I am the honored one and the scorned one/I am the whore and the holy one/I am the wife and the virgin/I am the mother and the daughter…(6) This Sumerian poem, written hundreds of years before the rise of Greek civilization, begins Qualls-Cotbett’s The Sacred Prostitute, an academic look at the ancient rites of female sexuality.
The idea of female power and of the sacred prostitution is an anathema to the sexual politics of the past three thousand years, an idea expressed succinctly by Pythagoras: “There is a good principle, which has created order, light and man; and there is a bad principle, which has created chaos, darkness and women.” According to Qualls-Cotbett, it wasn’t always like this. Sacred rites of sexuality were a foundation to ancient civilizations: “The sacred prostitute leads the stranger to the couch prepared with white linens and aromatic myrtle leaves. She has rubbed sweet-smelling wild thyme on her thighs. The divine element of love resides in her. The stranger is transformed.” (23) Prostitution was not a heinous act conducted behind a veil of darkness and violence, but instead “nature and fertility were the core of existence. Desire and sexual response experienced as a regenerative power were recognized as a gift or a blessing of the divine. Great Mother was the goddess of all fertility.” (31) Much of modern-day attitudes toward female sexuality comes from the Bible and Koran, where the concepts are not so far from these ancient ideas: “She is the breath of the power of God, a pure effluence flowing from the glory of the Almighty.” (105) And yet, the dichotomy in today’s Calvinist/Capiltalistic world remains as strong as ever, reviling and adoring women solely on their sexuality, secreting the act of sex to one of shame, promoting pornography, defiling our scared selves.
Extract from 1997 novel, Black Ice:
Cam liked the animal shows, the cheetahs and whales, the lemurs and cougars, living in the open, in the forest, on the Savannah, in the depths of the dark sea, with nothing to hang on to but themselves, cut out raw, everything a meal or a monster around them, instinct not a word, but inside them, alive. He made a bet with himself: Six blonde women – it didn’t matter what they looked like – just six on one circuit up through the channels, and then he could delay everything, just sit there; he wouldn’t have to turn it off. Six blondes, six different channels. He had one on the first try, a sit-com, and another two channels one up – a newscaster. And then nothing. He slowed, waited for the camera to cut to her. But it was all car racing and gardening shows. Then he had another – a paramedic. And then nothing again. Too many old men, talking heads, and that was it. He had to get back to work.
The house was long and bright, a small tour being conducted as I came home.
“What longitudinal line does the house bisect?” The guide smiled briefly, waiting only a moment before conducting the group through the sculpture gallery. “Originals, everything is an original.” My clothes were missing from some shelves, moved to a downstairs room still under construction. That’s where she was, my wife, unpacking my things. I thought of just staying there, waiting for all of this to come around to a sensible point, but gathered my wits and caught up to her before her next meeting. “I need just ten minutes.”
A loose-suited man stood beside her. “I need the same.”
Her look was reserved as she glanced between us and then back at him. “Would you like to look at the garden? Why don’t I take you out to look at that?”
“We won’t have time then?” I stuttered.
She was already leaving. “We can schedule something for next week.”
I followed them down to the train, past a half naked man engaged in a complicated ritual, artistic or personal I didn’t understand. “Henry, we’ve talked about bringing your friends.” She turned to the loose-suited man. “It’s too much, isn’t it?”
I thought that it was but had been left at the top of the stairs.
President Trump’s Appointee for Secretary of Education, Corinne, tries to stay on point: “You are rude. You don’t say hi to anyone.You have a skank look on your face. You’re just not nice. It’s just weird and uncomfortable. I know how to get to people like (you). What does that say about your emotional intelligence, bitch?”“I’m nice until you cross me,” she admits. And for anyone who does that? “How do you make a voodoo doll for one person?”
Funnily enough, they are conveniently available here: Donald Trump Voodoo Doll
Bachelor star Corinne has it all – crocodile smile, youthful approach, open heart, to say nothing of her naked determination to get the job done. And so it came as no surprise when she was pegged for a post in the Trump Administration.
“I want to get one,” Corinne quipped. “But just a little one.”
Prodded further, she conceded that her nanny would be vital in all future endeavors. “She knows how to cut my cucumbers just right.”
The Department of Agriculture has the inside track.*
(*Is there supposed to be a caveat at the end of a fake news story? I’m new at this.)
The Bachelor puts itself out there for all the right reasons, especially in constructing anti-logue and character undevelopment. It’s all in the stops and starts, the self-cutting off, the saying of nothing, the wild hand gestures when there are no words.
Corinne: Sorry, no hard feelings. It’s just…(dramatic sweeping hand gestures)…the situation that we’re in. (Pause) Do you have a problem with any of…(angular hand gestures)…of that? Taylor: Are you…? I don’t know what you’re talking– Are you talking about…? (pointing over Corinne’s shoulder) When you came in on my time?
Corinne: Yeah. Yeah.
Taylor: I’m– I’m happy with my time.
Corinne: Good, good. (Pause) And then you re-came in, got your time back.
Taylor: I wanted more, because I was really happy with him.
Corinne: No, Good, okay. As long as there’s…(large circular hand gesture)…no situation about the situation, we’re okay. Taylor: I think– I’m okay.
Corinne: Are you okay? You seem a little hesitant about you being okay.
Taylor: No, I think I’m really okay.
Corrine: Okay. Good. I really want you to be okay. Great.
In his second year at university, Gerbi was in a rock band, Friendly Fire. Like most bands, they had more energy than talent but were booked almost every weekend in the university bars. Gerbi played bass, sang backing vocals and wrote most of the lyrics.Two crowd favorites were Green Desire (I don’t know what it is I want/ I just know it’s not what I got) and Death Squad Jump (How high can you jump?/ Do you want to die?/ Is this the night to die?/ Do the death squad jump!) Friendly Fire brought a tremendous change to his social life. he was awkward as hell, but he still managed to become a campus slut. His worst moment might have been when he was caught in a hotel room hallway with his track pants down and this girl he had just met pressed up against the wall. He just walked away, never talked to her again.
My penis was getting bigger, right before my eyes, beyond anything I had experienced, massive, towering, suddenly like a god, too much. And right then, that moment, decided to separate itself. I held on, amazed, scared of how I would re-attach it, of my growing worship of the thing. I pulled up to the tip and saw it looking back, eyeing me, and then surged from me and was at the window, waiting to be let out. I watched it dash, flying, sleek into the night. I was worked up, very worked up and had to get that feeling out. My penis, the one left behind, was thin and rigid, like a small branch. It felt awful. It was erect, but girthless. I tried to get it to fill in. The screen saver on my computer started popping up old porn of me, a highlight reel, and I couldn’t get it to stop. There were people in the room, an old friend who hadn’t spoken to me in years.
“Nice.” He didn’t care that the videos kept popping up, my nakedness, my old penis, and all of those others, naked with me. He didn’t care that I was embarrassed by all of these secreted images playing one on top of the other; he thought it was impressive. But I had to get up. My old penis was out there and I needed it back.