FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Sex, Sweat, Feet and the Working Class

by Alexander Cockburn

Chalk up another milestone for sex ed. The University of California at Berkeley has put a “male sexuality ” class on ice after the campus newspaper, The Daily Californian, published allegations that as part of their course students were taken to a strip club where they watched their instructor have sex and also participated in an “orgy” at an party. A female sexuality course is also under review.

It seems these courses have been available under the university’s “democratic education” or “de-cal” program, which are sponsored but not funded by the university. They are organized and run by student instructors and can be taken for credit toward graduation. Other courses include Blackjack, useful for those set on careers as croupiers east of the Sierras, in Las Vegas, and (for dissidents) Copwatch, which instructs students “how to safely and effectively assert their rights when interacting with police.”

Christy Kovacs, a Berkeley freshman who was enrolled in the male sexuality course last semester for two units told the Sacramento Bee newspaper that some students in the class were involved in an orgy at a party where some partygoers also took Polaroid pictures of their genitalia, to show that their bodies were not disgusting. Kovacs said the shots were viewed at the party in a “respectful way”. Another student, Jessica McMahon, disclosed to the Daily Californian that students in the male sexuality class chose as their final project a trip to a gay strip club. Students apparently watched instructors strip and have sex.

Kovacs says her class also had an instructive excursion to the Garden of Eden strip club. There, a member of the group who was not a student or instructor stripped on stage. “They didn’t even take off all their clothes, and there was no sex,” the earnest Kovacs continued to the Bee reporter. “It was a class bonding experience,” not to mention “positive”.

This business of introducing yourself at a party by proffering a Polaroid of your genitals has distinct possibilities, particularly for fetishists. As news of the Berkeley ban came in I happened to be leafing through the analysis of a man code-named “Beta,” the foot fetishist in Sexual Aberrations, written by Freud’s sometime pal, Wilhelm Stekel. “I must mention,” Stekel writes with perhaps excessive enthusiasm, “Beta wasn’t in the least animated by women’s ankles, legs or lovely shoes.” No, the dirty beast “wanted to see the shoe fit tightly” and “is promptly enlivened by the sight of corns and envies every chiropodist he sees. He likes only male feet: red, swollen, dirty, sweaty and inflamed feet”.

Beta craved to view and smell only the feet of the poor, not out of class solidarity but because their economic condition meant they had badly fitting shoes in which they worked hard all day: “On warm days, he goes to the Danube where poor working men may be found in droves, bathing their sweaty, swollen feet. It is the sight of these large, red feet which then gives him a thrill. He rushes home to masturbate.”

One can imagine Beta politely introducing himself with a Polaroid of those feet. Ms Kovacs, following in Beta’s wake as she witnessed his activities, would presumably have commented that it was all uplifting and entirely respectful of feet which, after all, have feelings too.

Alexander Cockburn’s Guillotined! and A Colossal Wreck are available from CounterPunch.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

March 29, 2017
Jeffrey Sommers
Donald Trump and Steve Bannon: Real Threats More Serious Than Fake News Trafficked by Media
David Kowalski
Does Washington Want to Start a New War in the Balkans?
Patrick Cockburn
Bloodbath in West Mosul: Civilians Being Shot by Both ISIS and Iraqi Troops
Ron Forthofer
War and Propaganda
Matthew Stevenson
Letter From Phnom Penh
James Bovard
Peanuts Prove Congress is Incorrigible
Thomas Knapp
Presidential Golf Breaks: Good For America
Binoy Kampmark
Disaster as Joy: Cyclone Debbie Strikes
Peter Tatchell
Human Rights are Animal Rights!
George Wuerthner
Livestock Grazing vs. the Sage Grouse
Jesse Jackson
Trump Should Form a Bipartisan Coalition to Get Real Reforms
Thomas Mountain
Rwanda Indicts French Generals for 1994 Genocide
Clancy Sigal
President of Pain
Andrew Stewart
President Gina Raimondo?
Lawrence Wittner
Can Our Social Institutions Catch Up with Advances in Science and Technology?
March 28, 2017
Mike Whitney
Ending Syria’s Nightmare will Take Pressure From Below 
Mark Kernan
Memory Against Forgetting: the Resonance of Bloody Sunday
John McMurtry
Fake News: the Unravelling of US Empire From Within
Ron Jacobs
Mad Dog, Meet Eris, Queen of Strife
Michael J. Sainato
State Dept. Condemns Attacks on Russian Peaceful Protests, Ignores Those in America
Ted Rall
Five Things the Democrats Could Do to Save Their Party (But Probably Won’t)
Linn Washington Jr.
Judge Neil Gorsuch’s Hiring Practices: Privilege or Prejudice?
Philippe Marlière
Benoît Hamon, the Socialist Presidential Hopeful, is Good News for the French Left
Norman Pollack
Political Cannibalism: Eating America’s Vitals
Bruce Mastron
Obamacare? Trumpcare? Why Not Cubacare?
David Macaray
Hollywood Screen and TV Writers Call for Strike Vote
Christian Sorensen
We’ve Let Capitalism Kill the Planet
Rodolfo Acuna
What We Don’t Want to Know
Binoy Kampmark
The Futility of the Electronics Ban
Andrew Moss
Why ICE Raids Imperil Us All
March 27, 2017
Robert Hunziker
A Record-Setting Climate Going Bonkers
Frank Stricker
Why $15 an Hour Should be the Absolute Minimum Minimum Wage
Melvin Goodman
The Disappearance of Bipartisanship on the Intelligence Committees
Patrick Cockburn
ISIS’s Losses in Syria and Iraq Will Make It Difficult to Recruit
Russell Mokhiber
Single-Payer Bernie Morphs Into Public Option Dean
Gregory Barrett
Can Democracy Save Us?
Dave Lindorff
Budget Goes Military
John Heid
Disappeared on the Border: “Chase and Scatter” — to Death
Mark Weisbrot
The Troubling Financial Activities of an Ecuadorian Presidential Candidate
Robert Fisk
As ISIS’s Caliphate Shrinks, Syrian Anger Grows
Michael J. Sainato
Democratic Party Continues Shunning Popular Sanders Surrogates
Paul Bentley
Nazi Heritage: the Strange Saga of Chrystia Freeland’s Ukrainian Grandfather
Christopher Ketcham
Buddhism in the Storm
Thomas Barker
Platitudes in the Wake of London’s Terror Attack
Mike Hastie
Insane Truths: a Vietnam Vet on “Apocalypse Now, Redux”
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail