Sunday, January 9, 2011

Not my experience of the world

Do some people really believe that everything is about sex? Or do they just like to say "Such and such is really about sex" because talking about sex is supposed to be sexy?


  1. It's a very Freud take on the world, isn't it? It's why folks, like Jung, moved away and began expanding on his theories.

    Is this related to the perfume discussion on Twitter? My take: One's body secretes a number of scents-- not all for the purpose of sexual attraction. Biology is many things, not just attraction. Just like all clothing is not designed/worn for sexual attraction. When I get dressed in the morning to take my son to school, I dress purely for warmth cause it's fucking cold. When I get dressed for a parent-teacher meeting, I dress to look "respectable" so the teacher thinks I'm good, involved mother, and hopefully that aids in her treating my offspring well. When I get dressed to scrub the bathroom, I wear clothing to protect my skin from harsh chemicals.

    As for perfume, some scents certainly make me feel attractive or "sexy," and others make me feel calm, or assertive, some scents remind of places or times in my life that bring me happiness. We are complex,multi-faceted beings. All of us.

  2. The old factoid that men think about sex once every 7 seconds is probably an exaggeration. Realistically it's probably closer to once every 9 seconds:)

    I think you're right that some people like to say "such and such is really about sex" just for fun, and because they're being lazy. This is how magazine articles get written.

    On the other hand, men really and truly do have a one-track mind, underneath it all. I mean, it's hard for me to imagine having any motivation to do anything in life if I were to suddenly become a eunuch or permanently impotent. (Other than the motivation to find a cure for such an unthinkable calamity.)

    The reason I do anything artistic, underneath any desires to explore ideas or understand the world or document beauty or whatever, is because I want to make something that will cause people (women) to notice me, and, you know, go on from there:) So it's not always in the forefront of my mind, but it's always in the back, secretly running things.

    It's also what motivates me to work and make money, hopefully in a respectable way, rather than live with my parents, staying home watching Judging Amy reruns for the rest of my life, which would not be a bad life at all, if sex didn't exist...

  3. Reb, it's related, yes -- I think a lot of people think perfume and fashion are all about sex, and like you, I think they *can* be, but it's ridiculous to reduce them to that only. If fashion were about sex, gay men wouldn't be interested in women's fashion. And if perfume were about sex, I wouldn't wear it when I'm sitting around my house by myself in my pajamas. As usual, you speak sense.

    But this is something I think about from time to time in general.

    Matt, I guess I agree that a lot of things people do are for reasons of obtaining either sex or power, and power may be largely attractive because it puts you in a better position to get sex. But I also think there are some things people do just for fun. Like, watching TV doesn't really get anyone anywhere in terms of sex or power. It would be a bummer if I suddenly couldn't have sex anymore, but I wouldn't kill myself. I'd just go full on cerebral. And there'd still be affection and other social fuzziness.

  4. Most of the time "x is really about sex" is common or garden cynicism. It's also sometimes a way of dodging arguments -- "you only think that because you're sex-crazed" or "you wouldn't disagree if you were ovulating" -- and occasionally a way of being mildly transgressive or "edgy" in certain groups.

  5. Using sex to be edgy seems so collegiate to me.

  6. Reminds me of a bit of dialogue in the movie The Last Days of Disco -- one of the women (played by Kate Beckinsale) advises one of the other women (played by Chloe Sevigny) to make sure to use the word "sexy" once or twice in conversation, regardless of what the conversation is about.

    As an example, she says "This upholstery is really sexy." They're sitting in a New York disco when she says that, and a women in the next book who overhears says, "Yeah, you're right, it is."

    In a later scene, Chloe Sevigny's character has gone with a man (someone she likes) to his apartment. She notices his collection of Uncle Scrooge comic books, and (taking Kate Beckinsale's advice), she starts dancing toward the man, and says, "Uncle Scrooge is really sexy." And they subsequently do things (off-camera) that Uncle Scrooge likely never thought of, at least not in the authorized version.

    Later the man breaks up with her. He tells her that "Uncle Scrooge is really sexy" struck him as such a typical inane superficial pickup line, that when she said it he lost interest in a long-term relationship with her.


    Putting aside the Seinfeldian undertones of some of the above, and to answer your question --

    Some people may in fact mean what they say, when they say that everything is about sex. I don't feel that way.

    I can think of any number of women I've known, for whom I've felt some kind of attraction, but I felt little (if any) other kind of connection, and I wasn't interested in finding out what else (if anything) might potentially "happen" between us.

    I'm inclined to go with Matt's recalibrated estimate of everything 9 seconds, though. :)

  7. Yes, yes, I know that scene -- I love Whit Stillman. Though I remembered it as Donald Duck. :)

  8. Sorta relevant:

  9. I went and checked -- according to the Internet Movie Database, the exact quote is "There's something really sexy about Scrooge McDuck."

    I really liked Stillman's film Metropolitan too. And Barcelona was okay, though it took me longer to warm up to it.

  10. Metropolitan is the only one I've watched multiple times. It's one of my favorite movies, period.