As we left off last week, Anna and Sigmund Freud were at the Vienna Zoo contemplating human sexuality…
And, now the conclusion to the series.
As father and daughter walked through the reptile section of the zoo, Sigmund pondered aloud the utilitarian explanations for sexuality (food in exchange for pleasure concept). His example, however, was merely academic. He proposed the idea only to refute it moments later. He concluded by positing that the difference between human and primates was the ability to indulge in fantasy of possessing the object of desire and the fantasy of being desired. He asked his insightful young daughter, “do zees primates didn’t need to vear jewelry? Do zee need cosmetics, body lotions, matching checkbook covers? Do zey have constant debates in za grocery store regarding zhe merits of vone can of tomatoes over another and fung sui ever entered into zheir sexual equation?”
Anna correctly answered, “no, father.”
So, Freud’s point was that fantasy was related to all the scents, sights, sounds and accouterments that incite us to express desire. It is in this space where sexy underwear, chic-flicks, long walks on the beach, candle-lit dinners, furniture and hardware stores, curtains flapping in the breeze, perfume, health foods, and back rubs. Are all of these props designed to make the goddess descend so she can bestow the gift of her presence, making the fantasy become flesh? If so, then sleeping with your wife is already a form of cheating in the sense that it is a denial of the other, the quotidian body or lump in the bed that sends us out for milk at 9:00 pm?
But, are we considering only male sexuality? Is this only a male’s perspective? Twanna A. Hines’ article entitled “Take My Vibrator, Please!” suggests that sex toys for women can have their pedagogical purposes. In the post in which she describes her battery operated vibrator that was stolen by a homeless person in New York City, she said she used it to discovered how to please herself, something she could later teach to her male partners. Was she cheating? If so, on who? Do men wonder if their partners are cheating because they have vibrators? Is there a difference between a means to achieving pleasure and the fantasy of desire? And, would her male partners ever feel inadequate or challenged in the face of the indefatigable prowess of Mr. Rocket and his three AAA batteries?
Damn power tools!
If dehumanization in always a factor of sexuality, then where does this leave us on the notion of the mechanized Madame? I can only conclude that the robotic prostitute is a form of cheating; perhaps a form of cheating that is worse than any other because it what makes us human is our ability to fantasize, that is, subliminate the naughty details of sweaty, teeth grinding, locomotive-sounding, hair pulling, butt-spanking sex, and the bad-breath smelling, no makeup, bad-hair mornings. In this regard, the self deception occurs on the level of imagination and the symbolic. The users cheat on their own imagination by trying to convince themselves that someone actually desires them: the ultimate male fantasy, a woman that is always willing. The second self deception is that these users convince themselves that sexuality is purely individual, that is, it isn’t social. These guys also cheat on their own imagination by regressing into an infantile state of profound narcissism in which their pleasure is the only one at stake. Even if the world at large sees the flings are meaningless, they do break with a number of partner expectations. Here is where the morons from the Secret Service got into trouble: social relations have rules, understandings and agreements that govern them. If the Secret Service Agents had coughed up the 800 bucks for their fantasy, they’d probably still have jobs. Maybe the new institutional memo about agent conduct will read: “Thou shalt not go whoring while protecting the President!” It is just a thought.
Perhaps, in the end, it is more of a cop-out than self-deception, because the real challenge for men is to fantasize about the woman he wakes up with in the morning. That, my friends, requires true effort, imagination, creativity and love.
Cross-posted at My Ongoing Struggle with Misanthropy: http://jimmygabacho.com/?p=800