Few words have more shock value than "pedophila," and the final chapter of Gay Life and Culture leans very heavily on that subject. Much too heavily, in fact. In a passage subtitled "Boy Love," the full extent of the author's hedonist leanings is exposed:
For a long time, the Gay world had viewed the boy as a sexual ideal alongside masculine adults . . . today, most people in the West find relations between minors and adults unacceptable, although research has indicated that, in general, young people suffer no negative consequences from inter-generational sex unless it happens inside the family, or unless violence is used against them. Western societies have seen a major change in that sexual desire, once based on differences of gender, age, and class, is now founded on equality and symmetry. Power relations have become unacceptable, and this is especially true for inter-generational contact. New laws were passed to counter the 'pedophile menace' . . . in the few places where they still exist, pedophile movements such as the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) and Dutch Verniging Martijn were kicked out of Gay and Lesbian parades in the 1990s. In 1994, under pressure from the Clinton government, pedophile groups were expelled from the ILGA (blogmaster's note: International Lesbian and Gay Association). Nevertheless, men have been coming out at increasingly younger ages, while higher ages of consent inhibit their access to the Gay world. This poses the problem of how to incorporate youngsters into Gay society.
When I read that last sentence, I was so infuriated, I wanted to hurl the book across the room. I wanted to hurl, period! So adults can't mentor young people without sexually exploiting them? So "inter-generational sex" with children is harmless? So a grown man robbing a child of his innocence doesn't constitute violence? I'd like to see him tell that to all the victims of pedophile priests!
As I indicated in Part One of this essay, Gay Life and Culture describes ancient mentoring traditions which mandated sexual intercourse between mature men and young boys. There's nothing wrong with scholarly interest in traditions like that, but only someone with a depraved mentality could feel nostalgia for them! In my estimation, the author of this chapter fits that description: His barely-disguised attempts to justify predatory sexuality are reprehensible and disgusting!
Because of their inclusion, I can't, in good conscience, recommend the book. I would even go so far as to say it should be withdrawn from sale! Its editor, Robert Aldrich, compiled an excellent reference work overall, and there can be no doubt about that. However, Aldrich was guilty of a lapse in judgment most grave when, for whatever reason, he allowed it to become a "stealth" vehicle for the NAMBLA lobby!
Pleasure Seekers was the title of a 1965 musical comedy starring Ann-Margret. The term implies hedonism and, indeed, is basically synonymous with the word "hedonist." Radical hedonists like that pedophile-coddling anthropologist are Pleasure Seekers in the extreme! To such people, being Gay means one thing and one thing only: Sex! It defines you totally. Your most basic need is to have sex, but sugar, that's not the half of it!
You need to have sex in unconventional ways, like sado-masochism. You need to have sex with multiple partners, preferably at the same time! You need to have sex with anonymous partners. You need to have "bareback" sex without condoms. You need to have sex in inappropriate places, like in public parks. You need to have sex with inappropriate people, like close relatives, other people's spouses, and underage lovers! Your sexual needs are insatiable! And any attempt to curb them must be considered a violation of your human rights.
Above all else, you need to make sure your sexual practices don't conform to those of heterosexual society. Social convention is anathema to you! You must angrily reject traditional relationship models like marriage and monogamy. You must understand that your genitals aren't just meant for pleasure, they're meant for making radical political statements, too!
It doesn't matter if you lack the desire to form long-term intimate relationships. On the contrary, it's better if you don't! Lust divorced from love represents human progress! So does sexuality divorced from sexual orientation. Confining yourself to either same or opposite-gender attraction limits the kinds of sexual experiences you can enjoy! Queer Theorists argue that sexual orientation is "fluid." They strenuously object to the idea that it's inborn. You can "choose" to be Lesbian or Gay or Pansexual at any given time, because after all, sexual orientation is about nothing but pleasure!
A certain kind of hedonist defines the practice of trolling for child sex partners as pleasure-seeking. You may not personally care to indulge in it, but you dare not disapprove of people who do! What an outrage! That would fall under the dreaded category of (gasp!) "political correctness."
At this point, it becomes difficult to distinguish the opinions radical hedonists hold about so-called homosexuality from those held by rabid Religious Right Wingers. Their common theme is belief in a strictly sex-based identity which is amoral, and which deliberately undermines the social order. Heterosexual supremacists fear what they think Lesbians and Gay men represent. Radical Gay hedonists want them to be afraid! The two groups complement each other in a twisted kind of way. Both are stumbling blocks in the fight for equality!
Making the pursuit of sexual pleasure the focus of the Gay Rights movement would turn our movement into a dirty joke. Worse, it would play directly into the hands of our religious and political enemies. It would raise legitimate questions about the propriety of integrating Gay people into mainstream society.
If we're really nothing but Pleasure Seekers, then maybe it isn't a good idea to teach our history in schools! Maybe it isn't a good idea to air LGBT-oriented TV shows without parental warnings. Maybe it isn't a good idea to allow Lesbians and Gay men to be parents. Maybe it isn't a good idea to let us serve as clergy. And so on. And so on!
Don't misunderstand me: I've got nothing against pleasure! I love it just as much as the next guy. What bothers me is mindless obsession with pleasure. Obsession results in poor judgment; any recovering addict will tell you so! The head you lead with should always be the one between your shoulders, not the one between your legs! Some of us seem to have forgotten that morsel of wisdom . . . or maybe we just never learned it?
"Sex = Gay Liberation" is a false equation! Why are we still trying to do the math? When we gave ourselves over to sexual bacchanalia in the 1970s, we stigmatized ourselves and opened the door to venereal disease, not the least of which was massive HIV infection. Living hedonistic lives threatened our very existence! Yet some of us demand to go back to those bad old days. Why?
Are the Pleasure Seekers angels of death? Do they want to complete the grim job that the AIDS epidemic began? Is it mass human sacrifice that they have in mind? When Stuffed Animal sniffs the air around Gay people who espouse radical hedonist philosophy, he wants to gag, because it absolutely reeks of stupidity, immaturity and internalized self-hatred!
I've got a request to make of all the radical Gay hedonists out there. If any of you feel a strong need to have sex in places accessible to the general public; or to destroy traditional relationship models like marriage and monogamy; or to abolish the concepts of gender and sexual orientation; or to parade sexual fetishes in the streets; or to impose your adult desires on pre-pubescent and adolescent human beings, that's your own little red wagon to drag along behind you. Please don't try to hitch your wagon to the Gay Rights movement! No free rides for extremists and predators!
We are not a pleasure-seeking movement. We are not an anarchist movement. We are not a criminal movement. We are a civil and human rights movement! Granted, that may not be what some early Gay activists had in mind, but nevertheless, that's what we've become. So friggin' get used to it!
Most of us are focused on full integration into mainstream society, whether you approve or not. We want the freedom to make a contribution, not freedom to foment anarchy! We support the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but only to the extent non-LGBT people enjoy that right; we're not interested in redefining it or carving out hedonistic privileges for ourselves. If that's unacceptable to you, tough t*tty! Militant Pleasure Seekers should go start up their own movement, and stop piggybacking off of ours!
I, for one, have had it up to my whiskers with these jokers on both the Left and Right Wing who want to portray me as a sex pervert! I am what God created me to be; I know He didn't make me a pervert, and damned if I'll let anybody make one out of me!