Mar 05 2013
Even when its bad-its still pretty good. No matter where you get it.
Enough! Enough of the childish delight with which we destroy ourselves and each other over who we choose to have sex with. Here's a modest proposal: It's well past time we grow up, stop the carnage, and enjoy sex the way God intended……..I want to suggest that sex, be it adulterous or premarital or deviant or polyamorous, is a good thing, not a bad thing, and that sex itself is the moment of grace. And that our sterile idea of perfection is the actual sin. To start with the subject on the table, adultery is a brave rebellion against the invisible prison we build for ourselves. When the sad little man Larry Craig widened his stance in that airport bathroom, it was probably the most honest and courageous act of his life. When Clinton got that blowjob in the White House, he wasn't indulging a weakness (and an eager intern) but enacting the hero's journey of reconciling inner and outer, risking all to break through the wall of hypocritical purity he had spent years building and projecting to the world in the effort to get elected. By risking martyrdom, in fact, he lifted himself up into an exaltation we still refuse to understand. He was the Martyred Jesus of Oral Sex with Interns and all we see is a mean little sin, as all the sexual deviates pretending to be puritans gathered around in an orgy of denunciation and scandal. In our condemnation, we focus on the supposedly broken vows and the supposed pain of his wife when in fact we know nothing of his wife's true feelings or her knowledge and tolerance of his "frisky" side (frisky being one of the endless array of demeaning expressions we use as invisible prison bars, along with dog and pig and you only want one thing). We never consider that our reaction is the punishment and the meanness is all in our eyes. Every single time we play out this ritual, we replay the Old Testament rite in which the pious transferred their sins to goats, which were then driven into the wilderness, just as we drive David Petraeus and a parade of other scapegoats out the gates of our smug little village of lies in the hope that we can put the "sin" outside the gate — when it is, of course, always inside. That's what happens when you put up gates.What we're afraid of is the truth. We live in a world in which men and women are buried up to their necks and stoned to death for these same impulses. We recoil at such barbarism with smug assertions of our superior level of civilization while cheerfully meting out our own version of punishment for the same supposed crime — anything to avoid looking at the deeper questions of why adultery exists and what exactly all our endless sexual prohibitions and inhibitions are supposed to do for us. Because if they are there to stabilize the family or inhibit sexually compulsive perversions or avoid the conflicts attendant in jealousy, they're failing spectacularly and they always have.In fact, the opposite is true. Our prohibitions against sex cause perversion, and the prison walls we put up around our marriages cause adultery. That is why adultery is merely the physical enactment of the truth men and women hide for long miserable years, a glorious terrifying truth that bursts through all our barriers if we have the vitality to rebel — if we have any vitality left after all the social and personal castration that we enact every single day of our miserable slavish self-denying lives. There's a sign on my veterinarian's wall that says, WE ALL NEED A DOG TO WORSHIP US AND A CAT TO BRING US BACK TO REALITY. Those are the mutually destructive roles our society has given to the husbands and wives who assume the prisoner/prison-guard roles in marriage. Let's be honest, we have a long and inglorious social history that essentially reduces women to marital prostitutes who buster their battered dignity with the drab consolation of fidelity. But when those wives and husbands take up the role of the cat that brings us back down to reality, when they refuse their spouse's need for worship and celebration, then, in the immortal words of Malcolm Lowry, the lighthouse invites the storm.