Fucking in Ritual Space

Hillman: [In therapy] The sex addict needs to talk about pornography, about advertising, everything that is designed to turn you on.

Ventura: And everything designed to keep you repressed. The churches, Miss Manners -

Hillman: - and therapy's ideas of "relationship." In the sex addict, what kind of political awareness can you have about that? You wouldn't be for restrictions. My solution would be -

A long pause

Prostitution.

Ventura: Your credibility just took a very long walk on a very short pier. Prostitution so that -

Hillman: - so that the fantasy life would be freed.

Ventura: Heavy-duty bordellos. As in Genet's The Balcony, or in the Marquis de Sade. Yes. Yes!

Hillman: The classical bordellos that have been with us throughout history as part of high culture.

Ventura: I hear a chorus of, "Throughout the history of the patriarchy, you mean!" But prostitution appears to have started in the temples and rituals of what were still matriarchal religions. It was about fucking in ritual space -

Hillman: - as a sacred experience.

Ventura: And that's what a lot of so-called sex addiction is about - the search for fucking in ritual space. People will risk an enormous amount - their marriage, their jobs - to fuck in ritual space every now and again. Or you could put that a little harsher, as the puritan culture would, and say: people often take enormous risks to exercise their perversion.

Hillman: The only way you can understand some marriages, or why certain people stay together, is they've finally found someone they can share their perversion with.

Ventura: I like that. That's a reasonable reason to get married and a reasonable reason to stay married. Because what the society is calling a perversion you're feeling as a transcendent experience.

Hillman: That's where to go with dilmemmas of sex. Fucking in ritual space. It's not pictures of pussy or dick.

In the old-fashioned bordello the imagination of a person was cared for. Same for de Sade, which is a storybook of images. When the imagination of a person is not cared for we're left not only with what they now call sex addiction and sex therapy (which is a technology of sex and not the art of sex), but we're also left with the grandfather and the uncle who finger the little girls. Again, sex molestation and all that is partly a function of the repression of prostitution and of all sexuality not considered "normal."

[James Hillman]
with Michael Ventura
We've Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy - And the World's Getting Worse, p.213, 214, 215

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Imagination
Let's talk about it
Evil and us