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The importance of public sex in an age of digital appliances Janeiro 2, 2013

Posted by paulo jorge vieira in geografias das sexualidades, lgbt no mundo, queer theory, sexualidades e géneros.
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The importance of public sex in an age of digital appliances

Gordon Brent Ingram

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Not so long ago, sex was a way to make friends and even to find détente with enemies, to take a furtive communion in the midst of hostility, and to get the lay of the land naked in some obscure location that could barely be argued to be “in public.” Once upon a time, there was a neo-tribal kind of linear progression: a simple arc starting with desire, then investigation, the creation of a map, eventual contact, sex (singular or countless), pleasure, a bit of satisfaction, inevitable exhaustion, and then dispersal. A few marriages resulted but they were incidental. And for a few moments, the city, the town, and even the forest were transformed, especially for sexual minorities, from battlefields to playgrounds.

But this formula was always a bit naïve like those early 20th-century books written by anthropologists who went into remote villages, had sex with a few eager young people, and then went on to attain academic stardom on the strength of their self-delusions. Throbbing phalluses were never quite the antennae reconnecting planetary forces (though I swear it felt that way). And rather than temples to nature, the “open” spaces in which we found refuge were more often trashed and neglected rather than ecosystems comparably rich as our desires and capabilities. In these modern times of social media, public sex is just as important as it was before Craigslist and Facebook. In many parts of the world, aside from those urban parks of yesteryear that too often today have video surveillance, there is more, not less public sex. After many legal battles, with many losses and some victories, much more of the world’s cities harbor some zones where public sex can be had with minimal risk of violence and arrest. However, social media is inverting and diffusing the flows in these new forms of neural nets such that actual sex is more often the foreplay and the money shot is that nanosecond of initial digital contact and fantasy.

Today our lives are littered with cheap, electronic appliances that do not make up for bisphenol A (BPA), declining sperm counts, lack of exercise, overwork and stress, and cancers. Public space and public sex are being regulated through poorly functioning appliances. The gorilla glass will eventually shatter. The viruses cause grief and the batteries will eventually poison drinking water. Does it feel any better to maneuver through a toxic waste dump rather than an “enchanted” forest? Not really. But occasionally we still have fun, make friends, learn something new, and push a little harder on the cages that so constrain who we are, what we can be, and who and how we enjoy and sometimes love.”

(in “Petite Mort: Contents Recollections of a Queer Public”, Published by Forever & Today, Inc. New York, pp.150, 2011)

 

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