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Gore Vidal has substantially explored the topic on pornography albeit in a one-sided manner. His stand on the subject is to be criticized by many especially those with a conservative view on the subject of sexuality. Gore helps his message through by inclusion of real life scenes and speeches between his characters.’ The man and the woman make love; attain climax; fall separate’. Then she whispers, “I’ll tell you who I was thinking of if you’ll tell me who you were thinking of.” of pornography rather he tries to make it a no-issue when it comes to norms in the society (Susan Baker, 1997). In this essay, we explore the take of gore Vidal on sex, sexual inclinations and sexuality in human behaviour.
In his essay on pornography, Vidal has constantly used the word pornography in describing anything sexual or pleasurable. This is outright vulgarity in an effort to appear sophisticated in the matters concerning sexuality. In an interview, Vidal discloses that he enjoys pornography and that in the current society, the role of the pornographer is as important as that of the prostitute. That is, Vidal is not offering a solution to the problem Vidal attempts to show that during sex one has to have some mental mages as erotic supplements to maintain the erotic excitement. By this he alludes that it is alright to have sexual fantasy instead of burdening one’s sexual partner with unrealistic demands.
According to Vidal, pornography is a nature of mind as opposed to a criminal or unnatural act. He asserts that the only thing pornography is known for is the act of masturbation. This goes to show that Vidal has no problem with pornographic material and seems to think that limiting will only increase people’s curiosity and pornography. The act of having sex, attaining climax and the falling separate shows how much sexual act should not be mistaken with love making. To him having sex is an act that does not help describing one’s personality by any means. He seems to disengage one’s personal life from sexual intercourse (Altman, 2005).
Vidal thinks that it is hard to say whether some acts are wrong or right. On matters concerning sexuality, he has constantly referred to love making as sex or pornography. Gore bold nature of writing pornography essays shows that he is not afraid to stand out. The essay by Vidal evokes a bad distaste with the society because there are few lovers who are willing to admit that during sexual intercourse they have images of sexual acts or absurdities of third party persons. This shows that despite the fact that Vidal wants to show that he has no problem with pornography, he wants it to be a word that represents lewdness and dirtiness. This means that in essence he knows that his novel is lewd and dirty but he wants it to remain that way; thus, creating a sense of excitement for the reader although it might make little or no sense to him at all (Susan Baker, 1997).
Vidal’s stand is that matters concerning sexuality and sexual habits of a person need not be the business of others to pry into. According to Vidal, every adult has the right to choose his sexual partners without being questioned by the society. He seems to think that sexual norms that are acceptable to the society are simply guided mostly by the Bible. This is not acceptable to him because times are changing and so are people. According to him, sex and relationships are very mush different and should be kept as such (Altman, 2005).
Vidal feels that the pornographer is acclaimed and should be credited with showing the human race about the varieties in rare human sexual responses; and shows us in his own way that one can conform to any of the behaviors as long as they are comfortable in doing so. The pornographer is also attributed in showing all that indeed everyone partakes in pornography. Vidal shows that the thought of a partner in a sexual way is pornography in its own right. He continues to defend pornography as viewed by the society in stating that a homosexual act in itself should not be regarded as an antisocial or neurotic behaviour. The allusion by the society that sexual inclination to homosexuality and pornography is dangerous is in itself a dangerous non-sense (Behrendt, 2002).
Sexual inclination and preferences of an individual should not, according to Vidal, be dictated upon them. He shows his allegiance to homosexuality and pornography by his spirited defense that he mounts on his novel. According to him he is a radical reformist advocating the personal freedom of each individual and without any superimposed doctrine. This doctrine is the very law that governs the people and the beliefs that guide them. To abandon such for a few of the Vidal’s world would be unrealistic. However, Vidal terms this as discrimination against the minority in sexual behavior (Behrendt, 2002).
He also alludes that those with sexual behaviour that contravenes the societal code of conduct, are not as few as people are made to think because most of the people in the planet harbor pornographic or homosexuality, to mention but a few, desires and continue to carry them out in hiding. Vidal does not seem worried that such a freedom as he so defiantly battles for in society may affect the young one’s development. He is not also worried that such behavior may breed violence and sexual discrimination against some members of the society. In his view it is the realist in sexual behavior that is getting the raw deal (Behrendt, 2002).
Since no one can articulate with certainty that pornography is wrong even from the only books, the Vidal says that pornography is a better guide than biblical teachings because it articulates that the only social norm is that there is none. According to Vidal, no sexual laws and restrictions should be imposed on individuals. He even suggests that it is adventurous to involve one in pornography because it offers dynamism on the people’s view on sexuality (Susan Baker, 1997).
According to Vidal, just like homosexuality, pornography is not wrong because it has in its potential to reduce the world’s population on a world that has diminishing resources. It should therefore be advocated more than advocating means to control population or resources. According to Vidal, everyone has the right to achieve climax during sexual intercourse irrespective of the methods that are sued to attain the same. One of the ways to achieve climax is by minting a parallel image in the mind as one is having sexual intercourse. It must, however, be noted that Vidal does not once talk about love making. This is because according to him, love develops relationships which have nothing to do with human sexuality. Love is born of human sexuality as so the broader subject is human sexuality. That is why he avoids the topic of love making and talks about sex instead (Altman, 2005).
The other way of involving in pornography is by allowing young adults to participate in pornography for the wrong reasons. The society, according to Vidal, allows the young adults to involve themselves in porn though in the darkness rather than get married early in order to participate in the act of sex. For this he reprimands society as being hypocritical. The demands of the society on young people in matters concerning sex are unrealistic and unattainable. It is, therefore, right to use pornography to masturbate for the young adults instead of involve themselves in early sex (Susan Baker, 1997).