Thursday, April 1, 2021

Dear Ethicist: Out to Lunch

first U.S. issue of Penthouse, Sepember  l969

Dear Ethicist: Must I get someone’s permission before I have sexual fantasies about them? I practice "affirmative consent" and have never been comfortable with admiring varying people’s body parts or even admiring someone for their looks. However, sometimes I find myself daydreaming before I can catch myself. I’m so appalled by my thoughts that I try to supplant them with images like Moses smashing the Ten Commandments or Noah fleeing the flood. I don’t like to objectify human beings and treat them like slabs of beef in an abattoir. The humanity and complexity of the human animal is lost when you reduce them to pronouns like “they” for “him” or “her.” Synecdoche is the figure of speech in which the part is substituted for the whole. "The White House" for the presidency is an example. Fetishists often employ this fantasy when they get a glimpse of the undergarments they're wearing. I'm terrified that someone is going to find out what I’m thinking.

Out to Lunch


Dear Out to Lunch: Everyone has fantasies. You might see a “bust” at the museum or wonder about your alma mater’s “endowment.” I think you know where I’m going.


Dear Ethicist: If it’s where it sounds like, I’ll have to go to some place else for advice.

Read "White Meat, Breasts" by Francis Levy, The Evergreen Review



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