I've had a hard time sitting down to blog lately. Lots of reasons -- many of them to do with laziness and disorganization because of a transitional phase in my life and career -- but also a lot of the stuff that's occupying my thoughts lately is not stuff I can share. For instance, my collaborators and I on Lizzie Borden have been negotiating a legal agreement to lay out things like billing and percentages of royalties. It's a very interesting conversation, complex, bringing up all kinds of issues related to career, ego, art, business ethics, and friendship. Subjects I love to pontificate on. But the conversation is private. I wouldn't share it -- at least not until I'm very old and writing my memoirs.
And I've been dating. Lots of anecdotes about men and sex, food, nightlife. This is the stuff I'm dying to write about. But it's personal. Private. I don't feel right sharing intimate stories that involve other people.
And why is that? Why is sex private? I guess I'm jaded, but when you've traveled for so long in a milieu where people have sex in bars, in clubs, in parks, in the woods, in public restrooms, alleys, and parking lots between cars, it's hard to regard sex as something that is or should be private. Why private? I can't come up with any reason that I myself might avoid having sex in public other than shame or embarrassment, and that doesn't seem like a very good reason. If I'm in a situation where I don't feel in danger of shame or embarrassment, I'm all for it.
I can buy that some sex is or should be private. Maybe sex is like conversation, sometimes it works better if it's tete-a-tete, and sometimes it's nice to let the whole room in on it.
An article I read last year about bonobos' sex lives had a huge impact on my thinking about sex. Basically bonobos are constantly having sexual contact of various types and degrees, homo- and heterosexual, all day long for myriad reasons: to smooth over or prevent conflicts, in exchange for food or other favors, to express affection, for fun, to make baby bonobos, or because they're drunk and horny and some guy just told them they looked hot ... oh wait, sorry, that was me.
So why do humans create this arbitrary thing we call "having sex" and insist that it's super-serious and has to be kept sacred and private, rather than just let sexual contact be one of many ways we might naturally interact with each other.
Of course, now the whole notion of privacy is sort of antiquated. We think we have privacy, but we don't. Somebody's always got an iPhone and he's taking pictures to put on facebook. I find it exhilarating when my secrets are revealed. Shame is heavy.
Am I missing something? Is there some real reason for us to hold our sex lives so close?