8.13.2012

Squinting through Keyholes

I never much understood voyeurs. Why would you want to watch and not participate? Sex is a contact sport.

Think about how many people you've watched--I mean good and watched--having sex. Pornography doesn't count. Neither does sex that you participated in; you're the common variable. Your concept of sex is more specifically the conception of your sex. But mine can't be the same as yours?

In person, how many have you seen? My number is zero. I've never seen it. I have no idea what other people's sex looks like. Is it slow and beautiful or brutal and violent? How do people fit together sexually? I imagine it's questions like these that breed a voyeur.

There's nothing more private than watching two people have sex. Bodies exposed, skin to the world. Do they talk to each other? What do they say? Is it kind? Loving? Lurid?

Now that I think about it, I want to know. It's an epistemic gap in my knowledge. Sex on film is for show; it's an act. For you truly to see how two people relate on the most primordial of levels, you can't be in the room. You can't sit at the foot of the bed and say, "Don't mind me." People innately feel the gaze of others and it alters behavior. You've got to be a fly on the wall, squinting through a keyhole, or peering through a pair of binoculars. Stealing glances, tip-toeing, breathing into your sleeve: you've got to be a pervert.

How could you not be curious? What's behind that door? What's this world I know nothing about?

Should you act on this impulse?

No. Definitely no. Really. No.

No.

This notion is predicated upon the fundamentally non-consensual act which objectifies and demeans the subjects. Dismissing the behavior as deviant seems base and unsophisticated. There is clearly a human desire toward intimacy and privacy. Voyeurism breaks down that wall and makes your world mine. It captures vulnerability. The more I imagine the world from someone else's perspective, the harder I find it to criticize. Everything makes sense if you stare at it long enough, though it doesn't justify the behavior. Aristotle wrote, "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."I think we owe it to ourselves to entertain the thoughts that make us most uncomfortable.

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