The (Anti-) Pleasure Principle

No need to fuck around with this really, so I’ll just be blunt. The socially radically conservative base operates on the principle by which pleasure is a very very bad thing that must be combated at all cost. This operates on a number of levels, most of which hew closely to the idea that deviation from the conviction that the prevalent power structure, which has (in America’s case, mostly that given by older white wealthy straight men) the sole right to set the parameters within which pleasure acquires legitimation and separates the social organism into “deviates” and “non-deviates.” The former, by adhering to a set of socially contingent “rules,” may be afforded all the rights and privileges of “respectable” society, while the latter must, by nature of their conduct, be excluded by society at large. All of which is to say that if your political ideology is determined by wealthy, white, straight, older men, you’re kind of left out if you just don’t happen to fall into any of the above categories.

The point? If you’re a woman who enjoys sex and is proud of your sexuality, you’re going to be demeaned as a slut for daring to declare a sexuality on par with the prevalent power structure. You’re going to be demeaned because you demand a right to protect your body while demanding a right to your sexuality. If you’re LGBTQA, you’re going to be dismissed as some sort of freak, an “abomination,” because you dare to say that you find pleasure with someone of the gender identification with whom you find pleasure, or whom you love. If you’re a minority community of any sort that affords pleasure to individuals who do not meet the criteria of a white straight patriarchy, you’re going to be suspect. Your right to simple pleasure is going to be suspect. Radical social conservatism denies the simple goodness of pleasure. If you’re a straight woman who wants to exercise your sexuality on equal grounds as that of a man, it’s you who will be accused of promiscuity and social deviance. Pleasure is what’s under siege here; if it feels good, you shouldn’t do it in other words.

Of course that’s complete bollocks. To paraphrase Andrew Zimmern, if it feels good, do it. If you’re a woman who likes women, you have nothing to be ashamed of. If you’re a man who likes men, you have nothing to be ashamed of. By the same token, if you’re a man who loves women or a woman who loves men by all means — consensually hit that shit. Anyone who raises any sort of religious argument against pleasure doesn’t understand the god(s) he or she claims to worship; if pleasure itself is a gift from a deity, it’s up to us to honor it with any consenting adult with whom we choose to explore it.

~ by Benji on November 1, 2012.

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