Saturday, May 9, 2009

Sexual Liberation / Emotional Vacancy

Been thinking a lot about Erica Jong lately.

Not just because I sent someone a quote by her, but mostly in general. Been thinking about the stuff she wrote, about the "sexually liberated woman". Y'know, that woman who grows as a person without needing a man, without being tied down by her gender, without having to excuse herself for enjoying sex, for being equal to men - and especially for being better than men - for being totally free, unafraid of flying completely...

Remember the whole "Sexual Revolution" everyone talked about back in the 60's? Condoms, the pill, birth control, free love! Protected sex, unprotected sex, abortions, "my body", Roe v. Wade, and all that shit. We fought a war over our culture, to promote that masturbation, homosexuality, pre-martial sex, and other acts conceived to be "morally wrong" at that time, were in fact not. We won. The kids - our parents and elders now - kicked ass and took names to fight for their right to paaaaaaaaaaartaaaaaaaay! And party they did. They sucked and fucked and didn't die of AIDS or Syphilis. (Unfortunately, we in the present can, and do.)

Despite whatever Christian reactionary you see on television, or new faith-based initiative brought up in Congress, we slowly, but surely, changed and became more accepting of sex, sexuality, the whole thing.

Now, I've indulged myself in these new-found freedoms, to masturbate without feeling guilty, without worrying about hairy-palms or going blind, to fuck or make love with whoever I want and not get her pregnant, and not even have to call her back the next day, to be comfortable with homosexuality without worrying that "I might catch it", to think lesbians are HOT, to have sex that isn't missionary positional style. I've drowned myself in the sensations and myriad actions available and allowed - and some that might not be, strictly speaking, "decent". But I did them.

How does all this connect back to Erica Jong? Well, I was thinking about being one of those "sexually liberated people", and the whole "sexual revolution", and how everyone thought, "Yes! We're free! Finally we can do all the things we ever wanted - fuck, suck, love whatever, whoever we so desire." They went crazy for a time, living all the things denied to them for so long. And now, here I am, decades later, trying to embrace the zeitgeist, but unable to. Because while everyone else might enjoy this lightness of being, I find it unbearable. I find it empty.

We fought so hard to do whatever we wanted, and now I find that behind the walls that kept us from doing them, there's nothing there but a vast space filled with etched and faded bedsheet memories, with stale perfume, with cracked lipstick on my cheek and a few long blonde hairs left on my pillow. I expected freedom to fill me up, but instead all I encountered was an overwhelming emptiness. Erica Jong's vision of the world, of the way women (and by proxy, men) could be, should be, has turned from dream to nightmare. The "sexual revolution" that they fought, we fought, bursting through the walls of impotence, of ignorance and false morality, only brought us Viagra and internet pornography and KY jelly.

I despair at this, and ask you: is this what we were fighting for? This is what everyone's been so mad to have? After all the struggle and pain, this is it? Fuck. Did we really win at all?

I quit.

4 footnotes:

Nelo said...

I thought I was the only person in San Francisco that felt that way. I always wondered why so many young people seem to enjoy meaningless sex. Sex is good, but I always thought that a comptent to sexual chemistry was feeling at least a bit of something for the person. It doesn't have to be love, but I thought that the feeling should be a bit more than arousal.

Found you through Siddity's blog.

Jasper said...

I think this was a very good post. Thank you. I'd like to see more of your thoughts in this direction; run with it!

Zek J Evets said...

@nelo: you're not the only one, although i thought i was for a second there. the only people i know who live in this city and are a couple are people who moved here as a couple. never met a couple that got together in the city.

i don't pretend to understand this or any other generation. my peers confuse me, mostly, and my elders confuse me even more.

so it goes.

@jasper: thank you, sir! i think i shall.

JDR said...

yea... in life even when you win, you still lose.