Keston Sutherland

(1976 / Bristol)

Excerpt from ODE TO TL61P 4 - Poem by Keston Sutherland

The coinage of paedophilia is attributed by the OED to Havelock Ellis, who in his Studies in the psychology of sex (whose first volume begins with a study in the evolution of modesty) classified the sexual love of postpubescent individuals for prepubescent individuals as an 'abnormality'. We embraced a new ideologeme. Since those first beginnings in what innumerable psychoanalytical thinkers confined to the humanities can now conceptualise as the 'pathologization' of too durable infant desire, keeping up childhood for too long, our machinery of classification has been melodiously refined. Besides paedophilia, which now means the sexual love of prepubescent individuals in particular, we now have hebephilia, a diagnosis for the sexual love of individuals in the early stages of puberty, but not earlier; ephebophilia, a diagnosis for the sexual love of individuals lately progressed out of puberty (these last two are sometimes also called korophilia and parthenophilia): teleiophilia, a diagnosis for the sexual love of adult individuals, whom we mirror; and gerontophilia or graeophilia, a diagnosis for the sexual love of elderly individuals. These diagnoses are in turn the subdivisory disorders of chronophilia, a more general term for any limitation of sexual love to individuals living within fixed age limits: chronophilia is in turn a paraphilia, a yet more general term familiarly of biomedical application that describes the misdirection of sexual love as a whole, be it into babies, or non-human objects, or images of suffering, or corpses. It will be obvious that the history of diagnostic refinement in pathologization is at least nominally a case of clinical hellenism; hellenism is itself a word adapted out of its original meaning, which was 'the acknowledging and adoring of a multitude of Gods', to fit the less immoderately orgiastic definition 'Graecism' in thought or speech. The criminal use of desire would be very grating in Kurdish.

But all sex is barbaric. We are the pleasures we enjoy, the blisses we admire; and all sex is a text, wingbats in a gaping slang. I adopt Hazlitt's position on the immortality ode because my mother was an alcoholic.

Freud said that my early biological hermaphrodism led to my original predisposition to bisexuality, which in the course of my development was reduced to monosexuality, leaving slight remnants of the stunted sex. The idea of development truly is formidably legitimate; and yet it is only the first of many ideas, each one more legitimate than the next. My infancy was an original predisposition to sexual love for children, which over the course of our development was reduced to sexual love for teenagers, and then, as if conclusively, to the same for adults; the elderly are terminally attractive but I would rather not suck them. Infant love is as durable as life. If it isn't, it must be. Immortality must mean the preterition of ageing, so that universal love may be comprehensive, that is, paedohebeëpheboteleiophiliac (omitting the elderly, who are ostentatiously not immortal): the sum of all disorders is the law of paradise. You can disagree with it but you can't disobey it. That's the bottom line.

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, June 22, 2017

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