Referring to the city of Dis, from Dante’s levels of hell. The city of Dis is the level of hell to which all non-believers, who have not otherwise sinned greatly, will go. The city is surrounded by a field containing countless numbers of burning coffins, in which the heretics lie, screaming. Limbs from non-believers are scattered around the plains, and the city itself is surrounded by thick iron walls.
(source: Urban Dictionary)
Indeed, having any type of sexual “dys” function or “dis” order or “dis” ability can feel like being “dissed” (is that even how you spell it?) by your own body, and taking a solo vacation in the city of Dis. You fall outside of society’s norms. You don’t fit. You are given a label. Not an excuse, mind you. No one gets one of those…unless, of course, you are disabled in other, more acceptable ways. You know, the kind you can’t do anything about…like maybe mental retardation (yes…I know there are more politically correct ways to say that now…more positive, inclusive ways – like “mentally challenged”), or you no longer have the use of your limbs (“differently-abled”), or you are dumb (not stupid…”mute!”). For those with sexual “issues,” we face labels like “impotent,” “hormonal,” “frigid,” “cold,” “broken,” “abnormal.” Sex research has come a long way since Freud and Kinsey…but because sex comes in so many forms and variations, is born of so many influences and motivations, and leads to so many experiences, emotions…so much confusion and misinterpretation, it still eludes much of the human race, including the doctors.
We know the biological function of sex. Put peg A in slot B and voila!: baby.
If no baby…well…peg A or slot B is broken. Impotent? A man is no longer a “man” by much of society’s standards when slapped with this label. Barren? What did she do for God to smite her so? Whore. Now she’ll be a spinster. Maybe an old maid. Or just a disappointment to herself and the man that is now stuck with this poor, sad woman. Or he’ll divorce her and find a nice lady who can bare him many sons. Or they’ll adopt beautiful Ethiopian children and she’ll smother them with affection to bury her guilt and insecurity.
Yah, we’re more progressive than that. Aren’t we? Or are we? I’m not so sure. I hear the jokes. The comments said in “jest.”
Even worse than a man or a woman who has a medically proven reason for their label is a man or woman whose sexual “dysfunction” or “disorder” or “disability” is hormonal or, worse yet, mental or emotional.
Now, not only is the poor sap or unfortunate dame “broken,” he or she is also likely sporting an ailment that is “all in his or her head.”
They used to call it hysteria…covered pretty much all the bases when doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with a woman.
Then, they decided you just needed the sea air, and sent you to the coast for the summer.
And now, since it’s a booming business, they send you to specialists, counselors, therapists, and give you medications for all sort of things (because they really don’t know the cause).
We’ve really made little actual progress in the world of sexual dysfunction. Oh sure…there’s Viagra…and there are hundreds of supplements that claim to “boost your libido,” thousands of self-help books, and mental health professionals have made careers out of our suffering. Honestly, I’m sure the majority of them mean well. Not the drug companies, mind you…but the professionals and the doctors.
It’s hard, though. For them…and for US…to make heads or tails of it. It’s hard not to look at ourselves as broken. It’s hard to trust the Ups when you constantly fear the Downs.
It’s hard not to feel “apart,” “asunder,” “away,” or “utterly” lost.
Luckily, I’m on an Up right now. But, I never know what is waiting for me around the next corner. I live daily with the fear that, at any moment, for no reason that anyone I know can provide, I may just stop wanting sex.
Depressed. Bi-polar. Crazy.
Doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists. Wellbutrin. Lithium. Estrogen. Progesterone. Testosterone. Tests. Tests. Labs. Tests. $$$$.
Yoga. Mindfulness. Concentrate. Relax. If you weren’t so stressed. So OCD. So ADD. So high-strung. So type-A. Such a control freak.
Counseling. Mindfulness training. Just focus! Relax. De-stress. Go on a vacation. Figure out your “attachment issues.” Questions about my childhood. What am I hiding? What am I afraid of? Dig deeper. Find the answer. It’s in there somewhere!!!!
Apparently, if I could just look far enough inside myself, I could cure my own dis-ease.
They make it sound so easy.
Ultimately, the message is that something is wrong with us. Somehow, we aren’t “right,” which makes us, necessarily, “wrong.” We must be “fixed.” Because we are “broken.”
It’s a frustrating place to be.
What we are told we should be by society:
What we are often facing…as a society:
What we should be experiencing:
And…since I’ll be experiencing none of these for the night (Daddy’s still off in a warmer clime…enjoying the wind in his hair and the sun on his helmet’s visor…)…I’ll head off to bed, peaceful, for the time being, in the knowledge that, for now, I wish he were here so I could fuck him. Or…so he could fuck me. Or…well…whatever way it would happen – we’d be fucking right now.