‘SEDUCE Someone in Four Words’ was trending on Twitter a day or two ago. The top tweet was ‘I understand personal space’ with 1.6k likes, followed by ‘I stand with Bernie’ (in reference to socialist Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders) followed by ‘Let’s get ramen together’ with 2k likes. Millennials, I thought, what have they done to deserve a life like this?
When I go slumming it in the secular world, dear reader, I like to go all the way. It can be conflicting attempting to live a Catholic life in the modern world, and as I am not willing to do the Benedict option yet (a separate blog), here I am wading through Fleabag, Girls and the rest of it while reading C S Lewis at night. It’s not easy, that’s all I’m saying.
What irritates me the most about popular culture these days is, to put it bluntly, the sex scenes. They don’t concern you, my better angels say to me. However, my darker side tells me that they do concern me. And for some reason what I mourn, what I truly mourn, is the decline of seduction in modern life. What I absolutely loathe is the modern sex scene.
What grates is the cold, clinical approach to these moments of lust, these sexual encounters with another. For that is what we are talking about – a rather profound encounter with another. Truly they are depressing to watch. It was the Left who ushered in all this filth on my TV screen, the filth I feel obliged to watch now and again, but who managed to de-lust, to de-sexualise the sex scene. Man, do I hate them for it.
Take Girls for instance, the gist of which I have picked up from the secular world. This is how Natalia and Adam first have sex. Natalia informs Adam that ‘she is ready to have sex now’. She then sets out very clear parameters as to what is permitted and not. Adam tells her he likes how clear she is with him to which Natalia responds: ‘What other way is there?’
Well, no other way, I guess, if you are a feminist and all sexual acts are to be governed by ‘affirmative consent legislation’ now making its way through the blue States of America. Still, part of you dies when you watch this. (Also, things didn’t stay as clear-cut for Natalia and Adam in later episodes.)
Dear goodness, I thought, what a load of feminist-approved drivel. Adam doesn’t have to seduce Natalia, she doesn’t suffer a ‘moment of weakness’ (women don’t have those, allegedly, because they know exactly what they want). Natalia doesn’t ‘succumb’ – she just says it to him, You have been really nice to me, I’m ready to have sex with you now. How utterly emasculating for him. The encounter itself is just hideous to behold. This can’t be happening in real life, I tell myself. This cannot be what the millennials have to endure, surely?
Then there is Fleabag, which I have discussed before – clinical and humiliating to the end. What should have been a rather tense scene involving Fleabag and a priest was resolved with the ‘we are going to have sex now, aren’t we’ conversation. My goodness, please tell me this is not how it is going down in university bedrooms these days – Do you want to have sex? Yes, please – sign here. Thanks.
But I guess if your idea of seduction is ‘I understand personal space’, the gig is up. This is why the feminists hate songs such as Blurred Lines, because for them there are no blurred lines. No one should invade the personal space of another, ever. There are only bright lines and contracts and declarations of affirmative consent. Oh, the inhumanity of it all, the cold, clinical nastiness.
Of course, this goes back to the changes to all the sex education manuals inflicted on innocent children and teenagers in the 1980s and 90s. In the great revolution, sex would become not only liberated from the hated strictures of marriage but from emotion itself. Sex would be ‘safe’ and ‘healthy’.
What followed was a distinct lowering of the emotional temperature; there was to be no passion or jealousy or even desire. Just a ‘healthy approach’ to the sex act, the significance of which was downgraded to something akin to a walk in the park. There was certainly to be no mention of the L word – you were positively unhinged, a puritan, if you thought love had anything to do with it.
So here I am, married old Catholic me, looking at these sex scenes with total and utter dismay. For goodness sake, I’m shouting at the telly, just grab her, or rip his clothes off, or follow her back to her place and make some demands, anything but this unemotional, sterile (fertility is the greatest danger of in all in this new sexual climate), hygienic sexual encounter.
I was raised on Fatal Attraction – sure, he shouldn’t have done it, but if you are going to have an affair best to do it with a psycho and so much passion that she will nearly kill you in the end.
I watched Ghost, where Patrick Swayze certainly did not respect the personal space of Demi Moore. Then there was Basic Instinct – the guy ends up dead in that one, but what a way to go. Finally, the best of them all, Dirty Dancing where Baby seduces Johnny, and not the other way around. You can see him thinking, This is not a good idea, I really shouldn’t do this, but Baby wants what she wants and she reels him in by actually seducing him, not by just saying, Please sign here.
It’s not the men I blame. What more can they do but ask for permission when a single wrong move could have them on a rape charge? (but only if you are white and university-educated, mind – if you are of another ethnicity you can rape your way through the young girls in the North of England to your heart’s content and the Old Bill won’t care).
But I’m just about old enough to remember the old days, the days before red-blooded males acting on their red-blooded instincts were shut down with allegations of ‘toxic masculinity’. They would come up and whisper things in your ear that they really shouldn’t be whispering, and were not ‘I like how clear you are with me’. No, sir, from memory that’s not what was said.
So, there we have it. I’ve said my bit, I rest my case, file this under ‘Don’t watch films made after 2000.’ And please, do not attempt to seduce someone by saying ‘I respect your personal space’. Ever.