Dr. Susan Block

In the Chatroom

44 Comments

  1. Hipolito M. Wiseman
    11 · 30 · 10 @ 11:57 am

    Michael J forever , the King of Pop always in my heart.

    Reply

  2. Carlos
    08 · 23 · 10 @ 4:36 pm

    Dr. Conrad Murray was almost tore apart by a mob outside L.A. courthouse. I would be scared to go anywhere If I were him. lol. He’ll always be associated with killing Michael Jackson. Fair or not, that is a career killer.

    Reply

  3. Imtiaz waris
    06 · 23 · 10 @ 5:10 pm

    I was never much of a Michael Jackson fan,though I think he was very talented.But after reading your article,I at least understand that he might have suffered due to his being so very successful.
    It was a terrible tragedy for him to die so young.
    This article has given me empathy for MJ which I never had.

    Reply

  4. Leslie Young, Sherman Oaks
    06 · 3 · 10 @ 9:17 pm

    A friend of mine emailed me the link to your August, 2009 article on Michael Jackson. Just wanted to say that it resounded with me on every level.

    Like you, I became caught up in the post-mortem frenzy and deification of Michael, and read/watched every salacious clip, blurb, blog, article, TV special on him, including the “Scientific Blogging” articles you referred to (autogynephile, hebephile, autogynehebephile (!).

    Amidst it all, no other essay on MJ’s life and hysteria after his death hit the bullseye quite like yours. I felt vindicated that I was not the only person out there with a desperate, frustrated desire to understand what made Michael tick, and what was behind his death. The enigma that was his life continues into the hereafter.

    That we may never fully understand Michael Jackson forever fuels his seductive appeal. How much more dull it would be to see him into his dotage, swept aside by newer waves of music. Michael’s diamond will now never lose its luster.

    Thanks for enjoyable, and illuminating, reading.

    Reply

  5. Cleide Rocha
    03 · 6 · 10 @ 10:46 pm

    It’s unbelievable how obsessed I became about MJ after his passing. It’s like I’m back to my adolescence years, I’m 38. Yes. I have been listening to MJ’s music all again since his death. I was too busy judging him and feel guilty for having forgotten him, for 2 decades, so I feel the need to catch up on some MJ’s news. Some of his latest songs I didn’t even know! But the bad news, we all know, watching too much TV and reading too much tabloids, what isn’t always the truth and most of all the negative stuff that I’m tired of knowing.

    So few articles like this one, are enlightening, far from those empty “I love MJ RIP” drooling stuff… whatever, thanks again, that was deep!

    Reply

  6. Janice Cross
    02 · 25 · 10 @ 2:18 pm

    I feel I must tell you that, although I am a bit behind in keeping up with some of the articles written about MJ since his death, yours is the most straightforward, exciting, admirable & endearing commentary I have read so far. You have expressed my sentiments almost to a tee & I thank you immensely–Thank You for not capitalizing on the negativity surrounding us all regarding Michael Jackson & reducing him–once again–to something less than human. You boldly pronounce him as having risen above mortality–and justifiably so, as this is where he rightfully belongs.

    I also grew up with Michael & am now fiercely protective–for whatever reasons–of his image & his legacy. I have sat by all these years while he was alive & listened to all the putdowns, accusations, & criticisms with malice aforethought–all the garbage–and I’ll be damned if I will do it now that he is gone.

    I embraced wholeheartedly & with much emotion the entire article you wrote, and especially the paragraph involving him altering his appearance, among others:

    “…Some of his later facial appearances are downright frightening, like one of the desiccating zombies who surround and possess his younger, more supple self in “Thriller.” But sometimes his Kabuki-like visage catches the light at just the right angle, such as in “Ghost” or “Scream,” and it is utterly beautiful in an otherworldly, Pierrot-esque, only-MJ way.”

    I do not know of anyone who could have said it better.

    Thank You. Thank You from the bottom of my MJ-obsessed heart!

    Reply

  7. Janice Cross
    02 · 25 · 10 @ 2:18 pm

    I feel I must tell you that, although I am a bit behind in keeping up with some of the articles written about MJ since his death, yours is the most straightforward, exciting, admirable & endearing commentary I have read so far. You have expressed my sentiments almost to a tee & I thank you immensely–Thank You for not capitalizing on the negativity surrounding us all regarding Michael Jackson & reducing him–once again–to something less than human. You boldly pronounce him as having risen above mortality–and justifiably so, as this is where he rightfully belongs.

    I also grew up with Michael & am now fiercely protective–for whatever reasons–of his image & his legacy. I have sat by all these years while he was alive & listened to all the putdowns, accusations, & criticisms with malice aforethought–all the garbage–and I’ll be damned if I will do it now that he is gone.

    I embraced wholeheartedly & with much emotion the entire article you wrote, and especially the paragraph involving him altering his appearance, among others:

    “…Some of his later facial appearances are downright frightening, like one of the desiccating zombies who surround and possess his younger, more supple self in “Thriller.” But sometimes his Kabuki-like visage catches the light at just the right angle, such as in “Ghost” or “Scream,” and it is utterly beautiful in an otherworldly, Pierrot-esque, only-MJ way.”

    I do not know of anyone who could have said it better.

    Thank You. Thank You from the bottom of my MJ-obsessed heart!

    Reply

  8. Pippa Hudson
    07 · 30 · 09 @ 7:24 pm

    I cant tell you how I have just enjoyed reading your blog as I lie in bed in England before sleep tonight. In fact I could have written much of it myself as your put into words the very worrying things I have been feeling completely out of the blue since MJ’s death.

    I am 48 years old and was never an MJ fan but always liked and supported him. I was in my prime when he was in the late 1980s living and clubbing in London. I was too cool to go to his shows (a FOREVER regret now as I watch the only good concert DVD of his Dangerous tour on a nightly basis.) He was too Vegas for us and we used to rather laugh at his fans. They are having the last laugh now as I have been completely washed away with some weird regressive devotion to him that I never expressed in more youthful days.

    I started smoking again and other stuff. I am a bit of a mess and yes bulimic is a good term. That is I gorge myself on his entire back catalogue on my mp3 (I bought the mp3 in order to do this) and cry EVERY day as the orgasmic syrup of his voice in the ballads pours over me. My Dad’s death, my cat’s death my childlessness is all getting swept up and mixed into this insatiable desire to listen to him.

    God knows where this will lead and I feel FANTASTIC to read that this is possibly more widespread than I thought. I feel guilty and prospects of therapy have popped up as I wonder how to stop the smoking and the drinking and this ridiculous regression. It has been 10 weeks now and I am sadly not out of the woods yet but no doubt it will fade with the passage of time. It bloody has to or
    I’m in trouble!

    Your reflections in your article are fascinating. I have ordered every book on him on Amazon in the last 10 weeks and have read them all in an attempt to decide how wicked he was. I needn’t have bothered really because there is no catching the will of the wisp in your hand. Like much in life I imagine there is some truth to some of it. The trial was fascinating and I am now an expert.

    As the owner of a small bookshop I find I can no longer read anything unless its about Jackson. I am embarrassed by this. I hide the books I have been reading on him under the counter like a porn magazine when customers come in.

    And now I think I need sex therapy! Never thought about it before…

    I spent five hours on youtube on one quiet day at work recently watching the MJ clips and I never get tired of them I have the entire back catalogue. AM I mad? I need to get out of this quickly.

    I have just booked two weeks in Los Angeles in January to see a couple of old friends supposedly but will I be able to resist a drive by the death mansion or the cemetery?? I really hope so as mawkish visits like that would put me in a tabloid category. Or does one give in to it all? I’m confused but you know what – I am CONNECTED with something. Even if its just a memory of youth, substance abuse, youthful sexual desires that I thought long dead have been poked with a big stick and have reluctantly risen from their slumbers leaving me solo panting with desire. Well you know – maybe all this is better than feeling numb and menopausal.

    Thanks again for giving print to my feelings.

    Reply

  9. Jeanne Newcomb
    07 · 30 · 09 @ 7:24 pm

    I was bouncing around the internet, looking for answers and insight on my new idol, MJ. In Google I typed MJ-sex-feelings. Google found your article and I’m glad it did. I think you have an interesting, unique and best of all, funny take on the entire saga.

    Thank you for the great reading and the candidly wonderful words!

    Reply

  10. Yue You
    07 · 30 · 09 @ 7:23 pm

    we are all shocked and distressed by the death of such a wonderful and very talented man Michael Jackson.

    Reply

  11. William Patrick Haines
    07 · 30 · 09 @ 7:23 pm

    Michael Jackson shows that courage is not a characteristic that is firmly attached to masculine behavior . I t is amazing Mr OReilly who complained how Mr Jackson dressed in drag, when he puts on airs like he’s one of the boys which it is more ridiculous and distasteful than an ugly man trying think he can be a beautiful woman. Micheal Jackson’s Horatio Alger saga also shows that even if you work your way out of poverty it still inflicts scars that last a life time .

    ——————————————————————————–

    Reply

  12. Shannon Young
    07 · 30 · 09 @ 7:22 pm

    I can’t believe I’m still combing the web for Michael Jackson stories almost two months after his death. I guess I have no life! But I’m glad to have stumbled upon your brilliant blog which expresses so many of the feelings and fantasies I have had about the Artist of the Millennium. I have also read a few of your other blog entries, and I am fascinated by your world. You seem to help a lot of people enjoy their sex lives, and I find myself wondering if you could actually have helped our Wounded Healer relax, enjoy, get some sleep and maybe live a little longer.

    Reply

  13. Simba
    07 · 30 · 09 @ 7:22 pm

    No human being is truly knowable to another. Your piece is exhaustive and intriguing, but possibly without a shred of truth.

    There is no evidence that Michael Jackson was traumatized, frightened, turned off, by his early exposure to groupie sex. He might have enjoyed watching the goings on. As he matured, his body became almost hyper-masculine, although very slim – he was fairly tall, with broad shoulders, narrow hips, and seemingly not an ounce of body fat – hardly the physique of someone without normal levels of male hormones. His high singing voice was stylistic, similar to Frankie Valli and Smokey Robinson. Nearly all of the Jackson brothers have high breathy speaking voices. They also have produced dozens of children, so nothing wrong with their equipment.

    When I was a youngster, it was commonly believed that Diana Ross had relieved MJ of his virginity. He had lived with her at various times, clearly idolized her, and remained close to her his entire life. He was obsessive about the care of his children, and surely it means something that in his will, he names Diana Ross as a possible guardian for them should his mother not be able.

    Employees of MJ’s maintain that he was in a long-term sexual relationship with his children’s nanny, and that the couple behaved as though they were married. This is something that the public never saw, although in many pictures and films of MJ and his children, the nanny is hiding in plain sight.

    MJ suffered from lupus, ongoing pain issues from his burn accident, and extreme self-consciousness over his vitiligo-mottled body. Along with his great shyness, all of these would tend to put a damper on sexual exploits. But that doesn’t mean that he didn’t have any.

    Bottom line, it could be that Michael Jackson’s sex life was no more weird or exotic than anyone else’s. And ultimately, it’s no one else’s concern.

    Reply

  14. David in Guelph
    07 · 30 · 09 @ 7:20 pm

    Dr. Suzy
    Excellent article on MJ and his psychosexual profile. His musical and entertainment influence will be discussed and debated for years. I believe MJ was stuck at the adolencet stage of sexual development and his extensive wealth only added to the problem because he could buy his way out of things.

    Reply

  15. interested
    07 · 30 · 09 @ 7:20 pm

    a very well-written article that captures many of my own contradictory and embarrassing feelings sinc ethe passing of Michael. I wonder why there are so many, like me, who have caught this MJ bug? I was never a fan, but all of the sudden I am devouring any news on this. I have actually cried–several times. How weird is that! I feel guilty for not supporting him. I fell angry for the contrasting stories and smoke and mirrors. At some points I even feel some sense of attraction. I cannot understand this! If one were to ask me three months ago, I would scoff and remark on the pedophilic chrages. In fact, the day of his death I mourned Farrah over him and stated, I think it serves him right!

    Now look at me! I find it hard to belive that as a critical thinker I am being led by the media’s trial of bread crumbs. Can’t figure out why his passing has affected me in such a manner.

    Your article has been the closest detail of what I am feeling…Thank you!

    Reply

  16. Jackie Moreno
    07 · 30 · 09 @ 7:19 pm

    Thank you for this brilliant beautiful essay which captures so many of my own feelings about this extraordinary man who touched so many of us in such personal ways. I am sending this link to friends.

    Reply

  17. drsuzy
    07 · 30 · 09 @ 7:19 pm

    Awww….Marcela, you wrote one paragraph of cheap talk, and I wrote several, both of us trying to express what this artist means to us. Why are my thoughts more “irrelevant” than your tears?

    My “world” is probably a bit less “limited” than your mind. But who’s measuring?

    I don’t even think we disagree about MJ; You seem to be saying that he ought not be discussed, as if he is some kind of sacred untouchable thing. I dunno, I think he was a great artist, but a human being like the rest of us, and worthy of analysis and criticism as well as praise and “wonderment.” And just what is so “disgusting” and “tacky” that you want “God” to “protect” you from? The frank discussion of sex?

    Well anyway, thanks for the tip on the MJ performance at the Bill Clinton inauguration. Though it wasn’t in 2002 or 2003. It was 1993. But then, you’d probably consider the date “profoundly irrelevant.”

    Reply

  18. Marcela
    07 · 30 · 09 @ 7:18 pm

    I have read your article carefully and I am really compelled to write to you. You have a point and it seems to make sense. The problem, or the BIG problem, is that talking about Jackson in the way you do is profoundly irrelevant. You have diminished an artist who has, as Spielberg said, “wonderment and mystery” and I would add “timelesness” to a very mundane level. I suspect your world is very limited, no matter how much you know about sexuality and psychology. I happened to be, like you, one of those who wasn’t into Michael Jackson. But when he died I began to perceive in Michael something St. Exupery mentions in The Little Prince, “the essential is invisible to the eyes”. I watched several videos and one called my attention the most and it may surprise you: the performance he did in the 2002 or 2003 at the inauguration of Bill Clinton. I really don’t want to bring politics into this but hey, it moved me to tears. Every movement and gesture is exquisite and graceful and in the middle of the circus of this world, I knew then that he was an artist. And here we are, in the circus of this American world when you get “wacko jacko”, long analysis about his sexual problems, invasions to foreign countries and symbols reduced to plain literal analysis. Deepa Chockra said that when the world called Michael “weird”, Michael himself was calling this world weird. My question is: who is really weird? In this practical, materialistic, imperialistic society, what do people do? Let’s dissect Michael Jackson!!!!! I am disgusted. This is not the circus of a Fellini. Your circus is TACKY. God protect us from all this irrelevance. And Michael Jackson… he will be the one we will remember, not all this cheap talk. Thank you for your attention. Marcela

    Reply

  19. Bob Macias
    07 · 30 · 09 @ 7:17 pm

    Hi Dr. Block… just wanted to drop a line to say how very much I enjoyed your posting on Counterpunch.com regarding MJ. I think we are of the same age group… I danced to ‘ABC’ and ‘I want You Back’ at junior high dances when these songs were all over KRLA-AM radio in Los Angeles.

    Although I tended to move into more ‘rock’ music as the years wore on, my younger brother was a HUGE J5 fan. He had all their vinyl LP’s and 45’s, wore only J5 t-shirts and had their posters all over his room. In later years when he became a hardcore metal head, we used to rib him to no end about his J5 fanboy days, which he never EVER regretted.

    When my wife and I started dating in 1983, the ‘Thriller’ legacy had just begun and we used to dance to all those mega-hits at our favorite club… the bass line from ‘Billie Jean’ would mean the dance floor was instantly jammed, and we all knew that music would never be the same any longer, now that Michael had changed the rules.

    My wife and I are both very saddened at his passing, in awe of his legacy, but not surprised at his outcome. Your observations of his convoluted life and inspirations ring true for me, and I am glad to have read your article.

    Reply

  20. Catherine
    07 · 30 · 09 @ 7:16 pm

    this was an awesome article and how I truly felt.

    Reply

  21. Jonathan Spiegal
    07 · 30 · 09 @ 7:16 pm

    Fantastic writing, Dr. Block. I thought I’d had enough MJ, but I had to read your piece twice. It actually has some new and very cogent ideas. Hopefully other spoiled celebs will read what you have to say and learn!

    Reply

  22. Stevie Jay
    07 · 30 · 09 @ 7:15 pm

    Dude–I’d KILL for a vagina! (As long as I could hang onto my cock ‘n’ balls! (They’re dear to me, and I HAVE grown somewhat attached.)

    Reply

  23. drsuzy
    07 · 30 · 09 @ 7:15 pm

    Thanks for your informative comment. But please re-examine my bloggamy and note that I did not call MJ a TS, nor did I praise the work of J. Michael Bailey. I wrote “Jackson may have had a paraphilia clinically known as “autogynephilia,” sexual arousal at the idea of being a woman.” I think that statement holds “true.” Looking forward to seeing you again soon at the Speakeasy!

    Reply

  24. Aunt Debra
    07 · 30 · 09 @ 7:13 pm

    Really great blog. Except for the autogynephilia (AG) reference.

    I’m not surprised you know or know of J. Michael Bailey. But you must know he’s anathema to the TS community. His book, “The Man Who Would Be Queen” (TMWWBQ), his great work of sciencce based on careful research, is a hatchet-job on ts women. It’s his sex-fueled forays to a handful of North End Chicago gay and trannie bars where he interviewed a total of eight subjects – all ts hookers. I’m pretty sure he’s a wannabe. Autogynephilia is Greek for “the love of turning yourself into a cunt.” It postulates that all so-called “ts-women” aren’t women at all. That would be impossible. No, they’re all men, and they come in only two flavors: (i) gay men who are or used to be pretty, effeminate very gay boys – bottoms who have surgery so they can better appeal to the gold standard – straight men, or (ii) older transitioners who don’t pass well and who transition because they’re fetishists, getting off sexually on the idea of turning female. There’s nothing else. And if you don’t acknowledge their diagnosis, you’re a liar. The AG theory ignores the gender identity feelings ts kids typically have when they’re very young long before puberty and too young to know anything about sex. And it ignores what happens during transition and especially post-op, when all those sex-driven manias (fueled by testosterone) pretty much disappear. So AG is b.s. Bailey’s bud Ray Blanchard in Toronto claims to have conceived AG but they’re trumped by Paul McHugh, who was late to claim the honor. I understand the appeal to applying AG to Michael. He’ll always be remembered as a child molester, so he’s a fetishist nonpareil – a perfect poster child for AG. But was he ts? Was he castrated? (I think Daddy did it.) Did he want a vagina? Was he AG? I don’t know if he fit either bs AG criterion. Only Elizabeth Taylor and the pathologist would. But us? I doubt it.

    Reply

  25. William Patrick Haines
    07 · 30 · 09 @ 7:12 pm

    Well I am sure some future William Shakespeare or Mark Twain will be inspired by the Michael Jackson saga .There are a lot of elements in this tale with which America society has a multitude of insecurities, as you have so eloquently delineated here. These include sexual identity/orientation, age identity racial identity and financial status and personal success .
    You have stated numerous times that most people are essential bisexual, and according to the Kinsey scale most people are neither exclusively straight or gay . So Michael Jackson’s flamboyant display of feminine characteristics upset a lot of the insecure . Also I have noticed that people really do not mature far beyond the age of 16 anyway, and quite often, old age is confused with maturity in much the same way that conformity is confused with sanity.
    Of course there is the financial status and this issue is hot button issue .There is the constant land of opportunity mantra that tries to state anyone can rise out of poverty . Which for the most part is a myth .I have no problem with people who capitalize on talent but it is quite irksome when the typical ceo is so grossly over compensated . The poor are made to feel so inferior that when then beat the odds and come into vast sums of money, they will often get into debt anyway, as Jackson did.
    Another hot button issue related to Jackson’s demise is religious abuse from fundamentalist cults . The religious right has had a strangle hold on this country and it is in position of almost unquestionable authority . This has lead to the shooting of abortion providers, the lack of funding of life saving stem cell research , the disintegration of science education, creationism and the creation of mercenary / Terrorist organizations like Blackwater. Black water most recent controversy stems from him killing off witnesses from various Blackwater murders. The former employee also alleges that CEO Prince “views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe,” and that Prince’s companies “encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life.”
    Well it seems that these conservative folks who condemned Mr Jackson ought to remove the plank in their own eye before worrying about the specks in mr Jackson’s eye .
    http://www.truthout.org/080409R?n

    Reply

  26. Carlo Filangieri
    07 · 30 · 09 @ 7:12 pm

    Hello Dr. Block,

    Once again you have written a stunning piece, I commend you, you clarfied so many aspects of this great American star’s life. What I find strange is that so many people start out by saying they are not great fans of this man. Yet as you say we have all danced to his music and fucked to it’s rhythem. So much pleasure, so much fun, so much hope all given to us to this gifted and magical man. You are right, St. Michael can now fly! Bless you Dr. Suzy for your wonderful work.
    Carlo
    Portofino, Italy

    Reply

  27. Amrita Douglas
    07 · 30 · 09 @ 7:11 pm

    Ah, so deska! Genius sans neuroses…it would have been a delicate task indeed. You are so in the right place to have done so! Enjoying your blog…

    I’m also sending you a link to a brilliant article by Matt Semino, a young lawyer who works in finance, not entertainment: http://elitestv.com/pub/2009/07/celebrity-scales-michael-jackson-the-wou

    Reply

  28. drsuzy
    07 · 30 · 09 @ 7:11 pm

    Oh please, Amrita, MY kind of therapy would not “blunt our Magical Being.” I’m not Dr. Phil here. I would just help him to feel a little better, sort out the past, put things into perspective, find other ways to deal with his sleep disorder/anesthesia fetish, so that he could keep the magic going a few years longer. Thanks for the links!

    Reply

  29. Amrita Douglas
    07 · 30 · 09 @ 7:10 pm

    Dr. Block/Susan,

    I loved your article! Thank you especially for pointing out the sometimes great beauty of MJ’s surgically altered looks– not forgetting that the pale skin and pony tails first brought out the Choctaw and Cherokee in him. But why blunt our Magical Being with any kind of therapy– why would you want to move him toward normal?

    It is amazing that so many of us have gone underground now that Google News requires work. Right now, I’m enjoying the club mix of You Are Not Alone from Blood on the Dance Floor…(Falla’s Ritual Fire Dance by Roland Pontinen comes on right after on my iTunes player, just doesn’t compare!)

    If you haven’t seen them already, I imagine you’ll enjoy these especially:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0RU4U_8PPU

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hh96Ex-94s

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOnkeLm-hRk&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0f_k_sHxdTk

    Reply

  30. Lisa Marie
    07 · 30 · 09 @ 7:10 pm

    I Love This Blog Dr. Suzy. I think you covered every angle on Michael Jackson’s mysterious death. I believe he would have benefited if had a sex therapist. I think anyone could highly benefit from it.

    Reply

  31. Stevie Jay
    07 · 30 · 09 @ 7:09 pm

    Sistah Suzy! As always, your writing kicks SO MUCH ASS! ; – ) Like a great movie…I was pulled into it completely and didn’t want it to end!

    I remember when the album “Bad” came out, and a friend of mine commented, “If his nose gets any smaller, it’s gonna be an innie.” We laughed, of course, but I also couldn’t help but think how F*#@^’d up it all seemed–how screamin’ obvious it was that Michael was in a shitload of trouble (within himself, personally) and how it seemed that nobody in his immediate world was stepping in to help him. When the bad news was announced on June 25th, I was shocked and saddened, and at the same time, I couldn’t shake the feeling that Michael Jackson had, in fact, died a LONG time ago–and that this current public outcry was an expression of DELAYED GRIEF, finally coming forward–20 years overdue.

    Thank you for your fantastic article–and for ALL of your fantastic articles–teeming with heart and humor, brain and soul–the ultimate combo for education and enlightenment!

    Much love. Hugs and blessings galore.
    ; – )
    Brutha Stevie
    x.o.x.o.x.o.

    Reply

  32. drsuzy
    07 · 30 · 09 @ 7:08 pm

    Thank you so much for your wonderful comment. In answer to your question, “Is it possible to be asexual yet still have sexual feelings, or to be asexual for a period of time and then not be anymore?” I would say yes, absolutely. Let me explain…

    I don’t believe that any human being is “asexual” in the sense of not having sexual feelings. We all have sexual feelings. We may or may not be Children of God, Jesus or Allah, but until we start cloning ourselves, we are all Children of Sex, and in that sense, none of us are “asexual.”

    But if you are using the term “asexual” to mean not “having” sex with a partner, well, there are many people who don’t have sex with partners for a huge variety of reasons, and there are even a few who don’t have sex with themselves (don’t masturbate), though the latter is quite rare.

    Based on what I can glean from public information, MJ didn’t have much partner sex, if any. So, in that very limited sense, he could be defined as “asexual.” Personally, I don’t like to use that term to sexually define MJ or any other mammal, let alone a human being. I do use it occasionally in reference to how MJ has been sexually characterized by the media.

    Reply

  33. Trish
    07 · 30 · 09 @ 7:08 pm

    I was so happy to read your article because your reaction to Michael’s death was so similar to my own that I felt like I had written the first few paragraphs of it myself. While he was alive I was not a huge fan – I liked many of his songs and I admired his performances, but his strange persona was a turn off to me and I simply didn’t “get” him. In more recent years I did feel compassion towards him and was truly happy to see him acquitted of those charges – that whole incident was nothing but a witch hunt conducted by both the DA and the media. Watching all of the retrospective material that is out there – videos, old concert footage, interviews, etc. – I am only now appreciating how appealing he really was, mainly because he was so unique in almost every way. Even his “Androgynous Hottie” look turns me on now, although back when I was 13 and he looked like that I was like, “Ick – he’s such a girl!” I must confess I am somewhat obsessed with understanding his sexuality, even though it’s none of my business! Of all the interpretations I’ve read, yours makes the most sense to me, plus you leave some unanswered questions in there because no one but Michael himself can truly know what he was feeling and thinking. Trying to stick him in a category – gay, straight, asexual, even suggesting he has an erotic disorder – doesn’t seem fair, although the asexual pov always seemed the most plausible. But I’ve been wondering if it’s possible if he could have been a little bit of everything? Is it possible to be asexual yet still have sexual feelings, or to be asexual for a period of time and then not be anymore? Is it possible that he had an erotic disorder but was still capable of having normal sexual feelings towards women (or men) as well? It seems to me that Michael certainly acted childlike and asexual (or as we lay people understand asexuality) for most of his life, yet during many of his performances and in many of his songs he was so sexual, and there are other clues in his life (owning porn and having an interest in other people’s sex lives for example) that suggest he had an interest in sex. I also wonder if Michael’s admission of being beat or hit by his father is just the tip of the iceberg of the abuse, including sexual abuse that he may have received as a child. I agree that therapy might have been a lifesaver for him… We may never completely understand what made him tick, but as time goes on I hope he is remembered simply for being a truly unique and gifted artist, and I hope that we all can learn a lesson from him that no one should ever be demeaned or portrayed as less than human just because they don’t fit into society’s “box”. Michael was like the rest of us – he was unique, conflicted, and indefinable.

    Reply

  34. maxartcore
    07 · 30 · 09 @ 7:07 pm

    Dear Dr. Suzy,
    First I want to tell you that I love you. Number two you are so hot. Number three your MJ piece was brilliant. Thank you, may we all rest in peace, I love you.

    Max,
    your husband

    Reply

  35. Tanisha Ferguson
    07 · 30 · 09 @ 7:06 pm

    I am a big MJ fan, even though I’m only 22, and I wasn’t even alive when he moonwalked. I just love his voice, his message, everything about him. I never heard of an anesthesia fetish before. But the way you describe it makes sense. Now I really wish MJ had a sex therapist like you because maybe that would mean he would still be alive.

    Reply

  36. Robin Gaura
    07 · 30 · 09 @ 7:06 pm

    Dr. Block,
    Thanks for the lovely column on Michael Jackson. I went through a similar phase, singing ‘never can say goodbye’ for weeks. And yes, searching the web, checking out his kids…
    I came to a few realizations as well. Michael was a shaman, a spiritual teacher. In many traditions the gifted ones are cross dressers and/or sexually ambiguous. In my own tradition, the higher tantras have a lot to do with realizing and developing both the feminine and masculine facets, and experiencing our wholeness through the sacred marriage.
    Tibetan teachings hold that the consciousness remains for 7 and sometimes up to 49 days before taking on a new form. I think we were all giving him a good send off. I was full of love, thankfulness, sweet memories and hot dance tunes.
    He was beautiful and courageous in all of his incarnations, teaching us to be who we are, and love, love, love.
    Thanks again,
    Robin Gaura

    Reply

  37. drsuzy
    07 · 30 · 09 @ 7:05 pm

    Thank you for your comment. Actually, a LOT of commentators have written and talked endlessly about Jackson’s dangling of “Blanket” out that Berlin hotel window. As I recall, there was a huge outcry over the incident, and MJ apologized for his carelessness. I’m no expert on baby care, but I often see adults throwing babies up in the air and (hopefully) catching them, which strikes me as quite dangerous. So MJ’s dangle didn’t seem so horrendous to me. Nothing bad actually happened to the child; it was just a few moments of danger. In any case, MJ was punished pretty severely by all the ongoing bad press. And yes, therapy of some kind would have certainly helped MJ to “grow up” and take more intelligent, informed, practical responsibility for his own fragile life as well as those of the children in his care.

    Reply

  38. Jennifer Whittall
    07 · 30 · 09 @ 7:05 pm

    Dr. Block, I have just read your eloquent and poignant essay about Michael Jackson. There have been lots of opinions published about him recently, including the piece by Ishmael Reed. As a mother of five children and grandmother to more, I have heard a lot of and about this singer/ dancer over the years, believe me.

    My question is: how can there be so many intelligent commentators that cannot or will not mention Jackson’s dangling of a baby out of a Berlin hotel window for the paparazzi below. I understand that this subject is not about kinky sex and therefore, not arousing to media consumers in the U.S., but still…

    I think this film clip would have destroyed the career of any other performer. Why didn’t it? What steps were taken or not taken to save MJ from legal charges? Nobody cares.

    I asked Ishmael Reed what he thought about this and he didn’t respond. No journalist in the United States seems to care about the human being that is & was that dangled baby. Do you think that sex therapy could have helped him with his blatant and criminal disregard for that child’s life?

    Reply

  39. Cheri Lee
    07 · 30 · 09 @ 7:04 pm

    Beautiful, complicated piece on a beautiful, complicated American.

    Reply

  40. Steve Goodman in Lima, Peru
    07 · 30 · 09 @ 7:04 pm

    Dear Dr. Block,
    Excuse my ignorance, but I live in Lima Peru and rarely watch TV so I don’t know who you are. Nonetheless, I found your article in CounterPunch 03/08 and despite my reluctance to read anything more about an artist I didn’t particularly admire, I read your long article and found its mixture of poetry and clinical analysis to be quite effective in bringing out the contradictions in this product of the entertainment machine. The poor guy never had a chance. Your use of the castrati metaphor opened up an avenue I haven’t seen explored up to now. In the end, MJ reached a stage of complete ambiguity in race, sex and age, and even his death is still cloaked in mystery. I don’t particularly admire MJ but your article has made me understand him more and feel more compassionate towards him. I personally feel that he shows clear signs of an addict’s personality, and having a ton of money at his disposal when he wasn’t psychologically mature enough to deal with it led to many of his later excesses. He became self-indulgent, and this self-indulgence was crucial in leading to his demise. Once again, my congratulations on a very interesting article–whoever you are.

    Reply

  41. Michael Pahtoo
    07 · 30 · 09 @ 7:03 pm

    I just finished reading your MJ article. You touched on all the bases. People talk all the time about how MJ “never had a childhood.” Seems to me he never had an adulthood. And, how come he’s still guilty when he was exonerated? That’s the most unfair thing about it to me. Deep down though, I always knew his story would (could?) not end happily.

    Reply

  42. Larry Lipman
    07 · 30 · 09 @ 7:02 pm

    Great piece on MJ. I’m not a big fan, but I’m fascinated by the story, and you articulated a lot of things I’ve been wondering about. I’ve enjoyed your other pieces in CP too. Love your wit and wisdom on sexual politics. Keep it up!

    Reply

  43. Mary Caracciolo
    06 · 30 · 09 @ 7:21 pm

    Thank you for a very humorous yet empathetic article.

    Reply

  44. Willy Schwarz
    07 · 30 · 08 @ 7:09 pm

    Dr. Block, I read and enjoyed your lengthy paean to MJ. I’ve long appreciated your Dionysian campaign for the “bonobization” of society, and found your writing during the horror of the Bush/Cheney years especially diverting and insightful. Keep it up!

    That being said, I must take issue with you concerning your interpretation of “Beat It”. If you scan the text as I just did, it’s abundantly clear that he meant “beat it” in the sense of “scram!”, “bug-off!”, etc. The text is clearly about avoiding aggression as a symbol of “being a man”, and I’m hard-pressed to find any hint of the erotic whatsoever. Now, what he sings, and what he portrays in the video may be somewhat at odds – I haven’t seen the video in some time – but judging from the lyrics alone, I would suggest sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Love to hear from you on this…

    your devoted reader
    Willy Schwarz

    Reply

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