Wednesday, 2 January 2008


We need an ethics of uncleanness. The problem is the ancient error of confusing the literal and metaphorical senses of hygene ... striving for the former is almost always a good idea, striving for the latter (counterintuitively, but the lesson of history is unambiguous) always a bad one. Ethnic cleansing; racial purity; fundamentalism--all bad. 'Sexual purity' as a code for sexua abstention is a particularly dangerous and destructive notion. A leaven of (metaphorical) uncleanness is absolutely needful for a fully functioning sex-life. Woody Allen says it very well: 'is sex dirty? Only if done right.'

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