'Sex is Dead, or, Why My Wife Smells like a Fighter Jet', by Ultan Banan. Ruminations on sexuality.
Sex is Dead, or, Why My Wife Smells like a Fighter Jet
She dips her hand in the bucket and draws it out, slaps the axle grease onto her calves and massages it in. Soon, I’ll feel her legs slip over my back as I dive toward the trench of her navel where a rainbow-glisten sits atop the miasma of sweat and motor oil that has pooled in her belly button; I’ll dip my tongue in and lap, tasting the machine-reek of her body.
‘More,’ I say.
Her hand goes back in the grease-bucket and she throws it on thick; I lick my lips.
Her tits are painted camouflage, two nipples poke out like gun barrels. In the low-light of the bedroom, her torso is barely distinguishable from the biscuit-tan of our headboard. Does she know something I don’t? Is the PLA about to burst from our wardrobe and ambush our greasy congress? She’ll mow them down with her twin turrets. I crawl toward her. I smell fuselage, I smell cockpit.
She pulls her hand from under the duvet; she is wielding a torque wrench.
‘What’s that for?’ I say.
‘You have to ask?’ she says. She winks.
Welcome to sex in the post-sex world. Sex is dead, or if it lives, it is couched in the language and accoutrement of brutalism and the industrial. Just last week a Russian perfumer launched a fragrance ‘in honour of’ a new Russian jet, a state-of-the-art fifth-generation fighter called the Checkmate. The eponymous fragrance released alongside the jet was said to “underline the aircraft’s reliability and modernity, as well as its willingness to work in all conditions: under the scorching desert sun, in subtropical and mountainous areas, as well as in the Far North and the tropics”. Great, if your wife is an all-terrain vehicle. What is it about this product that stands out so, and how can we view in in the context of the post-postmodernist world, the world post-sexuality? For we have reached that stage, surely – sexuality has become so mercurial as to be redundant. Every stripe of kink has been discovered, every form, object, ideal and idea has been fetishised, every manner of pleasure has been sucked, licked, poked, tasted, fingered, sat on, eaten, pissed upon, fiddled with, frotted, diddled, tortured, cuddled and raped until… well, what else is there to say? We have done it all, and it was good. For a while. But what is left for us to discover?
A glaring example of this new post-sexual phenomena might be Yuri Tolochko, the Kazakh bodybuilder who divorced his first sex-doll wife, Margo, after cheating on her with a ‘strange silver object’ while she was in hospital. Yuri has since met a new woman (doll), the ‘queer’ Lola. Speaking of Lola, Tolochko says, “Lola has a woman’s head, a chicken’s body, the navel has depth and can be used as a vagina and a penis inserted into it. I’ll show you this one day. I identify her as a massive chicken.” Are you following? Lola’s a big queer chicken sex-doll with a fuck-navel. Go on, Yuri, ya wild thing. Taking shenanigans to a whole new level not so long ago, Tolochko announced he was also in a sexual relationship with an ashtray: “I wanted to touch it again, smell it. I love its brutal scent, the touch of metal on my skin. It’s really brutal. I also like that it has a story, that it’s not new, that it has served many people and continues to serve them.”
Ashtray’s been around, ya hear? It was askin for it…
Is he a mad fella? Is it that simple? Or is Tolochko symptomatic of a wider, deeper, more pervasive unravelling of sex and sexuality? You do a quick Google search on people in relationships with objects and you’ll come across (no pun intended) a whole array of folk beholden to statues, pillows, walls, cars… you name it. There’s a woman in love with the Eiffel Tower. Another with a fairground ride. And not only in love, but in ‘sexual’ relationships with too.
What is all this, if not peak hypersexuality? Manic, relentless, crazed, hyper, schizoid sexuality – that’s where we are today. Hypersexuality, sexual addiction, erotomania, nymphomania, satyriasis… call it what you will, it’s here, has been here for a while, and we have reached the end. What else is there to love, to fuck? The alpinists of the flesh have climbed their peaks, the pioneers of desire have come and gone and there is nothing new to discover.
Eros and Thanatos
According to psychotherapists, there are four major existential bogeymen that plague us: freedom, isolation, meaninglessness, and death. Tell me that in the modern world we don’t, each of us, stare these in the face as part of our daily lives, and how much more intently over the past two years? Locked in our homes, cut off, bombarded with media depictions of our impending end – what have we come to, if not the edge of the abyss? We have all stared into the maw.
“When the repression of the terror of death breaks down, people will often behave in ways that might seem frenetic or even psychotic. Frequently, those reactions will manifest sexually… For many, sex is experienced as a life force, the antithesis of death that can neutralize the terror of the end of one’s existence.”
There are many documented examples of those with life-threatening illnesses being plagued with out-of-control, rampant, sexual urges. Some Nazi death camp survivors tell of the train rides to the camps, relating stories of people abandoning all inhibitions and engaging in sex right there, standing in the carriages, with no thought to those around them. Sex is one of the impulses and the instincts which are triggered when people are forced to face horror, the horror not only of death, but of meaninglessness and loneliness too.
“The awareness that death is inescapable, coupled with the instinctive desire to live, can constitute an unbearable paradox. To escape this potentially paralyzing terror and to maintain psychological equanimity, some people may employ certain defense mechanisms, which are designed to remove the awareness of death from conscious thoughts by imbuing the world with meaning, order, and permanence. Often people will reach for symbols of immortality. And sex can be a big one.”
Yes, we found coping mechanisms and we milked them royally. But we have sucked on the teet and now the teet is dry. It is empty, barren. But there are those who have embraced the barren and the brutal. What of Yuri with his queer fuck-chicken, or a spiritual predecessor, the woman who fell in love with and married the Berlin Wall? Who knows, maybe they are the brave ones. Beyond the love and the fetishisation of the industrial, the cold, the brutal and the inanimate, there is no more to discover, no more earth to plough. Nothing. Love of the inanimate is symbolic embrace of the dead. They have seen the way forward. We have new pioneers now.
What about the rest of us? Go find your coping mechanism. Open an OnlyFans account and video yourself inserting summer vegetables of increasing size into one or all of your orifices until you feel satisfied, satiated, filled, ALIVE. Close your eyes as you stuff the cantaloupe in your hole and repeat it like a mantra:
“There is no death, there is no death, there is no death…’
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‘Sex is Dead, or, Why My Wife Smells like a Fighter Jet’, by Ultan Banan. Please note: flash fiction, nonfiction and all other content is the sole work of Black Tarn. Ask before republishing.