TV has become just as sterile. I make it a point to miss Desperate Housewives every week because I’m afraid I’ll become just as desperate, but something tells me their husbands are not giving them enough lovin’. It’s time to generalize: maybe I'm not as in-tune to creative media as my peers, but even just walking around, sex is not as prevalent in American culture as it used to be, and if it's around, it's immoral, as in the Desperate Housewives sense. Since Marvin Gaye's not here to tell me how and why gettin' it on has been so drained out of the mainstream, right in the middle of my 20s, I got to say that I’ve had enough. Call me an aspiring slut, but there’s too much sexual tension, and it’s going to waste, because in my mind, if there are two things that go extremely well together, it’s sex and politics, free passion and free thought. Enough talk of moral values. It's high time everyone gets a virgin for the very first time...with condoms or BC or Morning After Pill or whatever you need to do to prevent STDs and you or your partner's "woman's right to choose" choice.

So why all the sex all of a sudden? Here I have a blog with what a hyper-perverted male mind could definitely construe as a sexually ambiguous title, and like the media outlets I was just complaining about, I don’t mention it once here. Yes, it’s a personal subject, but on the most general, impersonal level, I guess it all goes back to thinking less and acting more. Maybe we all need to rise above uncertain indecision and go with the instinct, choose the sensual over the prude, the data over the analysis. Lately I feel like our sexual selves are being repressed, and it's not just the pious and pure. I talked to my sister yesterday about premarital sex. She said that people have sex for all the wrong reasons, that having sex makes you feel bad about yourself when God made us able to have intercourse so that we can create life. Like many other topics we discussed, I respectfully disagreed with her. Then I thought back to the mid-late '90s. It was strange, in the midst of the STD/AIDS scare and abortion debating, meanwhile, sex was just everywhere. Now, unless you're watching a hip-hop video or Sex and the City reruns, it feels like the '50s all over again. If someone can prove me wrong, please do, because I'm starting to wonder. Is the evangelical movement doing its voodoo on us? Is the culture of morality seeping in and taking effect? Have sexuality issues become too hot (sound the alarms, sweet Jesus, it’s a phallic symbol) or too cold (for those savvy yet bored stiff teens who’ve been around the block by the time they’re legal). I have yet to watch an episode of Strictly Sex with Dr. Drew (the show I used to work on), but I've got a hunch that discussing masturbation and blowjob techniques is not as risque as it used to be. But regardless of whether sex is repressed or simply passe as a cultural discussion, I hope all you boyfriends and girlfriends, husbands and wives, one-night stands, wild animals and insects are still having lots of it, responsibly. It's still a cheap way to show your love and appreciation to another human being. Whether or not God intended for us to get it on without a screaming baby in mind, there's something about that post-orgasmic glow that feels just heavenly.


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