Simulating Sex: Aesthetic Representation of Erotic Activity

Simulating Sex: Aesthetic Representation of Erotic Activity by Steve Bachmann

At a time when pornography has become mainstream and sex haters have gained national political power, it would seem than sex is all around us. But most of us are unaware that much interesting thinking about sex is going on. Mostly, I, for one, find myself wishing people could get their minds onto some OTHER topic for a few minutes. MoveOn.org became a political force by channeling our frustration with Congress’s obsession with Monica Lewinsky. There’s a large section of the population, including those who have read Foucault, who would like to just de-emphasize sex for a second, relax about it, and not treat relaxing about it as the key to our happiness, but actually just relax about it.

The danger in this position is that we can come to dismiss sex as an interesting topic for thought. But, just as there is very interesting thinking going on about sports despite the way sports announcers give you the impression that nothing intelligent can ever be said about a sports game, there is in fact extremely interesting thinking going on about sex despite the fact that no one has ever read Playboy for the articles or learned much from dating shows.

Steve Bachmann has published in “Simulating Sex” a collection of his book reviews and essays on sex, opening doors to a world of thought about sex in the United States at the turn of the millennium. Here Bachmann’s backgrounds in art, law, and politics are brought together for a serious analysis of how writers and artists depict sex.

This is the same author who in 1987 gave us “U.S. Constitution for Beginners,” a brilliant short history of the Constitution and its interpretation from the viewpoint of those most shut out of power and benefits – a book that should be in every elementary school. Bachmann also gave us, in 2002, a collection of essays on art by Bachmann and Terrington Calas called “Beyond NOLA: New Orleans Reviews of Art.” The insights of these books are evident in “Simulating Sex,” in which Bachmann diagnoses class prejudice as a source of sexual tastes and frames sex within Proust’s description of extraordinary moments.

This book is useful both for Bachmann’s treatment of familiar artists and for the introduction he gives us to artists and authors we can move on to learn from.

Where to get the book:

http://www.unlimitedpublishing.com/authors/1588320634.htm

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