Pickled Politics






  • Family

    • Clairwil
    • Daily Rhino
    • Katy Newton
    • Leon Green
    • Sajini W
    • Sid's blog
    • Sonia Afroz
    • Sunny on CIF
  • Comrades

    • Aqoul
    • Blairwatch
    • Bloggerheads
    • Blood & Treasure
    • Butterflies & Wheels
    • Catalyst magazine
    • Chicken Yoghurt
    • Clive Davis
    • Comment is Free
    • Curious Hamster
    • Daily Mail Watch
    • Dr StrangeLove
    • Eteraz: States of Islam
    • Europhobia
    • Faith in Society
    • Harry's Place
    • Indigo Jo
    • Jew 90
    • Liberal England
    • Liberal Review
    • Matt Murrell
    • MediaWatchWatch
    • Ministry of Truth
    • New Humanist Editor
    • Progressive Islam
    • Robert Sharp
    • Septicisle
    • Shiraz Socialist
    • Shuggy's Blog
    • Stumbling and Mumbling
    • Tasneem Khalil
    • The Other India
    • The Sharpener
    • The UK Today
    • Tim Worstall
    • UK Polling Report
    • WebCameron
  • In-laws

    • Desi Pundit
    • Incurable Hippie
    • Isheeta
    • Neha Viswanathan
    • Power of Choice
    • Real man's fraternity
    • Route 79
    • Sakshi Juneja
    • Sepia Mutiny
    • Smalltown Scribbles
    • Sonia Faleiro
    • Turban Head
    • Ultrabrown





  • Site Meter

    Let’s talk about sex, baby (part 1)


    by Sunny on 11th January, 2007 at 9:03 am    

    I read a brilliant article today in the journal Atlantic Monthly. It’s one of those you have to savour and re-read to understand its implications fully. Rohin is the resident expert and writer extraordinaire on the subject of sex, but given that sex is never far away from politics it’s surprising we don’t talk of it here more often. Here’s to changing that.

    Anyway the subject here is that of ‘girly mags’, more specifically a look at Playboy magazine, it’s impact and what it stood for.

    In a 1963 account of his visit to the Chicago Playboy mansion, Nelson Algren wrote, “However paradoxical it may appear, the young male who assumes early that physical relationships with women are part of life is more likely to develop respect toward women than is the young male who abstains from such relationships.” He meant it as no compliment to his host, adding that Playboy “does not sell sex. It sells a way out of sex.”

    These first few paragraphs struck me and I may buy this issue for the article as it seems the rest is only available to subscribers. It goes on to talk about the current crop of lads mags and how they differ from Playboy.

    But the above paragraph is interesting because of the way it relates to Asian parents. Mine raised me up not to fear or avoid women but to at least try and focus on studies instead until I was old enough to marry. It was a losing battle of course. But I do see that many other Asian parents instill such a fear of being in contact with or dating the opposite sex before marriage that their children become completely socially inept around them in later life. Or develop a condescending attitude towards them (or both).

    A (female) friend wrote to me recently saying that some of her friends who had been raised not to have close contact with men had become almost neurotic about the issue. It had become the big elephant in the room no one was supposed to talk about but had attained almost mythical status.

    And it isn’t any different for Asian guys. I only see the younger and more sexually liberated pondering questions about how to please a woman in bed. The older generation seemed to think that marriage was simply a transition from one woman looking after them to another. Too many still seem to think that. I call them mummy’s boys. Good pre-marital sex changes all that shit, and for the better too in so many ways.

    With Asian parents it’s easier to suggest the idea of voluntarily injecting yourself with the Ebola virus than float the idea that its important to develop healthy platonic and non-platonic relations with the opposite sex just to understand them better.

    And lastly although many feminists hate pornography for valid reasons, the article points out later that Playboy was much more deeper than that. Too bad though it gave rise to the current crop of absolute trashy lads mags. And although I still haven’t read a single issue (I promise!), god bless Playboy magazine for playing its part in the sexual liberation revolution.



      |   Add to del.icio.us   |   Digg this   |   Filed under: Culture, Sex equality




    50 Comments   |  


    1. Ravi Naik — on 11th January, 2007 at 11:07 am  

      >> Mine raised me up not to fear or avoid women but to at least try and focus on studies instead until I was old enough to marry.

      That was my mother. My father was quite the opposite, and would tell me about his conquests when he was young, perhaps with the hope I would follow suit. But with my sisters it was another story: they had to wait until marriage.

      I don’t think it is true that you have more respect for women if you have sex at a younger age. But you are likely to be more experienced. And that can be a big plus in an age where every woman knows or has heard about the “Big-O”, and expect men to be experienced. They also know 100 ways to please men and several blowjob techniques, thanks to women magazines.

    2. Bert Preast — on 11th January, 2007 at 11:08 am  

      Surely praising Playboy for sexual liberation is a rather anglocentric view? The Scandis and Dutchies were producing far more interesting publications long before Playboy got going.

    3. Kismet Hardy — on 11th January, 2007 at 11:43 am  

      A load of cobblers. Playboy was a superb magazine in its heydey for its superior features and articles written by all the top authors from Hunter S Thompson to Stephen King, but the essence of it was always the same: the best girls are blonde and with big tits

      That arsewipe Hugh makes them dress like bunnies for crying out loud

      It’s degrading now, but it was far, far more degrading back then

      How you equate this with parents being more open with their children about sexuality boggles the mind

      My daughter has started wearing her first training bra. I talk to her about the female form, breasts, periods, boys, anything she wants to know, because I think sexuality is a big thing for a littler girl to come to grips with and she should be shown that her body is not something to be ashamed of. That she shouldn’t use it as a weapon or currency to get what she wants from boys.

      How would that help if I showed her pictures of airbrushed naked women sticking their legs up in the air for one reason and one reason alone: gratifying men

      It’s sick and you should know it

    4. Kismet Hardy — on 11th January, 2007 at 11:54 am  

      “In a 1963 account of his visit to the Chicago Playboy mansion, Nelson Algren wrote…”

      And his sycophantic warblings had nothing to do with the chicks & drugs Hugh offered him at this party…

    5. Bert Preast — on 11th January, 2007 at 12:19 pm  

      Blimey. Kismet never fails to shock.

      I think what Playboy et al did that’s important is bring sex and discussion of sex out into the open. I don’t think it was ever intended to be shown to prepubescents as sex education.

    6. Kismet Hardy — on 11th January, 2007 at 12:27 pm  

      “I think what Playboy et al did that’s important is bring sex and discussion of sex out into the open”

      It’s poetic to think the makers did it because they were championing sexual liberties but we know that’s bollocks

      It was about men making money from other men that treat women as sex objects

      I have much more respect for hardcore porn that doesn’t pretend to be anything but degrading

    7. Kismet Hardy — on 11th January, 2007 at 12:30 pm  

      It’s bizarre isn’t it? On one thread you’re all cussing Maggie T for forcing women to be more like men to get by in life, here you are championing women looking pretty, naked and available for men

      What year is this exactly?

    8. Bert Preast — on 11th January, 2007 at 1:12 pm  

      Kismet - I’d never deny that Playboy was a money making exercise. But there were some useful side effects so the end justifies the motivation.

      Pornography has always been around and in the west before proper publishing was represented by photos of prostitutes which young men would try to steal from each other. I remember reading how in WW2 Spike Milligan lost his kitbag, containing such a photo looted from a dead German soldier. He was gutted, as he had intended to forward the dead man’s effects to his family. “now his mother would never clutch that photo of three people screwing to her bosom and say ‘ach, mein poor son’”.

    9. Kismet Hardy — on 11th January, 2007 at 1:31 pm  

      I like porn. Because I’m a bloke that can’t get beautiful women. It’s just that comments like ‘god bless Playboy magazine for playing its part in the sexual liberation revolution’ makes me ill

    10. Billy — on 11th January, 2007 at 2:42 pm  

      Bunnies aren’t very sexy.

    11. Kismet Hardy — on 11th January, 2007 at 2:55 pm  

      You can’t say that until you’ve seen the hardcore duracell collection

    12. fotzepolitic — on 11th January, 2007 at 3:45 pm  

      Playboy and porn and early sexual activity notwithstanding, I think the overall point is good — because I was a bit of a tomboy, I had male friends at a younger age than all my female friends, and I also started dating much later than they did. I think there’s a lot to be said for just normalizing male-female interactions and getting to know how the opposite sex works, and I DO think that leads to healthier relationships later on. ‘Tis better to hang out together than spend your teen years getting all your misinformation from girly teen mags and porn rags. I think even now too many adults think that the opposite sex is a totally different species.

    13. Kismet Hardy — on 11th January, 2007 at 3:53 pm  

      Maybe I’ve gone blind through too much wanking, but I can’t see how the astute comment above can be lumped in the same heading as porn. If this is a topic about, as you say, the interaction between the two species, I can’t for the life of me work out how a degrading pornographic magazine ‘normalises male-female interactions’

      Baffled

    14. Chris Stiles — on 11th January, 2007 at 4:35 pm  


      I can’t for the life of me work out how a degrading pornographic magazine ‘normalises male-female interactions’

      It just triggered that association for Sunny :D

      Perhaps we are better off talking about the normalisation issue - but i suspect we’d end up violently agreeing.

    15. Chris Stiles — on 11th January, 2007 at 4:37 pm  


      And although I still haven’t read a single issue (I promise!), god bless Playboy magazine for playing its part in the sexual liberation revolution.

      Actually, I’d disagree with this premise - I’d say Playboy was just taking the values of the 50s (Eisenhower America) and clothing it in the values of the 60s - so subversively conservative.

    16. Chairwoman — on 11th January, 2007 at 5:05 pm  

      You’re all looking at Playboy with’now’ eyes. Therefore, totally out of context with its origins.

      We all, men and women alike, were fascinated by Playboy, I’m talking about the 60s BTW, men looked at the not really very revealing pictures, we all read the articles. They were showing a new direction. One where men did not think that women who went to bed with them were ‘damaged goods’, where only whores engaged in any sexual activity that differed from the missionary position. And it gave women permission to enjoy sex.

      Playboy Bunnies were not despised, they were admired. Girls wanted to be Bunnies. Couples visited the Playboy Club in Park Lane just as much as groups of men. It was a good night out.

      Germaine Greer and her cronies changed all this. As far as I was concerned, Women’s Liberation was about equal opportunities and equal rights, but a whole load of people hijacked it and turned it into being unattractive and strident. Stridency in both sexes is unpleasant. As for bra burning, it has been my experience that men actually prefer women without them, so that was a political waste of time too.

    17. Kismet Hardy — on 11th January, 2007 at 5:12 pm  

      Permission is the right word, Chairwoman. Marianne Faithful, Janice Joplin, Nico et al gave women ‘permission’ to enjoy sex. They went out there and did things their way. Playboy gave women a standard to live up to if they wanted to be seen as sexual. That’s the difference between women’s liberation and permission from men.

    18. Kismet Hardy — on 11th January, 2007 at 5:22 pm  

      “Playboy Bunnies were not despised, they were admired. Girls wanted to be Bunnies.”

      Lots of girls want to be WAGs these days. That’s not a good thing, hon

    19. ZinZin — on 11th January, 2007 at 5:23 pm  

      Sorry Sunny but the sexual revolution has not been a good thing.

    20. Chairwoman — on 11th January, 2007 at 5:43 pm  

      Darling Kismet, I am of the same generation as Marianne Faithful, Nico and Janis Joplin. We were after Playboy. their behaviour was not exceptional, only who they did it with was. I’m really sorry to dispute with you, but nobody idolised or tried to look like Playmate of the Month, this brainless aping celebrities is what happens now, not what happened then. We knew the difference between real life and fanasy. As I’ve said before here, celebrities went shopping, walked down Oxford Street, even took the tube. They were part of society. they didn’t live in isolation as they do today.

      As for Playboy Bunnies, they had well paid jobs. They weren’t hookers, they certainly werent WAGS.

      Your heart’s in the right place, and I’ve agreed with most of what you’ve said, but you are wrong on this point, but as you weren’t around then, you can’t know this. It’s interesting to see history rewritten in ones lifetime.

    21. Don — on 11th January, 2007 at 5:54 pm  

      A Playboy Bunny as compared to Janice? A Procrustean bed as compared to an unmade one in the Chelsea Hotel.

      And clenching your fist for the ones like us
      Who are oppressed by the figures of beauty,
      You fixed yourself, you said, “well never mind,
      We are ugly but we have the music.”

      http://www.lyricsfreak.com/l/leonard+cohen/chelsea+hotel+no+2_10164584.html

    22. Bert Preast — on 11th January, 2007 at 6:14 pm  

      Chairwoman wrote: “We all, men and women alike, were fascinated by Playboy … men looked at the not really very revealing pictures”

      And women didn’t? Come on, own up. All the women I know find other women’s bodies almost as interesting as men do. Though admittedly for differing reasons.

      Kismet 17# - Mate, if coming out with stuff like that doesn’t get you laid, nothing will. Bang on.

    23. El Cid — on 11th January, 2007 at 10:11 pm  

      Kismet, top man.
      Let the comedy mask drop, and there’s real gravitas.
      Well said #17.
      It was #3 that caught my eye though.
      I have this fear of my daughter reaching pubescence and me being a shit dad. I’ve had since she as born.
      I’m a sexual animal — ok, maybe that’s not entirely true — but when it comes to my kids I’m surprisingly prudish.
      My eldest — a boy — is coming up to 9 and I kinda guess that knowledge of the birds and the bees are .. what.. a couple of years away, if that? But how can you stagger sex education in house in house full of kids? I reckon I worry about it too much. I can’t even allow Eastenders on the box anymore because Stacey, a teenge character, is banging her ex-boy friend’s dad — a storyline I object to.
      Kismet, I hope you have an advice line open over the next 5-10 years. I might ring it even if it’s premium rate.
      Or should I hide and let my wife deal with it?

    24. El Cid — on 11th January, 2007 at 10:14 pm  

      God, fucking typos! Still, I’m sure you can work out what I’m saying

    25. ZinZin — on 11th January, 2007 at 10:22 pm  

      The birds shit and the bees sting.

    26. ZinZin — on 11th January, 2007 at 10:25 pm  

      “However paradoxical it may appear, the young male who assumes early that physical relationships with women are part of life is more likely to develop respect toward women than is the young male who abstains from such relationships.”

      No its not paradoxical its plain wrong. Womanisers have no respect for women at all.

      Good points Kismet.

    27. El Cid — on 11th January, 2007 at 10:39 pm  

      That’s right ZinZin, sex with British tourists is also very important to the Spanish economy

    28. ZinZin — on 11th January, 2007 at 10:52 pm  

      Post 25 is how my conservative catholic dad deals with the facts of life.

      Let them watch wildlife programmes that should deal with the problem.

    29. Galloise Blonde — on 11th January, 2007 at 11:00 pm  

      Chairwoman, bra burning is an urban legend and if you want to blame someone for questioning the sexual revolution you should be talking about Susan Brownmiller, not Aunty Germaine. Anyway: has everyone seen this? Ex-Playmate Reveals Playboy Mansion Secrets. It’s pretty sordid.

      Anyway, Kismet: brilliant.

    30. Chairwoman — on 11th January, 2007 at 11:33 pm  

      Galloise Blonde - How old are you sweetie, were you actually around in the 60s as I was.

      Foolish women, mainly in the US, held public bra burnings. If I’ve seen it with my own eyes, it ain’t an urban myth.

      Yes the Playboy Mansion was, and still is, appalling, but that was not the issue.

      I am really fed up with people who were barely twinkles in their parents eyes 40 years ago trying to tell me that things I saw happening, and attitudes people had, didn’t exist.

    31. Galloise Blonde — on 12th January, 2007 at 12:22 am  

      I’m 35 (it’s actually my birthday today), so I have to rely on the books and articles written by the feminists of the time. The phrase ‘bra burning’ goes back to 1968 in a column by humourist Art Buchwald, apparently, written before the Miss World demo of 1968. There were no bras burned at Atlantic City according to the participants. So…if there were bras burned, they would have come after this, at the turn of the decade and in the early 70s, by later women’s organisations who mixed up the media characterisation with the movement. I’ve been looking for a contemporary photo, but I haven’t managed to find one.

      Anyway,

      As for bra burning, it has been my experience that men actually prefer women without them, so that was a political waste of time too.

      Do you think the motivation to burn bras was to be unnattractive to men? In ‘68, there was a bin full of girdles, stockings and bras but the point was as much that these garments were constricting, uncomfortable and unnatural as anything else. (I used to help my grandma into a girdle of this vintage and it does seem more like something you’d wear after surgery than something you’d wear to feel comfortable and sexy in.) And honestly, whether in bustles, bras or burqas, men fancy women and vice versa, and you can’t do much about it (and why would you want to?)

    32. Galloise Blonde — on 12th January, 2007 at 12:32 am  

      Erratum: Line 4 - For Miss World, read Miss America.

    33. Sid Love — on 12th January, 2007 at 1:23 am  

      Maybe I’ve gone blind through too much wanking

      And what source material did you use for said wanking? Garderners Weekly?

    34. Leon — on 12th January, 2007 at 2:13 am  

      As for bra burning, it has been my experience that men actually prefer women without them, so that was a political waste of time too.

      Well said and there in lay the problem when a set of politics becomes so serious it can see it’s own irony.

    35. Chairwoman — on 12th January, 2007 at 8:50 am  

      Galloise Blonde - Happy Birthday.

      The thing that actually liberated us most, garmentwise, was tights. That was what did away with girdles and discomfort, and what freed us to wear short skirts. I genuinely felt empowered by tights, but not wearing a bra just made me feel… wobbly.

      One thing though, a woman wearing a corset did not get back problems. She was constantly supported. She also had good posture. Both my grandmothers, women born in the 19th century, found being without their corsets anywhere but bed, extremely uncomfortable.

    36. Ravi Naik — on 12th January, 2007 at 11:20 am  

      The conventional wisdom is that girly magazines degrade women. However, one could see it as women exploiting man’s weakness in sex. Playboy magazine just saw a business opportunity.

      And there is another point. While these magazines and porn feed our fantasies, they don’t make us good lovers or give us better understanding of women. If anything, it gives us false expectations and a distorted view of sexuality. As long as you understand that (most adults do), then that is fine.

    37. Kismet Hardy — on 12th January, 2007 at 11:24 am  

      Sid Love, I’m offended at your suggestion that I’m a hypocrite. That despite banging on about the heresies of pornography, that I must have a stash at home that I use to masturbate over. You make me sick. For your information, I do all my wanking whilst holding a pair of binculours and spying in through the windows of the shower rooms of my local YWCA

      Shame on you for being so presumptuous!

    38. El Cid — on 12th January, 2007 at 1:01 pm  

      I’ve got nothing against porn. It serves a function.
      Tired businessman in hotel gets horn, bungs on premium service, knocks one off, goes to sleep, ready for the next day.
      Or adolescent boy with surging testosterone levels — at least it keeps him occupied and calms him down.. for a bit anyway.
      It’s nothing worth crowing about though is it?
      Hardly compares with the real McCoy.
      And who said men don’t like bras and stuff. Of course they do — apart from that minging flesh-coloured variety, yuk. They just like to take them off too.

    39. Kismet Hardy — on 12th January, 2007 at 1:18 pm  

      I remember the good old-fashioned bras. One deft flick and it was all out in the open, including the impressed lady’s jaw. Ones these days have these imbedded hooks that you need to grapple with and she’s never impressed anymore

    40. Anas — on 12th January, 2007 at 1:35 pm  

      :(

      Just heard that Robert Anton Wilson, former Playboy editor, counter-cultural icon, and one of the finest and most astute thinkers of the 20th century has died:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Anton_Wilson

      RIP Bob

    41. Chairwoman — on 12th January, 2007 at 1:42 pm  

      El Cid - next time I look at my cable bill and find that Dmitri has treated himself to ‘Lush ladies on ladies’ at £4.99 at my expense, I’ll just smile an understandin little smile, OK.

    42. Anas — on 12th January, 2007 at 1:42 pm  

      Here’s an interesting excerpt from RAW’s Ishtar Rising that I think is pertinent to this thread:

      http://s89215971.onlinehome.us/ishtar.shtml

    43. Fe'reeha — on 12th January, 2007 at 1:47 pm  

      I think you have raised a very interesting point here Sunny. More exposure and a broader vision would result in more respect for women. For imstance in Afghanistan and NWFP area of Pakistan, where a woman would hardly be seen walking alone in the area, men would think any woman without her head covered is a slut. There have been frequent incidents of uncalled for attention, at times physical in the area only because women are looked down on and are expected to be at home cooking and cleaning and rasing children. This is precisely where the ancient cultural mixed up version of fundamental interpretation of treatment of women comes from in Islam and even in Roman Chatholic teachings.
      Gradually as you would move towards the more liberal cities of Lahore and then Karachi in Pakistan, the attitudes would change with women wearing western clothes, but a woman can still NOT walk safely in skirts in any part of the country. Parts of India are probably better but situation is even worse in Bangladesh, so probably one of the major reasons for men of older Asian generations was not only to have a new maid in place of mummy maid but also to see a naked woman for real as well. But I doubt that by ogling at playboy’s dispicable images, the atiitudes can be changed.

    44. El Cid — on 12th January, 2007 at 7:22 pm  

      Just realised I referred to “flesh-coloured” bras. How quaint. Of course, I meant that horrible beige that works badly on light brown skin, but especially pink skin. *shivers*
      But of course flesh coloured can also be dark brown. I guess chocolate-coloured bras are also unkind on the eyes but have never seen them before.
      Apols to my black/drak brown brethren for my faux pax (I wonder how many of you didn’t notice, eh?)

    45. William — on 12th January, 2007 at 7:23 pm  

      Youths being educated and experienced about sex is fine as long as it’s the right education. That which emphasises that it is mutual exchange of love or affection which is a whole body mind not just genital ding dong.
      Also that both boys and girls can be free to make the first move and either can refuse and either must accept that refusal.

      We, that is my group of mates etc at the beginning of the 70’s were uninformed ill prepared for the lusting peer pressured chaos we embarked on and I am talking about both boys and girls. We were just such neurotic novices. Did you get a feel! who with, can we watch next time! Or just shag my friend and we’ll watch. The request to watch also came from the girls. (It didn’t actually happen) It was like a hurdle race the winner is a grown up. I hope it is different now. Like youth can feel relaxed about it in a way we definitely were not and just do it if it feels right with the right person.

    46. Leon — on 12th January, 2007 at 7:27 pm  

      I hope it is different now

      Knowing this country it’s probably worse now.

    47. William — on 12th January, 2007 at 7:35 pm  

      As for Playboy in the 60’s it doesn’t matter whether the men were just initiating open mindedness on sex or not they will just conjure up images of the post war neatly styled short haired chested male and be seen as wanting to dominate and objectify women.

      However Lad’s mags are far worse. They are amongst the biggest load of tosh ever published. Even the design and layout lacks the lustre you’d expect from emotional imbeciles.

    48. William — on 12th January, 2007 at 7:41 pm  

      Just to mention. I have had a few Asian freinds over the year including one or two platonic freindships with Asian women. None of them seemed particularly naive about sex at least from how they talk.

    49. William — on 13th January, 2007 at 10:43 am  

      Kismet

      “I remember the good old-fashioned bras. One deft flick and it was all out in the open, including the impressed lady’s jaw. Ones these days have these imbedded hooks that you need to grapple with and she’s never impressed anymore ”

      Try this. Hold the hook part of the bra strap between forefinger and middle finger near to the metal of the hook. Twist the bra and pull it slightly away from the body at the same time. As this happpens flick the hook holders out of the hooks with the back/tip end of the thumb. Took some practice but usually works for me.

    50. Gina — on 14th January, 2007 at 4:05 pm  

      Just to mention. I have had a few Asian freinds over the year including one or two platonic freindships with Asian women. None of them seemed particularly naive about sex at least from how they talk

      Yes William, but that’s the difference between reality as you have experienced it, and blockheads who can only conceive of and perceive the world on the basis of blocks of stereotypes that they juggle and think they are being insightful about.

    Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

    Pickled Politics © Copyright 2005 - 2007. All rights reserved. Terms and conditions.
    With the help of PHP and Wordpress.