Current opinion regards psychoanalysis as a discourse according to which sex is something omnipresent. Freud would be obsessed with sex. Everyone has seen the optical illusion of the naked woman in the forehead of the creator of psychoanalysis. It was certainly not psychoanalysts who reproduced this drawing a million times. Of course, the legend does not come from nowhere. It responds to a truth, but not exactly the one that has become trivialized. If sex is so present – not only in the head of psychoanalysts but in that of human beings in general – is because it concerns something that nobody knows how or where to get hold of.
I am taking this opportunity to advise you that on December 20th the digital platform Tumblr will remove from its blogs all “adult content”, a euphemism that refers to porn. Tumblr is basically a website that manages, controls and regulates a collection of innumerable blogs belonging to individuals or collectives, amongst which you can find all the variants that emerge from the astonishing discovery that in the unconscious there is no established norm when it comes to “that thing”.
In an interesting article published The Atlantic magazine on December 7th, Steven W. Thrasher wonders about the reason for this move, which is becoming the moral decalogue of Silicon Valley. One of the reasons given is the access of children to the digital world and the technical difficulties (in addition to the economic costs) of guaranteeing “parental control”. Users of Tumblr, who had found a virtual forum on that platform to share, exchange, spy or simply exhibit their singularities and preferences in the matter of jouissance, will find themselves expelled overnight from that territory. “Biopower” is no longer an affair of states, as it was at the time when Foucault coined and studied this concept: we are now governed from Silicon Valley, whose major companies make the decisions.
If we consider that real life is more and more something that only has existence in the virtual world, digital exile is a very serious matter. Millions of people will no longer find a place to lodge the delusional relations that each one of us has with his or her symptom. Tumblr, like other similar sites, is a teratological amusement park, because – contrary to what the different religious and ideological perspectives have wanted to enforce – the absence of sexual norm makes the human being the only creature that not only does not have a sexual model included by default, but is also the one where what each subject builds as best they can is somewhat defective.
It is remarkable that the industry of the “internet of things” has not managed to have great successes in the creation of sexual gadgets. In the same magazine, Tracy Clark-Flory analyzes the paradox that investors have not let themselves be tempted – when it comes to emptying their pockets – by the development of gadgets for giving remote pleasure, making use of advances in virtual reality and the speed of data transmission. For the moment this has not made the slightest progress, to the point that Elaico, one of the start-ups that seemed more promising in the invention of a “teledildo”, a vibrator remotely controlled by an app and presumably capable of astonishing feats, only managed to collect $360 of the $380,000 it needed to set in motion what they promised to be the most astounding substitute for phallic jouissance in person.
Something happens with sex that poses problems that are technically very difficult to solve. In the face of this, the cyber-plutocracy that was born in a few Californian garages and has now become the owner of the personal history of billions of people has decided to make a clean break (or an unhealthy one, depending on how you look at it). The Vatican was also born from a humble crib and for almost two thousand years governed moral standards. Now it is the turn of its successors. The great prophets of hypermodernity have begun a Crusade to eradicate Sodom and Gomorrah from global geography. Where will so many cursed souls find a place to go now?
A free idea for inventors and crowd-founders: “The Sexual Purgatory”.
Translatedby Florencia F.C. Shanahan
Image: The Garden of Emoji Delights@ Carla Gannis