In fact, it quite literally put us in queues, in boxes, on conveyor belts, up chimneys, living on the streets or in suburbia – it made us the cogs in the machines with the sole intention of profit for those born into wealth.
Since then the class system has increasingly exploded. It has become immovable and overwrought with complexities and the one thing we all share because it made us - sex - is divided for the haves and have nots based on what monetary and emotional jobs we perform. Often our labour leaves us too exhausted to understand what pleasure is or how it can be readily experienced. We are on a timer and carnal knowledge can’t be put into numbers. Sex was once only discussable in regards to familial reproduction thanks to puritanical overlords and it still is rarely a topic about sublime exploration, but rather of exploitation. Because of this, Religion thrives on the free market.
But now in 2018, capitalism has well overtaken religion and trapped us into manic obsessions with numerological ‘security’. This anxiety for money denies us the time to indulge in the potential of one another's skins because we have to go to work. Sex is timeless, but it isn’t when we are on a timer.
The cosmopolitan world is now on one long, hysterical LSD come down from this inhumanely, unsensual reality. Instead of quantities of people now being the hands and eyes of factories with dreams of being rewarded in heaven (thanks to giving this work to poorer people overseas) we now spend our days doing fake jobs with atheist beliefs. We are creative directors, we are art directors, we work in media, public relations, editors, as gallerists, as stylists, as influencers, models, brand ambassadors, in advertising or as labourers of photoshop. Our jobs do not save lives or educate truths and most importantly we never physically touch other people. The internet lets our eyes burn and our nerve endings stagnate into meagre orgasms. But - we have ‘culture’.
You may believe that you are not repressed, but you are. Sex and labour are now intertwined more than they ever have been, because there are invisible people out there doing the work for you. You watch them on a screen and you meet them from websites or in hotels. You insert plastic made in China inside of you. Sex work is a new term where we have discarded derogatory terminology to see it as any other implement in capitalism rather than a loving, timeless gift where we adore other human bodies. Because now you have to be able to buy anything or fuck everything. But what does the pleasure of sexual behaviour look like when it is monetised away from our salacious stereotypes? This action is often solidified into a dated taboo outside of the place it is performed. There is no social progression without discomfort.
Klossowski understood that our true energy - our ultimate energy - our DESIRE - has traversed from the erotic into the capitalistic. He wanted us to be rewarded with the human qualities of sensation, emotion and pleasure - things we inherently own instead of numbers. Our current political climate puts liberated minds under a spell of distracting self-identification rather than a focus on euphoric freedom. This drive is something which we all have - it is animalistic, but where has this misguided society left our sexual autonomy? Lorde knew the power of the erotic as having endless potential but it has been suppressed against us with specific intent- this is about re-evaluating our power dynamics.
The 1960s fooled us into believing that a ‘sexual revolution’ had occurred, however, the real revolution would be to pierce prohibition, destroy denial and usurp censorship. Without this we are not free and we will carry on using our unfulfilled knowledge of pleasure in limited constructions. Our primal urges are there to be commodified and we don’t know any different, so we accept it and hand over our card details.
- Reba Maybury
Sophia Al Maria, Darja Bajagić, Philip-Lorca di Corcia, Hal Fischer, Juliana Huxtable, Pierre Klossowski, Deana Lawson, Leigh Ledare, Reba Maybury, Frida Orupabo, Elle Perez, Ser Serpas, Annie Sprinkle, Elizabeth Stephens, Cosey Fanni Tutti, Amalia Ulman, Leilah Weinraub, Nil Yalter