Sexual perversions are interesting in the fact that they exist, that the human mind can eroticize concepts that wouldn't be acceptable in a "non-eroticized" mental state. This throws us smack dab into the middle of a tornado debate about sexuality and its function versus its human modification to serve human desire, which we've created into a need. We "need" sex, many might say. Technically, we don't. All we truly need to do is reproduce. Sex is the biological method and really, only until technology delivers babies and vaginas don't, which is where we're headed so... so now what would we do with sex if not to reproduce?
We want sex because it offers pleasure and this sex-high we seek basically controls human life, choice and action. The porn industry wouldn't exist if it didn't. Without sex as a reproductive need, however, sex evolves. We expect technology and ourselves to evolve and yet many people do not associate the fact that sexuality must evolve as well. Pornography post-Internet has certainly altered what sex was and it's shaping what it's becoming. This intrigues me.
As I've been drifting into various visual perversions while seeking inspiration for my new ART PORN collection that will be shown in Vegas Aug 2017, I've come up with a lot of questions about the human condition, our psychology and sexual philosophies and all of this info shapes my choices on which paintings I create. Sometimes I just paint a pretty picture because I need the surface beauty clear in front of me but with porn, it's not about a pretty picture. It's about finding the beauty within the visual that is often crass and weird, odd in the reality we face that these acts are what we do to bring pleasure and to create life, the greatest power we each hold in our conscious action. Porn isn't sexy when you're not mentally there or don't want to get there but ART PORN, as art, must always contain an element of eroticism that could hang on a wall. It must be sexy...and can a perversion look the right kind of sexy in a painting? How are perversions sexy from non-perversions, and deeper, what exactly is a perversion?
I've been reading a book I reference frequently called Ethics and Sex by Igor Primoratz, a fantastic read. I wanted to wrap my head more around these ideas of perversions and how humanity might progress in the future based on the modifications of our global exchange of the sexual psyche that has become not only a standard norm on the Net, but truly a window into the rich diversity of human perversions within the umbrella of sexuality - something normal that is turning in some ways abnormal, termed loosely. All this seeded in my mind when I was introduced to a video on Feederism from Sex & Psychology blog with Dr. Justin Lehmiller. I watched the video with an open mind and at its end, I found it completely degrading to all parties involved - moreso than a violent sex act. This totally blew my mind so I had to dive into some theories to digest it. Pun intended, of course.
Here's Michael Slote's descriptive and expressive meaning of "unnatural" and "perverted":
"By calling it [sex act] 'unnatural' [and 'perverted'] we think of it as banished to a world other than ours, and this helps to reassure us that the impulse toward such behavior is not in us."
Promovitz, the book's author, however, argues against this point by showing there is no such thing as human behavior that is not part of nature or the human world and and thus it would be better to discard the idea of unnatural or perverted sex and replace it with what it ultimately seems to be: "unusual sexual preference or behavior". When philosophical accounts are discussed between various theories and philosophers about what defines "unnatural" or "perverted" sexuality - including Marquis de Sade's work, Promovitz, feels none give "the idea [of perversions] a plausible and helpful interpretation". Thus, we are ultimately left with merely a matter of sexual taste and preference. This demands trust for all of us.
While some perversions do cause moral implications and disgust in the majority - pedophilia or necrophilia - most other perversions merely hit personal boundaries primarily created by the associated darkness of such sexual sides within us, or our socially demanded morals. I believe Freudian issues play a part as well. Recognizing and dealing with these perverse sides is what we're not used to, as Promovitz expresses:
"...most of us have certain impulses...which frighten us and threaten our self-image, and which we are extremely unwilling to acknowledge. As depth psychology tells us, most of us have some deep, unconscious, repressed desires towards incest, homosexuality and possible some forms fetishism. We repress such impulses and keep them unconscious by determining that such behavior is unnatural or perverted".
External eyes, laws, judgement, and fears create narrow-visions which box expansive views into Slote's containable and manageable explanation that certain sexual acts are not "in us" thus separate from us in its existence 'out there'. There is no 'out there' when everything is connected. This forces me to expand my view of something like feederism without judgment but let me say, it's very hard - probably the same way others might find something I find erotic as not accepting and this is something I often keep in mind. We tend to sway the rules for ourselves. It's this need to view both sides of the fence that allows tolerance of difference and maybe acceptance.
Ultimately, becoming aware of dark parts of the self and interacting with those sides are important aspects of discovering personal truths that lead to deeper and broader understandings of one's own psyche and sexuality. One can't gain a true sense of the deep ocean and its sights and sounds unless one's been head under in it; it's a different world contained within the other known comfortable world "out there" with the oxygen as air rather than water. Just because a perversion exists doesn't mean it must be followed in reality but exploring what it means, where it came from and how it might go are the free will processes we have at our brain's disposal so we can explore thought provocative inquires that lead to a more aware evolving Self.