Nude Form and Sexuality - the Paradox

If I had a nickel for every time an artist told me his mission was to make people see that the nude form is not inherently sexual, I would be retired by now. While you can avoid focusing on sex, you can not remove the innate sexual presence in the nude form. If the nude female form is not sexual, why don’t you take nude photos of your mother? According to Sigmund Freud, that’s where it all started. Since youth, men have been repelled by their debt to a physical mother, and have been eager to escape her sexuality by replacing her with other women. Every boy who leaves his mother to become a man subscribes to form and shape, separation and individuation, in order to break free from his mother’s fluid nature. Every artist who must make art for the sake of his soul is compelled to do the same, that is, to use form and shape to defeat the fluidity of nature.

In fact, art is the perfect weapon against nature’s merciless changeability. Art, no matter how post modern, is never just aesthetic. It is always a ritualistic rearrangement of reality, a cage for the untamable beast that is nature. This is easily relatable to photography, which allows the artist to freeze a single moment of nature’s theatre. Art is fixation, an unfulfillable obsession to control the uncontrollable. This is one reason for art’s historical dominance by males. Every benign comment uttered by an artist is a mist to cover his tracks, the bloody wake of his attack against reality. The artist is the closest man can get to woman’s superior self-containment. The most famous artwork in the world, the Mona Lisa, and her ambiguous mocking smile exhibits women’s self satisfied apartness. She is permanent in history and nature, her fascinating unreachability both beckons and destroys. She is the epitome of the femme fatale, in stark contrast to the male hero, who will leave, disappearing to other loves, other lands. He is a wanderer, a cowboy, a sailor. She will stay, still, placid, and paralyzing. Her remaining is a burden of undeniable nature.

Mystery is woman’s metaphor. The female body’s intolerable hiddenness haunts man and dictates all his relationships with women. This shroud of the unknown is the main reason for the imprisonment man has placed on women. In addition to woman’s natural enigma, society has also hidden away menstruation and childbirth, insults to beauty and form. In aesthetic terms, they are displays of gruesome filthiness. Their unsightliness has resulted in the immeasurable displacement of women’s historical status as a sex object, whose beauty is forever debated and adjusted. The identity of women requires a level of suppression of nature not required by men.

The modern woman is so repulsed by her slavery to nature that she denies her innate bodily functions. She takes birth control, gets abortions, anything she can do to deny that she was ever a puppet of a force beyond her control. She buys a one way ticket to body positivity extremism, declining to take pride in her appearance, which is just another reminder of her sexual incarceration by nature. Man succumbs to her will, agreeing that she was never bound by nature. He insists that it was his fault that she ever saw herself as a champion of Mother Earth. Rampant homosexuality saves the rest of the population from having to deal with the eternal issue of women - it is the ultimate ‘fuck you’ to inescapable female nature.

Denying the problem of sex and nature is neither honest or liberating for women, rather a contradiction feminism has inherited from modern liberalism. The female form holds an undeniable mystique; the ambience of imagination and emotion around beauty. It cannot be defined by social codes of morality, whether by men or women, the political left or right. For nature’s ruthless fascism is more extraordinary than that of any culture. There is a level of instability in relations of sex that we will just have to welcome. Solace is found in woman’s beauty, a compromise with her threatening archetypal nature. Consciousness made weaklings of men, who reasonably dread being devoured by woman, who is nature’s proxy. Men hide this nervousness and terror with love and beauty. Beauty is an ecstasy of the eye, it drugs us and allows us to act. It grants us the fantasy of cognitive power over nature, shown to us through the eyes of the artist.

Allie Summers2 Comments