Perversion is the result of an essential
interplay between hostility and sexual desire.
People with perversions feel (are made to feel)
an unending sense of being dirty, sinful, secretive,
abnormal and a threat to those finer, straight citizens
who are supposed to make up the majority of society.
The word itself reflects the need of individuals
in society to keep from recognizing their own perverse
tendencies by providing scapegoats who liberate the rest
of us. They serve as the objects of our own
unacceptable and projected perverse tendencies.
Perverts are labelled as criminals, prostitutes,
anarchists, degenerates or outright lunatics.
Yet they’re often writers and artists.
Rebels who step outside the norm.
The term originally referred to an atheist, which
means that strictly speaking the world’s biggest perv
is currently Richard Dawkins.
Today we take heterosexuality to be synonymous
with “normal” sex but when the term was first used,
in 1892, it was linked to “abnormal manifestations
of the sexual appetite” in both sexes.
At the turn of the last century, heterosexual
sex was defined as “an abnormal or perverted
appetite towards the opposite sex”.
What Was Once Perverted…
Until recently, masturbation and oral sex
were considered shameful perversions and
if a woman experienced desire at all in
the 19th century, she was seen as a nymphomaniac.
While we might enjoy a liberal superiority in our
contemporary acceptance of sexual freedom,
we should remember that sexual identities like
male homosexuality, lesbianism and transsexuality
were taboo and seen as perverted not so long ago.
Without the freedom to satisfy one’s needs. Because of social and economic conditions, In order to achieve self-fulfillment. A dramatic re-interpretation of Freud’s theory of repression.
Adult sexual development is a progression from oral and anal stages in childhood. Eroticism in infancy to adult genital sexuality.
Tamed heterosexual intercourse. The cultivation of a polymor-
phous perverse sexuality. Non-reproductive forms of fucking.
Sexual liberation would be achieved. Exploring new permutations of sexual desires. Homosexuals were the radical standard bearers.
Sex for the sake of pleasure. Perversions uphold sexuality as an end in itself. The possibility of non-repressive sublimation.
New kinds of libidinal communities. Perverts gather for pleasure
Impossible to achieve sexual liberation under capitalism. De-sublimated sexuality released by the sexual revolution.
Channeled into commercialized forms of advertising and entertainment. Marketing sex appeal boosted consumption.
She’s Tied Up Right Now
A Cultural Look at Sadomasochism
Perverse sexual practices create their
own worlds, their own ‘orders’, that
make explorations of the self and intimacy
possible in a way that a normative world doesn’t.
Belle de Jour, released in 1967 and directed by
Luis Buñuel, tells the story of Séverine
(Catherine Deneuve), a bourgeois woman who,
bored in her marriage, solicits excitement
by joining the books of a local, high-class brothel.
It is Séverine’s masochist fantasies that she hopes
to satisfy through her prostitution (in one oneiric
scene she is tied to a tree and has mud thrown at her).
There is no experimental theatre in sadomasochism.
Character is completely preordained and circumscribed.
You’re either top or bottom. There isn’t any room
for innovation in these roles. And as you play them,
something flips and you believe it.
Sade, who wrote The 120 Days of Sodom in 1785
while incarcerated in the Bastille in Paris,
was interested in “transcending the law”, which
he saw as a tyrannising power, dependent on
“the complicity of slaves and masters”.
He often stressed the fact that the law can only be
transcended toward an institutional model of anarchy.
Sade’s ‘perversion was in response to Christianity’s
belief in the inherent goodness in all of us.
The dominatrix inhabits “roles invented by the dominatrix
and the ‘submissives’ themselves. Many of these character
roles are based in the nurturing and caretaking roles of
women for children (the governess), the sick (the nurse),
the sinner (the nun), the subordinate (the military captain),
the master or mistress (the maid), the serf (the countess),
the pet (the lion tamer, owner), the baby (the babysitter).
More men than women engage in masochistic behavior.
The main differences are with the specific acts preferred.
Women prefer less intense forms of masochism [light spanking).
Men prefer acts that reduce their status as a man
[being humiliated, whipped, made to feel worthless.
Some masochists like to be tied up and flogged (BDSM).
A ‘pure’ masochist is aroused by more severe or
dangerous forms of masochism such as asphyxiation.