TODAY’S GAY WISDOM
An excerpt from William Burroughs on Sexual Morality in the Western World from Gay Sunshine Interviews, Volume One, 1978
Sexual morality in the Western world is based on the Bible and especially on the teachings of St. Paul. Which presume to impose one arbitrary and dogmatic standard of sexual behavior on all people everywhere and forever. The teachings of St. Paul are now dead and unworkable. Dead since a pill has separated sexual pleasure from reproduction. Dead since overpopulation has made reproductive sex something to be curtailed rather than encouraged. Dead since experiments have shown that sexual desire is a matter of stimulating certain brain areas and that such stimulation is purely arbitrary. Admittedly homosexuals can be conditioned to react sexually to a woman, or to an old boot for that matter. In fact, both homo- and heterosexual experimental subjects have been conditioned to react sexually to a boot — to an old boot. You can save a lot of money that way.
In the same way heterosexual males can be conditioned to react sexually to other men. Who is to say that one is more desirable than the other? The latter day apologists for St. Paul who call themselves psychiatrists have little to recommend them but their bad statistics. Psychiatrists say they need more money and personnel to deal with the ever-growing problem of mental illness, and the more money and personnel channeled into this bottomless pit, the higher the statistics on mental illness climb. It is indeed an ever-growing problem at this rate. Personally I think that mental illness is largely a psychiatric invention.
On December 3, 1973, the American Psychiatric Association decided that homosexuality would no longer be considered a mental deviation. Well, if they have more mental patients now than they can handle, it would seem to be a step in the right direction to remove homosexuals from this category. But the decision has caused a storm of protest. One psychiatrist compared the decision to “a psychiatric Watergate which we hope won’t be our Waterloo…” They just don’t like to see any prospective patients escaping: it could start a mass walkout! Doctor Charles Socarides, associate clinical professor of psychiatry at the Albert Einstein Clinic, staunchly opposes the new APA approach: “The APA has done what all civilizations have trembled to do…tamper with the biological role between the sexes.” Fancy that! And in a letter to Playboy in June of 1970 Dr. Socarides says, “Five hundred million years of evolution have established the male/female standard as the functionally healthy pattern of human sexual fulfillment.”
Just a minute here, Doctor — the human species is not more than one million years old, according to the earliest human remains so far discovered. Other species have had a long run. Three hundred million years have established a big mouth that can bite almost anything off and a gut that can digest it as a functionally healthy pattern for sharks. One hundred thirty million years more or less established large size as functionally healthy for dinosaurs. What may be functionally healthy at one time is not necessarily so under altered conditions, as the bones of discontinued models bear silent witness. But sharks, dinosaurs and psychiatrists don’t want to change.
The sexual revolution is moving into the electronic stage. Recent experiments in electric brain stimulation indicate that sexual excitement and orgasm can be produced at push-button control or push button choice, depending on who is pushing the button’s control. Buttons to the people. None of these bits of technology are in the future. The knowledge and most of the hardware exist today. In terms of human sexuality what could it mean? It could mean you can plug in anything you want.
Experiments in autonomic shaping have demonstrated that subjects can learn where the neural buttons are located. Just decide what you want and your local sexual adjustment center will match your brain waves and provide a suitable mate of whatever sex, real, or imaginary, while you wait. It is now possible to provide every man and woman with the best sex kicks he or she can tolerate without blowing a fuse.
Any candidate running on that ticket should poll a lot of votes and bring a lot of issues right out into the open.