[First published 13 April 2008. Re-read it today and decided to recycle it!]
What a fabulous fiasco it turned out to be, the hue and cry over the recent revelation by a scabious Murdoch-owned tabloid (News of the World) that a female math prodigy who entered Oxford University at 13 was now working in Manchester as a "£130-an-hour hooker" ten years later. Why the hue and cry? Simply because the girl, Sufiah Yusof, was supposedly Muslim, one of five children born to a Pakistani father and a Malaysian mother.
Like everybody else I found the story intriguing enough for me to poke my nose into it - and what I found online was a series of provocative poses uploaded as a slide show by the News of the World. Now I must admit I took an instant shine to Sufiah, especially after watching an interview with her. She came across as a highly articulate, self-confident, sexually liberated young woman who had consciously decided to embark on a lucrative career as a professional erotician. Luscious bod too.
"I've had some of the best sex I've ever had working in this job," she says candidly. Sufiah sounds totally British, so it's rather odd that some Malaysians still believe they have some sort of claim over her as a "princess of the soil." The truth is, what Sufiah does with her life is none of their fucking business, no pun intended. Okay, during the Mahathir era the Malaysian government did sponsor Sufiah's studies in the hope that she would someday do her motherland proud. But dammit the kid was only 12 at the time and it was her dad Farooq who came up with this insane and cruel method of "accelerated learning" designed to hydroponically produce academic geniuses. Not surprisingly, Farooq Yusof was recently jailed for molesting two 15-year-old students who were taking home tuition from him. You can imagine what sort of relationship Sufiah had with her dad.
But this blogpost isn't about Sufiah Yusof, even though she inspired it. What I want to talk about is the erotophobia of the Abrahamic religions which has turned repressed sexuality into a multi-billion dollar industry.
The crux of the problem is that morality has become inextricably linked to sexual behavior when morality and sex have very little to do with each other. Cutting edge thinker Robert Anton Wilson often wrote about the conflict between what he called the logogram and the biogram. Morality is part of the logogram - a set of assumptions and beliefs conjured by the verbal mind. Sexuality is part of the biogram - a reproductive strategy activated by biochemical, bioelectrical and sensory processes that do not take their cues from the analytical mind.
In other words, the language-processing conceptual mind creates artificial boundaries and limitations and then assumes they are real and universal; while the body operates on a complex series of autonomous programs triggered by the endocrinal and hormonal systems, evolved over billions of earth years.
The late great Austrian psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich (left) theorized that sexual repression is the source of many psychological and social problems. The split between mind (logogram) and body (biogram) causes us to destroy each other and our planet, Reich believed, and is the underlying cause of warfare. Reich saw the ability to lose ourselves in sexual ecstasy as the ultimate measure of well being. He held that neurosis is none other than the sum total of all chronically automatic inhibitions of natural sexual excitation, and everything else is the result of this original disturbance. Reich's psychotherapeutic goal was to restore the primacy of our sensual nature. To really let go during the sexual experience. Not just an orgasm but a complete, full release. For Reich, a key question was: Why did people support the Nazis? Reich found that several things went together in Nazi Germany:
* Strong paternal authority
* Sexual repressiveness
* authoritarian values
* reactionary political ideologies
Sexual desires naturally urge a person to enter into all kinds of relations with the world, and to enter into close contact with others in a variety of forms. If these urges are repressed, they can only express themselves within the narrow confines of the family. In patriarchy, there is much more emphasis on sexual control than in matriarchy. If all the wealth passes through the father, you want to be very sure who the father is. If it passes through the mother, there is less concern as to who the father is. Monogamy will cease to be presented as the only legitimate form of sexual bonding. [Brief summary of a paper by Victor Daniels of Sonoma State University]
E.F. Baker, in an essay on Reich published in the Journal of Orgonomy wrote:
"Reich could only conclude that sex, which was formerly believed to be solely for reproductive purposes, had the vitally important function of maintaining a stable energy level within the organism. It would follow, then, that without sexual repression, there would be no neuroses. This is indeed the case in those societies that are sex-affirmative, such as the Trobriand Islanders'. Such societies are matrilineal in structure. In western civilization (and most Asiatic and other countries), a patriarchal form of social structure exists which is sex-negative. We have, therefore, to be concerned with the social cause of sexual problems and hence neuroses. Our whole society is oriented against true sexual freedom and, from infancy on, every effort is made to inhibit and repress any sexual manifestations. Boys and girls alike are severely reprimanded for any curiosity about the other's body, and adolescents who engage in sexual relations can be severely punished. Thus, only a few are allowed to grow up with a natural sexual attitude, and yet, when they marry, they are supposed to be able to function. Few find or attain a satisfying sexual relationship even in our day when youths are boldly showing their sexual interest and demanding its fulfillment."
So why would anyone be willing to spend £130 (approximately RM870) just for a sexual romp with Sufiah Yusof? It's simply because she has figured out that the majority of men can't find sexual gratification at home and are happy to pay handsomely for a really fantastic fuck. Few women, once they're married and have children, bother to remain sexually appealing to their husbands. By specializing in the erotic arts, Sufiah capitalizes on fulfilling male fantasies of carefree, no-holds-barred sexual play. If an occasional evening out with somebody like Sufiah Yusof can help maintain a man's sanity, then that £130 can be considered money well spent.
Those who believe Sufiah Yusof needs to be saved from a life of sin and godlessness are themselves most likely to suffer from acute sexual repression. Growing up in a patriarchal culture and indoctrinated with erotophobic beliefs that equate pleasure with immorality, the existence of a sexually liberated female like Sufiah threatens the fundaments of their belief systems.
If I were living in the vicinity of Manchester, I might be sorely tempted to look Sufiah up. Not with the thought of saving her, of course, but it would be absolutely delicious to have a juicy discussion on algorithms and integral calculus with her while nonchalantly peeling off her algebra. Well, I'd better start saving up. This foxy lady who began life as a math genius doesn't come cheap!