On Perversion

pervert can be a verb or a noun. when we pervert something, we alter it from its intended course — we distort or corrupt — while a pervert is the thing distorted or corrupted.

as a noun, pervert has both a strong and weak form. the weak is often self-applied. for example, i often refer to myself as a pervert, which is true. the strong form is usually screamed and followed by a hasty exit.

some people think homosexuality is a perversion. some people think masturbating to hentai is as well, or coprophilia. in the latter case at least, the disgust is understandable, although probably best kept to yourself. that is, not everyone has to like what you like. they are free to find it distasteful. they are not free to discriminate.

but bigotry does not so much come from disgust as from fear. people fear the perverted, but rarely because of the perversion. rather, it comes from our implicit binary division of the world.

we each live at the center of a circle. inside that circle is everything we find rational and reasonable. outside that circle is everything else. when someone admits to being aroused by human excrement, or animals, first there is disgust, then aversion, because if that person can indulge such a thing, if they are actually capable of something so nasty, then they are outside the circle and who knows what else they might do??

that we fear the unknown is cliche because it’s a truism. anything outside our circle is not just unknown, because it’s unknown, it seems irrational and unpredictable. hence bigots often see perverts as subhuman, something closer to a lion or a snake, where you stand afraid because you’re never quite sure what the beast will do next.

disgust also implies contamination and therefore contagion: corruption spread by contact. and then we’re back to fear — that contact with homosexuals with turn a child gay, for example.

i am a pervert. that i am aroused by the genuinely obscene does not make me any less rational. i am no more likely to steal or commit murder or run around with my genitals covered in barbed wire than you are.

in fact, in my experience — and jung’s and dr. lecter’s — those who are aware of their demons, who acknowledge them, are the only ones genuinely in control of themselves. it is all you fools who pretend to have none that worry me.