Sexy Secrets: A Few Questions for Foucault

Well, lecture today clarified a whole lot for me in this text. It was very helpful to have repressions explained, as they seem to shape Foucault’s thought train in the book.

This blog post is about the ideas that Foucault brings up about the history of sex, and why and how it has been reformed, in some cases, revolutionized. I totally understand and sympathize with the issues that have occurred over repressing sexuality in the past. Many people have been mistreated and stripped of the liberty to express their sexuality. This is a huge issue that seems to be improving, as culture has broadened its views of what ‘normal’ and ‘acceptable’ sexuality looks like.

As Foucault explains in the text, sexuality changed drastically as the Victorian era emerged. What happened in the bedroom stayed there, and sex was only for reproduction. In the last century, our modern day society has rejected the Victorian model for some obvious reasons, and if it is a social construct, society can change it.

Something that I hope we can talk about in seminar this week is, what has improved in society due to our rejection of ‘private’ sexuality? I can think of many things. I can also think of some negative aspects of this movement. As this is my blog post, my opinion completely saturates my points, but I do think that there is some sense of intimacy lost in today’s views of sex. Does ‘free love’ emphasize cheapness of love or liberty of it? Perhaps some would argue that sex should only be recreational, but I wonder if that view has also led to some of the prevalent issues in today’s culture. Pornography addiction is at its highest rate, and recent statistics have shown many young people are impotent due to it. Are these topics even an issue? Are all things related to sexuality acceptable and subjective as long as it doesn’t hurt other people? Hopefully this blog post hasn’t been too ignorant or offensive to anyone. I know that this topic is touchy and Foucault does not hold back from talking about these subjects, so hopefully I am not out of line! I sense a great discussion in seminar!


1 thought on “Sexy Secrets: A Few Questions for Foucault

  1. Great questions, Megan! I don’t think you’re out of line at all. Foucault definitely does say we talk about sex more and more these days, that it’s much more in the “open.” Mostly he’s talking about things like scientific study of sex in medicine and psychology, but also how it becomes more prominent in literature (e.g., de Sade) and elsewhere. If there were talk shows of the kind we have today, he’d probably remark about how sex is a continual topic of those daytime talk shows too, as well as other new arenas in which we make “confessions” about sex and sexuality. Is this beneficial and/or harmful is a good question to ask! Probably it has both good and bad effects, as you suggest. I look forward to our seminars on this issue!

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