Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Politics Of Desire

Let’s say you like to be tied up and whipped. In our permissive culture, that’s all well and good. Sure, some of the old folks might give you some flack, but most of us would say “whatever floats your boat”. OK, so you’re a perv, but you have no reason to feel guilty, right? But what if you’re an anarchist? Does giving another person that kind of power over you violate your libertarian principals? What if you’re a feminist and you like having men do terrible things to you? What if you’re Jewish and you like your lover to wear a Nazi outfit while he “tortures” you? (As I’ve noted before, it’s surprising how many people are sexually attached to what should probably repel them.) In this article Liz Highleyman, being all of the above, attempts to determine if her sexual kinks are in line with her revolutionary and feminist outlook. She ultimately seems to decide that the answer is yes, but is still clearly uncomfortable with some of her own desires. One of the beautiful things about human sexuality in my opinion is its resistance to logical analysis, and its refusal to change itself despite the conscious wishes of the person in question. If all of these silly efforts by right-wing Christians to “rehabilitate” gays have shown us anything, it is that sexual preferences (regardless of if they are genetically or environmentally based) are nearly impossible to change, even if the person desperately wants to do so. So leftists like Highleyman eventually must make a choice: Deny themselves the sexual experiences they most desperately crave, or admit to themselves that desire simply does not respond to political arguments.


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