Celibacy and Morrissey

Right behind the eternal questions of which came first, the chicken or the egg, and why did the chicken really cross the road, stands the sexuality of Stephen Patrick Morrissey, aka lead singer of the Smiths.

Was he a repressed homosexual as many like to believe or asexual and celibate as he repeatedly claimed?

Many more informed than I have pondered this question, both in print and in late night drunken sessions as his glorious music blasts into a dimly lit room. We have such a hard time believing that anyone who wrote “There is a Light that Never Goes Out,” with the uber-romantic lyrics “and if a ten ton truck/kills the both of us/to die by your side/well the pleasure the privilege is mine” could have voluntarily deprived himself of the pleasures of sex. (Though it’s not so hard thinking that the lyricist of “Bigmouth Strikes Again” truly and genuinely disliked people!)

Regardless of our disbelief, there is no denying that Morrissey chose the path of celibacy for himself due to his declared asexuality. As one Morrissey biographer put it, Morrissey “experienced sex as something that operated against him
— unravelling him rather than affirming him.”

There is such a sadness in Morrissey’s words, both his music and his interviews. But perhaps this sadness is projected onto him by our belief that he who sees in sex his unravelling must be a sad sap indeed.

But when I think about it, about the real reasons behind my decision, I see in some ways, the wisdom of this view. How so? Well, that will be the subject of a later entry.

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