The Washington Post

Sex might be a topic

 How to write about sex? WHY to write about sex is a different question. A rhetorical one. But how is trickier for a couple of reasons.

 It’s tricky to write about, at least in a thoughtful way, because sex isn’t too thoughtful. Regardless of what you believe the state of brain research to be, I think we can all agree that sex takes up residence in the subterranean section of the nervous system, roiling away gathering energy for its periodic and often successful forays into the upper chambers where drinks get spilled and furniture rearranged.

 The USA, despite decades of Hollywood lasciviousness, it still highly conflicted on the subject. Hollywood’s pernicious idea, relentlessly ramrodded into the culture at large, was to link (lash?) sex with violence. I guess this was because both were exciting, so why not mix them? Terrible, wrong, damaging idea. Religions don’t seem to know what to do with sex either, because of its non-angelic manifestations, so at best they tsk tsk and close their eyes and purse their lips in a not-kissing sort of way. The Catholic Church has clearly reeled from its obsessive bracketing and near-demonization of sex, and it has hurt the institution in ways we are now all too familiar with, and will not likely be remedied in a puff of white smoke.

 I drew a cartoon about North Korea’s Kim Jong-un expressing his nuclear threats in a dysfunctional dating context, because I merely assumed a society built on repression and armaments would get sexual tensions and violence conflated, just like Hollywood! But little did I know. Why, barely had the cartoon been published when North Korea issued a rebuke to South Korea’s female president referring to the “venomous swish” of her skirt. Now there is a phase to marvel at. Her skirt SWISHED with VENOM. How does such an idea get into somebody’s head? This is how: When you try to blockade the brain’s basement door and aren’t on speaking terms with the randy boarder who lives down there.

Tom Toles is the editorial cartoonist for The Post and writes the Tom Toles blog. See all of his cartoons here.


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