I've been re-reading Kerry Thornley's wonderful tract Zenarchy. It's about the only work on politics I've ever found that truly makes sense. Here's a great excerpt on the politics of sexuality, highly relevant to the "culture war" and to the far right's attempt to use gay marriage as a wedge issue to distract us from how the military-industrial complex and the investment class have been screwing us over for decades; and also to the sexy counter-game represented by things like the Burner community and the Pagan movement:
By itself, intellectual liberation that does not come to terms with human sexuality can be worse than useless. And regaining our original lusty sexual innocence requires, beyond reviving our curiosity, an entirely different approach than liberating reason. For now we are called upon to deal with that portion of the human mind called the human body, regarded in speech as a separate entity from the body. They are interconnected. That explains why erotic matters are usually imponderable even to poets. So much is sexuality part of us, closer than breathing, that trying to understand it is akin to the eye endeavoring to see itself - in a beautiful metaphor used in another context by Alan Watts - or like the hand trying to grab itself.
Possibly, sexuality is the mother of religion. Primitive mystics may have been ascribing symbols to aspects of what we call lust, both genital and the more pervasive non-genital kind of which Norman O. Brown writes so eloquently. Certainly when religion becomes organized and established it begins to regard sex jealously as a dangerous competitor, perhaps in an effort to hide its own not-so-miraculous-and-immaculate origins.
Politicians intuitively grasp the usefulness of sexuality as a sure way to divide people and distract them from the business of becoming free in other ways. Whether they choose to be for or against sexual repression, they can create such an uproar that political and economic crimes and failures will fade into the background. Jay Gould, the monopoly capitalist, once boasted that he could cure unemployment by hiring one half of the jobless to kill the other half. As long as they can keep their subjects quarreling with one another about personal affairs, they need not fear a united effort to oust them. Since organized religion is politically powerful, it usually takes the side of repression. As Aldous Huxley showed in Brave New World, they could just as easily reduce us to submission by taking the opposite approach. In contemporary culture, factions of the ruling class sometimes join forces with organized crime to create turmoil by supporting sexual freedom. Efforts like that are not sexual liberation movements; they depend as much on guilt and blackmail and puritanical legislation as drug smuggling depends on narcotics laws - without which there would not be much profit in the activity.
Once I was driving through Atlanta with my Hindu friend, Suresh, an exchange student from India. Upon noting that the largest adult book center in town was located right next door to the Baptist book store, also the largest of its kind, he commented, "Why not? They keep each other in business!"