Monday, March 28, 2016

One Seven Six: Iterations

I have been considering the idea of fantasies these last few nights. Obviously, everyone has preferences and hopes and dreams. The question here in these latter days in what we're allowed to do with those things.

A friend in London Town told me  the other afternoon of her recent Sex Dreams all about the young Vivien Leigh. If I'd had Sex Dreams (and in a Classic Hollywood mode) they'd involve 21-year old iterations of the Two Hepburns. If I were in a mode for Year Sixteen fashion models, of course it would be Anja Rubik, Karlie Kloss, and Aymeline Valade. I probably shouldn't go into the idea that having those thoughts would be of no use, since the Solitary Vice, while "empowering" for attractive girls, is socially unacceptable (creepy, pathetic, a sign of being a loser) in males---- though that social fact is always lurking somewhere.

The age of the gender warriors and the intersectionalistas has meant that kinks, fetishes, and preferences are judged far more harshly than they were in the 1950s or the 1980s. I've been talking about that for a while now. It's much more dangerous nowadays to reveal a set of kinks or to be seen as seeking to explore new things--- the standards for judgment are political rather than moral and aesthetic, and there are the clear risks in being judged on social media.  Judgment is based on politics, and on what I call Authenticity Fetish--- the idea that it's morally culpable to want to explore things that aren't "authentic" to oneself. For example, it's fine nowadays to come out of the closet, but wrong to experiment with being gay or bi just to see what it might be like. I've seen the term "sex tourism" expanded to that as a criticism, with the term having all the overtones of  an attack on the sort of cultural imperialism that's involved in trips to Thai or Moroccan brothels. I suppose that goes for s/m as well--- doing s/m as part of an organized "community" is fine; doing it because it was intriguing in films or French novels is wrong. It's now wrong to seek out adventures and new experiences for their own sakes.

The trick of course is to have fantasies and kinks that aren't "problematic", to tailor one's sexual interests  so as not to risk contempt, disdain, political/ideological attacks, or the dread and fatal accusation of possessing "privilege".

The age of the gender wars is one where it really is less and less easy to explain to a potential partner what you might like. The risk isn't so much being told that the proposed scenarios aren't interesting (which is painful enough) or that they're aesthetically icky. The risk is being told that you're a Bad Person in some social and political sense. And having that Bad Person status regarded as intrinsic...and broadcast to the world on social media.

What should a fantasy/kink/preference be? It should be...complex and stylish enough to establish that you're literate and imaginative and clever. But it should under no circumstances trigger  social disdain or political attacks.

It should however be seen as contingent--- something you may enjoy for a time or two, but not necessarily something defining your identity. That way you're free to change over to new preferences, new ideas, new games without being trapped in an identity. That of course is harder now, since only Authenticity counts.

It seems to me that it's less and less possible to do any sort of role-play, too. The roles you might want aren't "authentic"--- by definition. There's the accusation that role-play traffics in cultural appropriation and stereotypes. Though it might be worse if the assumption was made that the role-play roles you'd fancy really are "authentic", and that you were now trapped inside them--- that there was no allowance made for play or imagination, for trying on masks simply because they were different. There's something exhausting and disheartening in having a partner in role-play believe that she knows what you "really" are, to have her think that the scenarios you've created reflect your true inner life and self-conception.

But the serious part of things is simply finding fantasies that are socially acceptable. They should have enough of an edge to give girls a slight frisson of wickedness, but they should still avoid any territory that could be labelled as "problematic". Under no circumstances should any kinks or preferences lay you open to attacks or social disdain or be tools that could be used against your social standing. That's always the heart of the game---- learning to play defense. That remains the hardest thing: establishing a list of fantasies that you can deploy without being treated as someone deserving of social and political contempt.

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