Tuesday, 19 January 2010

The delicate formation of sexuality

So last night, I woke at 3 am and couldn't go back to sleep.  I lay very quietly for a long time so as to let A. sleep.  As I was laying quietly, I attempted, as I often do, to make up a short story in my head.  This attempt, like all others, prompted a stream-of-conscious exploration of my past and present.  In these moments, I often come across memories long since forgotten. 

So last night, I recalled my mother giving me this book at about the age of 6.

The book says that there are over a million copies sold, so my bet is that some of you too had this book given to you.  Now, there is nothing wrong with this book per se.  The information is accurate and the content is kid-specific.  However, the presentation of the information might have had something to do with the future sexual choices made by my adult self. Let’s take a look at our copulating couple:

Um, ewww! One of the first things that I remembered about them in my insomniac musings was that they were fat.  Now that I look at them, I see that actually they aren’t that fat, but to a kid shaped like a bean pole, they seemed extraordinarily fat at the time. The second thing that I remembered was that there were middle-aged.  And  yes, looking at them today at the ripe old age of 36, they really do look middle-aged.  

Knowing what I know now about 1970 feminism, these characters make good sense.  They look like parents and, without doubt, the sight of them copulating most likely made most of us think twice about it.  For me, however, the image of the two of them going at it was so haunting it made me never, ever want to have sex with an overweight, middle-aged bald man or a man that would ever turn into an overweight, middle-aged bald man.  

Freud argued that sexuality was formed in our childhood by our relationships with our parents.  No doubt, this is the case, but I don't think our parents had exclusive rights over that formation.  Foucault was definitely onto something in thinking that our sexuality is culturally mandated.  Hosts of images and experiences that have no logic in adult reason make up childhood sexuality.  

This is all to say that this book probably made me gay.

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