Turn You On

We Work & Consume: Do We Play Enough?

Herbert Marcuse, author of “Eros and Civilization” (1955) called for a rewriting of all sexual norms to tear down the capitalist structure.

He wanted “a non-repressive civilization, based on a fundamentally different experience of being, a fundamentally different relation between us and nature,fundamentally different existential relationships.”

Such a civilization could only come about by treating “the body in its entirety [as] an object of cathexis, a thing to be enjoyed—an instrument of pleasure.” Sex would be unmoored from marriage and parenthood.

Marcuse argued, “the barriers against absolute gratification would become elements of human freedom … This sensuous rationality contains its own moral laws.”

By 1970, feminist Shulamith Firestone argued that sexual revolution would bring about “not just the elimination of male privilege but of the sex distinction itself: genital differences between human beings would no longer matter culturally.”

Happiness would now be found in a “reversion to an unobstructed pansexuality—Freud’s ‘polymorphous perversity’—would probably supersede hetero/homo/bi-sexuality.”