You may rather be in Philadelphia

“I have read descriptions of Paradise which would make any sensible person stop wanting to go there: according to some, the spirits of the blessed spend all their time playing the flute; others sentence them to walk about for ever; others again claim that while up there they dream about their mistresses down here, considering that a hundred million years is not too long for them to lose their taste for being love-sick.” – Montesquieu, “Letter 125,” Persian Letters (trans. Betts)

6 thoughts on “You may rather be in Philadelphia”

  1. I’ve never understood the appeal of Virgins in Paradise. Aren’t virgins sort of passive and confused by the whole thing? Just me? Wouldn’t it make more sense for a man to dream of legions of beautiful whores?

    1. The thing about virgins is…

      well, I better be careful here…

      okay, the hell with it. The thing about virgins is at least two things. One is, they’re supposedly not going to know if the guy doesn’t much know what he’s doing. The other is a darker thing, and that’s the issue of power and submission. For a man, fucking a virgin–unless he’s a virgin himself–is always going to have an element of rape and submission about it.

      Now, don’t go blabbing about this. It’s not something guys are comfortable talking about unless they’re quietly bragging to other guys. If you ask them about it, they’ll likely flat-out deny it. And in this day and age, few people of any proclivity wish to speak honestly of the intimate links between sex and violence.

    1. @CJ — (I think that’s how it’s done, I start off with the @ character and the handle of who I’m responding to, then it’s clear.)

      It seems the connection between sex and power is more openly understood and discussed than the connection between sex and violence, though the three seem to be different shades of or perspectives on the same thing. As Kissinger said, “Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.”

  2. Don’t go blabbing about it? Are you kidding, I’m fascinated! That’s an entire book begging to be written–and I’m building a resume on the links between sex and violence, so you know I’ll go there.

    (I’ll protect my source, though. Expect about nine hundred sordid emails when the time comes for me to write it.)

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