Re-Sensitizing Wonderland: Is It Time For Alice To Go Home?
'Here!' cried Alice, quite forgetting in the flurry of the moment how large she had grown in the last few minutes, and she jumped up in such a hurry that she tipped over the jury-box with the edge of her skirt, upsetting all the jurymen on to the heads of the crowd below, and there they lay sprawling about, reminding her very much of a globe of goldfish she had accidentally upset the week before. – from ‘Alice's Adventures in Wonderland’, by Lewis Carroll
Last night, as I was sitting on the couch in a pile of pups (all three dogs needed attention), an old episode of ‘Law and Order: SVU” played on the tellie. I’d never seen this particular episode, so it was new to me. And while my mind was busy elsewhere, something caught my ear.
The episode was all about the prosecution of a pornographer whose output had been viewed by an individual who then got into some rather nasty business. The state wanted the purveyor to pay the same price as the person who committed the murder.
Granted, ‘Law and Order’ deals in an absurd sort of creative legalese; in real life, the defense would have never allowed such a trial to be heard by a jury, wisely choosing to have it heard by a judge, instead. Nor would the case have ever gone to trial, as it clearly trampled all over the First Amendment (something a real judge would have probably noticed) while taking quite a leap in logic in order to land on its feet.
However, that cute little criminal psychologist said something very interesting regarding repeated exposure to porn: it desensitizes us and spurs us on to explore kinkier and kinkier sorts of porn. In other words, we develop an insatiable need that finds us fleshing out our darker sexual impulses. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that we act on those impulses, though it does seem to indicate that we would continue to seek out pornographic material of a more explicit nature, resulting in further desensitization.
That spoke to me.
I think that would certainly speak to my own pornographic pathway. On a daily basis, I expose myself to countless images of men in various sexual activities. It’s become so commonplace; much of it no longer really resonates with me. I mean, it does, on some level, but certainly not the way it once did.
So, it got me thinking… what if I removed most, if not all, the stimuli? Could I re-sensitize myself?
Now, I’m not talking about trying to change who I am. I have always been a sexual being – that will never change, however, I could work to limit my exposure to porn. That said, I am not disparaging the consumption of porn by others in any way – no matter how kinky. We’re all adults and to each their own.
No, this has to do with only me.
Just think of all the time I could reclaim and put to better use!
I have noticed, since I quit all the hook-up sites and been in a monogamous relationship for the past six months, that my sexual self has managed to re-wire itself. A plethora of other needs are being met in and out of bed these days. My performance anxiety has lessened a great deal and I find myself much more willing to go with the flow.
Before, it was like being a television actor – I knew my lines and knew I had to hit my marks in a timely manner. Currently, sex seems more like a silky indulgence – I mean, yes, on occasion, it is brutally physical (which keeps the spice), but it’s no longer the by-the-numbers affair of the wham-bam, twenty minute tryst.
Monogamy has reawakened something in me.
Could reducing my exposure to gay porn do the same?
I think back to my early exposure to gay porn mags. I had more imagination then and those images seemed more potent upon first exposure. Oh, how I used to pore over those photos for hours, imbuing them with all sorts of meaning.
At what point did such images become second nature and not worth more than a passing glance? Yes, I still value them, but regard them in a different manner.
Limiting my exposure would mean making a lot of changes. This blog, for example, given its past, might become a thing of my past. That’s not to say that it would go away completely, for I could reinvent myself on a new blog – one that does not contain explicit content.
I think the reason that particular statement uttered by that fictional criminal psychologist resonated with me is because it is very closely related to something that I’ve been mulling over for some time now – the end of Wonderland Burlesque.
I mean, Alice did eventually return home… to the surface, to the world above.
Perhaps it’s time I do the same…