September 29, 2004


OK, most difficult post yet, but here goes....

I was sexually abused by a doctor when I was in my early twenties. It was just after I had been released from psychiatric hospital after my first nervous breakdown and put it into his care for clinical depression. To spare my own embarrassment, I won't go into the details of it, but suffice it to say, I was one of many young males that this doctor ab/used. Actually, his treatment of me was really quite trivial compared to what he did to others. His manipulations and his pretexts for filming the naked bodies of some of his victims in some cases involved telling young men that they were infertile when there was nothing wrong with them.

This same doctor had treated me for anxiety when I was 14 and had made it clear to me that my problems were due to one reason alone: sex. If I had got a girlfriend, all my difficulties would dissolve. :-)

In any case, he is now in jail. The case received a great deal of press attention. Last I heard, his tragic wife, convinced of his innocence, was campaigning to clear his name.

Now, don't be too ready to comfort yourselves, sexualists. Ah, that's why he is so anti-sex... because he was abused...'

Not at all. On the contrary, this episode helped me to see that it is not my aversion to sex that is 'sick', it is sex itself that is pathological.

Sex IS abuse. And if you think this is just one of my wacky theoretical reversals, at least pause to reflect on the fact that I have support from the most unexpected, most 'rational' source on this: Kant.

Kant believed that sex inevitably entailed treating the other person as a means to an end. Since this was contrary to one of his formulations of moral duty - the idea that we should treat people as an end in themselves, never as means to an end - he was in a quandary when it came to sex, which he rightly thought of as inherently pathological. The only way that he could get round this - he couldn't very well declare leave it at that, saying sex to be intrinsically wrong - was to evoke the marriage contract. Sex is only valid within marriage, Kant argued, because within marriage we have contracted out our organs for the use of the spouse, just as they have done the same for us, and so the categorical imperative can be suspended.

Kant's view is much closer to the truth IMHO than those who maintain that sex is 'healthy'.

I actually don't regard the abuse episode as that serious, except that it gave me an insight into the inherently abusive nature of both sex and authority.

No doubt middle class people will be nonplussed by my compliance with the doctor's wishes. Why did you go along with what he said? Well, they simply do not understand the degree of working class trust in and deference to bourgeois authority. It's difficult for us to believe that something a m/c professional is telling us is not true. We are naive enough to believe in the probity of their institutions.

Obviously this doctor ultimately did me a favour my removing such faith from me.

It's interesting that one of the original meaning of the word 'punk' was the male subjected to sodomy in jail. Iggy Pop was famously raped by bikers (cf 'Dirt' from Funhouse), but the most coldly pitiless observer of the sex/power abuse virus is undoubtedly Swans' Mike Gira, who was also raped whilst a young man. The Swans' releases 'Cop', 'Raping a Slave', 'Greed' and 'Holy Money' are hyper-cold diagrams of an economic-social humiliation machine:

'Keep your head on the ground. Push your ass up. Move around. Cry. Open your mouth. Here is your money. This feels good.' ('A Screw (Holy Money)'

'I give you money. You're superior. I don't exist. You control me. You're corrupt. You deform me. You own me.' ('Your Property')

The genius of Gira was to deny that there was anything extreme about these scenarios or descriptions. Rather than embittering or psychopathologizing him, his rape had politicized him, giving him a terrifying lucid insight into the idiotic evil of the male sex drive.

Posted by mark at September 29, 2004 11:00 PM | TrackBack