Birds and the Bees
It being 2012, pornography – in all its mundane, imaginative, and fetishistic varieties – has never been more accessible. As such, it is most young people’s first acquaintance with the act itself. I found myself in the inevitable position of having to describe to my boys the difference between pornographic sex and real sex. How can you discuss this without simply sounding like a prude? Because, of course, performers in pornographic movies are having sex, with this the filmmakers leave no ambiguity whatsoever. Plus, there is an appeal to pornography that goes beyond mere lust and voyeurism, an appeal that can insinuate itself into any corner of our lives, that will probably follow us, limping, all the way to our graves.
“Here’s the thing,” I finally said. “The lie of porn is that you can have sex without a relationship and enjoy it. Whether you like or not, the whole person is there. You may only want their body, but they still have a heart and soul, and the only way to ignore their heart and soul is to ignore your own, which is where all our pain begins.”
I don’t know if my boys heard me, but I was glad to have said it. I am always teaching myself, after all. How much simpler and ordered life can appear without this independently beating heart pulling me from the straight course I’ve drawn in the sand. Oh, to be the king of my world, my great and mighty mind following life to its logical and satisfying conclusion. Emperor Bill will decide his life from his Throne of Reason, a throne where porn is the truth, for the pleasure of sex is there to compel us to make babies and nothing else.
My heart has been my most stubborn and loyal companion. That he returns to me again and again after how I have ignored him, after how I have mocked and laughed at him as any good intellectual must, is the miracle of his compassion and patience. The greatest lie Emperor Bill ever told was that life was simpler from his throne. Just the opposite, in fact. Ruling the world is infinitely complicated, everything always changing and everyone different. Simpler, instead, to learn to say Yes to Love which knows what you cannot yet see.
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