While reading Bo Blaze‘s book, I was reminded of this passage I loved from Paulo Coelho‘s Veronika Decides to Die, which I read some time ago. So I thought I’d post it for you here, too. Hope he (Paulo, that is) won’t mind that I copied a whole two pages out of his material, I do love his work ever so much. Reading a sixth book of his (11 Minutes) now.
Here is the text:
“In his dissertation on Vitriol, he would have to include a long chapter on sex. After all, so many neuroses and psychoses had their origins in sex. He believed that fantasies were electrical impulses from the brain, which, if not realized, released their energy into other areas.
During his medical studies, Dr. Igor read an interesting treatise on sexual deviance, sadism, masochism, homosexuality, coprophagy, coprolalia, voyeurism—the list was endless.
At first, he considered these things examples of deviant behavior in a few maladjusted people incapable of having a healthy relationship with their partners. As he advanced his profession as psychiatrist, however, and talked to his patients, he realized that everyone has an unusual story to tell. His patients would sit down in the comfortable armchair in his office, stare hard at the floor, and begin a long dissertation on what they called “illness” (as if he were not the doctor) or perversions (as if he were not the psychiatrist charged with deciding what was and wasn’t perverse).
And one by one, these normal people would describe fantasies that were all to be found in the famous treatise on erotic minorities: a book, in fact, that defended the right of everyone to have the orgasm they chose, as long as it did not violate the rights of their partner.
Women who had studied in convent schools dreamed of being sexually humiliated; men in suits and ties, high-ranking civil servants, told him of the fortunes they spent on Rumanian prostitutes just so that they could lick their feet. Boys in love with boys, girls in love with their fellow schoolgirls. Husbands who wanted to watch their wives having sex with strangers, women who masturbated every time they found some hint that their men had committed adultery. Mothers who had to suppress an impulse to give themselves to the first delivery man who rang the doorbell, fathers who recounted secret adventures with the bizarre transvestites who managed to slip through the strict border controls.
And orgies. It seemed that everyone, at least once in their life, wanted to take part in an orgy.
Dr. Igor put down his pen for a moment and thought about it himself. What about him? Yes, he would like it too. An orgy, as he imagined it, must be something completely anarchic and joyful, in which the feeling of possession no longer existed, just pleasure and confusion.
Was that one of the main reasons why there were so many people poisoned by bitterness? Marriage restricted to an enforced monogamy, within which, according to studies that Dr. Igor kept safely in his medical library, sexual desire disappeared in the third or fourth year of living together. After that, the wife felt rejected and the man felt trapped, and Vitriol, or bitterness, began to eat away at everything.
People talked more openly to a psychiatrist than they did to a priest because a doctor couldn’t threaten them with Hell. During his long career as a psychiatrist, Dr. Igor had heard almost everything they had to tell him.
To tell him, for they rarely did anything. Even after many years in the profession, he still asked himself why they were so afraid of being different.
When he tried to find out the reason, the most common responses were: “My husband would think I was behaving like a prostitute,” or, when it was a man: “My wife deserves my respect.”
The conversations usually stopped there. There was no point saying that everyone has a different sexual profile, as individual as their fingerprints; no one wanted to believe that. It was very dangerous being uninhibited in bed; there was always the fear that the other person might still be a slave to their preconceived ideas.
I’m not going to change the world, Dr. Igor thought resignedly, asking the nurse to send in the ex-depressive, Zedka, but at least I can say what I think in my thesis.”