Friday, December 26, 2014

One Two Six: Apotheosis

I've never really liked the writer Sarah Nicole Prickett. She writes for Hazlitt Magazine and The Hairpin and does her own Tumblr.  She contributes at ArtForum and Adult Mag. She's notorious (or famous) for writing scathing articles about how no one male  who's over thirty should be allowed to write any more. She dismisses male writers over thirty as "Dads" who shouldn't be allowed to write anything at all, who certainly shouldn't be allowed to have opinions  about any female writers, and who probably shouldn't be allowed to even read anything by female writers.  These days, here at year's end, I like her even less. She's taken to arguing that all sex should be "humiliating" for males.

Ms. Prickett--- "SNP", she calls herself ---seems to favor the idea that sex should be as humiliating as possible for males, that it should teach them to accept the flaws in their bodies, that it should force them to recognize that sex shouldn't make them ever feel triumphant or thrilled.

Needless to say,  most of the writers I read are male and over thirty. Many are long dead. And while I'm long past thirty, I refuse to be told that I shouldn't read novels or essays by young female writers.

As for the idea that sex should teach you to live inside a flawed and fleshly body, well...I haven't much use for that.

I've said this before, but, well...I've never taken any unmediated physical pleasure in sex. I don't have sex for the body or its needs, and I don't take any real pleasure in the body. Sex feels good; I don't deny that. But I've never felt pleasure through my body. Not during sex, and not with anything else, either.  If anything, I want sex to help me escape from my body.

I've always thought of sex as being about more abstract things, and what I want from it is all fairly abstract. Sex is a way of escaping into stories and other lives. It's never been about the flesh or about physical sensations. When I have sex, I get to leave the flesh far behind. I get to act out scenes and be part of stories, part of the films in my head. Sex is a way of stepping outside the flesh and into stories.

SNP is angry because the boy who went berserk in California last spring and killed half a dozen people left a Manifesto in which he wrote that he'd always hoped sex (and of course he died as a lifelong incel) would make him feel "like a god". I've never thought that; it's not even something I've wanted. I've always wanted sex to make me feel like a character in a film or a novel. I could act out scenes, strike poses, and be...someone who wasn't me. I've never seen sex as an apotheosis. I've only seen it as an escape, and as a chance to live out crafted story arcs. Sex has always been a way to escape the flesh and be...part of a story. I've never felt unmediated physical pleasure. Not with sex, not with food, not with wine, not with anything. Anything that gives me pleasure must be something that lets me feel like I'm inside a story.

I've never sought apotheosis. But what I do look for is a chance to be outside the flesh, to be part of something that's crafted and aesthetic and stylish. I've never liked the flesh. What I live for is being part of a story that flows,  a story that lets me escape the daily world. And as an aging roué, it matters more and more that I am able to escape this world and have at least a few hours inside stories.


Eva said...

SNP sounds dreadful and deserves no further reference; pleasure is wonderful but so one-dimensional. Stay perfectly perverse, dear Roue.

evaprovo said...

SNP sounds dreadful. Stay perfectly perverse, dear Roue.