Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Beauty and pornography, for you Deanna

I have been known to not filter what comes out of my mouth at times. This is one of those times where the filter becomes fairly obtrusive. When we tiptoe around an issue as relevant as pornography for social niceties, or whatever, then we lose the true meat of the argument as we're so busy trying to phrase it delicately. I'm certainly not being defensive, just honest. This is where "shaved and fucked" comes in. Both words are indicative of exposure and defenselessness. Think about it, there is something very frightening about the act of penetrative intercourse. As a woman it requires that you trust someone not to kill you, essentially to submit (I don't care the media says, he's twice your size) and think of the risk of becoming impregnated. If you look at it from a truly objective standpoint as Nabokov did, you see that sex isn't about intimacy or enjoyment or exploitation or really anything that we all want it to be about as that is easy to understand and categorize. It's about being more afraid of imminent death than immediate death (of course it is much more complex than just this). Strangely enough, the most ridiculous porn does exactly the same thing, it distances the viewer/reader from the act to allow for a lack of intimacy, to make sex just an act that makes you feel good, an impermanent distraction, a drug. 

So how is Nabokov different from Hustler? I spoke to Deanna after class of beauty (dangerous ground). It's all about presentation. If you take a lovely New York Strip steak, marbled and thick and grind it up, boil it and pour the slop onto a plate, it's still going to be steak but it's going to look nasty and taste even nastier. You will be fed by it, but that's about it.  Now if you marinate it in burgundy and sea salt for two nights and then broil it lightly before grilling it on an applewood fire, it's also going to be steak but it's going to taste delicious. It doesn't mean that you're not  going to get high cholesterol just because it looks and tastes beautiful. It just means you are gaining those high triglycerides in a more subversive manner. Nabokov is brilliant. He doesn't want us to apply what he wrote to our everyday lives, just to his microcosm. It is an exercise in the exploration of obsession and lust. Not an exercise of your left hand. 

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