While their compatriots teach sado-masochism to Iraqis – don’t worry not another Private Lynndie R. England blog – a crack team of US virgins is over to extol the virtues of celibacy to British teens. Katharine and I saw a documentary on these guys a little while ago (before blogging) and there’s more to it than a simple denial of human sexuality, akin to the myth of moral superiority.
Don’t let the geeky kids pictured on their website fool you. You might expect the sexually repressed to let their frustration show from time to time, but these guys are downright nasty; their leader lets it all out by trying to render geese unconscious with golf balls. It’s apocalyptic stuff; ‘how you gonna get a husband when ya cervix’s been lasered off thanks ta cancer!’ is a not untypical cry at their rallies. A couple of virgins, same age, same church, known each other all their lives sit on the stage throughout and remain surprisingly comfortable. Does she really believe he’s unclean and will give her a dose? Surely not and there lies the problem; if you trust each other, think you know each other, then you’re not inclined to think of each other as diseased. So why not get to it?
The Silver Ring Thing simply fails to recognise the reality of the human condition and our instinctive preoccupation with sex. Rather than making vows of chastity – a phenomenon with a long history of failure – we need to recognise that, to quote Supergrass’s Mary, ‘at the back of every mind is something obscene’. That’s why Lynndie England did what she did and why people use words like ‘bitch’ and ‘masturbation’ when trawling the web for her picture. Our more destructive urges need to be overcome rather then simply replaced with more hang-ups.
But that documentary had funny moments, like the little girls – they start teaching kids that sex=death early – who thought the sex thing’s just a passing phase anyway. Seeking reassurance no doubt, they asked the thirty-something documentary maker, ‘hey, you don’t wanna have sex with your wife anymore, do you?’ There was pleading in their eyes. But hey… you’re only in hell’s second divison!.