Monday, September 8, 2008

Californication & Sex Addiction

With the semester having started and me finally getting serious in my pursuit of a graduate degree, I've been a bit too distracted to write in my blog as of late. I do feel guilty when I don't write, yet I've learned to not to beat myself up too much. I've come to realize that whenever my writing gets more sparse, it usually means that I'm having my fair share of adventures and am fully engaged in my life. There's a trade-off between living deeply in the moment and stepping back to muse, analyze and create. I used to chide myself relentlessly for not applying myself more to my creative endeavors. That was before I began to appreciate that what really matters to me is savoring every moment of this wondrous, mysterious existence with which I have been gifted. Indeed, there is magic latent in the world, and I enjoy mining it.

In the end, everything else is dust in the wind to me. We drive ourselves to make our mark, our desire for fame and recognition a quixotic quest for immortality. We forget there is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide from our fear of the inevitable. Of course, there is more to achievement than just personal glory. There is the desire to share what we create and collaborate, to impart insight and publicly wrestle with the questions which nag us. So in a sense too, I feel a responsibility to my readers. Now I have been half-waiting to get those emails pleading with me to post something, as in "Please Mistress, your fans want to hear from you!" Somehow that always works like reverse-psychology and deters me even more. Ah well, I admit there's no winning with me sometimes.

I read the other day that David Duchovny checked himself in to rehab for sex addiction. I've been meaning to write about his new series "Californication," having caught the first season on disc. I really got into the first 6 or so episodes (the first of the 2 DVDs). It had witty dialogue, great acting, some heart-tugging drama and laugh-your-ass-off moments, and of course lots of T&A sex scenes. The story is about Hank Moody, a best-selling New York novelist with writer's block who lives in LA and drowns his sorrows (his longtime girlfriend/mother of his child's impending marriage to another man) by having sex with as many beautiful women as he can. The opening scene of the first episode has a nun going down on him (OK it's a dream sequence). There are more shockingly hilarious vignettes in the first few episodes, including a head-shakingly funny bedroom scene involving doggy-style sex and vomit, as well as a BDSM threesome gone awry with a hot Suicide Girl.

To paraphrase a few of the best lines from the show:

"What I want to know is why is this city so intent on destroying the female half of its population?" Hank Moody asks to himself, in response to all the plastic surgery and self-esteem issues he encounters in the women he sleeps with.

"Life is too short to dance with the fat chicks," his philandering dad tells him. Not PC but funny as hell (maybe because it is so un-pc).

The series winds down as you get into the second half of the first season though, with fewer sex scenes or hilarity, and more heart-heavy drama. This is when the chickens come home to roost. For underlying all the wicked sex is a very traditional, monogamous-based view of romantic relationships. Hank's original sin was that he never asked his girlfriend to marry him, so when someone finally did she said yes. His sexual compulsions cause him to be blackmailed and lose the faith of his daughter. We watch him suffer and do penance, reaping what he sowed. This is when I lost some of my interest in the show. These people were putting themselves and each other through hell, ostensibly in the name of love. They could see no other way. But I do. It's called polyamory. Hey, even Dr. Edel was talking about it on the radio today.

I wish David Duchovny well on his recovery. I bet he had the ladies throwing themselves at him extra-hard after "Californication" came out, what with all those inspiring sex scenes. I always thought he and his wife Tea Leoni looked like swinger types - they both are hot and seem like open-minded, intelligent people. I'm still formulating an opinion on sex as an addiction. Unquestionably, it can be a compulsion. Part of me wants to tell him "rehab is for quitters!" But seriously, sometimes things get a bit too extreme and we over-stimulate our reward centers, so moderation is key. It's just too bad that nowadays we can turn anything into a problem!