Chauncey DeVega has been interviewing various experts with negative things to say about Donald Trump. It keeps the Democratic base worked up, or something. This week, I guess in anticipation of Valentine’s Day, he went a bit more clickbait-y and interviewed Dr. Susan Block, sex expert, to talk about “Post-Trump Sex Disorder“. Trump makes people feel bad and therefore less sexual, yeah. She has a very Freudian outlook on things:
Yes, Donald Trump is a turn-off for many people. But for some people they are turned on and titillated by Donald Trump. They are not suffering from Post-Trump Sexual Disorder. Sex does not always turn us on the way we think it ought to. A lot of people are attracted to bad boys. I emphasize “people” because it is both men and women who are aroused and attracted to and titillated by Donald Trump. There is definitely a homoerotic attraction for Trump being experienced by his usually very homophobic male supporters. Both men and women really do find Trump to be an appealing “bad boy” and “evil daddy” who’s really hot.
In this way, Donald Trump is the daddy of a dysfunctional United States family. And of course evil can be very sexy. Evil is fascinating. As you said previously, Donald Trump is a cult leader and Charlie Manson-like figure. People are just charged up by him and some of those people are driven to commit great crimes by that kind of charisma.
It is almost the same as when you hear about a fetish and you say to yourself, “I don’t understand why anybody would be turned on by that,” but people are.
American society is very repressed in terms of healthy attitudes about sex. Therefore it is no surprise that people will look to violence to express their sexuality. This is why Donald Trump embodies the symbolic cultural role as the “Big Mean Sexy Daddy.”
This isn’t really so different than what the Mitscherlichs wrote in The Inability to Mourn, a Freudian analysis of post-WWII Germany.
The inability to mourn the loss of the Führer is the result of an intensive defense against guilt, shame, and anxiety, a defense which was achieved by the withdrawal of previously powerful libidinal cathexes. The Nazi past was de-realized, i.e., emptied of reality. The occasion for mourning was not only the death of Adolph Hitler as a real person, but above all his disappearance as the representation of the collective ego-ideal. He was an object on which Germans depended, to which they transferred responsibility, and he was thus an internal object. As such, he represented and revived the ideas of omnipotence that we all cherish about ourselves from infancy; his death, and his devaluation by the victors, also implied the loss of a narcissistic object and, accordingly, an ego- or self-impoverishment and devaluation.
Avoidance of these traumata must be regarded as the most immediate reason for the general de-realization. Defense against mourning for the countless victims of Hitler’s aggression–an aggression which, in their identification with the Führer, the German people had so willingly, so unresistingly shared–came later. Once the order of priority of these psychic processes has been recognized, the reasons for the difficulties in mutual understanding between Germans and the rest of the world after the war become clearer. Germany’s conquerors had experienced a reinforcement of their ego-ideal, while the Germans themselves had experienced a crushing humiliation.
Education is an important part of the revolution. It’s faster not to relearn how to theorize and fight from first principles:
An enlightened and empathetic upbringing recognizes the pain involved in having continually to renounce selfish pleasure. It slowly leads the individual to awareness of the existence of others and thus lays the first foundations for his subsequent cultural adaptability. Education that follows the model of “breaking in” by punishment and reward secures adjustment by a system of conditioned reflexes that organize themselves into a conscience alien to the ego. To this kind of conscience other people appear merely as role-figures, not as feeling and suffering fellow-creatures. The external terrorism of education and the internal terrorism of conscience create conditions under which feigned civilization is bound to arise.
I think Block is correct here more than most people are comfortable admitting. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that right-wing conspiracy theory revolves around pedophilia:
Many of these fathers are like Donald Trump and they have fantasies about their daughters. Hopefully, they’re not literally going after their daughters in bed . . . although some of them are. These fathers hold their daughters like they’re on a date. Donald Trump has also been very blatant in how he talks about his own daughter as well.
In total these “purity balls” are a way of establishing ownership over women. It reflects a broader American society which is very anti-sex. This is very old, this idea of utilizing sex for procreation so that daddy can be in control and have grandchildren and pass on his great fortune to his children. That’s the idea of sex in an ownership society, one which is patriarchal and heavily influenced by right-wing Christians.
She’s really knocking it out of the park, explaining the depths of white sexuality:
It scares them but it also makes their penises hard. It’s such a conundrum for these guys. The penis doesn’t lie, unless it’s on Viagra. I feel that a lot of these white supremacist, “cuck obsessed” “cuckold” name-calling right-wing types really believe that black men are superior to them sexually and physically. This belief and feeling is at the center of their sexual desire which in turn is the center of their true masculinity. It scares them so bad and yet they want to act it out. They want to feel it because they have a natural desire to have an orgasm, to enjoy themselves, to have pleasure.
A lot of these white right-wing men, especially the “alt-right” types, would love to have sex with African-American men. But this could potentially ruin their social and political power if it became publicly known. But the fantasies still exist.
They try to work these fantasies and tensions out somehow. But they have this totally opposite politics and cultural relationship to the world and to their families. I have tried to help people to be a little bit more honest with their true fantasies and desires. But it is a challenge.
The context was a question about cuckold fantasies. My dad was black and my mom is white. Society’s major representation of interracial relationships, the kind of thing I presumably remind people of, is interracial porn. White people have to work out their creepy sexual issues before an end to racism is possible.
Things go downhill when DeVega asks this question:
As unbelievable as it may sound, there are actually slave plantation retreats where black people go to be dominated by white people in a BDSM interracial role-playing experience. There are also other examples of that kink where blacks and Latinos and other nonwhites engage in “race play” with their intimate partners where the former act out “crossing the border” and being captured by the authorities, are servants or slaves who are subjected to racist abuse. Sometimes this takes the form of using racial slurs while having sex. To me these are all clear examples of internalized white supremacy and self-hatred. But I also believe that people have a right to their own pleasure and bodily autonomy with consenting partners. How do we reconcile these tensions?
Before we get to that, as an aside, because my dad’s social worker job seemed normal to me, it’s hard for me to know how controversial these ideas are. They’re self-evident to me, but since we don’t talk about them, it makes social interaction weird. Like…I think that most white people below a certain age probably listen to more rap than me. What does my blackness represent to people I interact with, since we never discuss it directly?
In a twisted sort of way, I think being exposed to other family’s sexual skeletons in the closet from a young age helped me to adapt as an autistic person, along with being black. I always understood what abusive behavior was, and I always understood that people in power shielded it. It certainly gives me more information to build a more complicated mental model with.
It’s so strange, having to live in fear over white people’s sexual issues. America has some brutality issues to work out, but it’s like society is perversely designed to prevent that from happening. Block explains:
I have talked to so many men in right-wing strongholds, red state America. They need sex therapy more than the guys in liberal parts of the country.
Why is this? Certain communities do not allow these men to step out of a very narrow role of what is defined as being “masculine” and “strong” and “normal.” They have a very hard time of even finding a therapist in those places to speak with. Men in these conservative parts of the country may not even be able to find a therapist who than can share something as basic as, “Hey, I really enjoy having a woman spank me.” They’re going to laugh at you. They’re going to call you names. These men will certainly not be able to share with a therapist or anyone else for that matter how they may really enjoy seeing their wives with another man.
But these right-wing conservative men are very turned on by the thought of seeing their wives or girlfriends with other men. These men, the Trump supporters and especially the “alt-right” types love to use the word “cuck” as a type of insult. But in reality I would estimate that a lot of them, maybe most, are into the cuckold fantasy themselves.
Obviously, in the society that took slavery to new heights, it’s obvious that there should be this slave-owner fantasy. Fascinated and conflicted about taking his strongest slave and seeing his wife get fucked by his better, which is punishable by death. In keeping with the Freudianism, Frantz Fanon was a Lacanian. Commentary from Sensational Flesh: Race, Power, and Masochism:
Fanon argues that this conflation of the black man with his penis is one of the main qualities of Negrophobia, which manifests as sexual panic that takes the form of fear and desire. The myth of the large black penis only serves to emasculate the black man.
The Negro’s impotence is further signaled by his inability to actually substitute for the punishing father of Freud’s narrative. Though the menacing black penis offers the possibility of physical pain, the Negro does not serve as a superego for the woman. The woman’s punishment for her desire to be raped occurs, not at the hands of the Negro, but within the realm of the white psyche. The fantasy is formed in anticipation of harsh societal judgment against her desires, which represent the persistent paranoid fear of white femininity being violated by black men. The woman voices what Fanon imagines to be the deepest fear/desire of white patriarchy. The woman will not actually be punished for this fantasy, but its effects are especially real to the black man, resulting in the social castration of black men. As Diana Fuss writes, “Fanon’s deconstruction of this fantasy takes place in an historical context when fabricated charges of rape were used as powerful colonial instruments of fear and intimidation.”
Liam Neeson wanting to go on a lynching spree was JUST in the news. And note that both genders are sexually invested in this scenario, on a fantasy level. This is all a weird, unstated factor in my interactions with white people. I have to at least consider these things while I’m theory-of-minding. On an intellectual level. Hence, psychoanalysis.
We now have the context, several echolalic quote blocks later, for Block’s answer about “race play”:
It is complicated and not a simple issue. I think it can be great therapy. Interracial cuckolding and other types of role-playing can open up the participant’s minds to each other and make them all better people. I really believe that. I also believe that this type of sex can exorcise old demons from your childhood. It can also exorcise old demons from just being an American and this country’s history.
I believe in the power of psychodrama and fantasy role-playing. I think when it’s all consensual and there is discussion afterwards and before it can be very valuable. But unfortunately all too often that does not happen.
Remember that the question was about NON-white people internalizing and acting out the racism, in an obvious and sad display of self-hatred. Block doesn’t see it. It’s “great therapy.” When someone demeans themself to satisfy a creepy racial fetish, that “opens up the participant’s minds to each other and makes them all better people.” Right…because the effect of being racially fetishized is to make people feel understood and appreciated in their unique humanity. Being reminded of slavery during sex is a great way of becoming free from the burdens of history.
It’s amazing to me that Block can see all the conflicts and complexities of white dudes and their big black cock issues, but the insight completely breaks down when it relates to non-white people. Even when a black guy is directly talking about how obviously painful and trauma-derived “race play” would be for its non-white participants, Block doesn’t even think to imagine the non-white perspective in that scenario. Black people are still just props for white people to work out their slave master fantasies, at the end of the day. The interview ends on a note of defending obvious bullshit in the name of sex positivity:
It is also very important to honor your own sexual desires and the pleasures of your partner or partners. If your partner has a cuckold fantasy or some other fantasy that you don’t like, try not to shame them. Try to let them talk about it and try to hear them out. Of course, do not do anything that bothers you.
I think that there are so many people who shame each other over our human sexual desires. It’s kind of a favorite American pastime. I think that that contributes to a sex negative culture.
No, any white person involving a non-white person in their slave master fantasies is doing something harmful, and they should stop. Their pleasure is morally atrocious, and we should say so.