Tag Archives: exchange

Sex As Marketplace Commodity

commodity
Sex As Commodity
samplex

Originally published on July 24, 1996

Not to beat a dead horse into dog food, Landry, but I nevertheless am still interested in digging deeper into this topic of exploring what you as a female writer deem appropriate sexual language and conduct, specifically at the social level, as a (willing/unwilling) member of the freelance pseudo-liberated Generation X thinktank. Or more precisely, the differences whereby men and women perceive the sexual personae, and one's respective duties and roles within the arena. For despite my own mental gymnastics, and occasional outburst among friends and foes of the nightclub antic, I am basically a self-described prude in this matter by default. My prudishness comes from not wanting to hurt the feelings of others, nor have my own wobbly branches burned by the terminally spitfired. I'm not particularly squeamish to broach topics with extreme candor, but the wolves of public opinion can be quite brutal and unforgiving as I have been schooled time and time again.

First a few definitions: pseudoliberated. You touched on this concept by admitting your awareness of blatant contradictions in what your own spirit of freedom tells you versus what your reality-checking brain dutifully informs you is necessary to remain in control of what can soon degenerate into a chaotic and unrewarding sensual killing field if unchecked because of the very nature of individuality. The plain fact is that every person of every generation is genetically (both physically & psychologically) predisposed to a certain level of what passes in the popular mind as freedom but it is plain to see that not everyone is at liberty to express that freedom, which is the stomping ground of the upper classes of beauty, strength, and finance.

However, in the general sense, this freedom is then tested in the sexual marketplace. Gains and losses accumulate. Winners, losers, predators, victims, survivors, casualties. That's the real clay court of the sex game, the match, volley, love, point of the sex game. The sexual elite? Without too much rehashing of old literature we both know that one person's freedom is often another person's enslavement. Each camp seeks its own reflection in the mirror of its ideological yearnings. We each, male & female, across the entire corpus of human identity use different tools to plow the field, sow the seed, and harvest the fruit of our lusts and loves, fetishes and fixes. Individual tastes are formed by a complex matrix of genetics and environmental influences working within us at every turn.

I am equally stricken with a loathing that spreads out beyond that primitive misogyny men are often accused of, rightfully so, to encompass my own fistful of oh so girlie traits the radical feminists harp so much about while lacking a fair shade of the same themselves. We all need to face a few facts. Few of us are ever given a fair shake to show all our cards beyond an exterior and a few words. Male or female. Games are played with romantically inclined falsehoods parading around in the name of spectacular truth, a truth called love. Only once this false game of shadows and overwrought sentimentality has been diminished and replaced with a more intrinsic set of values will equality even find its true voice in the war between the sexes.
Often over the course of a life we change to meet the evermutating challenges of sensuality and desire. Common sense and societal mores of the day often intrude upon what we would embrace if left to our own whimsy. Thus few of us can in truth boast that we are truly liberated. And those who are almost always use this sexual freedom to their own accumulative advantage while the many are still left to fend for themselves in the heat of the battle. Freedom or liberty in this case can only mean freedom of opportunity to succeed or fail, not equality of outcome which is a ridiculous notion everywhere, even the actual sex trade profession—which is also strangled by natural socio-economic stratification—to put a finer point on the realities of sexual politics, never mind the basic argument of one's personal freedom from an oversexualized society if that better suits one's real or alleged moral purposes. This component of the gender war is simply unmanageable in a heterogenous culture, unfortunately, as you've realized by living in San Francisco.

Greater thinkers of antiquity, I submit, realizing this, suggested suppression of the personal urges tempered by cooly ignoring social outlets when the former didn't chill the fevers, rather than having lunatics always chasing a false rainbow corrupting the loins with the tricks of envy and abuse, forced by success and especially, persistant failure of the one night stand, serial monogamy, and prostitution. I observe women with their hypertextual sense of liberal guilt dissatisfied with the roles natural history has prepared for them—for the those female masses rarely take pity on the hordes of men delegated by natural order to mere pawns by the sexual princes and princesses ruling the sexual arena, but consistent with their inherent tools and battle plans are often cold taskmasters, subtle manipulators, starving their opponents and thwarting their competition by any means necessary in order to control the field usually to the chagrin of all parties, themselves included. These women too, are abusers, and their types are legion.

I realize many of the above statements can and will infuriate many a feminine perspective. None of my postulates are meant to pacify female anger for the brutality men have set upon them throughout history, but let's not forget men have mistreated men with similar if not more virulent gusto, as Paglia has pointed out. If you knew me better, you would know that I am grievously sick with self-loathing turned against the gender sporting cock, balls, upper body strength, and this so-called social power everyone in the PC generation is always raving about. Pure madness is afoot and I call for a truce, but who are we kidding? The War Between the Genders is very real for those who feel threatened, and that number includes both women and men for both similar and divergent reasons. Life is not a wind-up toy.

But finally after 32 or 33 years of apotheosizing the feminine component of humanity, and weaned from this generalized self-loathing by the redemptive notions of writer Camille Paglia, no wilting violet herself, I am equally stricken with a loathing that spreads out beyond that primitive misogyny men are often accused of, rightfully so, to encompass my own fistful of oh so girlie traits the radical feminists harp so much about while lacking a fair shade of the same themselves. We all need to face a few facts. Few of us are ever given a fair shake to show all our cards beyond an exterior and a few words. Male or female. Games are played with romantically inclined falsehoods parading around in the name of spectacular truth, a truth called love. Only once this false game of shadows and overwrought sentimentality has been diminished and replaced with a more intrinsic set of values will equality even find its true voice in the war between the sexes.

A lot of superstition and subsequent poor choices can change a person in a decade. It was only a few weeks ago I last threatened to leave the manor in hopes of reasserting myself as I used to be, but I am not the same flesh and bones I once was, and the chances my new independence would prove futile and result in an idiot’s folly are astronomically high.
I am not advocating the overthrow of anything. I simply know that what passes for love in this country is little more than mercantile power wearing a mask of fair weather friendship or lust. Those vows most mouth are garbage lines not worth the paper they are written on or the God they are supplicating. And lust if not outright ridiculed is still spoken of insincerely in most pseudoliberated circles propped up by double standards and power negotiations. So let's not be coy, sweet idealist. It's time to throw off the blinders, and realize that true equality between the sexes is a give and take scenario, and few are they who will find the path to this bliss we all seek.

Most will finally settle for a truce and whatever accommodations their current market value will warrant. I am fortunate my own loved one still finds a measure of grace in my own strengths, raw intelligence and wit. And I in her, her own steady delivery of goods and compassion for my weaknesses and my sense of purpose. Ours has nearly ceased as a sexual bond, but we freely and frequently commit to hugging often, an act Ann Landers would have us believe is the best love has to offer, and we suffer in each other's absence, so attached are we to each other. Because we have willingly accepted this state as a necessary compromise and sublimation to what we collectively can manage to squeeze from life, having failed at any number of dry nuances over the years, a truce has been settled upon us.

Most people find this sort of language an insult to their self-images, despite the self-deceiving accomplices to even more failure these images often play out to be. But you seem to recognize yourself at this juncture of life quite clearly, as I did ten years ago. A lot of superstition and subsequent poor choices can change a person in a decade. It was only a few weeks ago I last threatened to leave the manor in hopes of reasserting myself as I used to be, but I am not the same flesh and bones I once was, and the chances my new independence would prove futile and result in an idiot's folly are astronomically high.

My marriage while generally sexless (a decade of frustration leads to great changes in the heart, the mind, and the body) is certainly not loveless, and in our case, love and social stability won out over sex, although deficiencies in one area usually lead to excesses in others, and in my case, my appetite for food has not waned. Those who neither possess but over or under emphasize love, social stability, OR SEX, are given to great tragedy, and dangerous lives, although nothing I have written on this topic can resolve a damned thing in the world beyond my own need to articulate my innermost thoughts on the topic.

Yes Landry, sexuality is just another marketplace commodity. To deny this is to become an instant liar.

GT