Sex Aversion 34

Following on from our post Childlessness (April 30, 2012), we quote today from an article about a spreading aversion to sex. It is by Spengler, writing in the Asia Times:

A Japanese government study [shows that] almost a third of Japanese boys aged 16-19 and three-fifths of girls say that they have no interest in sex. …

The hormones of late adolescence evidently rage in vain against some cultural barrier that makes young Japanese “despise” sexual relations. …

For 60 years, the sexual revolution insisted that repressed desire is the root of all evil. It turns out that the ultimate victim of the sexual revolution is sex itself.

What makes the Japanese hate sex? The same things that make a growing proportion of Americans hate sex. Joan Sewell’s 2007 book I’d Rather Eat Chocolate became the manifesto of American women who don’t like sex …

Pharmaceutical companies are racing to market a pill to revive fading female libido, to no avail: women do not want to be sex objects, and a culture that objectifies women will make them hate sex …

Japan is a step ahead of the United States, as the first industrial country to bring sadism and pedophilia into the mainstream. … A streak of cruelty pervades Japanese culture … But the West has begun to embrace cruelty in sexual relations on a scale comparable to Japan, and the consequences most likely will be identical.

For example: Fifty Shades of Grey [by E L James], the adult version of the Twilight vampire-and-werewolf series, has become a soccer-mom bestseller. Now we know what the original, adolescent version was about, namely sadism and submission. What is it that makes adolescent girls crave sexual control and degradation? Evidently, it is the same thing that prompts their mothers to buy heavy-breathing pulp versions of the same thing in more explicit form.

After half a century of sexual revolution – otherwise known as objectification – women suffer en masse from the sexual equivalent of Stockholm Syndrome, identification with their tormentors, as a number of popular commentators observe. After a quarter-million e-book downloads, Viking Press has just paid a seven-figure advance to … E L James, an Englishwoman who initially posted the manuscript as bondage porn on a Twilight fan fiction site under the screen-name “SnowqueensIcedragon”.  In the original, still available online, little Bella of the Twilight books is deflowered not by her vampire boyfriend, but by a billionaire sadist instead, and becomes his adoring sex slave. …

The Austrian novelist Elfriede Jelinek … got the 2004 Nobel Prize in literature for explicit portrayals of sexual violence, but with literary pretensions. Jelinek … is an Austrian communist who politicizes domination. …

Why are so many American women fascinated by sexual cruelty? The answer is that the prevailing regime of sexual objectification already carries with it the experience of cruelty. For adolescent girls, the replacement of courtship by “hooking up” with “friends with benefits” is a cruel prospect.

Somehow that doesn’t seem an adequate explanation. Cruel prospects might be expected to invoke a yearning for happier ones, not an appetite for reading about cruelty.

Even though only three out of ten American teenagers aged 13 to 16 are sexually active, the options available to adolescent girls are narrowly defined. Adolescent boys are monsters, as anyone who has been one, or known one, can attest, and to require adolescent girls to engage in sexual activity of any kind with such creatures is horrifying. The considerate and courteous young vampire of the Twilight books is a cavalier by comparison.

Freud’s question, “What do women want?,” showed what an ideologically-driven fanatic he was. Women want what every human being wants, which is to be unique, and to be loved for their uniqueness. With rare exceptions, human beings become unique by bearing and raising children: a child can have only one mother. Women are unique as mothers, and men are lifted above their animal instincts by their attachment to the mother of their children.

The moment we separate sexuality from child-bearing, we turn women into generic sexual objects, which makes it impossible for them to obtain what they want, because sexual objects are generic. The one thing you know with 100% certainty about any woman you see, supermodels included, is that some man, somewhere, is tired of sleeping with her. If women cannot control men by bearing their children, what other means to they have to control them? We find the answer in the sudden popularity of dominant-submissive fantasies.

The dominant “master of the universe” in EL James’ story can be controlled by his own need to dominate, for the submissive female heroine has something that he needs in addition to generic sexuality. …

The controller is controlled by the woman he controls? Control, control. Women liberationists, are you listening?

The stylized sexual games that EL James recounts become a creepy substitute for actual courtship. Like the romance novel hero, who must pay court to the female lead, the “master of the universe” must pay prolonged attention to the female lead in preparation for sexual acts. Romance fiction requires a suspension of disbelief that is increasingly precarious in a culture of sexual exploitation. The dominant-submissive fantasy is more credible.

The sudden popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey portends the death of America’s libido.  I cannot speak from personal experience, but the paradox of domination … surely applies to the ritualistic cruelty described in this silly book and its sequels. After the initial frisson has passed, repetition of the same handcuffs-and-riding-crop routine must become unspeakably boring over time. …

And when perversion fails to titillate, nothing at all will. Like Japanese women, who encountered mainstream sexual violence and now eschew sex altogether, American women will have a great deal less sex and a great deal more chocolate.

All the signs are there. …  American women will follow their Japanese sisters into asexuality, and if women become sufficiently disgusted with men, men will become disgusted with themselves.

But then again, much of that diagnosis may be just psychobabble. The ingestion of chemicals could be to blame:

There might be a simpler explanation for the disappearance of Japan’s libido. Between 1998 and 2003, sales of anti-depressants in Japan quintupled …

Prozac is well known to cause sexual dysfunction, along with general calming. Maybe the attack on depression and hyperactivity is affecting aggression, violence, crime, and many other antisocial behaviors. …  Maybe America and other nations are prescribing themselves a gradual but gigantic and deadly loss of libido.

Whether it is due to disgust at the misery of their circumstances, or the side-effect of drugs intended to dull the misery of their circumstances, women are abandoning sexuality.

When human beings cease to desire each other physically, it is because they have ceased to desire each other at all. The things that motivate human beings to unite in intimate and permanent union, procreating and acculturating another generation, give way to the pure exercise of ego.

No, no: “pure ego” is being denied. What is the evolutionary use of sexual desire? The only discernible purpose our biology provides for us is to reproduce. As a biologist once put it: “The only reason an egg gives birth to a chicken is to ensure that there will be another egg.”

But we agree with the main point: promiscuous sex is lonely, sterile, boring, purposeless, destructive of dignity and self-respect, and terminally bad for human beings both individually and as the human race.

The typical [not quite – JB] American household no longer harbors a family but a person living alone. As Eric Klinenberg reports in his much-commented new book Going Solo, 28% of all American households now contain a single person, compared to just 9% in 1950.

Klinenberg, to be sure, thinks this is wonderful; his typical “Singleton” lives in Manhattan, hangs out at the local sushi bar and coffee shop, swims in a rich cultural current, and devotes himself to the grand diversion of the age, namely “self-realization”, which is easier to pursue in the absence of another self that might make competing demands.

In another 20 years or so, though, the self-sufficient singles of American cities will emulate the kodokushi (“lonely death”) victims of Japan, another much-commented 21st-century phenomenon. … Kodokushi clean-up has become a minor industry:

In the 1990s … the owner of a small moving company in Osaka, Japan, began noticing that many of his jobs involved people who had just died. Families of the deceased were either too squeamish to pack up for their dead relatives, or there wasn’t any family to call on. So [he] started a new business cleaning out the homes of the dead. Then he started noticing something else: thick, dark stains shaped like a human body, the residue of liquids excreted by a decomposing corpse.

That is the end that enlightened secular culture has prefigured for us …: to leave no trace of our mortal existence except for a grease-stain on the carpet.

A sickening image, a pathetic fate.

But we don’t like his putting in the word “secular”. His implication is that lack of religious belief underlies or directly causes this vast disillusionment and lapse into hopeless futility. What does religion offer as a counter? A purpose beyond this world, this life? It is in this world, this life that we need happiness and fulfillment. There is no other.

 

(Hat tip for the link, reader and commenter rogerinflorida.)

When it’s good to make things worse 5

Bashar al-Assad continues to slaughter his own people — nearly 10,000 over the past year — and the Muslim Brotherhood leaders of the Syrian opposition undoubtedly would slaughter Assad’s Alawite coreligionists were they to take power. There are at least 2,000 dead and 22,000 injured in little Yemen during the past two years. All of this pales next to what is likely to come in Egypt, as the military and the Islamists fight for power.

These are quotations from an enlightening article on the “Arab Spring”  by David Goldman, aka Spengler. Read all of it here.

The Muslim Brotherhood is in the position of the Bolsheviks in October 1917, taking power at street level by creating popular committees to “combat speculators,” that is, ration food and fuel. No one should underestimate the Muslim Brotherhood. It withstood sixty years of persecution by successive military regimes. And it understands Egypt’s predicament far better than the Western conservatives who saw the Arab Spring as the harbinger of democracy in the region. The Brotherhood, on the contrary, knows that Islam is fragile, that the Muslim world is fighting a desperate rearguard battle for its existence against the encroachment of Western culture and economic globalization, and that time is running out.

An extremely interesting and important point. We too have observed that Islam is fighting for its survival in a world that long since outstripped its Dark Age ideology, but we had not thought of it as fragile.

He substantiates his assertions, and marks how Obama fails to understand the nature of what he’s supporting with his pro-Islam policies:

Why am I so sure of this? Apart from the fact that its leaders have been saying so since Sayyid Qutb in the 1950s, the Muslim Brotherhood’s English-language website has posted two of my essays on the topic, one on the impending demographic and economic collapse of Muslim countries, and another on the Obama administration’s stupidity, concluding (in June 2009): “For his trouble, Obama will get more bloodshed in Pakistan, more megalomania from Iran, more triumphalism from the Palestinians, and less control over Iraq and Afghanistan. Of all the available bad choices, Obama has taken the worst. It is hard to imagine any consequence except a steep diminution of American influence.” You can read my work on the Brothers’ website (but not at the Weekly Standard, Commentary, or Fox News, where promoting Muslim democracy remains the mantra). From this I conclude that the Muslim Brotherhood is better informed than the Weekly Standard, et. al.

The most miserable people in the world, though, are the liberals.

He means, surely, the most misery-causing; liberals are all too pleased with themselves.

Liberalism boils down to the assertion that clever governments can save people from themselves. Palestine was supposed to have been the test case, where enlightened liberals would save people from their proclivity towards tribal hatred. Not only has it turned out badly for the Palestinians as such, but for the Arab world that has collapsed around them.

Then he declares what US policy towards the Arab world should be, and his idea gives us that frisson of pleasure which comes with hearing a statement that is entirely unexpected but instantly recognizable as right:

What should the United States do about it? The answer is: Make things worse.

If the Brothers are taking power in Egypt because the military can’t rule, we should undertake to make it impossible for the Brothers to rule. The human cost of such a policy will be horrific, and I use the word advisedly. It was a catastrophic mistake to help overthrow Mubarak. The consequences of that mistake are that no Egyptian officer will stand up against the Islamists for very long, because the U.S. cannot be trusted as an ally. That applies elsewhere. Two years ago, America might have thrown its weight behind pro-democracy forces in Iran. Now it is simply too dangerous to bet on regime change. The most prudent course of action is to disable the regime, even though the human consequences for the Iranians will be horrific.

We are not particularly good at this kind of stance. It does not square with the inherent benevolence and naivete of our national character. But we are being pushed into this kind of policy, like it or not, just as the Muslim Brotherhood is being pushed into a Leninist dual power exercise by the collapse of the Egyptian economy. The consequences will be tragic, to be sure; our job is to make sure that the tragedy happens to somebody else.

Shocking? Maybe – but that is the way leaders of free nations ought to think.

What may be virtues  in individuals – generosity, compassion, charitableness, self-denial – are, unequivocally, vices in a government. A government that is generous and charitable with the money that is not its own is cheating the people who’ve made it. A government cannot feel compassion, it has no conscience. A government has no “self” to deny. The government of a free people is an agency trusted by the people to protect their liberty, not to protect other peoples from their own rotten governments.