July 5: better than sex

Better than sex, says the amply tatooed haircut of a footballer at the World Cup, referring to the goal he has scored. I suppose the moment the back of the net ripples or bulges or shimmers is tantamount to the orgasm. Reminding me of George Steiner on chess: “As one breathes in the first scent of victory – a musky, heady, faintly metallic aura, totally indescribable to a non-player – the skin tautens at one’s temples, and one’s fingers throb. The poets lie about orgasm. It is a small chancey business, its particularities immediately effaced even from the most roseate memories, compared to the crescendo of triumph in chess, to the tide of light and release that races over mind and knotted body as the opponent’s king, inert in the fatal web one has spun, falls on the board.”
Not wrong as far as the moment of release is concerned. Why even I myself have on rare occasions experienced difficulty in… no matter… no matter. Though perhaps the metallic sensuality might be an acquired taste.
More conventional evocations of performances of the brouhahha of orgasm surface perhaps in the gorgeous explosions of late 19th and early 20th Century symphonic music. Wagnerian climaxes were specifically interpreted as sexual at the time, and Brahm’s tendancy to evade that moment has been frequently linked to his repressed libido. For me, it is Mahler’s crystalline, shattering dread climaxes, shot through with imperfectly sated desire and the forlorn attempty to capture that fugitive instant that best recreate culmination. One-nil!
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