“You say you want a revolution . . . we don’t want to change the world.” But change the world we did . . . The sexual revolution that was taking place as I came of age in the 1960’s brought sweeping changes in the way men and women communicated with each other on the subject of sex. Prior to that transformative decade, from what I’ve gleaned from books and movies, the subject was never discussed openly. A subtle game of a cat-and- mouse power struggle had been going on for thousands of years, apparently, with men using their economic clout and women fighting back with all their emotions and their psycho-sexual manipulation. When men ran things socially and politically, women used sex to gain some sense of control. A very natural response, but the game went on in a vicious cycle as a result.
A prominent female psychiatrist of the 1930’s, and one of Freud’s followers, wrote a book about this war between men and women in which she tried to help the sexes overcome the power struggle that had been causing them so much pain. Most of this cultural apparatus was thrown aside in the sixties, which was a tremendous relief and which opened the way for more honesty about our sexual drives, needs, and fears. This new awareness of our libidos gave birth in turn to a greater understanding of our emotional lives. Revolution became evolution as women were allowed the freedom to enjoy sex and admit to their need for power and men were allowed to grow emotionally and admit to their vulnerabilities. Theoretically at least, all this psychological housecleaning cleared the way for more sensitive and loving relationships between human beings of whatever sexual orientation.
In the process, we Americans shed our puritanical attitudes towards the human body and its functions. However, by doing so we invited the many demons of perversity lurking in our subconscious to crawl out into the light. Another dark side of this revolution is hedonism and the narcissism that it has encouraged. I don’t think they’re going away any time soon, and I wonder if there’s a cure for al this self-indulgent pleasure seeking and sexual license, which are not healthy when taken to extremes. Freud believed that unleashing the id would lead to madness, and I agree with him.
In any event, I as an artist am grateful that we can once again admire and celebrate the divine beauty of the human body, just like the great artists of the Renaissance did, and I am not at all sorry that we’ve cast away the hypocrisy about our enjoyment of sex and our physical selves. Sensuality is both natural and positive. Eroticism is one of life’s true pleasures.
Causes Anthony Maulucci Supports
Greenpeace, Amnesty Inernational, American Cancer Society, Red Cross, Save the Children