Is it okay to be a pervert?
Am i perverted Thoughts on Law and Sexuality
Because it was maybe the last time to experience it, I went to the opening of the Life Ball on Rathausplatz this year and was overwhelmed by the dancers, singers, costumes and Conchita Wurst in all disguises. A week later, at the rainbow parade, I was overwhelmed by the multitude of beautifully dressed and almost naked people. I almost asked one of the men if I could run my fingertips over the curly fleece on his chest. Of course, while I was thinking about it, I was wondering if this was sexist. On the one hand because of the erotic aspect and on the other hand because it was a specifically male attribute that caught my attention.
Lust and the devil
In the word sexism is the word sex. And that pulls. Although this originally meant discrimination based on gender in working life, in public, in property relations, in political decisions and in family life, with the interpretation of sexual harassment as a sexist act, sex has also found its way into lust. And that pulls. Friedrich Schiller wrote: "The trick: Do you want to please the children of the world and the pious at the same time? Paint lust - just paint the devil!"
It does not have to be the devil right away, for a chaste occupation with lust it is sufficient to set up a diet of what is normal with whom and how often and what is perverse. Barry D. Adam stated in his book in 1995 The Rise of a Gay and LesbianMovement: "For gay liberation, there was no 'normal' or 'perverse' sexuality, only a world of sexual possibilities ranged against a repressive order of marriage, oedipal families, and compulsory heterosexuality" (quoted from Repnik, Ulrike: the history of the lesbian and gay movement in austria, Milena-Verlag Vienna 2006).
When there was no porn ...
Homosexuality and trans identity are now considered normal. In 1992 homosexuality was removed from the ICD catalog, the WHO's worldwide classification system for medical diagnoses. Sexually desiring the same sex and indulging in that desire no longer needs to be cured. But apparently one cannot completely leave sex to hopelessness.
At the 72nd World Health Assembly of the WHO from May 20 to 28, 2019 in Geneva, it was decided, among other innovations, to include compulsive sexual behavior in the ICD11 catalog, which is to apply from 2022, under the diagnosis code 6C72. And because the topic of sex sells well, numerous articles in features and boulevards were dedicated to precisely this innovation. The diagnosis should therefore be made if those affected cannot control intense, recurring sexual impulses over long periods of time and this affects their family or work life or social behavior. The wanker behind the bush? Not at all.
Porn addiction as social death
"Affected persons usually only seek professional help from a sex therapist or an addiction counseling service when their porn addiction, their visits to brothels or constant affairs have been 'exposed' and they have lost their job or partner as a result out to a 'normal', fulfilling sex life " (www.miss.at). Neither the consumption of porn nor visits to brothels nor affairs are criminally relevant, but if they are "exposed", it can cost jobs and social inclusion.
Didn't you have the same risk until relatively recently if it was "discovered" that you had homosexual contacts? I know this is completely different, but I'm not sure if it really is. When internet porn didn't exist, sexual masturbation was pathologized and linked to spinal muscular atrophy. Hands over the covers, was the code of conduct. Are behavioral instructions fundamentally different from behavioral interventions? Except that the specialists are no longer called pedagogues, but therapists?
Am i a woman Am i a man
In the course of a research, a cleanup trainer told me that the first question many customers asked was whether their behavior could already be attributed to the messie syndrome. Am i a messie Am I gay? Am i a woman Am i a man Am i perverted Am i addicted to sex? Is it love All of these terms are cultural constructions, are attempts to make empirical sensory perceptions communicable through language.
This inevitably results in blurring. With regard to love, for example, not only a creative leeway, but even the design requirement to filter out from this partly contradicting complex of meanings those aspects with which women / men / trans identify and which they / he / x for the apply personal lifestyle. This requirement is due to a heterogeneous global culture, but it can only be met in such a culture. The WHO, on the other hand, is an attempt at global homogenization using apparently neutral medical terms.
Seven orgasms a week too many?
Coming back to sex addiction, I gather from the flood of articles devoted to this new disease that Harvard Medical School psychiatrist Martin Kafka adopted Alfred Kinsey's 1948 definition of hypersexuality for assessing compulsive sexual behavior as a mental disorder. The piquancy is that precisely this hypersexuality was deleted from the US classification system of Psychiatry Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in 2015. Martin Kafka's definition of compulsive sexual behavior as a mental disorder is: seven orgasms per week for a period of at least six months.
Perhaps I am naive, one does not speak so directly about one's sexual habits and needs, allegedly often not even with sexual partners, but according to my modest knowledge, this definition should apply to quite a few adolescents who are in the juice. And with pathologization as a central cultural technique of the present, it is easy to unsettle those affected. Could it be that this creates the pressure of suffering that requires therapeutic intervention? Where a lot is criminalized, it needs many police officers, and where a lot is pathologized, many therapists. What is in the normal range beyond which pathologization and social exclusion are sanctioned?
Where a lot is pathologized ...
Despite the legal equality of homosexual and heterosexual connections, therapies for the conversion of homosexuals are still offered. They should be banned soon. Why are gays and lesbians not allowed to receive therapeutic support if they are suffering from their sexual orientation? Because the suffering comes from social discrimination. The previous year the German translation of Garrard Conley's book was published Boy Erased, this year it's filming. As the son of a Baptist preacher, the discovery of his homosexuality went hand in hand with so much agony, shame, feelings of guilt and social exclusion that he underwent a Christian re-education program from LIA (Love in Action) at the age of 19 in 2004.
The fact that it did not change anything in his desire leads to the assumption that therapy against sex addiction would not change anything in the type and intensity of the desire of those affected. The description of the brainwashing in the LIA camp is always depressing: At the lowest level of the hierarchy was the girl S., who was caught by her parents smearing peanut butter on her vulva as a treat for her dog. Conley quotes what the girl shakily read from a crumpled piece of paper during group therapy: "I entered into a sinful relationship with another girl. It was disgusting. Looking back, I only now realize how disgusting it was. That's why - that's why -. You kept his eyes closed. I think that's why it got this far ... to the dog. "
Perversion has a negative connotation
Even if it is doubtful that this interaction harmed the girl or the dog, it can hardly be denied that the term perverse could be used to describe it. In the course of my research I was warned: "Be careful not to associate homosexuality with perversion!" Perversion is a term with negative connotations that may not (no longer) be applied to homosexuality and transgender people. On zoophilia and fetishism, on the other hand, yes. Until 1969, sexualized love between men and with animals was forbidden in the same paragraph, the 175, in the Federal Republic of Germany. Austria followed suit two years later and deleted Section 129 I. On December 29, 2012, sexualized love for animals, this time as cruelty to animals, was once again made a criminal offense.
It should not be forgotten that the deletion of homosexuality as a disease from the ICD was not due to new medical knowledge, but to political pressure! It is no different with dog and man, and neither is it with compulsive sexual behavior. Physical secondary diseases such as substance-related addictions are not detectable!
In dubio pro libidine. (Christa Nebenführ, 3.8.2019)
Christa Nebenführ is an author and lives in Vienna.
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