Sex is at once the most commercialized thing on the planet and the most resistant to commercialization. It has been made phenomenally public and yet it remains deeply private. It is an instance or state of being that is thought and talked about constantly, but not in any proper terms, because it is a physical matter, a question of impulse, not intellect. It is beautiful and it is horrifying. It is impermeable to the perversion of culture and it is the perversion of culture. So it is, officially, the most mysterious non-mystery ever – a paradox so unfathomable that the only thing to do about it is embrace our fascination. Obsess about it. Reproduce it, and sell it. Censor it. Celebrate it. Practice it as much as possible. It will never lose interest, and it will never lose power. Fighting it is to fight a losing battle. So just let sex win.
Below: Robert Mapplethorpe, “Joe Rubberman,” 1978. Courtesy of Galerie Thomas Schulte. Copyright Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. READ Wilson on Mapplethorpe.