Sex and difference

“A woman who wore a tight niqab was up for it,” says an Egyptian boy, justifying his views on the legitimacy of certain kinds of sexual harassment.

Sexuality is a great differentiator, with the extreme forms of fetish trending towards very culturally and temporally specific forms (from Egyptian boys perving on niqabis to Victorians playacting slaves in blackface to Japanese used panties vending machines).

The core biological function of the human body — something that should, in essence, be universal — is so regulated by cultural conditioning as to make one group’s turn-ons completely alien to another’s. This is why sexual regulation is so important to religion. A successful religion survives only if it has genuine cultural capital, a good stock of cultural memes. The intimate co-dependence on between (religious) regulation and (fetish) illegitimacy is shown in this Egyptian niqab example.

Is there another way of being happy with our sexuality? Yes, it is to fetishize difference (Deen) itself. Sex is always a differential: but there’s no reason why it ought to be locked down to a particular form of conditioning. It should be free, an instantaneous vector rather than a fixed measure. This is what is understood within Tantric systems of the past.

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2 thoughts on “Sex and difference

  1. I think every form of sexual conditioning has its own tantric possibilities. That said, I agree, the “locking down” to a particular form is unnecessary and maybe even harmful, especially if it is unconscious
    .

    1. You’re right — conditioning (at either the aeon of matter or the aeon of form) is necessary to tantra. It’s the locking down/unconscious aspect that means the subject is unable to navigate the map of his/her libido (kundalini) within whatever conditioned framework they’ve been incarnated. And then you get situations like these Egyptian guys harassing niqabis because their veils are too tight, etc.

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