Sunday, April 12, 2020

What Are Sex Addicts Doing Now? Is Promiscuous Sex Still A Thing During The Pandemic?


Mike Huckabee's 10,000 square feet $6 million McMansion looks out over Walton County's Gulf Coast. Mother Jones reported that he's been complaining about people walking on his beach-- and says he once "saw a young couple strip naked and have sex on a YOLO board there at two in the afternoon. But now that the county has finally closed the beach and kicked out all the spring breakers as part of its pandemic response, Huckabee has sued the county because he can’t go out there either. I wonder if Huckabee wants to have sex on a YOLO board. Are people still having promiscuous sex with strangers? Dan Savage says NO-- No, No, No! "We're not supposed to come within six feet of anyone we don't live with, NR, which means you can't invite this guy over to play cribbage and/or fuck you senseless. If you wanted to invite this guy over to stay, you could shack up and wait out the lockdown together. But you can't invite him over just to play."

Brothels and prostitution are basically legal in Europe-- but not during the pandemic. Sex workers in countries like Holland and Germany-- most of them foreign-- are now unemployed and many also now homeless-- and unable to get home through closed borders. There were between 100,000 and 200,000 prostitutes-- 80% of them foreign, mainly from Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, and Ukraine-- working in Germany before the brothels were shut down in March along with other non-essential businesses like restaurants and nightclubs. Some of these sex workers are now are soliciting for clients on the streets to survive meet until brothels reopen.

Nevada has a similar story-- legal prostitution and, as of March 19, closed down brothels and strip clubs. Nevada's brothel industry brought in between $35 million and $50 million that year, and served about 400,000 clients. But there are sex workers everywhere across America. Are some of them disregarding social distancing and working now? Are some of their regular clients been driven by whatever drives them under non-pandemic circumstances?

On Tuesday, L.A.'s David Kordansky Gallery opens a month-long Tom of Finland exhibition-- online. They represent the Tom of Finland-- Touko Laaksonen-- estate and emphasize that the artist "has long been recognized as one of the 20th century’s great visual innovators. As he confronted the stigmas and stereotypes that long burdened homosexual desire, his depictions of empowered gay men fully enjoying their sexuality proved liberating on social and aesthetic levels alike. The sheer range of his influence on the culture at large is immeasurable. His work assumes a key role in the art historical discourse (Tom’s drawings are in the collections of institutions like The Museum of Modern Art, New York and regularly appear in museum shows throughout the world), while also occupying a place in every corner of the popular imagination."

Can an online exhibition of his erotic work serve as a substitute for sex? Or a provocation to go out and look for the real thing? I don't know. I asked the gallery's publicist. She didn't know either. I also asked a young friend of mine who is sexually active with strangers-- or was. He no longer uses Grindr and is strict about social distancing. But... he knows of underground parties in L.A. "Some people wear masks and gloves," he said.

Writing last week for the New Yorker Masha Gessen asked about lessons from the AIDS crisis that can be helpful today. Gessen-- who prefers the pronoun "they"-- wrote that "Over the past month, those of us who lived through the aids epidemic have searched for ways in which that experience can inform the covid-19 crisis. Do we know something that can be useful now? Can this knowledge help us survive?
Even in the middle of a nearly nationwide lockdown, at no level do we think of the pandemic as our problem. That allows the Supreme Court to rule that Wisconsin cannot extend its deadline for absentee ballots, deciding, in effect, that it’s the voters’ problem if they would not risk their health to go to the polls and the state didn’t have enough ballots for them. This is a problem not only on the right of the political spectrum-- back in March, Joe Biden’s campaign was encouraging voters to go to the polls, when he should have been imploring them to self-isolate.

Before it’s over, the pandemic will get much worse, and so will we. Then it will end. And, unless we start the work of noticing and remembering now, we will forget how low we went. We will assimilate the ways in which the virus has changed our perceptions. We will romanticize the heroism and ingenuity of people who were betrayed by their government, rather than confront the people responsible for the betrayal.

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At 9:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A perfect distillation of the American people and why they never demand "better":
"unless we start the work of noticing and remembering now, we will forget how low we went. We will assimilate the ways in which (our perceptions have changed)".

We go lower, then become comfy with it; then we go even lower...

take a breath. Then ponder how trump got elected and how biden is our best chance to beat him.

try to predict the ways in which we'll go even lower next time.

At 11:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, Let's do that.

First, Biden has promised that nothing will change significantly. Anything Trump has left unfinished is likely to be continued by Biden.

Trump's Cabinet of Crooks could be replaced with the list of wealthy criminals that Thomas Friedman proposes - except I don't see Mitt Romney accepting the post offered.

Biden has already promised to veto Medicare For All if it somehow got through the corporatist Congress.

Biden has promised -as Trump has- to cut or eliminate Social Security and Medicare.

Biden has already demonstrated a strong fealty to corporate interests, which is why your credit card can cost you 29% in interest and you can't declare bankruptcy nearly as easily as corporations can.

Biden has fewer rape allegations than Trump, but that is only a difference in frequency.

When the time comes for the radical reactionaries to demand that the working class pay off the recently-passed stimulus which benefits the already-wealthy, Biden will be promoting austerity to be imposed on anyone not wealthy. The "Democrats" in Congress will vote for this overwhelmingly.

Biden will only nominate jurists to SCOTUS that his Republican friends would approve.

And so much more.

Is that low enough for a first Biden term for you?


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