Last edited: December 05, 2004

America Loves Kinky Sex

Let the religious Right whine about “Kinsey.” The next sexual revolution is imminent

SF Gate, 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 progress.

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 know.

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 floor.

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.

[Home] [Editorials] [USA]