‘Tis the holiday season, so here’s wishing you one that’s merry and bright, with not too much in the way of holiday blues, but lots of good cheer, good works and great sex to chase those blues away. This is not as unholy as you might think. In ancient pagan times?before anyone had conjured up the likes of Christmas, Chanukah, Ramadan, Kwanzaa, Bodhi Day, Eid al-Adha (Muslim Winter Feast of the Sacrifice), Yalda (Persian Winter festival), Pancha Ganapati (the Hindu version), holiday sales, on-line shopping or faith-based mega-malls; before they had even invented the Wal-Mart?people throughout the world celebrated the cold, dark period surrounding the Winter Solstice with great festivals of fire to chase away the cold, light to chase away the darkness, revelation to chase away the lies and fun to chase away the blues.
And SEX?lots of sex. To honor the icy season, our polytheistic forebearers would feast and fornicate for days of nonstop bacchanalian orgies that would make Jenna Jameson pee in her g-string. Over 2000 years before Christianity, Mesopotamia’s Winter Carnaval featured mummers-style parades with floats carrying glorious scenes of Sex among the Gods. The Greek Winter Festival honored another populist Son of God with a human mother, who worked miracles, was associated with wine, and was miraculously resurrected after death; His name was Dionysus. The Roman Saturnalia, presided over by Old Father Time (a kind of Santa Claus with balls, chortling “Ho, ho, ho Saturnalia!”), included the first Xmas Carols which were truly X-rated, as the carolers would sing in the nude.
Winter Solstice or “Sun Birthday” was?and is?when the sun, after being at its lowest, is “born again,” as the days begin to get longer. To our prehistoric human ancestors, as described in SexatDawn, Winter Holiday Sex was more than just a personal pleasure or a cool way to keep warm. It was an ecstatic communal coming together, celebrating the erotic fecundity of life in the dead of winter; red hot hope, desire and joy to the world in a season of cold blue despair.
Wikileaky “Rape,” War Crimes and Yuckerberg
Fast forward to this winter, which many of us are finding to be a super-sized season of cold blue despair?and I don’t mean the weather. I mean, just look at us noble Americanos; having been cheerleaded into Perma-War by a Chickenhawk Pussy named Bush and a Dickless Dickhead named Dick, we are now under a new Commander-in-Chief who gave us all this hope but (so far) not much change. Besides endless talks with Taliban chieftain impersonators (a growing career sector in Kandahar), giving bankers a break by plunging Americans further into debt, and welcoming the Tea Party’s “medieval idiot’s crusade” with open arms, we have the embarrassing holiday season spectacle of the U.S. government attempting to lead embassies and companies around the world in yet another massive assault. This time the goal isn’t to take down Osama, Saddam or even Tony Soprano, but, rather, Wikileaks publisher and “lightning rod” Julian Assange?dubbed “the Che Guevara of information warfare” by Counterpunch’s Maximillian C. Forte?over what appears to be a broken condom, two aggressive blonde groupies and a mixed up dish of Swedish meatheads. The shoddy sheepskin has captured the world’s attention and not in a positive way for Sweden or the U.S., because, really, what are we extraditing over here?a Wikileaky rubber? International media is filled with a multitude of strong opinions as to just how leaky a condom has to be before the Swedes can call the consensual sex that accompanied it a “rape.”
At least, as of this writing, Assange, now an international icon and political sex symbol, is “free,”?if you consider house arrest to be free?on bail. But the Swedish prosecution still looms as the U.S. Justice Department proceeds with plans to prosecute Assange under the Espionage Act of 1917 (never used before against a publisher).
Meanwhile, the Wikileaks keep squirting classified diplomatic cables into the cyberpond, as America doggie-paddles through the same old bloody quagmire of occupations that benefit no one but our big, bloated Military Industrial Complex about which our ancestors, most famously President Dwight D. Eisenhower, had tried to warn us long before Wikileaks started trickling reports on war crimes.
And through it all, our chins above the quagmire, what is the most common carol we are all expected to sing? Buy, buy, buy more bling! That’s why Time chose the yucky mug of Facebook’s fascist-in-chief Mark Zuckerberg over the overwhelmingly clear popular choice of Assange for its Person of the Year: Because Facebook does to users what Wikileaks does to corrupt governments and corporations, and is therefore much more big business-friendly.
And buying stuff is what Time, Facebook and all the rest of your corporate overseers feel that you do best, especially around this magical time of year. Maybe you lost your job, or you were robbed by your banker of your house and your savings, but you’ve got to scrounge up some cheddar for the holidaze, or you aren’t going to be celebrating like you should. All the souped-up smiling, shopping, singing contemporary “carolers” relentlessly assail you from your TV, your computer (including your friendly Facebook page), and your phone, mocking your meager funding, family or holiday spirit with their songs of gleeful avarice.
So goes our winter of despair?giving us all the more reason to come together to beat those holiday blues?and the whole damn dehumanizing, desexualizing system of perma-war and profit?by literally beating our drums and our buns and our jingle balls, shaking up the toxic status quo, conjuring up the red-hot powers of pleasure, love, creativity, science, the BonoboWay, truth, warmth and sex over the forces of coldness, censorship, secrecy, unrelenting consumerism and war. This is just what we attempt to do at our Winter Solstice XXXmas-Saturnalian Saturday nights climaxing on ErosDay and (in your own orgiastic way, of course), maybe you should too.
Hopefully, Assange will get to enjoy a bit of hot holiday sex during his Yuletide sojourn at Ellingham Hall. The 650-acre estate in Suffolk, England owned by Wikileaks supporter and former British Army officer Vaughan Smith, will probably be staked out by female admirers eager to make leaky condom love with him, as well as CIA agents eager to push his ass through a window (the trick is telling them apart). Stake-outs aside, the presence of a very hot blonde gazing adoringly up at Assange upon his momentous release from jail gives his supporters hope he’ll have a very merry XXXmas, despite (or perhaps because of) the ankle bracelet.
The ancients believed that holiday sex encouraged crops to grow and productivity to increase?far less of a stretch than belief in virgin mothers, zombie gods and voodoo economics. Though America’s once-vaunted national productivity has long gone overseas, mostly to China, there’s still hope for personal productivity. A little holiday sex sure can heat things up in that department, melting winter’s despair, releasing frustrations, igniting personal revolutions and stirring up change between the ears as well as between the legs. This is why most organized religions and authoritarian regimes try to confine sex to procreation?because recreation leads to revolution. Because sex is knowledge; it was Eve’s first bite of that deliciously forbidden apple; it is the key that unlocks the door to the small precious truth behind the thick walls of Big Lies.
In other words, sexuality leaks, in more ways than one. Friends of Bradley Manning, the U.S. Army private charged with leaking most of the documents released through Wikileaks, agree that Manning felt isolated and inclined to rebel against his military overseers, at least in part due to the difficulties of being forced to conceal his homosexual orientation under the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell‘ policy.
The Pope’s Xmas 2010 Gift to Catholic Gay Men
In other news, there are some glimmers of hope for gay acceptance among the world’s most conservative organized religions. Even in Catholicism’s most sex-phobic orthodoxy we witness slight, albeit vague, loosening of some of the many strict ties that have bound natural human sexuality for so many centuries. This holiday season, Pope Benedict XVI has given a rather exciting Xmas gift to Catholic gay men in his interview for Peter Seewald’s book LightoftheWorld: ThePope, the Church and the Signs of the Times, in which he stated: “There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility, on the way toward recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed and that one cannot do whatever one wants.”
Rather convoluted and easily exaggerated by eyeball-hungry media eager to declare the Pope the new Alfred Kinsey, the Pontiff goes on to say that condoms aren’t the answer to the AIDS problem, lest anyone think that Benedict Brand Rubbers will be going on sale this Xmas season at the Vatican Gift Shop. But whatever the Pope really meant and whatever the Vatican PR team then scrambled to make us think that he meant, there is no doubt the Vicar of Christ is throwing some sort of blessed bone to gay men (pun intended).
As I parse the utterances of His Celibacy, he seems to be saying that as long as a “male prostitute” is going to have sex, it is better and more “responsible” for him to use a condom than play bareback with his clients. The Pope didn’t say “homosexual,” but presumably, despite his virginal innocence, he knows that the vast majority of male prostitutes service other men, not women. So he is talking here about condom use being relatively okay?with lots of caveats, but still better than bareback?during gay-for-pay sex. Without backing off from the Church’s longstanding view that any sort of homosexual shenanigans sends all parties straight to hell, the Pope is saying that Catholic gays (we presume he’s thinking of Andrew Sullivan and most of the priesthood here) and even bi guys can, and really should, wear rubbers. After all, this acclaimed theological logician would find it tough to logically deny male lovers the same opportunity to take that “first step” toward “the assumption of responsibility” by using condoms, just because one isn’t leaving the other cash on the dresser. That’s why his statement is such a great Xmas gift to gay and bisexual men, as well as to the international fight against AIDS…not to mention the condom industry.
Unfortunately, women, as usual, still get the short end of the Catholic Big Stick when it comes to condoms. This is because the Catholic injunction against condoms has never had anything to do with “morality” in terms of ethics, but is solely based on the “moral” imperative of reproduction. The ladies are required to be baby-making factories, regardless of other consequences or circumstances. None of this sex for recreation, nor even sex for the sake of relationships, wherein a committed heterosexual couple might want to make love without conceiving a child, let alone transmitting HIV. The Pope has not strayed from the Church’s hard line that sex between a man and a woman must always allow procreation, so no potentially pregnancy-preventing condom may come between them?even if one of them has an STD, despite the Holy See now insinuating that the condom would be cool if both of them are dudes.
Maybe somebody could convince the Pope to give post-menopausal women the same lenience that the Holy Father has given gay men. After all, if it’s all about maximum reproduction of the faithful, once a woman is past reproductive age that’s history; she’s essentially equivalent to a gay man. Papal dispensation to use condoms would be a nice Xmas present for some of those Catholic cougars on the prowl among the pews.
Speaking of Papal opinions, wonder what the Benedict XVI is saying privately to his trusted Cardinals about Wikileaks’ Julian Assange, busted for having sex with leaky condoms. Would it have been a worse sin if the condom had worked? Food for XXXmas thought?
Holiday Sex for One, Two, 30 or More
Just because most organized religious and governmental authorities declare that only certain, highly proscribed forms of sex are acceptable (what the Pope calls “humane”) and most others are wrong or “naughty,” doesn’t mean that sex, specifically holiday sex, can’t be a deeply spiritual experience?even when it’s more naughty than nice. This is well within the Winter Solstice tradition: to be a bit naughty, bacchanalian, to make the fool into a king (or make the renegade into Time’s “Person of the Year”), to crack the cold blue ice of authority, to “break on through to the other side” and assert the wild, righteous power of Eros over Thanatos. Harmony over war. Truth over lies. Sex over death.
Speaking of being naughty around the holidays…I’ll never forget one XXX-mas Eve several years ago…I was holidazed?mmm?sounds like a sauce, and I was feeling saucy.
I was being interviewed on KCAL-TV by a dapper, deep-voiced blonde anchorman named Dave Jackson about how folks might beat those inevitable holiday blues, should they suddenly find themselves all alone on Christmas Eve with nothing to do. I rattled off the standard suggestions: throw a party for your other single friends (and their friends), clean out your closets, do volunteer work, take off for Tahiti… Then I looked deep into Dave’s Tahitian blue eyes and said: “BUT if you suddenly find yourself all alone on Christmas or New Year’s, you might not have the time, energy, inclination or finances to do all that proactive stuff. So what should you do to celebrate? Why not just take the day or the evening off from everything and everyone, and give yourself the pure personal pleasure of a nice quiet holiday alone. Relax, listen to music, take a hot bubblebath, light some incense, indulge in your favorite libations, sweets or other treats, and then slip between satin sheets and…masturbate.”
Why not? It’s safe, simple, healthful (in most cases), can be quite festive, and, if you aren’t too-too hung up on how societies around the world denigrate the pastime of self-pleasuring, it can hit the spot as a quick (albeit temporary) cure for those mean old holiday blues.
“Why not?” indeed! You should have seen Dave’s dapper face blush red as Santa’s panties when I uttered the M-word on live network TV (this being back before Dr. Joycelyn Elders lost her job over the same sort of indiscretion). He stared at me, goggle-eyed, that XXX-masy scarlet hue ascending from his starched white shirt collar to the roots of his sprayed flaxen hair, mouth open long enough to catch a sugar-plum fairy flying by. It was as if I’d just pulled down my own panties and started diddling myself right there in the studio. Which?as those of you who know me know?I would never dream of doing uninvited…on someone else’s show.
Masturbation is, of course, one of the most private activities of our lives. Just talking about it embarrasses some people terribly; it’s as if we’re kids again, caught by the Mother Superior, the Rebbe, the Ayatollah or the Pope with cum on our hands. All the traditional authorities frown on it because it is not in the least bit procreative. But, as multiple branches of science and common sense have shown us, it is quite natural and is one of the safest acts of sex there is: a lot safer than condoms actually, and a lot more fun (and more realistic) than abstinence. And beating your meat sure can beat the blues, despite?or maybe because of?all those sweet taboos.
Of course, sex with a partner you love is sweetest?especially around the holidays. But if that’s not feasible for you this season, and if you aren’t invited to any Winter Solstice orgies, naked caroling sessions, fetishistic candle-lighting ceremonies, Catholic rubber parties, or star-studded Julian Assange legal defense fundraisers in Suffolk, or if you find yourself “in custody” under Orwellian circumstances, don’t be embarrassed to take matters into your own hands! Wank for Peace! Though you may not want to tell Dave Jackson about it…nor Pope Benedict XVI?nor anybody in Sweden.
Whether you prefer tantric monogamy, a Dionysian orgy under the mistletoe, a game of strip poker around the Chanukah dreidle, a hot tub lit by Kwanzaa candles, a Yalda feast devoured from the intimate crevasses of your lover’s succulent body, a round of naked Saturnalian choruses of “Come All Ye Faithful,” a session of suffering for the sins of the international military industrial complex by getting your naughty ass whipped on the Bondage Cross, a leaky celebration of the so-far unstoppable Wikileaks revolution, or just a holidazed wank for peace on GlobalOrgasmDay, do go on some kind of holiday sex adventure. Try not to hurt anyone, including yourself, and whatever your pleasure, enjoy it and infuse it with a sense of *sacred* solstice power, a promise to resist the deadly status quo of depression, perma-war and power-grabs, and a passionate commitment to love.
Dr. Susan Block is an internationally renowned LA sex therapist and author of The 10 Commandments of Pleasure, occasionally seen on HBO and other channels. Commit Bloggamy with her at http://drsusanblock.com/blog/ Follow her on Twitter @DrSuzy. Email comments to her at email@example.com Do not look for her on the Facebook Farm.
? Dec. 16, 2010.