“Back to School”
by Slavoj Zizek
Thus means: Forget the stupid spontaneous pleasures of summer sports, of
reading books, watching movies and listening to music. Pull yourself
together and learn sex.
As we know already from Daphnis and Chloe, the late antiquity novel, there
is nothing spontaneous about sex: One has to learn it, one has to be
introduced to it.
The naked couple without a spectacled teacher would be reduced to two clumsy
ignorants unable to perform the act.
A melancholic nostalgia for the good old Victorian days, when it was still a
terrifying transgression if a music teacher seduced the daughter of the
The only successful sexual relationship occurs when the fantasies of the two
partners overlap. If the man fantasizes that making love is like riding a
And the woman wants to be penetrated by a stud, then what truly goes on
while they make love is that a horse is riding a bike…with a fantasy like
that, who needs a personality?
There can be no friendship between twins: they are too close, so the only
way for each of them to maintain his identity is to liquidate the other. A
friend has to be outside my reach, beyond my grasp. And there can be no
friendship with someone whom I am not ready to betray: A friend is someone I
can betray with love.
A woman intermittently kissing two men: Does this constellation not merely
explicate the fact that, while a man cheats his feminine partner with
another real woman, a woman can cheat a man even if she makes love only with
him, since her pleasure is never fully contained in enjoying him?
The object of desire is hidden behind the thigh but the true cause of desire
is the tattooed cross on the arm. Is it not clear that we really make love
with signs, not with bodies? This is why one has to go to school to learn
Is the naked couple a stain disturbing the classical beauty, or does it
stand for the authentic bodily reality unmasking the fake of the kitsch
architecture? Neither: They are both fakes.
Movies are right: The romantic dream is in color, the reality of sex is in
black and white. Here, however, school has to teach us another paradoxical
lesson: The intensity of real sex can only take place in black and white.
When we are immersed into love making, the world loses its colors.
If there ever was a happy couple, this is one. The first lesson of love to
be learned at school: Do not look into each other’s eyes! Only by ignoring
each other can a couple learn to endure each other and, eventually, to
become aware of the other’s proximity.
It is obvious that the couple in front of the window are fantasizing that
someone is observing them through the window! They need that gaze in order
to be in love: They perform their love for that gaze.
The apple in paradise really was a book Eve was reading: What seduced Adam
into sin was the burning curiosity about what is written in the book. This
is the ultimate proof that sex has nothing to do with sin: Man became sinful
the moment he was interested more in what’s in the book than in Eve’s
gorgeous naked body
The solution is, of course: There was nothing in the book. Eve just
pretended to be immersed into the book to seduce Adam…
In true passion, one does not need a head or brain: The whole body turned in
to a montage. This loss of the body, this dissolution of the body into a
composite of organs, is called happiness.
No way to escape sex — even in pure mathematics, it will haunt you: How
much energy is released when two bodies hit each other? Or is it that pure
mathematics is much sexier than sex?
Is the girl really dreaming that she is a butterfly? But what if she is a
butterfly dreaming that it is a girl? It is only when her lover is able to
discern the butterfly that is in her more than the girl herself that he will
passionately desire her, that making love to her will not be only
The tired anxious gazes of the participants display the question: Was it
okay? Did we perform well?
Another lesson to be learned at school: Not only under our dress are we all
naked — we are truly naked only under our clothes. If we are simply without
dress, we are not really naked — there is nothing less erotic than nudism.
Usually from a conservative cultural standpoint, the problem with today’s
culture, especially youth culture, is that of ethics, specifically of
standards, limits being blurred. For example, sometimes in the news you
don’t even know what is publicity and what is news. That is to say that the
news is turning into a kind of talk show…What do I see? A Utopian vision.
A fugue. A truly modern synthesis
Shit, why not have a cake and eat it too? You can have critical theory and
nudity and enjoy it!