Selfie Sex and Neo Narcissism

 

Neo Narcissus

This vapid article from The Daily Telegraph explains that the “metrosexual” man has evolved into the “spornosexual” man.

For those who are not familiar with the terminology, the “metrosexual” was a term coined by a fashion writer Mark Simpson in 1994:

How quickly your children grow up. Although it seems only yesterday, I first wrote about him in 1994 after attending an exhibition organised by GQ magazine called “It’s a Man’s World”. I’d seen the future of masculinity and it was moisturised.

“Metrosexual man, the single young man with a high disposable income, living or working in the city (because that’s where all the best shops are) is perhaps the most promising consumer market of the decade,”

Simpson goes on to explain that the metrosexual was manly, but not ashamed to be vain. He was happy to use make up, pay attention to clothes and was grooming himself constantly. However, he was clearly not gay or girly. The point was to bed as many beauties as possible.

Simpson has now spotted another trend. He says men have taken the grooming and vanity to a new level. They spend money on cosmetic surgery, hours in the gym honing the “perfect body” and more hours in the bathroom primping and pumping and plucking.  Simpson observes:

With their painstakingly pumped and chiselled bodies, muscle-enhancing tattoos, piercings, adorable beards and plunging necklines it’s eye-catchingly clear that second-generation metrosexuality is less about clothes than it was for the first. Eagerly self-objectifying, second generation metrosexuality is totally tarty. Their own bodies (more than clobber and product) have become the ultimate accessories, fashioning them at the gym into a hot commodity – one that they share and compare in an online marketplace.

These are sportsmen who take their porn like their beer–a pleasure to be enjoyed with “the lads” in preparation for the rampant sex promised by the men’s health and fitness magazines with their covers emblazoned with unrealistically handsome models– their chests bare, shaved and honed.

Simpson calls them “spornosexuals”

If you’re revolted by this distorted masculinity, remember it’s a symptom not a cause. Since the advent of artificial contraception sex has become predominantly about masturbation, and that particular vice is not bad simply because it’s naughty and pleasurable and the church says you shouldn’t do it. It’s a sin because it is a distortion of true love.

True love is directed towards another person in a life giving act of self sacrifice. Selfie sex is oriented towards the self not the other. It is introverted and is a form of self love, and the “spornosexual” is simply a vivid example of the neo narcissist–the self adoring modern man who loves himself and no one else. That is why another article in the Telegraph this week observes that fewer than 50% of young couples who live together will ever get married.

Why get married if two self adoring people can live together feeding one another’s self adoration? Cohabiting then becomes a kind of sick parody of marriage. Instead of it being a sacrament of self sacrifice it becomes a pseudo sacrament of self indulgence–each narcissistic person being a kind of mirror for the other narcissistic person. If the individuals are homosexual the narcissism is complete. The man or woman gazes at a mirror image of himself or herself so that the relationship is one of mutual self admiration, and when the fantasy ends and the other person turns out to be a disappointment? Hey. Move on and move in with the next person. If you were dumb enough to get married. No fault divorce is always available. Call a lawyer.

Should we be surprised that this is the end point of modern sexuality? This sterile self love is pointless and ultimately destructive. Remember the myth of Narcissus the beautiful youth who gazed on his own reflection and fell in love with himself. When he finally realized he could not consummate his love with such a beautiful person as himself he committed suicide.

This is where neo Narcissism ends up: if not in literal suicide, then in the self slaughter of the true self. The true self only blossoms as it learns to give itself in self sacrificial love. When we indulge in selfie sex and narcissism we slowly but surely kill the true self and end up drowning in our own self love.

Only within the sacrament of marriage or within a true religious vocation can we find the path to self sacrificial love rather than self indulgent love. The path is narrow and the mountain steep, but it is the one way we have to find real fulfillment and an abundant life.

If you have the stomach for it you can read the whole article here.


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