Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sex and the City Cemetery

Sex and death. Freud believed them to be our driving forces, forces that coincide yet conflict. Why does the notion of having sex in a cemetery seem so adventurous yet prohibitive, so titillating yet taboo?

Humans seem to be simultaneously death phobic and sexually driven. Death and desire just seem to go together in our minds. Note, for example, all the sensually carved angels and semi-nude forms that adorn many cemeteries. Whether its the statuary, the solitude, or simply the thrill that motivates people, some like to have sex in cemeteries. Now, I'm not talking about sex in the car while in the cemetery. I'm talking down 'n' dirty, in the grass, on the wolf table, or on the mausoleum steps. I've stumbled upon skindiving couples a few times, and two of my friends who work as cemetery caretakers have had to ask some folks to please apply the brakes! One has had to ask people on numerous occasions to cease their nude photography sessions! Mainly its a respect thing. These are sacred grounds, and besides, visiting mourners certainly don't want to see trysting by the reflecting pool.

As humans, we're as obsessed with death as we are with sex, but in a less open way. The fear of death fascinates us, but we avoid it like, well, the plague. Can the act of having sex in a cemetery somehow privately, subconsciously, help us come to terms with our own mortality? Does getting boned in the boneyard put a more enjoyable face on death, this pleasurable experience? Think back on those sensual cemetery statues, they're more life-affirming than death-centric, aren't they? Sex in a cemetery, then, may reinforce in us a feeling of life, which really was the original intent of the architects of the early garden cemeteries (such cemeteries are almost always associated with cities, thus the title of this blog). The Victorians believed if death is portrayed as beautiful, perhaps it will lose its sting.

That said, if you've ever actually tried to have cemetery sex, you might have noticed that the environs can produce a certain, well, frisson of discomfort. Pleasurable to some, but downright distracting to others, making certain things, well, kind of ... impossible. If you try it, you're sure to see that its not as easy as you might think (from the physical and mental perspective)! This refers to nocturnal adventures, of course, daytime doesn't count. I mean during the day, you only risk getting caught; at night, you risk being eaten by zombies. And with regard to trespassing--let's just say that some people think its easier to get forgiveness than permission!

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