FREE LOVE AND FEMINISM - SEPTEMBER 1997
never hated anyone as much as I've hated you,"
I didn't respond, secretly taking pleasure
in the knowledge that I could affect her feelings
"But one thing," she continued, "no one can
kiss like you. I've never felt such tenderness
like the way you kissed me."
I still remained quiet. Allowing her space
to play out her pent up emotions. But inside
I thought, "It's true you little fool. Because
my dear, you always miss the obvious. A kiss,
is the most sacred act of intimacy."
The kiss is underappreciated. California kisses
are given to every acquaintance whether the
affection behind them is sincere or not. Dutiful
kisses are given to loved ones at every hello
and goodbye even though they are as passionless
as a handshake. And lust kisses, crude and
hurried through, are abused by lovers too
eager to reach love's climax.
If I were never to partake of any of those
kisses again in my life, it will be fine with
me. After all, how can you bear cheap imitations
once you have known a real kiss? A sacred
kiss? A soul kiss?
A kiss can speak volumes. In comparison words
seem ineffectual. I could talk for a hundred
years and never convey what can be expressed
in just one kiss. A kiss can be numinous.
It is an act of worship, and an expression
of devotion. But beware! A kiss is also hunger.
It symbolizes a desire to devour the lover
and to possess eternally. A single kiss can
steal your soul and bind you into slavery.
Never, never, underestimate the danger of
a kiss. And therein lies its sacred nature
Love, the thing which a kiss is supposed to
express, also shares these same qualities.
I recall standing on a stage in a small club
and shouting, "The sexual revolution is not
over!" But what is the truth behind modern
For the last twenty-five years we have been
caught between two extremes. On one extreme
we have 'chaste love, 'the one man and one
woman in marriage,' sexuality of our traditional
heritage. On the other extreme is the 'free
love' that was preached during the 1960's.
'Free love' was an ideal in which people loved
each other and shared their intimacy as their
passions of the moment dictated, and all without
guilt or attachment.
Of course, it is that 'without guilt or attachment'
where the problems arise. The idea of free
love was born from an alternative social model
theorized by beatnik intellectuals in the
early 60's. The model was based on esoteric
concepts from various Eastern religions that
postulated that individuality is an illusion,
therefore even our bodies belonged to the
As all people are literally one, the theory
went, possessiveness and attachment must become
obsolete. It follows that our bodies should
be shared freely, and lovers could not be
possessed, but are community property.
A very complex ideal which demands a psychological
restructuring to bring it into reality, and
which few humans could achieve. Possessiveness
and attachment are part of our self preservation
instinct and are not easily thrown away.
By the time the phrase 'free love' slipped
into mainstream culture it was reduced to
something akin to 'let's fuck!' The social
model the ideal of free love emerged from
was quickly forgotten, but the 'easy sex'
part still swept the nation.
Many women were eager to enjoy the sexual
freedoms men had enjoyed, and men were eager
for women to 'put out' more readily. And under
the revolutionary banner of 'free love,' it
was all morally acceptable.
The original social model required a psychological
transformation, and a spiritual journey to
achieve that transformation. As the sexual
revolution spread, few involved really understood
the implications of what they were involved
Without the psycho/spiritual conversion most
were still locked, at least unconsciously,
into the metaphysics and morality of their
Judeo/Christian traditions. Without first
destroying attachment and possessiveness many
people got emotionally wounded by their sexual
experimentation. Many women quickly found
themselves feeling used and cheapened by loving
Many who first enjoyed the adventure soon
felt empty, as if something sacred had been
lost. Those who could enjoy hedonism without
guilt, often found themselves regretting their
pasts once they truly fell in love.
As the sixties came to a close it was clear
there had really been no social revolution,
but the moral codes had been loosened and
sexual repression seemed to have diminished.
Adding to this situation, in the seventies
a new brand of feminism held sway in the universities,
and saturated the media with their propaganda.
Soon marriage was equated with enslavement,
and motherhood was seen as a degrading vocation
for modern women.
Women who did want marriage still wanted to
wait until later in life. To men this was
an ideal situation. Suddenly sex was easy
to get, and there was no pressure to marry
and support a family.
In 2001 I see the fruit of this development.
Every day in New York City I meet women who
were young during the heydays of the sexual
revolution and now are approaching middle
age. Many of my female friends of that age
see their beauty fading and realize that they
are facing a life without love and family.
The only men left are the losers and those
who will never marry. As the biological urge
for motherhood begins to kick in, they see
that they may have missed the chance to raise
Most of my female friends who are recent college
graduates and of the Generation X age group,
seem to be particularly confused about their
futures. Most seem lost and without direction.
They have been taught that to be good modern
women they must want a career above all else.
Yet they do not have a passion for any vocation
and are ever-vacillating about their next
Repeatedly, these women confide to me as if
embarrassed, that what they really want is
to be a wife and mother. This is the failure
of modern feminism. Women have not been liberated.
They have been forced into adopting the traditional
man's role of being a worker.
Feminism has become a fascist ideology that makes the traditional female role
a shame which all women must avoid. If feminism really cared about freeing women
they would teach them that they have freedom of choice. That they must understand
their options and make a conscious decision about their future. Neither choice
should be degraded, and motherhood should be honored as one of the
most important jobs in human society.
As we begin a new millennium and look back
on the sexual revolution, although things
have loosened a bit, there really has been
no revolution. We can now talk about sex,
but nudity is still shocking and the human
body is still considered obscene. In the media
we can view graphic portrayals of murder,
but sex is still considered pornography.
Campus feminism teaches young women that if a woman expresses herself sexually
it is male oppression and exploitation. This results in a new sexual repression
And what of 'free love?' Sexual promiscuity is still viewed in the context of a
slightly loosened Judeo/Christian morality. There has been no spiritual upheaval
bringing love and sensuality to the mechanized work-a-day world.
Much of our free sexuality is for ego compensations. Women have sex to be popular,
or to compensate for low self esteem. Men pursue any woman available so that they
can brag to their friends and achieve stud status.
Where does free love fit into this picture? It doesn't. We have a decadence of the
old moral system, and nothing new to replace it. Sexuality is neither sacred, nor
enlightening, and love is just another four letter word.