“Some obstacle is necessary to swell the tide of the libido to its height . . . In times during which no obstacles to sexual satisfaction existed, such as, may be, during the decline of the civilizations of antiquity, love became worthless, life became empty, and strong reaction-formations were necessary before the indispensable emotional value of love could be recovered.”
This helps explain why modern American culture is so pornographic on
its surface but so unsexy. It may be the least sexy culture in
the history of civilization. It occurs to me that the attraction
to Victorian style, visible in sub-cultures like steampunk, may be a
nascent reaction-formation to the dead sexuality of modern pop culture.
Would downloading the Paris Hilton sex video on a steampunk computer (like the one below, courtesy ofBoing Boing) be somehow more erotic than downloading it on a regular laptop? Would it miraculously become “naughty” instead of soul-killing?
Do we envy the Victorians for the very concept of “naughtiness”?