Thursday, August 5, 2021

Pornosophy: Shame

"Thou shalt not" is the famous mantra of the Ten Commandments. Amongst these are "taking the name of the Lord thy God in vain" and "coveting thy neighbor’s wife." In modern life, heathens and sinners have no monopoly over the use of the word "godammit"and as for coveting it’s something covered under the rubric of "expression" by most therapists. Reading the menu and not ordering is what's usually recommended but there are all kinds of pardons that can be purchased. After all allowing the imagination free reign is regarded a blessing by most members of democratic societies. So where does shame figure in? Secular society exacts retribution for transgressions like murder, treason and theft. Disgrace is usually part of the punishment. In The Sorrow and the Pity, Marcel Ophuls records how women who had used their wiles to ingratiate themselves with the enemy faced public humiliation—by being paraded in public with shorn heads. Shame can also function on an intrapsychic level. Rightly or wrongly the fear of shame is what often prevents people from taking actions that challenge public mores. You don’t have to be a Jeffrey Epstein to be afraid of being discovered in the midst of some sort of scandal that breaks the bounds of propriety. When homosexuality was illegal and considered a vice, many men and women prevented themselves from fulfilling their desires for fear of being exposed or outed. Gay Pride is obviously the reverse of shame, but everyone has their little larceny, their fetish or their dark wish that, at the very least, runs against the way they wish to present themselves to the world. There's even something delicious and tantalizing in the notion there are still forbidden pleasures, as long as they don’t hurt anyone else.

Read "Sperm Count:What Turns You On?" by Francis Levy, HuffPost

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