“Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love …”

Minneapolis, MN
Tuesday, 31 July 2001

[originally posted on the old TCPunk message board (v.1.0)]

Whatever happened to the Summer Of Love, anyway?

This sex thread has definitely raised a few issues, especially for an old codger like myself. Some of you may remember that we were having quite the sexual heyday for a while, because the big AIDS scare hadn’t come along yet. Also, we were younger, and sex was – for some us – still kind of new, and fun, and many of us had never been hurt yet.

I mean, how many of us have had our hearts wrung out like that poor kid in the movie Quadrophenia? You know, when the girl responds to his admission of having feelings for her (or thinking he was, anyway), “Oh – that was just a lark!” No one is exempt, regardless of which side of the fence you stand on – even if you’re ON the fence, for that matter. I think my pal Beev hit it on the head when he suggested that it just isn’t gonna work if one person is in it for the sensation, and the other person in it for emotional reasons.

The point being, you can get over that kind of thing in time, and if you have half a brain, it helps you put things in perspective. BUT, when you add to that the worry of whether or not you’re being exposed to something that could kill you, the idea of eventually hooking up with another person, and possibly being subjected to the same thing all over again, along with all the other headaches people can sometimes give each other, it all kind of takes the piss out of you, no?

I always thought it was strange that within the punk culture, there were quite a few people who didn’t have any more respect for their partners – or just other people in general – than those who lived in the mainstream of society. Not much of an example there, eh?

Sex is political in the mainstream – it’s also a commodity, a form of commerce, used for bargaining and intimidating others. Why it became the same things within the punk community is a mystery. This culture was supposed to be against all that, no?

On a different note, I’ve had a few encounters with women who really liked “talking dirty”, and while I’ll admit that it doesn’t do anything for me, they really seemed to enjoy it, for whatever reason. I don’t think I’m going to go into any detail about any of those situations, but academically, at least, it’s probably no different than any other kind of fetishism, and that whole idea of getting excited by something that’s considered taboo.

Sometimes it does come off like someone’s reading a really bad script, though. I remember a particularly upsetting incident in which a young lady I went to MCAD with was literally screaming at the top of her lungs, colorfully narrating our every move to the entire neighborhood, as I had neglected to close my window. Performance anxiety? Well, when you’ve got a crowd, the pressure is definitely on, shall we say.

Still, I do remember a point in time where punks took a definite anti-sex stance, socially speaking, anyway, which made sense at the time. I mean, if you belonged to the mainstream, you were most likely having sex because it was expected of you (remember the Monty Python skit, “every sperm is sacred“?). Those people weren’t supposed to enjoy anything – they were basically supposed to procreate, and not necessarily enjoy doing it.

So, the whole idea of mixing up fetishism and punk culture was a breath of fresh air, for those who were a part of it. And now look at what’s happened – some of us have developed the same anxieties about the whole thing as our parents’ generation, and we measure our standards by orgasms and notches on the bedpost. It’s almost as though we have, in turn, become the new mainstream. Small wonder I keep running into all these other old-school punks who tell me, “I really LIKE being by myself.

© J.Free / The New Puritan ReView; 2001; 2022