brought my attention to an article on the concept of 'slow sex,'
an intended parallel to the "slow food" movement. katasutra
was asking for thoughts and comments, but mine were too long for a comment box. So I'm posting here instead.
My first reaction upon reading the original article was that I like "slow sex" as a term for mindful, engaged sex a lot better than -- cough -- "urban tantra." See, I had occasion to do a bit of research recently into the latter term, coined by Barbara Carellas. I watched an interview with her in which she explained that what she meant by the term was, basically, "conscious," self-aware, embodied sex.
All of which is good, but calling it "tantra" seems a bit of a culturally appropriative stretch. (Her wish to redefine what "orgasm" means is another whole story, too.) I mean, yes, breathing and touching and energy exchange, all good, but at this point in my life it's hard not to see calling it "tantra" per se as much more than a marketing ploy. One that kinda irritates me, actually.
So in that respect, despite some of the flaws and assumptions in the original "Slow sex" article," I am kinda liking the term.
"Slow sex" reminded me, too, of something Annie Sprinkle once said
: "The way I see it, there is junk sex, health sex, and gourmet sex. Junk sex is very fast, very genitally focused, and not always very nourishing. It can even be harmful to your physical and emotional well-being. Health sex is healing and nourishing. Gourmet sex takes a lot of time to prepare and savour, and it takes skill and knowledge."
The parallels to the slow food movement become clear here. And I think that the pitfalls and flaws of slow food and slow sex are similar: that it is an elitist concept that harbors a tendency toward snobbishness and judgmentalism about other people's choices, when they're not as "slow" as whoever might like; a feeling that one must ascribe to the ideal all the time, or be a failure for wanting M&Ms or a one-night stand once in a while; that "slow" itself is a misnomer in the first place, since it's not the speed but the focus that we're concerned with. katasutra
also asked, recognizing the Slow Food parallel, whether there would be an emphasis on "local sex." I say yes. Like this: the larger the venue, the more processed and homogenized our sexual cultural products will be. Consider mass market porn versus amateur porn -- and how amateur porn has changed over the years, toward precisely a more consistent and processed and predictable product, in direct relation to its market share.
Consider erotic writing, and what happened to it, too.
Consider one-size-fits-all sex and dating advice. Consider the binary gender system.
All of which sounds naively anti-capitalist and self-defeating if you look at it from the wrong angle. But all I am really suggesting is this: more diversity, less monocrops, culturally speaking. Let a thousand slow sexual flowers bloom. The concept behind "slow sex" -- not the particulars so much as the premise -- helps explain a lot about why I'm a big advocate of supporting sexual expression and variation, but not so keen on some of the more commercial, processed, "fast" versions I see out there, you know. Yeah, I think I'm OK with the idea of "slow sex."