Sex: Revolution and Evolution.

sex roboy

I’m always excited when I see history write itself in front of me and I’m just waiting for if it’s going to be a happy ending or a sad story. Sex has been a sticky subject for us humans at a social level and I’m watching some old tendencies creep back up when I thought we finally were going to explore new spaces instead. From taboo to revolution and then evolution – Sexuality has been a source of conflict forever, what have we learned?

“I demand the independence of women, her right to support herself, to live for herself, to love whomever she pleases, or as many as she pleases. Freedom for both sexes, freedom of action, freedom in love, and freedom in motherhood” – Emma Goldman, 1897

The sexual revolution and the struggle for your own sexuality saw dramatic steps in the 20th century: All sorts of ways to express the spirits of the flesh has been bent, tested, judged and walked through the fire – and came out better than where it was. Perfect? Hardly. Just better.

Even though homosexuality is still lethal in several parts of the world  and female sexuality is seen as a sin in other (sometimes the very same) parts of the world, the hope of autonomy over your own body and you and your partner(s) sexual activity has marched defiantly forward, head high and middle finger stable in the face of the social order. The Sexual revolution came with a bang and the ripple effects are still spreading. New ideas are built on old battles. Erotica, pornography, and other expressions went from missing and corner case to everyday occurrence for everyone with an internet connection with the rise of porn-sites.

I want to highlight how religious fundamentalistic tendencies like Christianity and Islam both have molded chains to put on the sexuality around the. The metaphysical idea of that the Sins of the flesh stains your immortal soul is a theme that has many variants in both schools of spirituality and that idea is still rooted in our different cultures.

The sexual revolution rattles the chains, somewhat, but didn’t exactly shed them. We went from revolution to evolution: The challenge to the Old Rules became less bombastic (with some exceptions, of course, Femen comes to mind) over time, opting to slowly introduce new ingredients to the sexual-salad and present it in a more marketed way to the public. Even though dildoes wasn’t a new invention by any stretch of the imagination when the famous Rabbit-dildo was sold through popular tv-series Sex and the City, it was an evolutionary choice in sexuality to make it an innocent mainstream introduction. “Sex toy” was established in common conversations – It was okay to talk about it now – It had been on the TV and what else do you talk to your colleagues around the water cooler about other than what was on TV? It was the late 1990’s and we could finally talk about things that made us orgasm in public.

“Not me of course, pfft, its just perverts that buy things like that!”

But behind the scenes, the device sold for millions upon millions of dollars, purchased by the curious that just learned how to use it on television. In my eyes, that is an evolution in language and acceptance (even if it was everyone’s dirty little secret).

“The Rabbit’s entry into the long-standing debate on female orgasm is particularly interesting as it is an object that combines a penetrative dildo and a vibrating clitoral stimulator. As such, it was framed neatly by the popular 1990’s postfeminist rhetoric of women doin and having it all” – From the Book ‘Consumer Sexualities: Women and Sex Shopping

#MeToo is another one of these tendencies, even though it could’ve been a Revolution if the original people didn’t get overshadowed by upper-class, Hollywood stars that the media preferred to chase down stories from – Who wants to read about some peasant that got touched up in a bathroom somewhere when you get red carpet-babes that are in distress? An orgy in clickbait and everyone at the edge of their seats just waiting for the next predator to be outed.

Where #MeToo is different is the way it told boundaries: Where the earlier mentioned Rabbit-dildo took us to new territory, #MeToo was an expression of how you have the utmost control of what is and isn’t okay for yourself to get involved in. Taking control over your own body and sexuality is as, if not more, important to owning your own sexuality than being free to do what you please.

There are too many bits and pieces to this to give a fuller, clearer picture, but I’ve given you some of the red thread I’ve seen happening. There is something stirring though that I’m not entirely sure what to do with, other than noting that it happens.

clara
Clara Berglund from Swedish Women Lobby, Photo from MyNewsDesk

Of all the hills you could choose to die on in order to preserve the sexual status quo and suppress any new expressions of sexuality from rearing its sinful head, asking the ones in power to dismantle any possibility for sex-robots to exist before they even have crossed the border is for sure in the top 10 strange ones.

But, that is what the director of Swedish Women Lobby, Clara Berglund, did (with some backup of individuals from other groups) in an article.

Berglund demands that human-robot relationship gets thoroughly investigated (how this is supposed to happen if the robots themselves isn’t around, is unclear. I guess it is ok if other countries besides Sweden have them, you know, for science) and how the mere existence of robots would normalize abuse of women by men. The rhetoric goes that its only pedophiles and rapists that buy these dolls because it has happened that those two groups of people have bought them in the past. I’m sure rapists buys a lot of things that we want to keep unbanned, so the argument isn’t really on steady ground, so to speak.

“Why are men willing to pay tens of thousands of kronor for a robot that follows all of their commands?” – Clara Berglund

If the robot itself would be the victim in Berglund’s narrative, it would make more sense. The message is clear: Men are beasts that can’t tell the difference between real females and dolls that look like ones and if we allow them free reign of these toys all bets are off. It’s supposed to be a slippery slope towards men using the real females as their Handmaidens. It sounds unlikely in my ears. Like, all of us are going to turn out like dysfunctional psychopaths and Berglund is saving humankind? (Well, Swedish-kind at least).

– Alex Utopium. Tweet with me!


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sex roboy

3 comments

  1. Why are we better off because sex in all its glory and sordidness is now out in the open, plainly visible to anyone who cares to see and/or experience it, and virtually ‘in your face’ to those who don’t? The sexual revolution of the 60’s was a reaction to the puritanical teaching that anything sexual was ‘dirty and sinful’ and should be hidden behind closed doors. Like most things reactionary, however, it has swung to the other extreme so that anything goes and no one can say it has gone too far.

    What we had before basically amounted to a gaggle of people going “Tsk, tsk!” at anything they didn’t approve of. What we have today is a gaggle of people basically giving the world a big, fat, middle finger. Both of these attitudes are wrong because, in the practice of them, the people who do these things are attempting to force their opinions and beliefs on everyone else, whether you like it or not. Neither of these lead to personal liberty, tolerance and respect for others, or social peace.

    You mentioned Christianity as a major cause of the “molded chains” which restrained us sexually, but from which we have now broken free. This may be true, but only because Christian beliefs, teachings, and practices were imposed on others via social pressure and civil laws. It doesn’t necessarily follow, though, that we are better off because we no longer operate under those restrictions. It simply means that we are no longer restricted by them. Indeed, it appears now that there are no restrictions at all as to how far down this road we can go. Where will it take us? Where will we end up? I’m not really sure I want to know.

    I have learned this from Christianity and life. “…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control…” (Galatians 5:22, 23) Self-control is the relevant attribute here, whether it is coming from an attitude of prudishness or one of permissiveness. Self-control in matters of things sexual is just as important as it is in things financial, political, and social. In other words, self-control matters. If people refuse to control themselves voluntarily, they will find that someone else is ordering their lives–to their detriment.

    No part of human action is beyond this truth.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Heya Roger, sorry for the late reply! Hope your weekends been great.

    I think we agree on principle, but you are disagreeing something that you interpreted from the piece that wasn’t really there, or maybe I misunderstand you. Let’s figure it out together:

    “Why are we better off because sex in all its glory and sordidness is now out in the open, plainly visible to anyone who cares to see and/or experience it, and virtually ‘in your face’ to those who don’t?”

    Here you are talking about the exterior, what you can see out in the world (on a street, on a market place and so on) and on a macro level, while the piece was in general about the interior – the personal space, thoughts and feelings within a person, or persons as it were. Does that comparison make sense?

    One thing doesn’t necessarily transform society as a whole. If gay rights are respected, it doesn’t flip the entire society into something else. The backlash against gay pride parades gone wild is society pushing back against crude sexual behavior, for example. Deviant behavior out in the open will always be seen as weird and unwanted by a critical mass, even within subgroups of sexual expression, there is a critical mass that naturally will marginalize and exclude any unwanted tendencies.

    “If people refuse to control themselves voluntarily, they will find that someone else is ordering their lives–to their detriment.”

    The ancient times naked body-statues has been replaced with foto models on billboards and on the margins of that there are strip clubs to various legal degrees – If every main street around the world was filled with strip clubs those main streets would feel alien to a critical mass of people and they’d stop going there to enjoy a bit of shopping and café visits and that street would collapse. There are self-correcting mechanics in play.

    The part about Christianity I think we can have a conversation about at another time, I need to formulate it better than I did in this piece, for sure. Spirituality is an important part of human life, which we have replaced with more barbaric versions – Shopping malls are the new temple, the salesman and journalist the preachers.

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    • G’day, Alex. Yes, the weekend has been pretty good so far. Thanks.
      Perhaps we are beating around the same bush here, after all. If I misunderstood your article, it wasn’t intentional. I appreciate the fact that you are willing to discuss it and get it worked out.
      You were, according to your comment, discussing this issue as a private, internal matter, while I read it as something more public and external. This is true. If sexuality, deviant, mainstream, or orthodox, were closely held, I wouldn’t have so much trouble with it. The fact is that so many people around the world are determined to use it as a weapon against those who disagree with their ‘choice’. It has, in many instances, become an aggressive ‘in your face’ tactic, not so much to convince others of the virtues of the lifestyle, but to intimidate and cow them into submission and silence. This is what I have a problem with.
      As a libertarian, what other people do, say, or think within the privacy of their own lives is their business, not mine. As a private citizen, I don’t like it when their choices and preferences are imposed upon me by law or social pressure. And it wouldn’t matter what the subject was, the principle is the same. You have your preferences, I have mine. Let’s agree on that and not try to force our opinions and beliefs on others who don’t hold the same mindset.
      Unfortunately, society has come to the point that anything deviant HAS to be accepted and championed, with the force of law increasingly being used to push an agenda. This is not good, nor does it advance liberty. Ultimately, it may result in a backlash which will restrict freedom for everyone.
      I think your article would have stood quite well on its own without inserting a specific paragraph about the religious influence on sex. The paragraph about Christianity and Islam could have been deleted without changing the context of the conversation at all. It stuck out to me like a sore thumb, as something that didn’t fit.
      And, yes, let’s have a conversation about it. Your time, your choosing.

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