The Liminalist # 106: Love, Sex, & Contractual Agreements (with Frances Hutchens)

Conversation with Frances Hutchens, on sex contracts, contractual relationships, courtship, changing sexual roles, the looking-for-sex field, how writing de-romanticizes, how culture defines romantic love, contentment unsung, alchemical marriage, why do young people get married, the divorce season, big weddings, the culture of blame, the desire for certainty, freedom of prostitutes, marriage & the eternal, the crucible, signing a sex contract, the mysterious element in relationships, commitment & purpose, folie a deux, disillusionment & disappointment, finding reality, love & language, Venus & Mars, seasonal relating, razing the land, fallow marriage, creation & destruction, cliché and humor, perpetual outrage, the definers of language, the attack of the snowflake people, the social currency of victims, self-harming and reenactment compulsion

Frances’ site.

“The Kommema and his Religion” by SunWalker;  “Speedbath” by Kristin Hersh;”Quite a Light Show,” by Party People in the Can

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  1. Posted March 18, 2017 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Dear Jasun and Frances,
    Sharing a limerick I wrote last fall following miscommunication with an old friend..
    A Case for Androgyny
    Men are from Mars, Women from Venus. The difference discerned is not just the penis.
    And it’s not just the ‘Y’ that falls right of the ‘X’. It’s deeper than that and may be God’s hex.
    The challenge to master is an androgynous view- an old Greek tradition now practiced by few.
    So we’re not going to get it and the harder we try, the gap only widens-we may never know why.
    But I do know a lesson lodged deep in my heart. We’re all cast in this play until death do us part !

  2. brb97133
    Posted March 18, 2017 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    First thought after listening to this podcast: Christ, British people are weird.

    But moving beyond that, I would also suggest having a look at the Sex At Dawn book that uses biology, anthropology, etc to look at the nature of human sexuality. It is quite eye-opening in many respects if you are interested in the “big picture”:

    The other thing that comes to mind is how much of the discussion within this podcast seemed to focus on the individual. If you consider humans to be a social species then the role of marriage within the collective or community also needs to be considered. Yeah, marriages are an illogical expense & waste of money. Everybody—most especially fathers of brides—already knows this yet the ritual still serves a role. With so much gray area in life, this is a chance to mark something out in black & white. Moreover, it is the logical midpoint of that triumvirate of ritual complementing births & deaths. Those three events are pretty much the stock & trade of formal religions and are probably necessary to weave any sort of community coherence beyond the level of the tribe (50–150 people).

    The modern age is heavy with the celebration of the individual and often at the cost of isolation & alienation. Have old-fashioned marriages really become antiquated? Or are we just so invested in ourselves these days that we can’t risk anything that threatens that?

    My last thoughts regarding the subject of marriage is how it is a manager of perception. We look at a historic register and tend to assume that all those people were faithful & lead tidy little lives. More likely, the history books are just a facade for rather messy human lives. But if you are trying to ensure the intergenerational transfer of wealth then that facade becomes very powerful. Marrying your cousin might be considered incest but it keeps the wealth concentrated within the family. It also provides a cover for extramarital affairs and could even legitimize certain offspring that are actually drawn from the stock of peasants & servants.

    All in all, interesting stuff.

  3. brb97133
    Posted March 19, 2017 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Ok, one more thing comes to mind regarding this podcast. At one point it is mentioned that in China only the women who were prostitutes were allowed to study because married women were trapped in domestic duties.

    In fact, this was also somewhat common in Europe with the role of the women who were courtesans. There was even a movie called Dangerous Beauty made about one such famous woman in 15th century Venice. One of the oddest films that I’ve ever seen because it is quite daring & excellent in some respects but then also terribly cliche & banal at other points, very un-even in other words.

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