Second, unlike women, men have largely failed to re-evaluate their sense of purpose in the 21st century. Feminism as a social revolution resulted in the emancipation of the female and the displacement of traditional male roles. Rather than making a conscious effort to resituate “the masculine” in the context of rising gender equality, heterosexual men have in many ways fallen into a subconscious, anti-feminine counterrevolution.
And this takes us back to our imaginary Orwell. Picture him sitting on a couch, in his underwear, at 2:00 a.m. His naked profile lit by the warm glow of a laptop screen. He’s surfing the net, reading about how Hitler invented the first sex doll, which prompts him to play a quick round of Call of Duty. He’s tossing grenades and sniping Nazis, but then he gets bored so he pops in a bukkake DVD and tosses off to the image of a female performer being submerged in seminal fluid. He’s satiated and disconnected but in the virtual world he’s still a dominant, violent, virulent alpha male.
The porn industry, now bigger than Hollywood and pro sports combined, has facilitated the transformation of sex into a liquid consumer good. There is nothing left to separate the individual from the market and the industry’s success has also produced a feedback loop that results in its own intensification. In order to compete with porn, the mainstream media appropriates the pornographic, which in turn forces porn producers and websites to create more vicious and chaotic content. The mainstream becomes porn and porn gradually edges closer to snuff.
Of course very little of this sexual media reflects reality in any way. When watching hard-core porn, one is struck by the message it so desperately attempts to communicate: sex is boring. And the more violent the porn, it seems, the more anti-sex its message. But could anything be further from the truth? Isn’t having sex with another living, human being the one thing that provides the most intense connection with the present moment?