IN RESPONSE TO NUMEROUS REQUESTS, THIS PIECE IS BEING REPOSTED FOR THOSE WHO MISSED IT THIS SUMMER. PART II WILL BE POSTED SHORTLY.
Heterosexuality is the official carnal arrangement of Major League Baseball, the World Wrestling Federation, the Catholic Church and countless other organizations. But S&S has recently obtained a confidential study of male-female sex which maintains that heterosexuality, despite its purported normalcy, may be the kinkiest, most transgressive sexual activity of all. The study, by Efelide di Sanitá and a team of researchers, entitled "Revelations in a Bottle," is in large part based on a close analysis of a recently discovered, highly suggestive cultural artifact. Some of the paper's observations lie below.
Cultures around the world are defined by taboos against a wide range of sexual intimacies. Most are shaped by a firm restriction against sex or mating with "the other," someone who belongs to a group perceived to be extremely strange and alien.
But heterosexuality, despite its widespread practice, is the ultimate example of bonding with "the other." To many male minds, women are a whole different animal, a separate, less evolved species driven by passion over reason, animal desires over rational choice. Because of these dangerous proclivities, the history of heterosexuality has routinely placed breeding women in captivity, restricting their mobility in society and their opportunity to live their lives to the fullest degree of their potential.
So, at the heart of normalcy, lies a form of erotic desire that is inflamed by the prospect of inter-species pleasures. It has long been known that stereotypes of otherness are shaped by a combination of hatred and, at the same time, provocative sexual fantasies about "the other's" insatiable carnal proclivities. The authors of the study point out that, consciously or not, a California vineyard has recently begun marketing a product known as "The Other'" wine [image above], a "Tastefully Seductive" potable that is, according to the label "Sin-sually Delicious." The label, portraying an erotic line drawing of a nude woman from the rear, has her stretching out her torso like a cat in heat.
It is rare to find an historical artifact that so simply and concisely unpacks the contradictions that lie within the psychic core of a society's notion of sexual normalcy. Sex with "the other," disallowed by cultures and civilizations for so long, turns out to live at the heart of good old fashioned male-female relations. Mating with another species, whose nature requires control, captivity and, if they disrespect the lion tamer, a beating, seems to be what standard issue men are looking for.
So committed are they to this wild and wayward obsession, that they openly abhor sex with one of their own—another man— but one more contradiction in an ideology of "decency" that claims to the sanction of God.
The study suggests that this widespread fixation with interspecies relations be explored through archeological analyses of other cultural artifacts, to provide scholars with a more thorough data base on the subject. S&S has gone to the ads for famous haberdashers, et al, to locate a small sampling of artifacts that may be worthy of examination regarding the innovative "Theory of Interspecies Sexual Normalcy," as Dottore Efelide di Sanitá, the study's primary author and Research Director of the Center for Ontological and Perceptual Studies in Truro, Massachusetts, terms it. Meanwhile, rest assured that Stereotype & Society will be reporting on other aspects of "Revelations in a Bottle" shortly.
(wine bottle photo © 2007 Archie Bishop)