Sex: Real Dopes

The arrest of international banker Dominique Strauss Kahn on several charges amounting to sexual assault has occasioned more discussion of sex on the airwaves than I have heard for many years. Some of the statements I hear are absurd or annoying. Others are downright dishonest. I am trying to sort out the most salient points.

Warning: If you are prudish, don’t read what follows. If you are under fifteen, read at the risk of undermining your healthy sexual development.

First things first: A couple of days ago, the Spanish minister of economy and finance, I think, was one of many female commentators committing a deeply immoral amalgam. One the one hand, she said, there is the presumption of innocence, on the other hand, the charges are so serious, so awful. It’s common thinking in academia among bureaucrats in charge of hunting down sexual harassment, sex discrimination, and in the end, sex differences.

Here is a reminder, girls: The seriousness of an alleged crime, whatever great, has no influence on innocence. Those are separate things completely. Get this:

The person who is innocent of multiple murder is exactly as innocent as the person who is innocent of the charge of spitting on the sidewalk.

This goes to the heart of western civilization, I believe. It speaks to our concept of personal responsibility, of a long and proud tradition that rejects anything but well demonstrated individual guilt. Anyone who undermines this view of the world is a totalitarian. That kind of people deserve no more pity than the young Hitler would have deserved had we known what he was about.

Second topic: I heard the public conversation degenerate in a few days to the point where there appeared to be a consensus that men’s, or some men’s, sexual needs were simply irresistible. Such a belief, of course results in considering all male human beings, or many, as potential rapists. This near-consensus is achieved passively through an unspoken alliance between two repulsive groups: man-hating feminists and male low-lives. If you think I am insulting feminists gratuitously, think again. About twenty years ago, a celebrated feminist author argued in her bestseller that every heterosexual act involving penetration was rape. I have forgotten her name as it deserved to be but you can find it on Google. As for male lowlife, you know what I mean: Just think of all the movie stars and other men in position of influence who seek treatment for a “sexual addiction.” And, of course, I am sure pseudo-medical treatment is preferable to the risk of being subjected to the sexual attentions of the prison Aryan Brotherhood.

In reality, the myth of the irrepressible male libido is mostly useful in high-school. It helps randy boys give themselves an excuse for doing what they, the girls, want to do but know they ought not do. Personally, I think it has no basis in fact.

First, let me concede that I have no direct grasp of the male libido except my own. It’s also true that I may have been under-served by Mother Nature in this department and never noticed it. I will never know. I do know that I have never in my life heard men or boys refer to their uncontrollable sexual urges, not even jokingly. I have never even read about it in books or elsewhere. That’s on the one hand.

On the other hand, I have personally known several women who were always eager to do it any time, any place, even in public places. (One preferred public places.) I also note that in the folklore of most of the world, women are more likely to chide men for insufficiency than for excessive zeal, much less uncontrollable passion.

Now, let’s look at the mechanics (so to speak) of the topic. It’s likely that sexual tension builds up in men with steadily accumulating testosterone (also the main hormone that makes women horny). Even that is not inexorable. In my ship in the French Navy, after several weeks at sea, the boys did not begin checking each other out. Rather, they went quiescent in the absence of appropriate heterosexual stimuli. At any rate, Mother Nature has obligingly provided the mechanism of the nocturnal emission to release the tension efficiently, if not neatly. Moreover, although Mother Nature probably has a bias in favor of coming rather than going, it’s pretty indifferent about how and where it happens. Hands with opposable thumbs were designed to serve many purposes, bedsheets are OK, a favorite toy is also fine, even Grandma’s stockings. In short, ejaculation inside a woman has not particular merit from the narrow mechanical standpoint I just adopted. It only seems superior because of what goes on in our heads (and possibly because of pheromones, I suspect).

I am trying to tell you here that if any man attacks a woman sexually, he is not driven by an uncontrollable urge. More likely, he is scum who likes to exercise power over those weaker than himself because of the particular video installed in his brain.

I said that some of the media commentary occasioned by the Strauss Khan affair is dishonest and annoys me. Some lazy journalists quickly discovered sex scandals and near scandals in his past. Those were acts of successful seduction that were objectionable on grounds separate from our objections to violence. National cultural differences played a part, I think. Frenchmen and French women are widely adulterous. The educated classes are especially prone to adultery. They pride themselves on being free from the obscurantist, more or less religiously grounded prejudices of the peasantry. In France as elsewhere, the smell of power on a man acts as an aphrodisiac on many women. Powerful Frenchmen, who are mostly free from moral restraints, get a lot of tail, I would affirm if I were vulgar. Their amorous pursuits trigger few or not comments in France. The same actions make them vulnerable under the American-originated norms of international bureaucracies such as IMF. What I am telling you is that Mr Strauss-Khan’s previous actions in no way make the allegations of rape against him more credible.

And the commentators who confuse seduction and rape are plain stupid. The two are the opposite of each other. Seducers are vain; they want to be loved (or laid) for themselves. They don’t want to liberate their uncontrollable sex urge; they want to trigger uncontrollable sex urges in women. Got it?

PS    I am sorry if I caused pain to some younger female readers by destroying their illusions about the powerful nature of the male libido. I promise you will survive this revelation.

About jacquesdelacroix

I am a sociologist, a short-story writer, and a blogger (Facts Matter and Notes On Liberty) in Santa Cruz, California.
This entry was posted in Cultural Studies, Current Events. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Sex: Real Dopes

  1. Brad Goodwin says:

    Reading this commentary, along with your less explicit commentary on the radio today, I find you lack an understanding of the dark side of the human psyche; your explanation for the cause and explanation of libido and rape seem to come from a cloistered professor. While I don’t claim to be an expert here, I am a retired police officer (26 years) where I worked as detective and detective sergeant and was involved in numerous sexual assaults investigations. My first clue to your naivety was the apparent belief that oral sex was not likely forced because of the possibility of the victim injuring the male. What you forget is the utter terror most women are in when they are being rapped. Almost all feared they were going to be killed and would agree to do anything just to remain alive. Perhaps you are aware of an Italian judge that overturned a rap conviction beau the victim had been wearing tight jeans, which he felt would have required the woman’s assistance to remove; this of course is the male if a woman does not fight to the death or sustain serious injuries, than she must have been at least “partially” consenting; this would of course be the same as any other assault victim that was “partially” consenting to be attacked.

    One of the most puzzling aspects of rape is that the only difference between it being an assault or pleasurable is consent. But it is this very consent issue that converts the male libido to a violent assault. Here you have part of the male psyche that needs to control that which is his; often to the death. The escalating libido can sometimes send certain males into an uncontrollable need to take control; this where the sexual encounter stops being sexual and becomes one of power through cohesion and/or violence. Certainly there is the recent trend toward sexual consent being viewed as equal to a Miranda request for a lawyer; once one has asked for a lawyer (or a woman saying no), then it would unconstitutional to reinitiate contact. But you should have some consideration (if the allegation is true) towards a minimum wage maid in a foreign country being attacked by rich powerful man. You were also puzzled over the libido of a 62 year old male. You might be interested to know that a high percentage of rapists are elderly males. This is believed to be the result of deteriorating inhibitions due to deteriorating mental state cause by age. You discussed the Liberal need to be accepted and loved, but you ignore the traits of a Gentleman rapist who honestly believes that his victim is enjoying what is going on, and simply cannot accept that he would ever be rejected; he probably felt she was having the time of her life.

    Certainly this could have been a conspiracy but I find your argument lacking any real substance regarding certain behaviors and motivations; something’s can’t be accurately explained as a result of classroom determinations.

    • jacquesdelacroix says:

      Brad: I am inclined to give credence to your experience as a police officer. At the same time, I believe that an argumentation is like a barrel of apples: One or two rotten apples spoil the barrel. First, you are all over the place. Second, I cannot believe for a second that the alleged victim would have been terrified of being killed by a rich man in a hotel room registered in his name. That’s downright silly. I have no trouble thinking it may be true in general. It couldn’t be in this case. Look at your own naivety. Third, you assert that a high percentage of rapists are elderly men. This is both vague and unsupported by any reference to a systematic count. Direct me to one and I may make a u-turn. If you make it easy, I will check it quickly. Until then, this sounds to me like law enforcement urban legend.

      I am not, never was cloistered although I am sure you have seen more crimes than I have. Familiarity does not guarantee objectivity. The reverse is often true. I learned a lot about police culture from my father who was a Paris cop.

      Thanks for commenting.

  2. Brad Goodwin says:

    Jacques, the idea that you believe that it is “downright silly” that a woman being raped, regardless of the circumstances, is not terrified, says volumes about your world view.

    • jacquesdelacroix says:

      Brad: both your evaluation and mine are subjective on the matter of the fear of death of a woman assaulted at her place of her work by a man who is extremely likely to be known or traceable. Your description brings to mind a stranger in a dark park scenario. Why don’t your address the second credibility issue I find in your narrative: The high proportion of rapists and would-be rapists that are elderly? I repeat I think it’s police urban legend. That should be easy to fix. Of course, I will post – with comments – anything you provide by way of evidence. Needless to say, your own personal experience is not evidence because it cannot be possibly be large enough, even if you have 25 years of law enforcement under your belt.

  3. Brad Goodwin says:

    Again, you assume that the victim is thinking coolly and rationally. Most are not; they are terrified. My experience is enough that I know you have no concept how devastating rape can be to a woman; after a few hundred interviews and you learn that post traumatic terror one trait that is common to all victims; and it doesn’t matter if it was a stranger or date rape. In regards to the high proportion of rapists and would-be rapists that are elderly, I did not say it was a high proportion, I said a higher percentage, meaning more than you would think. If that was not clear, it was my error.

    • jacquesdelacroix says:

      Brad, I don’t, I did not disagree with anything you said except one: It’s unlikely that the alleged victim in the alleged sexual assault feared for her life. Since you can no more read her state of mind than I can (that particular woman’s state of mind at that time), let’s leave it at that.

      I am not sure how what you just said about the elderly attempting rape differs from what I said: proportion, percentage? And, of course, “more than you would think does not fly.” You don’t know what I think but I will tell you now: Fewer than 8 % of attempted raps or violent sexual assault of women are by men over sixty. That’s much smaller than their % in the population. Just off the top off my head, to help you with the “you would think speculation.”

      Incidentally, I hope you, and others who read us, remember that I did not proclaim Strauss Khan innocent. I just don’t know. I will be the first one to denounce my own suspicions of a plot when the evidence warrants.

      I wish you would use your professional experience to tell us something about the role that forensic evidence will play in his trial.

  4. kamprint says:

    French sources tell me that DSK liked to have his dates dress-up as chambermaids. Remember Marquez’ ‘Patriarch’ who fancied novitiates? The Church arranged for whores to dress-up as novitiates so that the Patriarch would be satisfied without compromising the virtue of future nuns. Apparently someone who was familiar with DSK’s preferences substituted a real maid for the one who was supposed to be the object of his fantasy. It certainly looks like a set-up, but by whom? None of the obvious beneficiaries (Sarko, Aubry, Lagarde) seems capable of it. But your suggestion of a post-colonial connection between Guinea and the mother-ship in Paris makes sense. Defense counsel is no doubt working on that. Hope you’re feeling better.

    • jacquesdelacroix says:

      Most Frenchmen like to have the object of their attention dress up as chambermaids so, that proves nothing!

      I agree that none of the beneficiaries of a conspiracy is likely to have done it. There are operatives insides the parties who would have what it takes and who wouldn’t not even need a nod to go ahead.

  5. Pingback: Sex: Real Dopes « Notes On Liberty

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