Thursday, October 3, 2013

The simulachra of sex: the tyranny of media images in your bedroom


"Body-perfect earthlings look for other earthlings looking exactly like themselves to fornicate with media-created images in their own heads." If that does not paint a mental picture  for you, then I don't know  what will.

Now for a bit of theory.

The earthling's social persona in the symbolic order of their mind, the perception of oneself as perceived by the Other, is based on a fundamental misunderstanding: the méconnaisance of taking the Ego for one's Self, of which Lacan (1931) wrote. Amazing how many people only get the letter of the Mirror Stage, but not at all its  spirit.

The frame of reference for the building and maintenance of that social persona, both symbolic and material, is taken from the social environment: parents, family, peers, and, to an ever-increasing extent, the media. The dynamic here is two-fold. Firstly, the earthling learns of the available/possible choices for assembling its identity, consisting of multiple extensions on top of the Ego. Secondly, s/he looks into the society as if into a mirror, picking on and learning from the reactions/feedback towards his or her social persona. 

The physical re-enactment of mental pictures, often media-created, then becomes a major life pursuit. Mutual masturbation into each other, aroused subliminally by those mental pictures is the sex simulacra (Baudrillard 1981) that, unbeknownst to most earthlings, is supplanting human sexual interaction with its glossy vapidity.

* The present analysis is a result of a long-term multi-site fieldwork project undertaken by the author.

Related sources: Lacan's sexuation formulae

Photo by Mehmet Turgut

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