homo sexualis and homo economicus

Chapter VIII of 'The ecstasies of Eros'Sexual division of labour

Cooperation and coition
Social division of labour
Economy versus love
Resexualisation (1): economical polygamy
Resexualisation (2): use value as love
Resexualisation (3): labour as love
Resexualisation (4): exchange value as love
O Liebe, bleiche Mutter...
The big castrator


To fully understand the relation between sexuality and cooperation, we have to go far back in history and evolution. Let us begin with a return in history.

There is little doubt that from the beginning of the evolution of mankind there has been sexual division of labour: men and women specialise on a different tasks and exchange the fruits of their labour within the frame of monogamous or polygamous marriages. Tasks were distributed dependent on the characteristics of the environment and according to the possibilities and restrictions of the sexes. As a rule, men were hunters and women gatherers. With most contemporaneous tribes, it is women who supply the major part of food, but the contribution in proteins of the males is irreplaceable. None of the sexes have to work very hard. For our purposes, it matters not so much how labour is divided, as rather that it is divided. In that males and females specialise each in their own domain within the frame of a sexual division of labour, they become each others complement from a productive point of view, and in that they contribute their share to the common good, they become each others equals from a consumptive point of view.

Sexual division of labour does not imply that males do not cooperate with other males and females with other females, quite the contrary. Initially, that is only the case with tasks that cannot be performed by one single individual: certain kinds of hunting and fishing, but foremost warfare. Cooperation with members of the same sex does not affect the central pattern of the sexual division of labour: the males who cooperated during hunting, first divide the catch among each other and subsequently bring their share home, where it is added to the contribution of their wives, who equally produced their share on their own or in cooperation with other women.

Sexual division of labour transforms man and woman into a double-being, or into the two halves of one single super individual organism: the couple (or the harem). The economic merger of the couple is not a mere by-product of sexual bonding, but, on the contrary, its very foundation. To understand that properly, it is not superfluous to sketch the evolution of pair bonding and economic cooperation.


Sexual division has its roots deep in evolutionary time. With the advent of sexual reproduction, each species is divided in two halves that specialise on a different part of reproduction: males produce sperm and females produce eggs. This is the primeval form of sexual division of labour. Gradually, the two roles are anchored in the body: specialised organs are developed for fertilisation (penis, vagina) and new organs for the development of the egg in the maternal body, culminating in the formation of a placenta.

In a first phase, the cooperation is restricted to impregnation. A second phase is inaugurated through the development of parental care. After males and females, also fathers and mother enter the stage. Males as well as females can care for the offspring, but it is foremost females who develop into mothers. The males rather concentrate on their role as beautiful men. With egg-producing species, the females become mother by brooding the eggs that developed in their bodies. With placental animals, females become mother in that the supply of blood to the placenta is extended with the supply of milk from the breasts after birth. The 'organic' care for and 'endoparasite' is replaced with the 'ethological' care for an 'ektoparasite'. Since the offspring is dependent on a mother, it has to stay in her vicinity. That is why mother and child develop a need to stay in each others vicinity. This need for each others presence is the primeval form of 'love'. The essence of love is 'being present'. Love binds two (or more) living beings to each other, as if it were the organs of a superindividual organism (a pair, or a more encompassing social unit). Parental love ensures that mother and child(ren) form an organic unit not only when the child is needy, but also in the intermediary periods.

Parental love - the desire of parent and child to perceive each others presence - expresses itself in the desire to hear and to see each other, and, if possible, to feel each other, and in the corollary desire to make themselves audible and visible for each other, but above all to be tangible. The latter desire is often specialised into a specific form of feeling: grabbing the fur, grooming with many primates, stroking or sucking at the nipple with humans. With higher animals and above all with humans, the need to perceive each other develops into 'thinking of each other' or into the need to mentally represent one another when concrete perception of the partner is impossible. Out of this need for 'being present' develops the interest in the well-being of the partner: care. To phrase it with Ortega y Gasset: 'Love of something entails the obligation that it exists'. Thus, love develops from pure sensory perception, over thinking of and mental representation, to generalised care.

We are still worlds apart from sexual love between man and woman. As long as eggs are fertilised outside the body, males and females have no need of each others presence whatsoever. A nuclear form of love appears only withy impregnation within the body, since its presupposes bodily contact - copulation - of the partners. A primeval form of sexual love appears in function of such bodily approach, but only temporarily: until fertilisation is realised. It is, however, not difficult to see why enduring - and hence true - sexual love comes to develop. In the first phases of the evolution of parental care, it is only one single parent that cares for the offspring. Only to the extent that also the second partner comes to be involved, the beautiful sex is called to responsibility, and by the same token the mother is transformed into the prime mover. The specialisation in male and female, that made fertilisation possible, is now extended with a second form of sexual division of labour: cooperative parental care in the wake of impregnation. This is not a task that can be dealt with in no time, like fertilisation. Cooperation extends over increasingly long periods and requires that father and mother are bound together, often already before the birth of the offspring (nest building, pregnancy). Parental love has to develop into love between father and mother as educators and co-operators. Only then can the merger into a superindividual organism be sealed. It would be appropriate to call this love 'parental love' - love between parents. But we already reserved this term for love between parents and children. To distinguish love between parents and children from love between parents, we will use the more common term 'sexual love".

Also sexual love - the desire of men and women to stay with each other, to perceive each other - expresses itself in the desire to hear, see and feel each other. Also here a specialised kind of feeling is developed. With animals, aggressive or feeding behaviour is transformed into a binding ritual. With humans, it is reproductive behaviour that is transformed into lovemaking and seduction. From a symbolic point of view, this transformation is very appropriate, but otherwise it is whollyaccidental: with many animals the pair bond borrows its ethological material not from reproduction, but from aggression, feeding or other functions. Conversely, with still other animals, reproductive behaviour is transformed in view of serving totally different functions, like demonstration of dominance. Be that as it may, sexual love between humans expresses itself as pleasure in each others audible and visual beauty, in each others scents, in the agreeable tactile sensations of kissing and stroking, but above all in orgasm during coition. And when such pleasurable perception is not possible, love manifests itself as continuously thinking of each other or in attempts at menatlly representing each others appearance. Or, to phrase it again with Ortega y Gasset: 'Wherever a woman who loves a thief may find herself, with her consciousness she finds herself in jail' .

In the history of species - phylogeny - sexual love appears long after parental love. In the history of the couple - ontogeny - this sequel is reversed: first comes sexual love, which then unfolds into reproduction and the concomitant parental love. What has to develop into love between cooperating father en mother, and is developed in view of that cooperation, announces itself as love between man and woman. The reason is that, with humans as with other animals - cooperation does not begin with childbirth, but already from impregnation onwards, but above all because, with humans, the very act of reproduction is also a means of binding the couple. Sexual love thus appears first as love between man and wife with the sole aim of pleasure at each others audible, visual, olfactive, tactile and genital appearance. Only through indulging in this kind of love are man and woman surreptitiously transformed into a father and a mother, that have to cooperate with each other.

The ontogenetic reversal of phylogenesis is the ground wherein is rooted the perverse move: sexual love is the precursor of parental love and that creates the possibility of sailing an autonomous course. Those who follow the call of the perverse trend are all too easily tempted to identify sexual love with love between man and woman. In so doing, they forget that man and woman will soon bee transformed into father and mother, and that they will have to cooperate for the welfare of their children. That love is commonly called 'sexual love' and not 'parental love' or 'cooperative love' is a reflection of such false consciousness and only strengthens it.

The ontogenetic reversal of phylogeny isolates an autonomous 'sexuality' from within a more encompassing sexual love, that also consists of cooperation between parents. That does not prevent sexuality to remain intimately connected with the very cooperation to which it owes its existence. That is apparent from the obvious fact that lovemaking and cooperation mutually enhance and induce each other. Lovers would go through the fire for each other, they would storm heaven, and no water is too deep for them. The more they love each other, the more they are willing to do everything for each other, and the more they do for each other, the more they come to love each other. Thus, cooperation and lovemaking become each others expression: sexual gratification leads to the desire to work for each other, to economical gratification. That is why every sexual interaction, in as far as it is not curbed through the perverse trend, tends to inexorably extend in the desire to gratify all the other needs of the partner. Let us paint a little idyll in the vein of Rousseau's 'noble savage':

The young hunter, still with the tingle of orgasm in his loins and its afterglow in his eyes, heads to the savannah in the early morning. He descries a gazelle, and silently approaches his prey. Self-confidently, he throws his spear. With the still warm animal on his shoulders, he appears in the entrance of his hut. Proudly, he displays the catch before the grateful eyes of his beloved, who is kneeled before the hot stones on which she is preparing the food that she gathered during the day. Together they enjoy the meal and talk about their experiences of the past day. When they go to bed, they willingly grant each other sexual pleasure, and when they lay down for sleep, they dream of all the pleasurable things they will enjoy whit each other the next day.

The moral of this story - that, as we shall see in chapter XI, is only a shortened version of reality - is clear: in as far as lovers are each other mirror image from a consumptive point of view, they become each others complement from a productive point of view; and the experience of being gratified by each other expresses itself in the desire to merge in each others orgasm. And, conversely: the sexual gratification enjoyed in each others arms expresses itself in the desire to gratify each others remaining needs and to therefore cooperate with each other. Thus, the lover becomes a gratifier as such, an in as much as he succeeds in this function, he becomes a more arduous lover. Lovemaking and working become a kind of Siamese twin whose hands feed each others mouths and whose sexual organs are joined in an eternal embrace.

Humans seduce each other not only through their sexual, but also through their 'economical appearance', which is not so much a characteristic of the body, as rather exteriorisation in products: the food on the table, the supplies in the refrigerator, the furniture in the interior, the linen in the linen cupboard, the blankets on the bed, the dust in the vacuum cleaner, the waste in the trash can. No, not the gold coins in the purse, say: the credit cards or the Porsche in the garage. As counterparts of the merely bodily beauty of woman, these have only to do with the exchange of money against beauty. In such exchange one-sided economic seductions goes hand in hand with one-sided sexual seduction. The economic complement is robbery and the sexual complement rape. And that reminds us that something disturbed the idyll.


Our contention that love expresses itself not only in coition, but also in cooperation cannot but sound a bit strange in a world wherein men, and increasingly also women, work for bosses or clients instead of for their partner.

As a matter of fact, already for a long time, sexual division of labour is no longer the sole social framework of human cooperation. No doubt, initially, sexual division of labour offered an important evolutionary advantage: by dividing one task in its specialised parts and assigning each of its part to two individuals, overall productivity and quality cannot but increase. Together, two sexual partners perform better and more than separately. This advantage can only be enhanced through increasing the degree of specialisation. When one producer specialises on agriculture, another on cattle breeding, a third on fishing, a forth on making pottery, a fifth on weaving, a sixth on forging and a seventh on healing, they can produce a amount of grains, flesh, fish, pottery, fabric and health, of which they only could dream when working separately.

Enhancing the degree of specialisation, however, presupposes a move beyond the narrow confines of the sexual division of labour, which allows only for a specialising on a scale of two. After a long phase, where the increase in population was only possible through splitting of the group and spreading to ever new promised lands, the surface of the earth became finally entirely populated. Further expansion was only conceivable through the introduction of a new strategy: division of labour between tribes. No longer couples, but entire tribes began to specialise and to exchange goods. Trade was born, and began to play the role sexual division of labour had played between man and woman. With the important difference that tribes were not confined to a division of the tasks in two, like the sexes. The degree of specialisation could be increased ad infinitum, especially since the invention of money came to facilitate the circulation of goods. Thanks to this new form of cooperation, productivity could increase enormously. From now on develops the combination of increase in productivity and increase in population which is so typical of humankind. The political structure of the tribe had to be replaced, not only because its very foundation in the sexual division of labour had been corroded, but foremost because the shape of the group could now increase ad infinitum. The tribe as a political unit had to be replaced with new units like the (urban) state and the empire. As an economical structure, it was succeeded by a chain of markets. The tribe falls apart in ever smaller constituent parts like families, and finally individuals: the successors of the tribes as exchanging partners on the market.

With these new forms of desexualised division of labour, the partner is no longer a sexual partner, but a ''Geselle', a 'socius', whence the terms 'Gesellschaft' or 'societas'. On that basis, we can discern sexual exchange and sexual division of labour within the frame of sexual cooperation from social exchange and social division of labour within the frame of social cooperation. The couple (or harem) as economical unit is integrated in the econmpassing whole of the society. In what follows, the term 'society' will be used in a the very specific meaning: as the (sum) of people who are directly or indirectly joined to each other through socialdesexualised division of labour, exchange and cooperation. Initially, societies were rather isolated wholes around the Nile, Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley and the Yellow River and in the New World. In the course of history, these entities are gradually joined with each other and begin to merge into one single, soon world encompassing society.

From a quantitative point of view, the society is a couple broken out of its banks and qualitatively hollowed out. The new formation does not make the couple obsolete as an economical unit, but rather comes to complement it with a new kind of division of labour, this time between the societal and sexual ('private') production. The farmer, the shepherd, the fisherman, the potter, the weaver, the blacksmith and the healer produce their goods in view of exchanging them against each others specialities. After the exchange, they can enjoy the consumption of the whole package. Also they are each others complement from a productive point of view and (in principle: when there is a fair distribution of rewards) each others mirror image from a consumptive point of view. After the societal exchange, the social partners go home with their package and deliver it as their share in the sexual division of labour, which for a long time continues to consist of private production. Thus, in an initial stage, the sexual division of labour is provided with a preparatory phase, and society is in principle a mere instrument in the hands of the countless couples (or harems) whose members participate in social exchange.

Once social cooperation is set in motion, its development is unstoppable. As a consequence of the ever higher degree of specialisation, everything that is produced within the frame of the social division of labour becomes far better and/or far cheaper than what has been produced within the frame of the sexual division of labour. That is why social production, an offspring of sexual production, ends up cannibalising its mother. Whereas initially everything was produced within the frame of the sexual division of labour, more and more parts of this kind of production are socialised: the production of food, drinks, clothes, buildings, education, health care and what have you are taken away from the couple. For other forms of production, the couple, with its low degree of specialisation is insufficient altogether. Products like works of art, books, cars, airplanes, television, computers can only be developed within the framework of the social division of labour and have not to be taken away from private production altogether.

How social production tends to reduce sexual production to nothingness and hence erodes the very foundation of the couple (or the harem), will be the subject of the next chapter of this second diptych. In this chapter, we will take for granted that sexual division of labour continues to play a role within the couple, and that is the case when one or both of the shares are produced socially. With the money earned by social production, one of the partners (as a rule the man) buys social products. These products are brought home, like formerly the gazelle. Whether there is sexual division of labour does not depend on the degree of specialisation, but on the question whether a man and a women share the products of their labour and spend the common income to gratify their own needs and those of their children.


We have seen how the ontogenetic reversal of phylogenesis, and the corollary ignition of the perverse trend, tempted many to isolate seduction from lovemaking, lovemaking from impregnation, and these three parts from cooperation. But is only when, some thousand years ago, the era of social division of labour was inaugurated, that the umbilical chord between sexuality and cooperation has been cut altogether. The consequences were dramatic, as well for sexuality as for cooperation. Let us begin with investigating the vicissitudes of sexuality.

From now on, the couple can no longer survive without the society: it will at least have to give up one of its members. We now already why this is as a rule the man (chapter IV). The man goes to his work and produces his goods. These will gratify the needs of strangers, not of his wife and children. Formerly, he could proudly appear in the opening of the cave with the gazelle on his shoulders, now he has to go with a more prosaic equivalent to the market to sell it there and to buy what he needs. He does not come home with empty hands, but he did not produce it with his own hands. And that makes a difference: the difference between preparing a dinner for your beloved or paying her a dinner in a restaurant.

Since the fruits of his labour gratify strangers, they no longer induce the sexual desire of his wife. Or, to use the example of the dinner again: when the meal was excellent, the cook is called. And the congratulations he receives are perhaps a greater reward than the money he receives from his boss. What goes for the cook and his dinner, goes for everything we buy. As soon as the husband becomes a breadwinners, it is as if he invited countless cooks in his home: no wonder that the love of his wife cools down. And that sheds a new light on Venus Frigida (chapter III). She is frigid, not only because she had to marry a man of second choice, or because pregnancy threatens to exclude her from the exhibitionistic amphitheatres, but also and foremost because other men gratify her better from an economic point of view. From now on, the husband is not onlyr second choice from a sexual point of view, but from an economical point of view as well. That his wife nevertheless does not let him fall has a good reason: she can only enjoy the sexual gratification of other men, when she has a husband, who is so kind to give her the money with which she can have gratified her needs by other men. Thus, the separation of cooperation and lovemaking only comes to strengthen female frigidity. And that sheds in its turn a new light on Mars Insatiatus (chapter III). Since he is not gratified sexually through his wife, he will tend to become economically frigid and rather spend his money on other women. Rien ne va plus: the husband wants to make love with a sexually unwilling woman and the wife wants to get money from an economically unwilling man. They do not deserve what they get, and they do not give what they owe: this is the negative formulation of the exchange of beauty and wealth as the simultaneity of robbery and rape.

Sexual desire, which normally should be stirred by economical seduction, can now only by stirred by sexual attractiveness with which the co-operators only seduce strangers. In the sexual relation itself, the sexual and the economical motive for lovemaking disappears. From now on, sexual desire appears as a spontaneous upsurge, as a 'drive' in the real sense of the word. It is experienced as a purely 'physical' need, as a 'biological function', on the same footing as hunger, as 'biological need' (just like later motherhood when it is reduced to pure feeding and changing). And this isolated urge is fuelled from an internal source, fllowing on the rhythm of an inner clock, that ticks on a different rhythm with both partners. That is not only apparent when sexual desire arises, but foremost when it is gratified. When the working husband finally knew to subdue this wife to sexual surrender, after what should pass for orgasm a void looms large, that can only be filled through an uncontrollable desire to sleep. And this sleep must not only make forget frigidity and the necessity to work the day after, but also something more: that no common cooperative project whatsoever binds the partners anymore. Such void is, if possible, still worse than Don Juans embarrassment when he does not know what to do with that body beside him in bed him after awakening. Only here does man become depressed after intercourse, and when he wakes up, it is only with the prospect of having to close the ranks with his fellows.

Thus, the development of social cooperation isolates a freewheeling sexuality from the more encompassing whole of love. Only under such reduced form does love come to us. And a similar fate falls upon parental love. Soon, society takes over one of the central parts of the sexual division of labour: education becomes a matter of specialised educators (from nurse to professor). In the limit, the bond with the children is reduced to mere impregnation, which is itself isolated from a sexuality that is reduced to mere seduction and lovemaking.


A similar fate falls upon that other part of complete love: cooperation. Social co-operators cannot gratify each other sexually, as used to be the case in the couple. They cannot make love with each other, and their products are not destined for themselves. Their products are only gratifying when they have entered the realm of sexual division of labour. What motivates social producers is no longer the gratification of others, but their own gratification. Love in the double meaning of sexual and economical gratification of the partner is reduced to self-gratification, as coition to masturbation. Social cooperation no longer joins loving partners, but selfish producers, who are motivated merely through material interests: everybody for himself and the invisible hand for all!

Just like sexual desire now appears as an inner drive, the desire to cooperate out of love now appears as the desire to produce in view of the exchange with other products, as the desire to work in view of being able to buy, in short: as the desire to make money. By analogy to 'sexual drive', we can call such blind drive 'economical drive'. Where formerly reigned undivided love, now an autonomous sexual drive comes to be opposed to an equally autonomous economical drive. Where formerly reigned 'homo amans', now Freudian man, driven by libido comes to be opposed to a man whose essence according to Marx is to be found in labour: homo sexualis versus homo economicus. Such is the gap that continues to widen ever since this primeval perversion took hold of complete sexual love.

The reduction of loving sexual cooperation to material economical production explains why the society did not develop into the giant commune of which the socialists dreamt. Within the couple, love ensured a more or less equal distribution of labour and its fruits. In the society, however, cooperation is no longer fuelled by sexual love, and hence only driven by the sheer self-interest of the individual participants and the private units to which they belong. This creates the leeway for unequal distribution of labour and its fruits. That is why, next to the need to survive, foremost the perspective of subordinating other men must have been a strong motive to build out the social cooperation. From the beginning, the society has been not so much a means of working together, but rather means of subordinating other men in the first place. Working together is thereby transformed as a means of working for others or of having others work for you, according to your position in the beehive/termite hill. Only through the development of social division of labour as free exchange or as forced subordination can the sexual/economical architecture of the beehive or the termite hill as described in our chapter II be erected.


Only now are we really ready to describe how the isolation of cooperation from a more encompassing loving relation has come about historically and to sketch a coherent survey of the devastating effects of such isolated economy on the very love to which it owes its existence.

Already before the advent of the social division of labour there existed a tension between economy and love of which it was an integral part. Economical cooperation was a sheer necessity during the entire initial phase of human history. Every man had to find an appropriate female co-operator and vice versa. Not so much beauty, rather fertility, but above all economic attractiveness was the first criterion for a choice. When hordes developed into tribes, the choice of the partners had to be restricted accordingly: the rules of exogamy stipulate which parts of the tribe exchange women. Only within the confines of such contract can economically attractive partners be chosen. Complete sexual love is thereby often reduced to purely economical cooperation, which is of such vital importance, that is has to be sealed in a more or less enduring marriage contract. Already in tribal communities are love relations often reduced to a mere economical transaction: the exchange of women. In the best case, the isolated sexuality comes to be fuelled by the economical cooperation: arranged marriages are then transformed into loving couples. Where such reintegration does not take place, sexual desire continues to seek its gratification with extra-marital partners, without economical cooperation. Sexuality is excluded from the relation and reduced to an extra-marital and promiscuous activity, that is incompatible with marriage in principle. Only in such context does sexuality become the uncontrollable drive which is not in essence, but as a consequence of forced loveless cooperation.

Add to this that in many cases also parental care is disturbed. In many tribes, the right of inheritance goes through one sex. This profoundly affects the division of labour within the couple: as when the sisters obtains from her brother what otherwise is provided by the husband, as with the Trobriands.

The situation changes drastically when social cooperation begins to develop. The potential opposition between economy and sexuality unfolds to an open conflict. Since the society is from the beginning not only an instrument for cooperation, but also for economical subordination, the effect of the scission of sexuality and economy is not the same in the various layers of society. On the top of the pyramid, men and women are released from labour altogether. Their love is amputated from economical cooperation and reduced to mere impregnation, lovemaking and seduction. At the base, conversely, men and women have to work hard, not only for themselves, but also for their subordinators. Their labour does not reinforce their sexual desire: not only are the fruits of their labour destined for others, what they get in return is further creamed off by their bosses. Not much, if anything, is left as their share in the sexual division of labour, if there remains time for a relation anyhow. This misery is added to the already known effects of a'mariage de raison'. And that has its bearings on the often complete absence of 'romantic love', foremost with peasants, but also with manufacturers and feudal lords in traditional societies.

To summarise, we can discern three concrete forms of separation of sexuality and cooperation: loveless cooperation as a consequence of the exchange of women (forced marriage), the release of labour in the higher echelons of the society, and finally the shift from producing for the partner to producing for strangers - bosses or the market.

That men and women in the higher echelons are released from labour, has a second consequence. Women are only interesting in as far as they are heirs of the wealth of their fathers. That reduces the choice of men to women of their own economical level, at least when they are not prepared to lower their economical status by marrying down. The very wealth that obliges them to marry wealthy heiresses, however, allows them to buy beautiful women, regardless of their economical status. Only with the wealthy man, the subordination of sexuality to economy, so typical of the pre-societal phase, seems to be made undone. But the 'mariage de raison' is not replaced with a real 'mariage d'amour': precisely because the beautiful woman does not work, she had to exchange her beauty for money. Only now do we understand why the pyramids of wealth come to oppose the pyramids of beauty and how the social division of labour fuels the perverse move. The relation between sexuality and economy is only restored in that two cycles, which normally only induce each other, are short-circuited. What was meant to be a loving relation, is transformed in the already described simultaneity of robbery and rape (Chapter IV). Here, the disruption of love comes to its apogee: its two separated parts find each other only in a deadly embrace.

The society does not stop developing. The exchange of beauty and wealth entails that sexuality itself becomes just another new specialism in the social division of labour. Initially, only the most obvious sectors like the production of food, textile, instruments, weapons were socialised. But soon also sexuality itself becomes a socialised commodity. Only now do we fully understand why harem wives are gradually transformed into concubines, whores and finally images, and why the relation to the latter is increasingly promiscuous. And that goes not only for the sexual relation, but also for the parental relation: not only education, but also breast-feeding (wet nurses) and soon also pregnancy and impregnation become products for sale. When we extrapolate this development, we finally find ourselves in a world that consists of individuals engaged exclusively in the social division of labour, a world of mere atoms that can buy everything, partners and children included. It is only a pity that love as such is not for sale: it is the saving angel that guards with its burning sword the entrance to paradise.

And that, then, explains Don Juan's triumph over the husbands who thought they could buy even love (Chapter VI). The paradox is that his advent can only unfold to generalised promiscuity inasmuch as the very society that transforms even sexuality in a ware comes to full boom. As a matter of fact, generalised promiscuity is only conceivable in a world where lovemaking is wholly isolated from parenthood and sexual division of labour, where fertilisation is realised through sperm banks and in vitro, where children from the cradle to the university are raised through specialised educators, where elderly persons are cared for in specialised homes, and where all the formerly private production is taken over by specialised social producers, in short, in a world where everything is for sale, except love. Only in such entirely socialised world is there no longer need for any cooperation whatsoever between man and woman and hence no longer any base whatsoever for an enduring relation, so that lovemaking can now become entirely gratuitous activity. In Chapter VI, we pointed to the concentration of the population in ever growing metropolises and to the increasing mobility as the facilitators of the unstoppable advent of promiscuity. Now we have to add the increasing socialisation as a the real motor of the process.

And finally, it becomes clear which forces unleash the dynamics of promiscuity. The unfolding of sexuality to complete love is hampered, not so much by the appearance of some lover who wants to release the poor wives from the fetters of marriage and thus carries everybody away in the devilish carrousel of universal unfaithfulness. Such unfaithfulness is only the symptom of a more fundamental problem: that a relation simply cannot unfold properly and hence is structurally doomed to start under the sign of unfaithfulness. Only here do we find the answer to the riddle that loomed up at the end of the preceding chapter: absolute faithfulness cannot but be experienced as a tyranny as soon as love is reduced to economical coercion. A sexuality that is of necessity banned from every economical relation cannot but understand itself as unfaithful freedom. That is how the dream of eternal lover is turned into the commandment of Mozart's commendatore....


But love does not put up with such subordination. Especially the transformation of sexual division of labour into social division of labour - its desexualisation - seems hard to stomach. The resistance against desexualisation becomes manifest in the deep rooted and ineradicably propensity to fill in the in essence sexually neutral roles within the social division of labour according to sexual criteria.

A rather common pattern is that only men perform social labour and sell the products. The money thus earned is given to their wives, who buy products produced by other men. In this case exchange is resexualised: men sell and women buy. And this relation is not monogamous. Every women has commerce with more than one specialist, who gratifies her specialised needs. We are dealing here with economical polyandry. And the same goes for the male producers who gratify more than one woman: they are economically polygynous. In the case of the sexualisation of exchange, we are dealing with reciprocal polygamy (of the asymmetric type). That is why not only (sexual) whoredom, but also the (economical) free market with its free circulation of goods stood model for the commune and promiscuity (Chapter V and VI). Compared with such economical polygamy in the society, the economical monogamy in the family, which many take for the very backbone of marriage, is only a meagre avatar.

A second possibility is that not only men, but also women participate in the social division of labour, so that men also buy and women also sell. Men are then also gratified by women and women also by men. But we have seen that men are out at breaking female gynaecocracy in the exhibitionistic amphitheatres through establishing economic power. Male economic power can only be safeguarded when women are not allowed to participate in the social division of labour - except in the role of whores - and when their economic activity is confined within the limits of the sexual division of labour. When women object to this, or when their support is indispensable, they get access only to the less lucrative and/or less prestigious sectors of production..

Resexualisation is also at work in the more encompassing wholes that develop within the frame of the social division of labour: enterprises, hospitals, schools, armies and so on. Although in many cases gratifying relations between separate producers and consumers may develop (hospitals, schools), in many other cases they are excluded from the beginning (factories, armies). In many other cases, the concentration on the work floor allows working together with colleagues of the other sex. Keepers of slaves, serfs and workers can sexualise the subordination through preferring female subordinates and building up a kind of economical harem.

The cooperation and the exchange within the frame of the sexual division of labour is thus gradually transferred to the exchanges between sellers and buyers and to the diverse relations between colleagues en subordinates. In as far as social relations are resexualised, we can speak of economical polygamy. This polygamy can be found with both sexes and is reciprocal, like with the commune and promiscuity.

Resexualisation is not restricted to a sexual filling in of sexually neutral roles in the social division of labour: more than often, social relations pave the way for sexual relations. from way back, markets are places where sexual contacts are made. Furthermore, the allocation of the roles to the sexes often follows a sexual logic: think the relation between doctor and patient in physical or psychical therapies, the relation between the artist and his model, and so on. The sexual nature of many of these relations is betrayed in the often fierce forms of negation: as when women want only female doctors as gynaecologists. Also economical relations with colleagues or subordinates often incite to overt sexual relation. Already the ius primae noctis makes it clear how much subordination is interpreted in terms of sexual division of labour: economical cooperation (as exploitation) is extended and sealed with a sexual relation. Also apart from this right of the first night, many a feudal lord also considered his female serfs as sexual property. And that goes also for the capitalist or boss and his female personnel, for the director and his secretary, for the doctor and his nurses, for the designer and his mannequins. Many a romance develops also between colleagues. Resexualisation is given from the beginning when the specialism itself is sexual, as with whores. Resexualisation feast its triumph, however, when the utopia of economical communism comes to include the idea of sexual communism as well: only here is the perfect unity between sexuality and economy regained. Such is the deeper background behind the processes described in the chapters on reciprocal polygamy (Chapter V-VI).

How much such resexualisation of exchange and production is a fact is evident from the protest that rises time and again when women go to the market or want to join the male labour force: it suffices to refer to the widespread taboo on inspecting nude women for doctors, and more generally to the attitude of Confucianism, Jews, Greeks and the Islam, Rerum Novarum and so on.

Resexualisation is, finally also evident in the fact that de sexual commune is often reduced to a merely economical commune (Shakers).

Precisely the sexualisation of social exchange and social production betrays how much economical and sexual gratification induce each other. For a woman, laying hands upon the money to go to the market or acquiring the right to join the social labour force is a means of escaping the confinement within the private sphere and from her second-choice husband, and to reappear in the amphitheatre of exhibitionism. The same goes in the first place for the male, who preceded her in these endeavours. The resexualisation of social relations is a motor more that propels the development of socialisation and is the counterpart of the desexualisation of marriage relations (in the monogamous family of the harem).


A second form of resexualising befalls products rather than producers. To fully understand this process, we have first to examine the relation between the producer and his product. Some products are indissolubly bound to the producer: think of the song of the singer, the dance of the dancer, the healing of the therapist. Other products can exist independent from the producer: think of bread, pottery, weapons, images, house, medicaments, cars, jewellery. To the latter products belong the long hoped for hifi-installation, the new car, the magnificent dress, of which many become enamoured as if it were a lover: from its possession they expect the highest bliss, and living without seems impossible. Obtaining it seems more important than using it. These products are desired not so much for their economical use value - the gratification it is supposed to bring - but rather for their erotic value, to which the use value is irrelevant: the gratification of obtaining it is experienced as an expression of love.

With products of this second kind, the producer is easily lost from view. He disappears behind the product. And that has an unsuspected advantage: instead of a producer, a mere product seems to be desired. Through such objectification, the resexualised relation to the producer is depersonalised. Add to this advantage the feeling of being able to manage without a producer: when one does not receive the desired product as a present, one can grant it to oneself. That is what they have in common with the vibrator. Also here can resexualisering proceed further. Since sexual and economical gratification are each others expression, the desire for economical gratification can become the expression of the desire for sexual gratification. The craving for a present thus becomes the doubly alienated expression of the craving for orgasm: first, the desire for sexual gratification dresses up as the desire for economical gratification and then the desire for gratification through a lover is disguised as the desire for a product. This is betrayed in the fact that many a product is wrapped in the veils of the very enchanting beauty that used to be the privilege of the beautiful woman. And just like the beautiful woman, the beautiful products never grant what their beauty promises. No surprise then, that the commerce with such products is promiscuous in principle: ever new products have to be desired for and they are dropped as soon as they are acquired. It is only here that the saying that desire is fuelled by change fully applies, that desire is metonymical, in principle, not out of an inability that is not clearly understood, like was the case with promiscuity with real sexual partners. Only against this background do we fully understand why the collection of cars - or the former collections of art and rarities - seem to have replaced the harem. Thus, the age old crave for wealth and the more recent obsession to consume appear to be a narcistic intermediary phase between desexualisation and resexualition.

Such craving for products that are the expression of a failing (economical or sexual) love, is, just like the craving for economically gratifying producers of which it is the alienated version, a next sexual motor that propels the development of the society. The development of reified goods has been one of the technical preconditions for the development of capitalistic production, but their real success can only be understood against the background of the erotic economy of socialised humankind. Only then do we understand why capitalistic production appears as the 'Wealth of Nations' - a piling up of ever more goods - as described by Adam Smith. The development of a 'sector of services' corresponds with a alleviation of the alienation. The development of a quaternary sector, on the other hand, only testifies to an increasing socialisation (whoredom, schools, care for aged people).


Already with the sexual division of labour there tends to be a separation between work and the satisfaction it provides: the hunter will only be praised when he appears with his catch. In expectance, he looks for compensation in the act of hunting itself. This is mostly achieved through sexualisation. As a rule, it is the act of production itself that is sexualised: for example through interpreting prey as women, moulding as caressing, or revealing the truth as the denudation of beauty, and so on. But also the manipulating of instruments is an obvious way of sexualising. A man can give free rein to his desire to exalt the female body through manipulating all kinds of machines. The desire to sexualise labour is only fuelled by the increasing desexualisation of labour through the development of the social division of labour. It leads to the remarkable claim that labour as such has to to gratifying. All the authors who defend this thesis do not understand that there is something like desexualisation, and that the ultimate meaning of labour can only be found in love.


Sexual division joins a man and a woman in a dyad. As long as goods used to be bartered, also social producers confronted each other in a dyadic relation. Through the introduction of money, exchange is split up in two temporally separated moments: a producer has first to sell his products in exchange for money, and then to buy products with that money. Money disturbs the transparent relation between the goods one produces and the products one gets. After the selling of his product, the producer finds that mysterious thing in his hands: money. The transformation of products in abstract exchange value obfuscates the fact that money is in principle the result of production and that in fact economical gratification is exchanged. The place left vacant by economical gratification can easily be filled with sexual gratification, especially in the form of seductive beauty: just like sexuality, money seems to be the magic wand that transforms every unwilling producer in a willing seller. The former function of unveiling bodily beauty is taken over by the glitter of gold. No wonder that beauty could so easily be exchanged for money. Thus, money spares us the detour over love Ónd the insight that love is transformed into a purely economical relation.


The insight that lovemaking and cooperation are intricately interwoven is missing in practically the entire literature. Murdock holds that sexual commerce has a stimulating influence on the cooperation between parents, but he considers it as a mere accidental combination, not typical of the family. Only Desmond Morris understands how the sexual relation has been developed in view of the sexual division of labour: the frequency of copulation cannot be explained by reproduction alone, but is a reword for reciprocal favours. Other authors, if aware of a relation altogether, understand it in alienated terms of the exchange of 'sex for meat': think of Symons who holds that copulation is considered to be a female favour, even when the female also enjoys the sexual act.

Also the countless parents who arranged marriages for their children seem to be aware of a relation between sex and cooperation: they expect that love will follow in the wake of economic cooperation. And that goes also for the Christian (especially Protestant and Puritan) and Jewish authors, and their bourgeois successors, who advocated the idea that sexuality is to be reserved for married partners. Their ideas resound with authors who proclaim that love is possess the body of his partner without considering the soul, does not know what real love is, just like the lover who only loves the soul and despises the body. Fromm stresses that love is giving in the first place, but in that he describes this as a reaction against selfish social exchange, he fails to see that also sexual division of labour is a division of labour that is based on exchange. The real opposition is not between selfish exchange en selfless sacrifice, but between selfish exchange between strangers and loving exchange between sexual partners.

Other authors point to relations between sexuality and labour, without understand the real nature of the interaction. Thus,Freud describes how labour induces sexuality, and the other way around. He uses the term 'induction' without understanding that the phenomenon is rooted in the sexual division of labour who lies at the basis of sexual love. The same goes for Wilhelm Reich who formulated the aim of psychoanalytic therapy as the restoration of the potential to love and to work, whereby work is understood only in social terms.

Still other authors, finally, bring evidence that demonstrates the connection, without realising its true import. Thus, Tennov reminds of the fact that lovers are sometimes plagued with the idea that something could happen to their beloved. The secret meaning of such concerns can be repressed aggression, but also the creation of the very dragon from which the lover wants to save his beloved. The same goes for the way in which many a boy wants to protect his mother from his cruel father (Freud's 'Rettungsphantasie'), not unlike many a lover who wants to save his beloved from the maltreatment through the former partner.


Countless authors deny any relation between love and cooperation. Montaigne holds that it is a kind of perversity to introduce the follies of love in the holy marital relation. Westermarck thinks that there is no permanent need of sexual contact, so that sex cannot be the cement of a relation. Lowie contends that marriage is only in a minimal degree based upon sexuality and that the primary motive is economical. Havelock Ellis writes that the household is an essential part of a relation and that it is a purely practical contract that has nothing to do with 'the art of love". Briffault is fiercely opposed to the typically European identification of the economical and sexual aspects of marriage. The very Murdock, who described the reciprocal induction of sexuality and economy, holds that sexuality only disturbs cooperative relations. LÚvi Strauss affirms that with the majority of people marriage has nothing to do with sexual desire and everything with an economical necessity. Also for White marriage is a purely sexual contract that can also offer a release of sexual tension. In the vein of LÚvi Strauss, Symons asserts that marriage is above all a political, economical and pedagogical institution, based on the sexual division of labour and that sexuality cannot be the basis of such an institution: it israther a source of conflict. Sexuality does not support the pair bond, but is rather an adaptation that has to warrant reproductive success in a marital environment. Alberoni writes that the lover only wants to get rid of every love, care and duty in his erotic adventures and that for a man sexual pleasure is an end in itself.

Other authors deny any relation, but a recognition of it nevertheless survives in the construction that economic cooperation is based upon love, albeit no sexual love. Both kinds of love are often contrasted as 'physical' versus 'spiritual' love. It is not difficult to see how the opposition between 'sexual pleasure', and 'economical duty' is subsumed under the opposite between sinful nature and moral duty in all its variants. One of the oldest versions can be found in Plato's Symposion. Weininger denies that there is any relation between sexuality and eroticism, that the latter would be a refinement of the first, as many doctors and philosophers contend. Freud discerns 'sinnliche' and 'zńrtliche Liebe' and holds that both are initially united in the mother, whereas the incest taboo only initiates their irrevocable separation. Briffault discerns between 'sexual impulse' and 'mating impulse'. The latter is based on friendship and affection and rather necessitates subordination of sexual desire. A. Ellis contrasts sexuality and love and holds that it is a female strategy to couple them. For Lorenz, pure love leads to physical tenderness, which is not the most essential part of the relation, whereas, conversely, purely physical attractiveness not always implies love. Alberoni reminds of the fact that it is possible to love someone without feeling the any sexual attraction.

All those who do not understand the development of sexuality in function of cooperation have to solve the riddle why sexuality is so strong a binding force. Reproduction offers no explanation: only a couple of copulations suffice to realise fertilisation. Many an author has to resort to a theoretical ex machina. Already in Plato's Symposion, Aristophanes had to explain love through the story of the splitting of double-beings, and it should come as no surprise that Freud situates a more profane version of such splitting in primeval times to explain the emergence of 'libido'.

A bad conscience about the repression of the relation of sexuality and economy betrays itself in the fact that the separation of love and sexuality is mostly ascribed to man, whereas woman is often unjustifiably staged as the guardian of nature because she maintains a more close relation between sexuality and economy. That has nothing to do with the sexes as such, but with the fact that the most men are engaged in the social division of labour and most women in the household, where the division of labour is more intimately tied to love. Thus, Ortega y Gasset writes that the female soul is 'concentric' as opposed to the male soul which is 'epicentric'. Simone de Beauvoir points to the fact that a woman cannot even tolerate the idea that a man falls asleep after orgasm, and thinks that this will disappear when she performs social labour. Alberoni on the other hand thinks that the fading away of interest in woman after coition is an essential characteristic of male nature. After intercourse, man feels called to new adventures. Alberoni seems not to understand that these adventures alienate him from his wife only when the husband is engaged in social undertakings.


Let us summarise. Through the unstoppable advent of social cooperation, love is amputated a third time from one of its integral parts. It is fundamentally affected through this loss: the dagger sticks in the heart. And the wound is tired open further and further. Once bereaved of its economical base, sexuality cannot but disintegrate further. In that the economical gratification becomes obsolete as the fuel of sexual desire, the latter can only be ignited through beauty. Only then does this lure acquire the power to separate seduction from lovemaking, and lovemaking from impregnation. And such further disintegration cannot but drive Mars Insatiatus in the arms of the society, where he wants to acquire the power to make his subordination under the power of female beauty undone. Thus, the development of the society unleashes a dynamic that cannot be stopped. The more love is disintegrating, the stronger the pull of the perverse trend. Whereas the one invisible hand governs the human atoms in their production of the 'Wealth of Nations', the other hand cuts, with an invisible sickle,the contours of endless 'Void of Love'. Only in such fatal cycle can we descry the big castrator that Freud projected in phylogenetic primeval times, or in ontogenetic prehistory, where and oedipal toddler is separated from his mother by a threatening father. How the work of the great castrator is completed will be described in the next chapter.

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