You have to wonder how those deep rainforest tribes handle nudity and sex. I imagine that neither subject is a big deal to these people and as such, no one even begins to be offended by anything anyone else does. It would be nice if the rest of the world was like that, too. Sex crimes and sexual difficulty rarely come into existence when your naked neighbors, friends, family members, parents, grandparents, and siblings all more or less copulate openly.
Many years ago, when I was much younger and much more energetic, the manager at a hotel asked my girlfriend and me to leave as we were disturbing the guests to either side of our room not to mention those across the street and those in the neighboring area codes. We thought the whole ordeal was hysterically funny but my girlfriend was a little mortified that the manager had knocked on the door and we had never heard him.
Teenagers, with sex drives as geared up as rabbits injected with espresso, are a lot more prone, no pun intended, to bouts of public and semipublic mating. I was eighteen years old before I had sex in a bed. Before that it was in cars, on blankets on the ground, on a beach, on the roof of a house, on a picnic table, in the girls’ bathroom at high school and once in a treehouse. When I was a teenager, given a willing partner and a .0001% chance of not getting caught I would have had sex in the middle of a church during a funeral service that involved a close relative.
Of course, this isn’t limited to teenagers, it’s just they don’t have the ways and means to do much better. Human beings, by and large, will mate anywhere at any time with anyone they have an attraction to, regardless of their age or status. American politics has been littered with broken careers and truncated terms of office as men and women who have been elected to uphold the law have been caught holding onto something much warmer to the touch. Remember Clinton’s Blue Dress Code and JFK’s Monroe Doctrine? Remember Gary Hart’s last boat ride? How often has illicit sex shaped the future of this country?
Isn’t time we just got over it? Why do we bother to care what other people do with their bodies when we know for a fact that caring about it, thinking they ought not do it, makes doing it that much more better for them?
In my lifetime, more in the distant past than recently, I have been “busted” by passersby, the cops (more than once, the missing underwear thing still haunts me), at least one skating rink owner, a hotel manager, and an angry husband for having sex at the wrong place, the wrong time, with the wrong woman, too loudly, or some combination of the aforementioned. This isn’t to mention the roommates I’ve had that have rolled their eyes, made suggestive noises, or turned their music up far too loudly to express their displeasure when things weren’t exactly kept undercover.
So what is the real issue here anyway?
Even as we scrunch up our faces in disgust when two guys are busted in Valentine Nebraska for having sex on top of a car on main street, the porn industry is raking in billions because some of us, not me of course, are willing to pay to watch people have sex. Does this seem in any way healthy to you? Men, who are accused of having the sexual morals of alley cats with tequila IVs, will get together and go to a strip club, act like apes who just reached puberty, get fleeced for all their cash, then talk about nothing else in such glowing terms for six months. Take these same men, put them in that same strip club alone, and individually they become silent and still.
Does this seem healthy to you? There’s an unspoken dichotomy here when it comes to sex and nudity and the two aren’t exactly similar.
Someone ought to make a movie where everyone in the cast is naked. Everyone, all the extras, the doorman, the cafeteria ladies, everyone, and it would be interesting to see if the movie was enough to pull past the nakedness. Or perhaps, if everyone was nude no one would notice. Without the forbidden element would we revert back to the rainforest?
Remember the movie “Basic Instinct”? Sharon Stone’s vagina became famous overnight and no one would ever consider her a natural blonde again. But what would that movie look like if everyone was totally nude from the opening credits? Okay, from the opening credits everyone was nude, but the next scene men in suits appeared. Contrast was completed and we were just waiting for more nudity.
And so here we are. Hopefully, if you really did take your clothes off to read this, and you were in Starbucks reading this as I was when I write it, you were well received, or at least not arrested. Yet it is here I have a confession; I have not practiced what I preached.
Our bathrooms at work are located between individual offices. Why someone would think this a good idea, I cannot say, but there’s a guy who either has the world’s weirdest sounding bowel movements or he’s engaging in a little self-service two or three times a day. Honestly, that sort of panting noise ought to involve a German Shepherd Dog or a 5K in triple digit heat, not a bowel movement or a little relief at hand. One day I just banged like hell on the door, to let him know we could hear him. Sound familiar?
Then there was Friday. I came out of the Y and there was a passel of young kids standing on the steps leading to the parking lot. There was a very young man and a much younger girl sitting on the wall next to the walkway and she was sitting in his lap. I got into my truck and watched as they made out, (in front of the kids!) and he kept reaching up and untying her top, and she had to tie it back again and again. The thing here is that he kept his face right next to her face so she had to keep her face turned or he would try to kiss her again. She didn’t make an effort to get away, didn’t try to push him away, but she didn’t seem to like what was going on, either. I wondered if she, like the other kids around at the time, had been raised to think this was what affection was supposed to look like? Did she think this was how it was supposed to be? Was she not only unwilling to hope for more but also incapable of thinking she deserved better?
Our views on sexual behavior have become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Our attempts at making sex unnatural and more about the parts and pieces than emotion have come to fruition, no pun intended. From a man in a bathroom very likely watching porn on his cell phone to people who haven’t reached full adulthood trying desperately, publically, to find some sort of worth in their own bodies, sex has been redefined as more of a social conquest than a spiritual coupling.