'It's all that's left,' Leon said in a suddenly weak voice. 'It's what's left of civilization. You take raw material and you transform it. That is civilization. Physical love is all raw meat. That's why everyone's so preoccupied with it now. I have been told by a colleague ten years older than myself — as if it were possible for anybody to be ten years older than I am — that salvation comes from staring at the pubic region of strangers, and freedom, from inducing in myself, by the use of a chemical, the kind of ecstatic lunacy in which I spent most of my adolescence, a condition I attribute solely to the strength of my body at that time and the conviction I had then that I would see socialism in the United States during my lifetime. Now that my bones are weak, my brain is stronger. I don’t expect…anything. But I cannot bear the grotesque, lying piety of my own unhinged contemporaries. One man, a literary star’ — and here he broke off, laughed once, choked and shook his head — ‘oh yes, a star, told me he only regretted the pill had not yet been developed in his own youth. All those girls who might have been his! In this age of generalized cock, is this the whole revelation toward which my life has been directed? I would, in any case, prefer to contemplate the organ of a horse. It is handsomer, larger and more comic than anything my fellow man has to show. It is the age of baby shit, darling. Don’t kid yourself. My privacy has been violated — what I’ve admired and thought about all my life has been debased. Poor bodies…poor evil-smiling gross flesh. Perhaps we’re going downhill, all of us.’ He reached out and pressed her shoulder. ‘Do you understand me?’ he asked.
— Paula Fox, Desperate Characters (1970)