America Loves Kinky Sex
Let the religious Right whine about “Kinsey.” The
next sexual revolution is imminent
December 1, 2004
By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist
Here’s my suggestion: let them have it.
Just do it. Let the sexually bitter and morally frantic
conservative groups now dictating governmental policy and FCC agendas and
paranoid media attitudes have their time, their brief cultural burp, their
little speed bump on the great and beckoning highway that will still lead us
all, inexorably, irreversibly, though often agonizingly, toward grinning open-thighed
Because here’s the fabulous thing: no matter what these
faux-Christian groups do, no matter how hard they oppress and protest and
clamp down, this is a road that leads, despite all dour headlines and sour
prognostications otherwise, toward spiritual illumination, toward awareness,
toward sexual openness and same-sex marriage and revelatory sodomy and free
vibrators for teenage girls and lesbians kissing open mouthed in the streets.
In Kentucky. In the daytime. On Sunday.
It’s true. All this and more, is gonna happen. This is
my belief. Superlative homemade pornography and fetish dungeons and happy
dildo supermarkets and the utter brilliance of the Suicide
Girls and regular people having juicy consensual reasonably kinky
respectful sex like it’s no big deal, and it’s all a matter of time,
isn’t it, before it will all erupt back to the surface of the culture and
spread like hot karmic butter across the land. Maybe? You think?
And when that time comes, we shall look back on Janet
Jackson’s Nipplegate and the Monday Night Football backlash and the shrill
outcry from various conservative and religious groups against the superlative
movie “Kinsey” in the same way people look back on old bunions or leg
warmers and laugh and point and shake their heads and sigh.
Because right now, we seem to be stuck. Mired. Hateful
and narrow and sexually small and the country is right this minute being led,
morally speaking, by a cadre of sexually barren males and prim humorless
vaginally denuded women who have about as much sex appeal and libidinous
acumen and raw divine awareness as a beige 1993 Dodge Caravan. This much we
But here’s the fabulous news: the pendulum, it always
swings. The recoil always happens. And the further the petrified
fundamentalists now squeezing the testicles of our born-again administration
cram us down the bleak hole of 1950s-style sexual ignorance and misogyny and
homophobia and silly whining to the FCC about bare breasts and curse words and
heavily Botoxed white women daring
to expose themselves to black NFL stars, the more potent and delicious and
the backlash will be.
Do you see? Call it the slingshot effect: the harder they
try to pull us all back into this tight little box of sameness and fear and
the more they try to yank us all into their morally shrill worldview, the
greater the distance we will catapult forward when their tenuous and panicky
grip finally gives.
But, alas, some might argue we have yet to progress at
all. Some might argue that for every gleeful step forward, we take a dozen
back. For every overturned Texas antisodomy law, there are 11 sad states that
ban same-sex marriage in a misguided panic of homophobia and ignorance.
Some argue that the very fact that sexless conservative
groups with hollow names like Concerned Women of America and the Culture &
Family Institute and Generation Life and Focus on the Family have actually
complained, loudly, inanely, about the sexual content of “Kinsey” is proof
positive that we haven’t really budged since, well, 1948, when Alfred Kinsey
himself shocked the world by asking everyday people about (cover your kids’
eyes now) masturbation and homosexuality and anal sex, amen.
(These groups, by the way, they actually compare Kinsey,
the world-famous and hugely respected researcher, to notorious Nazi doctor Josef
“Angel of Death” Mengele. They blame Kinsey for AIDS. And for
America’s high divorce rate. And for abortion. And for child abuse. And for
porn. And probably for organic food and yoga magazines and Buddhism and sacrum
tattoos on teenage girls. So you know you’re not exactly dealing with the
most nimble intellects on the planet).
Some would say, finally, that the very fact that it’s
nearly 2005 and we still can’t discuss the most basic human sexual mores and
juicy behaviors in public—much less teach them in schools—without
shockingly ignorant religious hand-wringing and neoconservative brow-beating
is a true sign that we are laughably lost and divided and as morally misguided
as ever. And it’s only getting worse.
But look just beneath the headlines. Look behind the
moral smoke screen. Progress we have. After all, would such groups be so
openly terrified if they didn’t feel deeply threatened by the cultural power
of gays and sexually empowered women and healthy happy porn? Would they be so
frantic if they didn’t realize that the human animal is, by nature, deeply
sexual and experimental and quite happily perverted and there’s not a damn
thing they can really do about it? You know the answer.
Bottom line: progress always wins. It might not always be
easy to see and it might get buried in layers of screeching sound bites and
regressive policy and silly religious nutballs finding sneaky and insulting
ways to teach
creationism in schools, and it is always viciously resisted by the most
morally rigid of the culture, but this vital truth remains. Change always
forces its way through the muck, despite—or perhaps because of—heroic
attempts by right-wing homophobes to nail its foot to the pseudo-Christian
Look at it this way: The potent and still-humming sexual
revolution of the ‘60s and ‘70s would not have been possible without the
pedantic sexual timidity of the ‘50s. And the potentially enthralling place
we will likely be in, say, a decade or two will not have been possible without
the vicious pseudo-sanctimony that defines the current BushCo era. Yes, it’s
ugly and sad and depressing and we are mired deep, right now. But by many
accounts, all this means is that we are indeed on the verge of a huge leap
forward. Darkest before the dawn, baby.
It is never easy. Americans must often be dragged,
kicking and screaming, into the future. And it is, as always, our choice on
how we embrace these imminent changes. Fight and fear and loathe them, and
they will manifest in all manner of poisonous and dangerous ways, nasty Web
sites and illegal predation and 10 gigabytes of kiddie porn discovered on some
Republican senator’s home computer. You know it’s true.
And one look at the cataclysmic hypocrisy of the Catholic
Church is all you need to realize what happens when you attempt to deny human
nature and reject our sensual heat and shut down the libido in favor of some
sort of misguided and falsely pious agenda. Expand that example into a
national attitude, and you’ve got a recipe for utter meltdown and collapse
and, well, imminent rebirth.
So then. Forget the alarmist headlines. Ignore the shrill
faux-moral groups who live like sad trolls in places like Colorado Springs who
deign to tell you what sex and God and love is supposed to be about despite
how they haven’t seen their own genitalia since about 1987. The Great Sexual
Revolution 2.0 is coming. Deny it at your peril. Bring extra batteries.
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