by Travis Mateer
What are you looking at here, my kink for feet? No, you’re looking at a subtle signal, for those in the know, that a woman is in an open relationship.
This isn’t something I know from experience, but from exploring the idea in order to spice up a marriage that would have marked its 20th anniversary 9 days from now had I not done my part to fuck things up for good.
Suggesting my partner go out to remind herself that she’s an attractive woman plenty of men would jump at the chance to get to know better was NOT one of the mistakes I made that ended things. And, at this point, you’re probably wondering why the hell I’m writing about all this. I’m getting to that, so BARE with me.
The book I’m working on is a literal decoding of the secrets of the universe (I’m mostly kidding), and in that process I’ve incorporated lots of media into a crazy tapestry of meaning that may or may not mean a damn thing to anyone else. One of the movies I think I’ve decoded is The Number 23, with Jim Carrey.
Before I get to the person I think this movie is really about, we need to talk about Democrat candidate, Susanna Gibson, and the scandal that has erupted around the way she has monetized her open relationship on websites, like Chaturbate.
I began this post talking uncomfortably about my own situation because, unless a person chooses to make something more public, I don’t think it’s anyone’s business what happens between consenting adults. I certainly wouldn’t want to be shamed for exploring a personal theory that, because feminine sexuality is more powerful than masculine sexuality, a confident man might find a beneficial turn-on instead of relationship-ending jealousy by encouraging exploration for a partner with other adults, male or female.
Unfortunately there are significant risks to blurring boundaries, and one risk is that it might lead to sexually berserker behavior, like trying to get caught being gratified by unsuspecting hotel staff for monetary tokens. Is this where reasonable people can agree a line should be drawn? From the link (emphasis mine):
“Tell him I want a bottle and have them bring it into the room and we’ll be naked and they can all watch. It’s gonna be great. I’m definitely a slut,” she told her audience in one video, adding “In order to leave the door cracked I need 500 tokens from 10 of y’all. 10. Otherwise not worth it. Don’t get me kicked out from my favorite hotel y’all.”
According to former Virginia public defender, Gretchen Tayllor Pousson, tricking hotel workers into seeing her acts could violate statutes such as indecent exposure, which applies to anyone who “intentionally makes an obscene display of her person in any public place or place where others are present.”
“I think it would be. It would all depend on how the court determines a ‘place where others are present,’ but given that she caused them to come in, I think that could easily be argued by the Commonwealth,” Pousson told the Daily Wire.
Before getting back to the Jim Carrey movie, I’ll say one more thing about how this relates to Democrat politics in a place like Missoula, and that’s the real risk that understandable human jealousy often wins out in open relationships, as the family of a certain deceased non-profit intern can surely attest.
Now, who do I think Carrey’s character is in the movie that’s ostensibly about obsessing over a number? I think it’s this guy:
Here’s an excerpt from the article about Wilhelm Reich:
Reich was born in 1897 into a wealthy family in what is now Ukraine. He claimed to have lost his virginity at the age of 11 to the family cook and to have visited a brothel at the age of 15. After serving in the Austro-Hungarian Army in World War One, he studied medicine in Vienna. When he heard of a seminar on sex being given by Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, he visited him to ask for a reading list and the pair hit it off. Freud began referring patients to him and Reich started developing his own theories, becoming convinced of the power of sexual healing. Laing explains his reasoning: “If undischarged sexual energy caused neurosis, mightn’t it follow that the discharge of sexual energy was in itself a healing force?” By the time Reich wrote The Function of the Orgasm in 1926, he was convinced that good quality sexual climaxes promoted physical health. When Reich gave Freud a copy of The Function of the Orgasm, the sceptical older man muttered: “That thick?” The pair would eventually fall out over their differing views. In a letter to another psychoanalyst, Freud referred to Reich as an “impetuous young man, passionately devoted to his hobbyhorse, who now salutes in the genital orgasm the antidote to every neurosis”. When Freud developed cancer, Reich regarded it as the result of sexual frustration.
If Reich’s claims about his early experiences with sex are true, that’s troubling, but so far I haven’t found the description of what happened in Reich’s childhood that screwed him up so badly, though I DID hear it described on a podcast recently.
The article goes on to describe how Reich crashed and burned with his research. I find it interesting.
Just before World War Two Reich fled to the US, where his ideas became increasingly eccentric. He discovered a mysterious life force that permeated the universe and flowed through the atmosphere in currents. He called it “orgone” and designed a cabinet – the “orgone accumulator” – in which a person could sit and soak up this energy. It was roughly the size of a public telephone box and made of wood packed with layers of wire wool and sheep’s wool, which absorbed and then trapped the energy – like a greenhouse. Reich thought spells in the box would cure cancer. In 1941, he visited Albert Einstein at his New Jersey home and spent hours propounding his theories to the great physicist. Einstein listened politely but, unsurprisingly, was unconvinced. People think I’m crazy, Reich protested to Einstein. “I can believe that,” responded the scientist.
In fact, Reich did become increasingly paranoid and delusional. He discovered that there were dangerous fields of negative orgone energy and invented a “cloudbuster” to break them up. It was a collection of long pipes and looked something like an anti-aircraft gun. One of its supposed effects was to make it rain. He also became convinced that he was under attack from UFOs.
The US authorities took a dim view of Reich’s claims about the powers of the accumulator, and the fact that he had embraced Marxism and joined the Communist Party in Austria in 1928 made him an even more suspicious figure in the eyes of the FBI. Some unhelpful press articles depicted him as a foreign undesirable, accusing him of quackery and of being the leader of a sex cult. Reich was ordered to stop selling accumulators and was subsequently arrested and imprisoned in 1956 for breaking the injunction. Tons of his papers and books, including The Mass Psychology of Fascism, which linked fascism to sexual repression, were seized and burned. According to Laing, “it remains the only nationally-sanctioned book-burning in American history”. He died in prison in 1957.
Ok, it didn’t take me long to find this article, which puts more context into the formative experiences of Reich’s younger days with screwed up parents:
Born in Galicia in 1897, Reich was the first child of a beautiful young mother and an older, authoritarian father, a rather cosmopolitan and hardly observant Jewish couple managing a family estate of some 2,000 acres. Oppressed by his father, Reich idealized his mother.
Precocious in more than his studies of science and language, Reich began having sexual intercourse with the family’s chambermaid, according to his account, around the age of 12. At almost exactly the same time, the determining event of his life occurred, as Sharaf views it. Adolescent Willy listened from outside the bedroom door over a period of several months when his tutor and mother engaged in sexual intercourse.
Reich remembered that his father had slandered his mother, calling her “whore,” but the boy was caught in a tangle of eroticism, anger, and inadequacy, Sharaf suggests, and he told his father. Cecilia Reich drank a lye mixture and died. According to Reich and his younger brother Robert, around five years later their father Leon Reich took out a large life-insurance policy and committed indirect suicide by deliberatly contracting pneumonia; he did it through prolonged exposure standing in a lake on the farm.
Yes, this messed up situation is almost exactly what Jim Carrey’s character in The Number 23 is shown to have experienced in his youth. Also, his professor friend explicitly references Orgone energy, though it’s a quick reference and easy to miss.
Going back to the first image in this post, an anklet turns out to be an important object in unraveling the mystery in the movie, which I won’t spoil. I think my interpretation of this film is pretty spot on.
Thanks for reading!