PASSABLE SEX FOR THE THIRD MILLENIUM?
Essay written in 2000
The Starr Report (which Rebecca Johnson, a contributing editor at Vogue, described in The New York Times Magazine as valuable for the present American public as the Kinsey reports in 1940’s and Masters and Johnson in the 1960’s) is in fact all about substitute sex. The only problem of the two protagonists there is that their sex was not substitutional enough.
Sex, meanwhile, has become a product on the market, and as such it is subject to the rules of mass consumption. It is remarkable that, in general, the sexual revolution endowed the sexual market with an explosion of sex-substitutional services. The erotic service industry is switching to the sphere of untouching sexual contacts. Massive offers of services directed exclusively at voyeurism and masturbation have emerged -- a phenomenon unseen up to that time. Currently, men are offered -- besides the obligatory striptease -- porn-video booths, peep shows and live shows, with three contemporary novelties for auto-erotic satisfaction: the so-called massage parlors offering hand-jobs, rubber dolls, and phone sex. Even President Clinton discovered the attractiveness of phone sex sooner than he should gain an elementary theory from a novel about phone sex entitled ‘Vox’, given to him as a gift from that very person he used to call and ask not only for it. Communication by phone (with an anonymous person as a therapeutic technique to overcome frustration and loneliness) was first recommended thirty years ago by the Russian psychiatrist Vladimir Levi in his book ‘The Art of Dealing with People’. He wrote: “Why not use the virtually divine opportunity to set off into the world without actually leaving home. You are invisible, and you are holding a shield in front of yourself. You may cut off the communication at any time....” According to a very precise testimony President cut off one of his phone sex excursions by fallen asleep in the middle of the sentence. But that doesn’t mean that Levi wasn’t right. Newly emerging ‘hot phone’ and ‘chat’ services on the Internet indicate that we do want to be invisible and hold a shield in front of us. Even in sex...
Women have not been forgotten by these new services. This includes male striptease and porn-magazines for women. And according the reportage of Katie Monagle in magazine Mademoiselle in 1995 “feminist-friendly sex stores” already created a network. In first one in New York, the “Eve’s Garden”, dildos were top-seller. And from these it just a small step to the most revolutionary worth the HI-TECH civilization -- the vibrator. Saying that the vibrator gives women freedom sounds like a cliché. However, the truth is probably that it fulfills women’s erotic dreams more instantly and efficiently than anything before. Older practices (developed for example in women's jails with an empty mustard bottle, or a broom handle) are like dinosaur eggs compared to the space technology of the vibrators -- the choice of sizes, the color fluorescent models, up to special effects, such as the simulated ejection of semen. Significant is the statement by Dr. D. C. Renshaw that “A vibrator stimulates much more than what can be achieved by hand, oral stimulation, or through intercourse. For some women, this may mean an orgasmic breakthrough”. The personal testimonies of some women, as well as statistics, confirm this observation. Betty Dodson, a prominent sexologist, has reported that “a couple of times, I was not far from falling in love with my vibrator”. This is not hard to understand if we take the example of one of her patients, who had the first really intense orgasm of her life with a vibrator. Dodson reckons that this woman will for perhaps months, or even years only reach an orgasm in this way, but “this is not as bad as the fact that she would never have had it”. Elsewhere, Dodson discusses a married woman who had her first orgasm at the age of 48. She touched her clitoris with her new vibrator, and after two hours exploded with a climax so powerful that she almost fell off the bed, and she weighed more than 120 kilos... “Neither she, nor her husband, were ever quite as lavish as the vibrator”, concluded Dodson. The Annual Statistics of Sexual Behavior, based on the response of 720 college and university-educated American women, reports that “a repeated orgasm was experienced in 47.8 per cent cases by stimulation. In the majority of occurrences (26.3 per cent) by masturbation, and 18.3 per cent by a partner's contact with the genitals”. Matilda Fernandez Saez as the Spanish Minister of Social Affairs recommended masturbation in a sexual education handbook for adolescents that provoked outrage of members of the Spanish Parliament. Humankind knows masturbation for thousand of years, but the vibrator has changed it from a laborious hiking tour into a pleasant drive in a shiny limousine. The objection that it is just an impersonal piece of plastic can be partly eradicated by attempts to form the sizes of vibrators similar to the instruments of well-known male porn-stars. The German author, Gert Heidenreich, in the first story of his collection of stories, ‘Der Geliebte des dritten Tages’ (DVA, Stuttgart, 1997) envisages husbands ordering wooden moulds made of their penises so as to be at least partly “present” in their marriage bed during long business trips.
ADAM AND EVE OF THE YEAR 2020
In 1990 the journal Cosmopolitan published an article “Marriage without Sex”, where it pointed out married couples that voluntarily decided on partial, and in some cases, complete sexual abstinence. Reasons for this were predominantly sexual over-satiation, however, objections among the higher educated couples to aggressive sex propaganda is also a common reason.
Will they be standard couples for next millennium? In fact here are three possible models. As Alvin Toffler written in his famous book “Future Shock”, among first is the “social family” where the parents will be fully engaged on upbringing of large number of children. Mostly in role not a biological parents. Another model of “carrier couple” expecting partnership of two singles who will be fully occupied with their work and individual preferences. And third way already appeared - the family, which start to look for the baby when time of professional career is over. Current advanced medical technology is capable by hormone therapy to prepare an uterus of an 80-year-old woman into a condition of an 18-year-old and thus fulfill a dreams of elderly parents. Is evident that nobody would prefer such way if there will be not valuable reasons. For example general change of life-style in the third millennium.
(To be continued)
Translation Peter Duba, edited by Jerry Weir and Tom Reynolds