Brutalism

tumblr_mmnjbnWwQ51qzglyyo1_1280-1024x784Last week on Bad Porn Club, I mentioned that I have a fetish for brutalist architecture. I’m not sure exactly how we’re defining ‘fetish’ at the moment; some say it’s simply being turned on by something inanimate; for others a fetish is something a person needs (to at least think about) in order to get off. Well, my ‘fetish’ for brutalist architecture isn’t particularly overwhelming; I can come very easily without thinking about it; in fact, there are only a handful of masturbatory occasions when my mind has wandered to the harsh concrete lines. But, regardless of whether you call it a fetish or not, I have a thing for brutalism.

I was considering this yesterday, at the seaside. The sea is something I long for; something I need to see every once a while; but my desire to be by the sea is not at all sexual. It runs deep in my (for lack of a better word) soul. I feel nourished by it; in the same way that great art and music and literature feeds me. Over the past few days, I have seen many wistful tweets from my fellow Brits about how the hot weather and days at the beach, or just in the sun, make them very horny. Summer doesn’t make me horny. The sun doesn’t make me horny. The heat doesn’t make me horny. It makes me happy; it makes me feel healthy and invigorated. I want to go out, and see friends. I want to read in the sun, and listen to music, and talk. But al fresco, Summer sex holds no appeal for me.

I’m not sure exactly why this is; but it has something to do with where my sexuality lives. When I write fiction, and when I think about my kinks, what comes to me first is atmosphere. Describing my kinks or the events in a story feels very mechanical compared to the feeling they evoke. I often use the word “dark” when describing both my fiction and my sexuality. There is a great darkness about both, in that neither live in a sunny, happy place. They dwell in dark, dank spaces; under grey skies, with relentless rain against the windowpane, under flickering lights. Alley ways, concrete, the cruelty of a world that has no respect for its surroundings. It is difficult to describe, and in this regard, my kinks do not come from a healthy place. The space in which I long to be is anything but nourishing.

Brutalist architecture gives me the same feeling. The violence with which its unflinching, rude angles cut into the sky; the never-ending monotony of it’s concrete tones are painful, ugly. Most people don’t like it, and it is not at all hard to understand why. But for me, it sums up so well where my head, my heart, and my cunt live. In that fearful space where I feel powerless and so very small; but at the same time, it makes me want to fight. Brutalism strikes me as the perfect symbol of oppression. And in a world that preaches freedom, what greater transgression is there?

  6 comments for “Brutalism

  1. jess hopkins
    10/07/2013 at 11:29

    You’d love edinburgh, where they’re slapping preservation orders on brutalist buildings – as no-one builds them any more and no-one (apart from me and you, it seems) appreciates them.
    I was in dundee recently and saw a textbook case – being pulled down, sadly.
    *j*

    • Harper Eliot
      10/07/2013 at 18:55

      It is very sad. Some beautiful buildings in the Orient too.

      • jess hopkins
        10/07/2013 at 19:14

        There are two maroon-and-gold high-rise blocks *right* next to the scottish parliament. When the building was being planned, there were moves afoot to tear them down – and a local architect fought for their preservation as perfect examples of a discontinued form.
        Even edinburgh’s former social work headquarters, a monstrous dark grey cube on the boundary between edinburgh and leith, is gone now.
        Still, we’ll always have kubrik’s “a clockwork orange”, won’t we?

        • Harper Eliot
          10/07/2013 at 19:48

          Hehe, thank the lord for that.

  2. 13/07/2013 at 11:40

    I’m like you. Beautiful weather doesn’t awaken me sexually, but it does make me happy. Very happy. I suppose a lot of that has to do with where I lived for 31 years of my life, sunny southern California. If I were horny every time the day was sunny, well, I’d be a walking orgasm there. I guess in some way, I am desensitized to it. Though, now that I live in a place that absolutely experiences more seasons, I cherish beautiful days even more, but still, they just make me happy to enjoy the outdoors.

    • Harper Eliot
      15/07/2013 at 14:01

      Exactly. I feel healthier and happier in hot weather, because it feels good; but nah, not arousing. Just lovely.

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