Saturday, April 02, 2005

Sexual perversion

Considering this as the topic of my master's thesis. For the moment, trying to find out if there's a word for people who have sex with furniture. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Why would I need such a word? Well, the theory I want to posit is that only certain things can constitute sexual perversion, and they're implicitly defined by the current paradigm.

Let's unpick that last clause. Depending on whether you inhabit ancient Greece or late 1990s United Kingdom, if you were the stereotypical inhabitant of that era, you'd have different views on whether pederasty, bestiality and necrophilia were bad things or not. It's unlikely, I feel, that many of the men on the Clapham omnibus/Athens chariot would have a view as to whether sex with furniture was wrong, and less so that they'd even have a view on its possibility. That is, perversion (generally derogated by society at large) is only comprehensible within certain bounds. These bounds move around from time to time, so some things get to count as sexual behaviour in certain societies and not at all in others.

What I'm concerned about is that
a) I'll sound like a relativist, when I'm not sure that's what I am
b) that the above example might suggest I condone such behaviours (and that therefore somebody will be round to break my windows)

{Need to say something about what constitutes acceptable perversion / deviation from the norm - probably best to do with reference to Scandinavians/lesbians/female twin incest/sodomy and the various views presented in FHM... more later}


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