Being a romantic, a sensualist and believer in the concept of Eros; I can attest that points of view are always in the eye of the beholder. Men and women classically and within a neo-classical context have different boundaries and litmuses for self-expression…what we deem sensual, sexy, provocative, and erotic in one another varies with whim, wit, swagger, determination and passion. Ultimately, some believe that it changes with leather, latex, lace, fantasy, and time- yet, it is all peppered with innuendo whether subtle or overt.
The human condition allows us to perceive with regularity and with some trite (read: biased) inconsistency what culture with a capital 'C' deems acceptable. Culture allows for adornment a pre-cursor to both, at thread and needle, it allows for garments, pigments and jewelry to serve as accouterments and portals to eros @ the Devine and sublime. Sex as verb, is one of the few universal pinnacles that man and woman can partake in regardless of worldly possessions or status. To adorn is to paint ones character with style, how this transcends and lends itself to adoration and in some instances can cross over into objectification is another matter all together. We (man and woman) are both guilty of posturing for pleasure and omit the dance that allows eros to run free in our veins. The agency of self is best served at flesh, carnally biased to taste, position, and chase--all the while being allowed to commune within one another.
Recently, I just had to Hulu two movies that moved me to this point of conversation, the place where I think-- they inspired me to share and lend thoughts accordingly. Subtly Sexual and Kama Sutra left me thinking about sex, fucking and how we manipulate one another as males and females of our species. We play with meat in so many different ways and yet we want to be received in a much different light from where our Id looses control and the animal within relinquishes that which is above.
Though they may seem to sit on the opposite ends of the spectrum, they have valid points when addressing boundary and how we intertwine sex with gender. When Eros and Adoration are healthy that is, when we move past the Japanese stage of Noh, to a place where masks are not required…Sex is good. Here, adornment can rest with objectification and fantasy is allowed to freely propagate on Egyptian cotton pillows and w/in Chinese silk sheets rich with Indian patterns and dyes. This is the place where lust is healthy b/c it does not diminish whim, wit, swagger, determination and passion…this is 'to sex' without boundary.
In a much more contemporary context, we can look at adornment and see how adoration is accepted culturally and how objectification can be received as a result of not understanding the frequency that a Culture resonates in. As a provocateur of sex (as a verb), I won't get to caught up in the edicts of Steinem bra burning nor will I get lost in the worlds of Archie and Edith Bunker. But I will speak from a male prospective for it is where my point is best endowed.
I am from NYC...this is true-- and at home, I don't do 'the Risky Business' like Tom Cruise, replete w/ lip-synching to rock-n-roll while sporting tighty whities and socks, and I don't really enjoy quiche nor do I listen to that much Ralph Tresvant for that matter. However, every man has to bear the cross of the hapless romantic, the one to initiate conversation, romance and the like. The scales in which adoration and objectification rest are sometimes unequal but these are the ones we are required to work with and the ones which we must place our measures on.
The wild and crazy guys of the 1970's and 1980's are a redux to the 1990's. Presently, millennial's the demographic after [x & y] have it even worse with body washes, bromances, body mods, tweets, grooming kits, sexting, and H&M. Life for men has gone from Randy to Dandy in a flash; All without the hearty flavor of Chunky soup, it is all about Progresso now. (wow…) Men have gone from Retro-Sexual, to metro sexual, to carrying man-purses, all the while searching for the appropriate way to be received by women, our ideal copulatory partners.
Myself, I was raised with that old school sensibility of "Do what you do and if she likes you, she'll see you through…" , we lived in a town where swagger was not a marketing ploy but a certain 'je ne sais quoi' that accompanied a tight hair cut from the local barbershop. It was never that complicated. No three text messages before deciding to call, no worrying if I matched, no cute scarves, no tight French Toast inspired jackets it was just pure unfettered style that was not pre-packaged. If one were to create a modern Guernica homage to Picasso and paint it with denim, we would see it go from classic 501 blue to painter's pants with the hammer hook, to these form fitting super tights that are probably a bad ode to Mars Blackmon. (sigh…)
Over the past few years Macy's, Bloomingdales, Gap, AX, Banana Republic, and other clothiers for men have been getting rather anorexic in their need to keep up with couture. Fashion has become very non-egalitarian in the male arena, clothes for guys have gone from baggy to loose fit, to fitted, to tight, to scrawny sport (read: Ethiopian inspired slim). Anyhow, the clothiers and the garmentos that manufacture male wears have forgotten that aside from the CK wash boards abs there is the 'gut'. A well defined guy feature inspired by beer, booze, late night meals and the occasional Sunday NFL binge. Mens fashion should try it, return to all inclusive style.
These movies however portray the dance of adoration and objectification and illustrate what a man does @ the scent of a woman whether, perfumed, oiled, sweaty, erotic, musty or earthy. In Kama Sutra we see the art of seduction, as it is unveiled in the eros of touch, scents and the desires of undulating pleasure. Adoration and objectification mate like two snakes, intertwining and climbing the enchanted ladder.
"There is joy in three things; eating meat, riding meat and putting meat into meat."
-Raj, Kama Sutra
The Stone-cutter and Raj treat women with 'equal knowledge' of their erotic ability but with consequentially fatal differences in being thereby resulting in a death of wisdom. Ultimately, it was the understanding of Kama Sutra and it's application by a Courtesan coupled with the male understanding of meat that brought Raj and Kumar to their respective fates. Adoration in this instance is imbued by the overarching treason that objectification can at times yield.
Now if Strictly Sexual's main characters read the Kama Sutra it's effect yielded less fatalistic results and are more apparent w/in the opening scenes. Perception is a pivotal part of adoration, it is where adornment lives and if misunderstood or not appreciated (read: reciprocated) it can lead to objectification. Joe's expectations were in line with his situation while Stanny's ideals clashed with perception of men and women in it's entirety . The less apologetic Stanny placed more of his feelings on the line in this lustful era; where getting off is more important than the with whom you share the act with.
"Ok. You caught me. I mean, men are not the only ones who like to whack off like zoo monkeys. Why isn't it okay for girls to just like fucking? If you could have sex, once a week, no attachments, no expectations, just straight up fucking, would you?"
-Donna, Strictly Sexual
The modern and somewhat even keel of Strictly Sexual allowed guys to see female objectification replete w/tied hands, fetishes, pornography and ultimate male objectifier…'les dildo'. Stanny to a lesser extent finally understood 'when' that is, he actually understood, the point where adoration and objectification can become unhealthy…many women may be quick to quip or differ especially those who relate to the world via adornment (read: a sometimes sexually liberated lens), those who chive @ terms like: spooning, evolving friendships, public displays of affection, rules of engagement and rules of departure. But alas, in the quiche-less world of Joe and Stanny there are litmuses and old school edicts that hold true.
Flesh and male masculinity have defined the philosophy of Eros and how women have adorned their bodies for Ages. Women in turn define how men must be erotic, sensual, charismatic, and how they should hold their torches up high. Is this nothing new, or is this just the mips condition? Program-ability and conformity of the millennial generation is a bit extreme.
"You know real life, it ain't like the movies. Life is just a bunch of stories you go through and they all end sooner or later. But it's ok. I'm gonna go find my next story.
I hope you do the same..."-Stanny, Strictly Sexual
The Salon of Eros where the gallery's viewer is as important as the works on the wall, it must allow for Agency that is healthy parts kink + fetish, and not repressive to the imagination's ability to grow a relationship. Bromances and bondage aside, (grin…) we are tertiary, analogous, and complimentary to one another. To sex, is to adore in what we adorn without the zeal of an ambiguous prejudice or to codify shame. Our circumference as well as our reflection upon society should be fresh and unscathed by clinchéd innuendo. The bedroom of Agency, as well as the borders of the mind should remain unfettered and full of Style.