Saturday, October 1, 2011

frightened of sex

Why are people so frightened of sex?

It doesn't make sense in my head. Sex does not kill. Sex is something we do for pleasure, for love, for entertainment, for connection. When sex is used as a weapon it is the violence, the lack of consent, the abuse of power that is to blame, not the act of sex at all. Why the fear? Why the vilification? Why does it seem that I am the only one who does not understand this?

When people I love feel like they can't be seen to condone my latest book because of the sex, my world feels a little unsettled. I know there are people who have it the wrong way around, who somehow have come to believe that sex is dangerous, evil, wrong. When people who don't believe this at all feel they will be judged by their association with me then I feel suddenly saddened.

I don't feel like my work is dangerous at all. It is all about love. It is all about forcing a reader to look at different configurations of love. It is an exercise in re-thinking the unthinkable.

Dear friend, dear reader

I don't understand how standing side by side with me can cause you any trouble. I know you are nervous. Your world seems so precarious right now, but if you stepped aside and thought about this without your own stress and your own insecurities you would know that the only person I am risking is myself. I don't even feel like I have risked myself in this process. It is an ethical puzzle that I am working out on the page.

Your nervousness about it seems unfounded. If there is any truth in it then I don't want to be living in this world at all. What do we do? Avoid gay friends because the mainstream Australians may not like people to be gay? Stop liking challenging film and art in case someone thinks we are subversive?

I have to admit I am saddened by this sudden turn of events. I know, with some thought you will re-think this, step back from this decision but it will be too late of course. I wonder how many other friends will step away from me now in case I get negative media or feedback. I wonder if yesterday's very good day was the last I will experience in it's pure pleasure for some while.


Katherine said...
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Katherine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I was going to write that I didn't think it was fear....but when I mulled over it some more, I realised that yes, it is FEAR!

This 'fear' is the likely product of our grooming; our upbringing.
Many of us exhibit our behaviours in a way that we know will be widely viewed as socially acceptable, sometimes disregarding our own personal desires to be & think independently by forming our own opnions & beliefs about any subject, including sex.

It is, as you wrote in your previous post, that desire to be accepted & liked by others that has people behaving the way they do, myself included.

For me, it's the need to please those nearest & dearest to me. Not wanting to compromise how I am viewed in their eyes. I guess in a sense, it is self preservation.

In a nutshell, I believe this fear is based on personal experiences, enviromental factors, cultural & societal norms. It is conforming to what the majority consider to be acceptable.

That is why I compliment you by saying that you are a very strong & very brave woman; to have stepped outside the box.

You are passionate about what you believe, you speak & write with conviction & you have the strength to be yourself and this is a wonderful thing!!

Anonymous said...

I bought your book Triptych at Brisbane airport three days ago and LOVED it, you write so beautifully. It was confronting in parts yes, but with such a lightness of touch and deft sort of wit that I don't understand how people could be threatened by the content... It is celebratory, bold, playful and just gorgeous, THANK YOU for being inspiring!!

Krissy Kneen said...

Thank you. It is nice to finally find some people reading and liking the book. I intended it as a comedy and I think at least some people can see the humour in it.

Ember said...

Hello Ms. Kneen,

Hmmm...I see, why people fear sex is a question that perplexes you. I thought, in brief, I would give you few reasons why some people (who are mentally and physically normal) may and DO fear sex. These are not just personal views but also relate to many people I myself have interacted with.

1.) Sex can have BIG consequences (just because sometimes mother nature overtakes our desire to keep sex strictly for fun): An unplanned pregnancy can ruin lives (not everyone's conscience allows a resort to abortion). Once a baby is born...this is another human life that requires undivided care, nurture and attention which the two parties/parents are mostly unwilling or incapable of giving. This can cause severe and lifelong damage to all human lives involved, especially the new born baby.

2.) STDs are fatal, debilitating, real and scary. In case of AIDS, it is a death sentence.

3.) Not everyone is amenable to open relationships. One's partner sharing sexual and emotional intimacy with the third party can create intense feelings of hurt, betrayal, loneliness, guilt, worthlessness, anger, jealousy...and so on. Needless to say, all of these negative emotions can ruin someone.

This comment is not meant to be confrontational. But I just wanted to dig a little deep and bring you views from the other side.


Krissy Kneen said...

Hi Ember

We do have birth control these days which makes 1 kind of obsolete except in rare cases when it doesn't work. Even then we have very effective techniques of avoiding pregnancy - day after pill etc. For 2 see my answer to 1. You should never have sex without protection due to health risks. I grew up in the always-use-a-condom generation. It is crazy that people seem to have forgotten this.

3 is about relationships not sex. Yes relationships are hard but it is not the sex that is the hard bit really it is all our human on human interactions that become complicated and manipulative. Sex doesn't hurt anyone unless there is a physical issue that makes it painful.