…Maybe give your child real and positive reasons to avoid sexual activity with the other, even more disgusting pubescents in their class. Help them cherish, even fantasize about, the idea of a future family and their own children.
Raise mothers, not dog moms.
Raise women, not wine aunts.
Raise ladies, not cat ladies.
I’d be careful about repeating the above words from “Peachy Keenan” and The American Mind out loud. I’m frankly a little nervous about even quoting them. We’ve taken ideas which were until recently the very foundation of American moral thought and made them too radioactive to touch. The idea that young women shouldn’t be trained to be sexually available to their classmates, or anyone else, in sixth grade? That’s racist! Or sexist. Or one of the many other words which used to have discernible meaning but which have now been effortlessly Newspeaked into just meaning “ungood”. You could be fired. In the UK, you can be denied medical care now for holding the wrong opinions. This is serious business. No fun involved.
Unfortunately for me and my stubborn personal commitment to placing truth above pleasantries, I’ve recently seen something which suggests that Ms. Keenan is, in fact, more correct than anyone would like to admit. Yes, it was on a sex worker’s Instagram page. Why do you ask?
Keenan’s essay is called “Big Pimping: How American Parents Turn Their Daughters Out” and it is just this side of terrifying to those of us who have daughters — or sons.
At an institutional level, we are creating a cursed generation of females expert at every imaginable permutation of sex with an infinite number of partners, while largely shunning the other thing, the main thing, the only thing still emitting any heat in the cold, merciless hearth of contemporary life: the dream of forming a family.
Because the shocking truth is: No one wants to wife a sex expert.
High school sophomores now know how to prepare each other’s rectums for “safe anal play,” which is pitched as a zesty, natural activity for all genders. In 2019, California approved a terrifying, dystopian new statewide curriculum that includes a seventh-grade lesson that “identified sexual activities such as bathing together and mutual masturbation as safe options to avoid sexually transmitted diseases.”
Ms. Keenan (yes, it’s an obvious pen name) entirely disapproves of this behavior. While I find sex-centric of young children by a school system to be fairly repugnant, what concerns me is this: Many parents aren’t bothering to do any parenting at all nowadays. The New York Public School System can’t shut down for coronavirus because they estimate that approximately 144,000 children in the system are receiving their only meals at school. Think about that for a minute. We have a group of children, numerous enough to fill a Midwestern city, who don’t eat unless it’s at school. You can safely assume that if their parents aren’t even feeding them that they also aren’t doing anything to, as Huck Finn once said, “sivilize ’em” either. So when it comes to sex ed, it will be the wacky and oddly perverse school system, or it will be the public Internet.
Nothing the most anal-obsessed school system could teach your kids would be on par with what the Internet is ready to teach ’em. There’s a reason for that. We decided a few decades ago that the First Amendment applied to a decentralized global TCP/IP network in much the same way that the Second Amendment did not apply to a gun that holds six rounds of ammunition instead of five. The next time someone gripes to you about the gun lobby, consider just how ineffective they are compared to the pornography and perversion lobbies. If we treated guns the way we treat “free speech” I’d be able to own an AC-130U “Spooky” gunship — and I’d be able to fire it directly at every child in America, all the while screaming that I’m being victimized by any adult brave enough to step between my Vulcan miniguns and those kids.
The problem therefore becomes that
a) properly parented children don’t need sex ed in school, and are demonstrably damaged by it, but
b) unparented children need a ton of it.
The school systems choose to prioritize b) because — frankly, because public schools are filled with kid-obsessed perverts who molest about seven percent of their students so it’s more fun for them than it would be to build their curriculum around Group a). But they have some rationale for their choice beyond that. Schools probably shouldn’t be teaching kids “safe anal play” but the Internet will teach them “unsafe anal play” before they’re old enough to ride Space Mountain. So it’s damage limitation, trying to ensure that these children are only messed up by precocious sexual activity rather than outright killed by it or something like that.
(As for those 144,000 kids who are in such desperate circumstances that they need to eat at school, don’t worry; I’m being reassured that every effort is being made to ensure that we have 288,000 of them in ten years, all the better to elect Leader-For-Life Ocasio-Cortez as head of a starving child army like a scene out of The Diamond Age.)
It’s still worthwhile to consider one of Ms. Keenan’s central tenets, namely that excessive exposure to, and participation in, “sex culture” reduces someone’s chances of having a happy life as an adult. That’s where Erin comes in. Erin (I’d rather not identify her any further than this, to avoid what they call “brigading” nowadays) is a model who just turned thirty. She is a natural redhead, attractive in what they used to call an “innocent” or “ingenue” sort of way. I follow her on Instagram because a few of my friends do and I’m a sad old man who wants something to break up the endless cascade of downhill-mountain-bike-related content on my Instagram feed.
Erin makes about five or six thousand dollars a month on Patreon selling nude photos. This is a pretty healthy living in 2020, I must say. She has a couple of hundred “patrons”. She has also done a fair amount of modeling for other outlets, including the relatively prestigious Playboy Plus. What I’m getting at here is that she is an attractive woman by almost anyone’s standards. She might not be your particular cup of tea, but very few men would find her just plain unattractive in the way that, say, most human beings find me unattractive. The only way someone would pay for a photo of me would be if I were
a) standing next to a good-looking person;
b) largely removed from the picture.
You’d think that any woman attractive enough to command $6k a month for relatively tame photos would have no trouble meeting any number of adoring potential partners, all of them quite high value fellows — but Erin’s not succeeding. About six months ago, she wrote something on her Instagram to the effect of “men in New York are trash — eleven of them have been inside me so far this year and not a single one of them has called me the next day.” Yes, that’s how she phrased it. When she finally managed to get a boyfriend a month or so later, she couldn’t stop telling her followers about him… but the fellow decided he would rather live by himself than live with her, so he dumped her in what was apparently a remarkably unsentimental fashion.
The immediate temptation here is to respond to Erin’s lament with TLP’s The Common Denominator In All Your Failed Relationships Is You but I think that might be the easy way out. Erin is neither a Fields Medal winner nor a talented artist of any time but there is no way she is boring and/or toxic enough to drive eleven men away after one night. I’ve never had someone refuse to speak to me after spending an evening in my company and you will not convince me that I’m any better of a person than a random 30-year-old actress/model/Patreon-sex-worker on the street.
I think what Erin is seeing is more cultural than personal. I think we have decided, as a culture, that sex should be
* almost random
* nearly anonymous
* entirely impersonal
* focused on technical excellence
and since most people want to follow the norms of a culture, whether they admit it or not, the net result is sexual interactions which conform to those norms. The knock-on effects of this are obvious, and horrifying. Men become nomads and disease vectors. Women become “fur moms” and they wind up dying alone. The only people who have children and/or families are people who are too poor, stupid, or culturally distant to accept the prevailing norms. This is why such a large percentage of New York City’s children are being fed by the state: the people who could afford to feed their kids are busy engaging in what Ms. Keenan calls
…a tedious multi-decade Bataan death march through dating apps, therapists, anti-depressants, polyamorous cul-de-sacs, and (eventually) to a spiritual and biological dead end?
while at the same time voting for an endless re-up of immigrant and lower-class families who never got the Tinder memo but who also don’t possess any marketable skills. Looking back, we’d arguably have been better off if we’d engaged in a limited nuclear war with the Soviet Union in 1965 and then gotten back to preserving the American way of life. A nuclear exchange would have killed fifty million people, flattened a quarter of our major cities, and resulted in a massive (and ultimately successful) effort to repair the damage; this new societal arrangement will gnaw our country to the bone in two generations and there won’t be any intact cities left from which to rebuild.
It occurs to me here that the relevant sin is not lust, but gluttony. It can be fascinating and delightful to have a few no-strings-attached relationships, the same way it’s nice to have ice cream after dinnner — but Erin’s lifestyle of a few dozen “ghosted” sex partners a year and selling nudes to pass the time in-between is as misery-inducing as force-feeding a gallon of Breyer’s every night. Furthermore, what are the chances of her finding a decent lifetime relationship and a family now? I’m not going to make the assertion that men don’t want to marry someone like her; I’ll leave that to Ms. Keenan in her article. Instead, let’s consider how she would feel at the age of forty, trying to grind through a marriage and motherhood with a single person while the nostalgia-curated memories of two hundred previous partners dance in her head. Marriage is hard work, as is being a parent. It’s not made easier by comparing the worst moments of your current living situation with the most romantic or fascinating night you ever had in New York (or Paris, or Las Vegas, or Poughkeepsie).
Something has got to give. I suspect that the 2030s will see a revival in public morality similar to that of the pre-Victorian age, perhaps assisted by a flurry of social-contact viruses of which COVID-19 is assuredly not the last. The longer we wait for a “reset button” like that, the more violent its pressing will be. Perhaps our scattered and suspicious descendants will see Ms. Keenan’s exhortation as an early example of a developing societal allergy to perverse depredation. Perhaps they will pillory her in retrospect for not going far enough, the way we’re currently ret-conning various civil rights leaders of the past as villains for not having the vision to adopt furries et al into their drive for justice. I’m personally hoping that they won’t know about Ms. Keenan, or about yours truly, because they will have long since internalized Pope’s crack about “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing” and they’ll have shut down the Internet completely.
In which case someone will eventually have to reinvent all the old sins again, rediscover the perversions hidden from them by a functioning society of decent people. In a way, I envy those people. They’ll at least have the pleasure of fighting the system. What Peachy Keenan fails to note about today’s liturgy of childhood anal play is that we’ve managed to endow it with the same qualities which always attend the dictates of the state: we’ve made everything boring. The perverts of the future will have the security of renewed decency all around them — but more than that, they will have what the 12-year-old dildo testers and the 30-year-old nude model of today aren’t having. In a word, they’ll have fun.