Lipton’s Journal/February 7, 1955/499
The next “idea” is that born as bisexuals, our training through childhood and adolescence requires that we see ourselves as unisexuals. This is most true in adolescence, so true that masturbation (which is the solitary bisexual recreation of the fuck, just as the fuck is the orgy of the quartet) is most pressing in adolescence, just as homosexual experience is—not as analysts would have it because boys are “homosexual-phased” then, but because the urge is bisexual and one can’t get at girls—although one would like to fuck girls and boys—so one settles for boys.
A little older, and for most boys including myself, guilt sets in—fucking around with the fellows begins to seem a little unmanly. So one stops, if one is a unisexual one usually starts to make it with girls; if one is bisexual the progress is more difficult and often sticks for years at masturbation. But what happens over the life as a whole (I’ll get to women one of these days) is that a social violence has been put upon the basic bisexuality. So, as one gets older one must attempt to return (whether directly or symbolically) to the natural sex life, the bisexual sex life, and because the nature of the body hates nothing so much as a violation of its nature, the price is always that one must express oneself socially in dangerous ways—athletes, warriors, or like myself intellectual warriors, or else one’s sex must suffer.
Men have a greater variety of ways in which to express and substitute (sublimate if you will) not the sex-desire but the sex imperative to move from artificial social unisexuality to natural dangerous bisexuality. Compared to women they have an endless number of expressions in male and social activities.
But women don’t. Not nearly so many, and so they pay more directly, more quickly in the sexual life. But before I go on, because this is much more than just giving in a fancy way the old saw about society inhibiting women sexually which is true but shallow (therefore a cliché) I have to say something very fundamental about the nature of the movement from unisexual to bisexual. It is not at all a simple straight line. The nature of all change I am beginning to think is dialectical. I return to my formula of give and take.
The closest mechanical analogy—and mechanical analogies are valid since all mechanical discoveries I believe are-contractions and sup-abstractions of the internal body functioning—the closest mechanical analogy is the changing of gears on a car. No car can move forward in a simple unbroken acceleration line, not even in dynaflows, hydramatics, etc.—all that is done is that the change from one state to another is smoothed over, rendered smaller—just as an electric motor comes “smoothly” to speed through an infinitesimal series of gives and takes. (Which opens the interesting notion that this is the idea upon which Calculus has been built.) We have all noticed the great difference in feel between first and second gear, second gear and third, and overdrive. Moreover, before we give the gear, the gears have to take their state of rest—neutral.
So, what I suggest is that the unisexual moves toward bisexuality through a series of “gear” changes. Put less mechanically, a sexual layer of experience is explored more or less thoroughly—depending on how the sup can deal with the I wrote earlier around sixty-nine—and the person is drawn or repelled, invariably fascinated. They fill their ‘limited’ capacity for fucking, and so they have to go on to the next ‘gear’—in this case, arbitrarily, 69—but I am not trying to set up a train schedule—every person alive, given the enormous variation of the sup (I believe as I will describe later that the er understood in its infinite totality is not only the same for all people but is actually All or God) mover from artificial unisexuality to natural bisexuality through a range of “gears” so various, so complex, so back and forth, so give and take, that a total spectrum rather than a live (spectrum as three or n-dimensional rather than one-dimensional) is the only way to describe the various states.-desire. Fucking for instance. But then a bisexual desire manifest itself—the desire for perversion—revolving always as
Nonetheless, what happens to people is that particular sexual satisfactions become exhausted, sooner or later depending on an enormity of factors—some people are so slowly and amply developed—peasants say—that a lifetime is necessary to move from one sexual gear to the next. But, sooner or later, it comes—sooner for women than for men because women not only have less—I meant to write “social”—opportunity, but they have less sup capacity. They are closer to their er—they have to be—duality—the child which issues from them is basic to their understanding, just as man sees his life as isolation and loneliness. So, women, are more basic sexually, they can literally sublimate less because the idea of one which is the “magic” which permits sex duality to be expressed as unal-social-acts, is less available to them given their sex. (Which is why the folk-wisdom that men think and women feel is indeed true)—which is to say that it is partially true; women are bisexual too, the man is in them, so they are far from totally deprived of those social acts which may be substitutes for advancing into the next sexual gear).
But anyway once the deep decision to make an advance in sexual gear, to go from Bisexuality Minus Twenty let us say to Bisexuality Minus Nineteen—I am satirizing not the idea, but the ineptness of mechanical analogies unless they are exceptionally “cybernetic”—once this decision is made, I believe two things occur. One goes into neutral—there is a lowering of sexual desire, which if the change is made, erupts into a period of joyous exploring exciting sex.
In other words, just as it seems that fucking is losing its salt, you really tear off a great one. But just why was it great? I am willing to bet that some element in it, some sensation, some particular pleasure or gratification was new. One felt something one had never felt before, either in variety or in intensity. A really great fuck of the sort that leaves one totally happy the next day or almost totally happy has had a new element, even if it be no more than that things one had done before which made one hot but left one with a hangover now leave one happy.
So, the change in sexual gears has been made, and depending on the person anything from an hour to a lifetime will satisfy the capacity to explore more or less fruitfully in this gear. (What must be understood is that the old gears are not deserted, they are enriched in healthy bisexual fucking. That is, the joys of 69 do not diminish but augment the joys of fucking.
But, note: Every change in sexual gear is done against the sup. (A complication here which is well worth exploring is that one contains more than one sup. As society wages war upon itself—thereby allowing in its contradictions er-drives to be expressed—so sup consciousenesses and sup-unconsciousnesses war upon one another. As a crude example, a girl is brought up in an old fashioned home and is given an old-fashioned more or less totally unisexual sup-consciousness. But as she grows into adolescence the larger family of society which is invariably ahead or behind the parents—and how important this is for understanding the children of ‘advanced’ parents!—introduces a new sup consciousness, a more tolerant one perhaps, or for the child of an “advanced” couple, a more repressive one.
Thus, the change in sexual gears is accompanied not only by sup-opposition, but by different kinds of sup-opposition warring with one another as well with the er. (For an image of this one need merely look at politics and world affairs. America denies its people, Russia denies its people, each essentially as society against man, but nonetheless they must also as Societies combat one another). At any rate, the advance in sexual gears is made against and through the contradictory sup-opposition. (The more contradictory the sup-opposition, the more opportunity for er to express itself). This advance is considered by both the sup and the er to be dangerous, beautiful, and potentially disastrous, so often the attempt is made successfully to jam the sex back into lower gear.
But, here we are. Whenever the bi-sexual drive is jammed back into lower gear or the refusal to go into higher gear is taken, what happens is that sexual malfunctions appear. Frigidity, cooling-off, sore pussies, etc. etc. in women, and the varieties of impotence, anxiety, and masturbation in men—or indeed in rare cases, homosexual flights, or criminal acts of violence. Or, for both sexes, very rarely and very significantly—I’ll go into it later—fetishism.
But these are obvious symptom in people who possess insufficient youth or energy or rhythm (more on this later) to continue to function in the less desirable and lower sexual gear. People with more youth or energy take other forms—they intensify their actions. They become chained to the idea of power. They have entered the power—debility spectrum.
So, the dictator, so the society bitch who castrates, so the treasurer of the UJA, so the Jewish lady in her mink coat with the address on Fifth Avenue or Central Park West, so the tough lumberman, so the jefe (chief in Mexico), so the bandit, so the career woman, so anyone who must express more or less intensely their desire to live, their sexual creativity by controlling others. The level of their sex doesn’t matter, it can be extremely varied, rich, complex, etc.—what remains is that they refused from fear to take a further step on the unisexual-bisexual—go-to-fuck-your-mother spectrum.
And this is why, just in passing, certain kinds of powerful leaders who were good guys when they started become more and more rigid, cruel, compulsive, and ridden by the need to be always right as they get older. Sexual and life energy wane as we get older. To avoid senility, rigidity, the cranky stiff socialization of old age demands more and more flexibility. The refusal to change sexual gears at twenty may result in a great deal of work being done; to refuse at forty is to invite liver trouble, depression, etc.; to refuse at sixty is to invite cancer.
Unless, and this is the key, the equivalent of sexual gears, the dialectical gears of thought move onward, alter, and enrich the soul, the er, one is doomed to greater rigidity, sickness, and quicker death—given the active life energy with which one began. So, thought, which is the mental attribute of sex, permits one to remain healthy, flexible, without shifting sexual gears, provided the thought is creative. From The Deer Park: “There was that law of life so cruel and so just which insisted that one must grow or else pay more for remaining the same.”