Sigmund Freud said there’s “a primary sexual drive that would not be ultimately curbed by law, education or standards of decorum.” Hell, anybody who’s ever had an “eyes across the room” moment knows that! The Beatles sang about it: My heart went Boom when I crossed that room. And yet the sexual revolution was launched to address “American religious repression, censorship, sexuality, and all manner of personal freedom,” as per Hugh Hefner’s “The Playboy Philosophy.” It wasn’t enough for Hefner to sell a girly magazine, he fancied himself a Knight-errant rescuing all from the clutches of prudery. For someone so concerned about repression he had a very strict dress code for the Playboy Bunnies. Their work attire was made up of a satin strapless bodysuit worn over a Merry Widow corset, men’s bow-tie and cuffs, bunny ears, black pantyhose, satin pumps and a fluffy cottontail. A cottontail? Good thing Elmer Fudd didn’t get past the bouncer. (Wabbits!) But seriously, wouldn’t you say Hefner was repressive? That no matter how much he pontificated about wanting to see women freed from puritanical sexual restraints, the real freedom he cared about was that his insecure male clientele be able to enjoy drop-dead gorgeous women subjugated by a humiliating get-up.
Was Sigmund Freud a libertine? A PBS presentation Program 2 – Libido, includes this:
Narrator: Although he was called a sexual libertine, in his private life, Freud was a typical
straight-laced member of the middle class. He had six children with his wife, Martha, and found true pleasure in family life.
Freud: We psychoanalysts are unable to see anything forbidden or sinful in sexual satisfaction. But it must be said to believe that psychoanalysis seeks a cure for neurotic disorders by giving a free reign to sexuality is a serious misunderstanding, which can only be excused by ignorance …The making conscious of repressed sexual desires in analysis makes it possible to obtain a mastery over them. It can be said that analysis sets the neurotic free from the chains of his sexuality.
So, in simple terms Freud felt that sex is nothing to be ashamed of and keeping subconscious sexual issues bottled up inside because you’re embarrassed, rather than talking things out, is unnecessary and may lead to problems—not that he advocated debauchery. Speaking of unresolved subconscious issues, how would a scene with Hugh Hefner “on the couch” go?
Freud: Und zo, Herr Hefner, you like to zee die fräulein dressed up like das kaninchen?
Hugh taps his pipe against his shoe, ashes fall on the rug, he gives a thin smile.
Hugh: Um, Heineken?
Freud: Nein, nein! Die women dress as rabbits mit baumwollschwanz… (Freud pantomimes making a snowball and sticking it on his behind) … with, with cottontail on die hinterbacken!
Hugh: Oh, that. Well, it’s not like I shoot them.
Back to my original, somewhat tongue-in-cheek observation: Since human desire is such a force on its own (my heart went boom), did anybody really need to ride to its rescue? Doesn’t it make more sense to have brakes than no brakes, even if, truth be told, we are more likely to tap them than slam them on? And in the large scheme of things, doesn’t tapping have merit? Fire and brimstone preachers have merit too, even though nobody really listens to them, and the wise ones know it. But it’s good to rattle the rafters now and then to make up for our (sometimes delightfully) sinful natures, to even things out, to put things on an even keel. And to make sure that “Do the right thing!” always has a place at the table. Had. There was a seismic change fifty years ago.
It’s my opinion that the beginning of the end of the hippie movement can be pinpointed to when the “Summer of Love” resulted in a bunch of hippie chicks getting pregnant, and their hippie dudes exclaiming excitedly: “Cool! You get to give birth in a teepee!” and from coast-to-coast gals in their peasant blouses and love beads all issued a collective Eh?? And then put their foot down. “You’re going to be a father. Get a job. Cut your hair. Do the right thing!” And most of them did. But in 1973 it changed. Then they said: “Me get a job? Nah, you get an abortion.” So much for peace and love.
There was a time when the dirty magazines were kept in the back of the store. A forbidden library of adult mysteries tightly locked away from the eyes of curious children, right? Not really. The shopkeeper would notice three or four recent arrivals to puberty saunter in with faux nonchalance and hands in pockets. He smiles and checks his watch. The boys, not daring to look around, ease their way to the back of the store. In a tight huddle they pour over the pictures of Naked Ladies! Mind you it was cheesecake, not, oh … rape, bondage, and cannibalism! Or a “sexual revolution” manifesto. After five minutes the shopkeeper yells with faux bluster: “Hey, that’s not for you! Get outta my store!” and the kids run off, perhaps as excited by being caught and then escaping as by the taboo itself. But they got the message. This peer group sex education included us girls by way of the boys using dirty words around us with bravado (we ran home giggling “Stupid boys!”). They got the message. I remember one particularly scatologically gifted youngster who was called “Sudsy” because his mouth was washed out with soap so often, or so the story goes. This makeshift sex education would offend today’s left-wing-agenda-driven schoolboards; an important element in social development left to knowing shopkeepers, kids like Sudsy, and giggling girls? Why, it’s criminally negligent! So now the dirty magazines aren’t in the back of the store, they’re on school library shelves. As if internet pornography doesn’t do enough damage. And teachers indoctrinating little kids, who still think adults are God, with outlandish and confusing gender categories? It’s the very definition of Satan: unlimited resources and respect for nothing. Slam the brakes on that.
In other news, no one need fear that the sex drive will ever become a damsel in distress needing rescue. Boom!