Monday, 24 January 2011

Tuning In

I had this discussion a good few years ago, and my answer is still the same.

"Sex or music?" asked my Irish friend. "If you could only take one, but get rid of the other, from your life, what would it be?" Bear in mind, as you read this, the provisos in place: you had to choose one thing to keep. You would get rid of the other thing entirely. But you wouldn't know it didn't exist. If you didn't know either sex or music existed, you'd probably invent it again. That's human nature.

"Sex," answered Robinson.
"Sex," said Hairy Friend.
"Sex," said Mane.
This continued for a long while, with everyone choosing sex. The Irish friend, who had started the discussion in any case, was exempt from answering (he said), but truthfully he said he didn't know. I, however, did know.
"Music," I said.
Everyone stared.

There are a multitude of reasons for this. Sex is important to me - it's a very big part of my life, whether I'm having it, or not! It's part of the most basic level of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs - everyone has a level of sexuality, even the asexual, as not expressing sexuality is a way of expression, to a point - right? And I love it. I love doing it, I love people's views on it, I love talking about it, looking at it, thinking about it, reading about it, writing about it. I love it. I love sex. It is fantastic.

But music - music is my lifeblood. I live and breathe music. There hasn't been a day go by when music hasn't played some part. I listen, I play and I sing. Constantly. And the point I put across to my friends - or tried to - is that music is also an essential for life. Without music, there would be no rhythm. You wouldn't be able to walk without a rhythm. You wouldn't be able to tapo your feet to a beat or do anything that requires synchronisation. It would be very hard to appreciate any sort of aesthetic, as art is all interconnected (or it is, in my mind). Sound would lose much meaning, talented people would appear untalented, and - as my IT teacher told me when I asked him the question a few years later - music helps you meet people. "If it weren't for one, I wouldn't have the other," he quipped, "as I met my wife through the band I used to play in!"

I still don't know why Maslow didn't put music into his Hierarchy of Needs. I've only ever met one person who doesn't like it, and he's a git.

But I don't think it's really fair to square one off against the other. What is sex, after all, if it doesn't have a rhythm? What's it like for people who don't have any music? Awkward is a good guess. And music brings people together. I've had sex to the tunes of Tim Booth, Joni Mitchell, Nina Simone... all sorts. It doesn't help one iota if you're not that good, perhaps... but does it hurt? Porn has music, right?

I think sex and music go hand-in-hand. You can't ask me to choose, because one without the other seems to lack quite a lot of point. And, although it kills me to say this, if I did have to choose... music. Why? Because it's just more reliable.

And beautiful, too.

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