Empire of the Nonsenses

Illustration by Bob AulYou came home to find your boyfriend dangling naked in his closet from the end of a belt. At his feet, porn. Lots of it—”gynecological,” you told me. You let him down and called 911, and the paramedics arrived and hauled him to the hospital. He left the hospital that night with a neck brace. He won't talk about it, but you've got your own diagnosis: the economy is bad, he just lost his job, and the last of his male friends just got married. He's terribly depressed. My diagnosis is entirely different. Remember the Japanese film Empire of the Senses in which a couple achieves better sex through strangulation? Or INXS lead singer Michael Hutchence? The guy who (one version has it) inadvertently hung himself while pursuing the perfect orgasm? The male whore in Vonnegut's Galapagos? Your boyfriend nearly died from an excess of excitement. Look at the porn, dear. People committing suicide aren't typically reading beaver mags.

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