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:
June 30, 2016
Richard Moser
Clinton and Trump, Fear and Fascism
Pepe Escobar
The Three Harpies are Back!
Ramzy Baroud
Searching for a ‘Responsible Adult’: ‘Is Brexit Good for Israel?’
Dave Lindorff
What is Bernie Up To?
Thomas Barker
Saving Labour From Blairism: the Dangers of Confining the Debate to Existing Members
Jan Oberg
Why is NATO So Irrational Today?
John Stauber
The Debate We Need: Gary Johnson vs Jill Stein
Steve Horn
Obama Administration Approved Over 1,500 Offshore Fracking Permits
Rob Hager
Supreme Court Legalizes Influence Peddling: McDonnell v. United States
Norman Pollack
Economic Nationalism vs. Globalization: Janus-Faced Monopoly Capital
Binoy Kampmark
Railroaded by the Supreme Court: the US Problem with Immigration
Howard Lisnoff
Of Kiddie Crusades and Disregarding the First Amendment in a Public Space
Vijay Prashad
Economic Liberalization Ignores India’s Rural Misery
Caroline Hurley
We Are All Syrians
June 29, 2016
Diana Johnstone
European Unification Divides Europeans: How Forcing People Together Tears Them Apart
Andrew Smolski
To My Less-Evilism Haters: A Rejoinder to Halle and Chomsky
Jeffrey St. Clair
Noam Chomsky, John Halle and a Confederacy of Lampreys: a Note on Lesser Evil Voting
David Rosen
Birth-Control Wars: Two Centuries of Struggle
Sheldon Richman
Brexit: What Kind of Dependence Now?
Yves Engler
“Canadian” Corporate Capitalism
Lawrence Davidson
Return to the Gilded Age: Paul Ryan’s Deregulated Dystopia
Priti Gulati Cox
All That Glitters is Feardom: Whatever Happens, Don’t Blame Jill Stein
Franklin Lamb
About the Accusation that Syrian and Russian Troops are Looting Palmyra
Binoy Kampmark
Texas, Abortion and the US Supreme Court
Anhvinh Doanvo
Justice Thomas’s Abortion Dissent Tolerates Discrimination
Victor Grossman
Brexit Pro and Con: the View From Germany
Manuel E. Yepe
Brazil: the Southern Giant Will Have to Fight
Rivera Sun
The Nonviolent History of American Independence
Adjoa Agyeiwaa
Is Western Aid Destroying Nigeria’s Future?
Jesse Jackson
What Clinton Should Learn From Brexit
Mel Gurtov
Is Brexit the End of the World?
June 28, 2016
Jonathan Cook
The Neoliberal Prison: Brexit Hysteria and the Liberal Mind
Paul Street
Bernie, Bakken, and Electoral Delusion: Letting Rich Guys Ruin Iowa and the World
Anthony DiMaggio
Fatally Flawed: the Bi-Partisan Travesty of American Health Care Reform
Mike King
The “Free State of Jones” in Trump’s America: Freedom Beyond White Imagination
Antonis Vradis
Stop Shedding Tears for the EU Monster: Brexit, the View From the Peloponnese
Omar Kassem
The End of the Atlantic Project: Slamming the Brakes on the Neoliberal Order
Binoy Kampmark
Brexit and the Neoliberal Revolt Against Jeremy Corbyn
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Alabama Democratic Primary Proves New York Times’ Nate Cohn Wrong about Exit Polling
Ruth Hopkins
Save Bear Butte: Mecca of the Lakota
Celestino Gusmao
Time to End Impunity for Suharto’’s Crimes in Indonesia and Timor-Leste
Thomas Knapp
SCOTUS: Amply Serving Law Enforcement’s Interests versus Society’s
Manuel E. Yepe
Capitalism is the Opposite of Democracy
Winslow Myers
Up Against the Wall
Chris Ernesto
Bernie’s “Political Revolution” = Vote for Clinton and the Neocons
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail