February 18, 2019

"It’s the opposite of a prison. It is freedom. There’s no one in here but me. I can do whatever, whenever. Going outside is a prison. But this room — this room is clarity.”​

I'm reading "When 'Going Outside Is Prison': The World of American Hikikomori" (New York Magazine):
For years, hikikomori was thought to be a “culture-bound syndrome” — something so specifically Japanese that it could never appear beyond its borders. That concept has since fallen out of favor, and now one researcher named Alan Teo believes that something similar is cropping up in the States...

Mr. H. wore a leather jacket that reeked of cigarette smoke, had mangy hair, didn’t shower, and had long fingernails. “During the first and most severe year, he remained within a walk-in closet, ate only-ready-to-eat food, did not bathe, and urinated and defecated in jars and bottles,” Teo would later write in the International Journal of Social Psychiatry. “He passed the time surfing the internet and playing video games.”...  Mr. H. claimed his reclusiveness was based on something pretty simple: He just didn’t want to be a part of the world....

“We have a large number of people [in the United States] in their early 20s living in the basement bedroom,” Teo told me. “Often times it is younger men. Struggling with work. Struggling with launching. There is some element of still being stuck in an earlier developmental stage, like that of an adolescent, even though their physical age is that of an adult.”...

No matter what they call themselves, or why they decide to shut themselves away from the world, a generation’s worth of extreme shut-ins would potentially portend disaster for the American economy... What social safety net could the government realistically provide for people who haven’t gone outside — nevermind worked — for decades?
Isn't it in the Green New Deal? The universal basic income. It sounds like these people don't need much. Why not accept their difference and leave them alone?

"Suppose that instead of one shepherd boy, there are a few dozen. They are tired of the villagers dismissing their complaints about less threatening creatures..."

"... like stray dogs and coyotes. One of them proposes a plan: they will start using the word 'wolf' to refer to all menacing animals. They agree and the new usage catches on. For a while, the villagers are indeed more responsive to their complaints. The plan backfires, however, when a real wolf arrives and cries of 'Wolf!' fail to trigger the alarm they once did. What the boys in the story do with the word 'wolf,' modern intellectuals do with words like 'violence.' When ordinary people think of violence, they think of things like bombs exploding, gunfire, and brawls. Most dictionary definitions of 'violence' mention physical harm or force. Academics, ignoring common usage, speak of 'administrative violence,' 'data violence,' 'epistemic violence' and other heretofore unknown forms of violence. Philosopher Kristie Dotson defines the last of these as follows: 'Epistemic violence in testimony is a refusal, intentional or unintentional, of an audience to communicatively reciprocate a linguistic exchange owing to pernicious ignorance.'"

From "The Boy Who Inflated the Concept of ‘Wolf’" by Spencer Case (Quillette).

"Local authorities in southern China are investigating a popular coconut milk brand for once again claiming the drink would enhance women’s breasts...."

Sixth Tone reports.
Coconut Palm...  has often attracted eyeballs and ire because of its sexist advertisements and provocative packaging claiming their coconut concoction makes women “curvier” and gives them “bigger breasts.”...

The drink’s latest advertisement has also angered its loyal consumers, with many calling it “obscene” and “tasteless.” The latest social media furor comes two years after Coconut Palm was attacked for a similar advertisement, which also claimed its product could enhance a woman’s cleavage and whiten her skin.
It makes some poetic sense — milk... coconuts....

It's basically the old doctrine of signatures, isn't it?
The doctrine of signatures, dating from the time of Dioscorides and Galen, states that herbs resembling various parts of the body can be used by herbalists to treat ailments of those body parts. A theological justification, as stated by botanists such as William Coles, was that God would have wanted to show men what plants would be useful for.... Plants bearing parts that resembled human body-parts, animals, or other objects were thought to have useful relevance to those parts, animals or objects. ..

For the late medieval viewer, the natural world was vibrant with images of the Deity: 'as above, so below,' a Hermetic principle expressed as the relationship between macrocosm and microcosm; the principle is rendered sicut in terra. Michel Foucault expressed the wider usage of the doctrine of signatures, which rendered allegory more real and more cogent than it appears to a modern eye:
"Up to the end of the sixteenth century, resemblance played a constructive role in the knowledge of Western culture. It was resemblance that largely guided exegesis and the interpretation of texts; it was resemblance that organized the play of symbols, made possible knowledge of things visible and invisible, and controlled the art of representing them."
Here's the Chinese ad. I wish I could embed it, because it made me laugh, but it's in Chinese and I can't figure out how to get the code. Screen shot (I think this is a "tweet" by someone who disapproves):

And here's the great Harry Nilsson song, "Coconut" ("Doctor, ain't there nothin' I can take?")(According to the Genius lyrics annotation: "The etiology of the abdominal pain is unclear, but could be due to the lime and the coconut, both the cause and the cure of this odd episode.")

ADDED: Let's hear from Melania:

"Can anyone topple Soglin?"

Are you voting in the mayoral primary in Madison tomorrow?

"Muthana describes her experience with Isis as 'very mind-blowing.' 'It was like a movie. You read one book and think you know everything.'"

"I’m really traumatised by my experience. We starved and we literally ate grass.”

From "Hoda Muthana 'deeply regrets' joining Isis and wants to return home/Exclusive: Muthana is the only American among 1,500 foreign women and children at a Syrian refugee camp" (The Guardian).

ADDED: Books that want to be your only book... You read one book and think you know everything....

Tell me about a book that makes you want to read another book. And not just another book in the same series. What's a book that makes you feel like reading a lot of different books? That would be a great book.

The book that when you read it, you feel you've got all you need from books — it's the lazy student's book. I don't need to read anymore. I've read X, the book that eradicated my desire to read any other book.

"Alex's partner was the first woman jailed for coercive and controlling behaviour in the UK. Now he's trying to fight the stigma around male domestic abuse."

BBC reports. Excerpt:
She started to deny me food, which meant I lost a lot of weight. I’d try and challenge her behaviour, but she’d turn it on me and find a way to make me the problem. I’d know it wasn’t my fault, but she’d keep convincing me. You end up thinking, ‘What am I doing wrong?’ Then you do something differently and they moan at you for being different. When she was telling me, "I don’t like the colour grey," or "I don’t like those shoes," I’d think, "Okay, I won’t wear them," because I wanted to impress her. But, in reality, she was moulding me into who she wanted me to be. It undermines your confidence. And you’re fighting a battle that you’ll never win. It’s so frustrating....

It took 18 months for the mental abuse to turn physical. It began when she started sleeping with a glass bottle next to her.... [S]he’d wait until I’d fallen asleep and smack me on the head with the bottle. She’d demand, "What are you thinking about?"...After the bottle, it was a hammer....

I could feel my body shutting down. I’d lost five stone in weight. Afterwards, doctors told me that I’d been 10 days from death because I’d been denied food for so long and my injuries were so bad. It all came to an end in 2018, when a police officer came round to the house to follow up their previous visit and questioned me.... My injuries were so severe by that point, and I was so gaunt after all the weight loss. I’d denied everything up until that point....

"Japan’s Abe won’t confirm Trump Nobel Prize nomination, but media reports say he did."

WaPo reports.
Abe’s reluctance to confirm the story is understandable, as he negotiates a fine line between flattering Trump’s ego and appearing too deferential in front of his own electorate....

In Seoul, a spokesman for President Moon Jae-in was asked if the South Korean leader might have been the one to nominate Trump. The spokesman, Kim Eui-keum, said that as far as he knows, Moon hadn’t done so. “However, President Moon has been emphasizing how President Trump has made a huge contribution to bringing peace to the Korean Peninsula through summit talks with North Korea, and how his leadership and determination played a decisive role in settling a new atmosphere of peace on the Korean Peninsula,” the spokesman said. “So it’s President Moon’s thinking that he fully deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.”

"He ordered a $9.50 dish of homemade lasagna and $10 penne alla vodka with grilled chicken, along with two Snapples at $1.50 apiece to wash it all down."

It's Anthony Weiner, half free now, and never to be free of the jokes about his name

"'Hold on a second here. Hold on a second. They’re in here?' Weiner grilled the deliveryman around 2 p.m. after he was handed a large pizza box and brown paper bag with straws poking out at the door of the GEO Care Inc., facility in Fordham Heights."

I guess "in here" and "straws poking out" are additional penis jokes.

"After grabbing his food, Weiner couldn’t beat it fast enough." See what I mean? That kind of thing will go on forever.

Did you watch that McCabe thing on "60 Minutes"?

I did.  I watched it very closely. With some meticulous rewinding and analysis (where McCabe declared Trump "disgusting" and it was hard to understand exactly why (Trump, campaigning, had weaponized a factoid from the Wall Street Journal)).

I thought the "60 Minutes" presentation followed a clever narrative arc, with a beginning that allowed McCabe to inflate himself, a middle that brought in his wife and complicated the story, and an ending that gave us so much reason to doubt his credibility that I said out loud, "This really isn't favorable to McCabe at all."

At first, I thought the reasons to mistrust McCabe should have been presented up front, so we could question his telling of the story as we went along, but in the end, I liked the narrative arc, which I think is typical of "60 Minutes." We're drawn in, and then things are not what they seemed, and we're challenged. Then, suddenly, it's that ticking clock on the screen. That's all you get. Figure it out!

Here's the full interview, with video and transcript. I'll just excerpt the text of the part we rewound and rewatched about 10 times:
But in the closing days of the 2016 presidential campaign, The Wall Street Journal ran an article headlined "Clinton Ally Aided FBI Wife." It was about Jill McCabe's funding the year before. The article noted, accurately, that her husband's role in the Clinton email investigation began months after she lost. But candidate Donald Trump seemed to conflate the two.

President Trump at Rally: It was just learned that one of the closest people to Hillary Clinton with long-standing ties to her husband and herself… gave more than $675,000 to the campaign of the spouse, the wife, of the top FBI official who helped oversee the investigation into Mrs. Clinton's illegal email server.

Scott Pelley: How do you feel when you see that?

Jill McCabe: Sick. Sick to my stomach.

Andrew McCabe: I think sickening is the right word. It's disgusting. To see the candidate for the presidency taking those lies and manipulating them for his own advantage, and then to hear you know, the chants and the boos of thousands of people who are just accepting those lies at face value, it's chilling.
My question was: What lies? And: How did Trump manipulate them? We even paused on the text of the WSJ article so we could read it (the "Clinton Ally" was Terry McAuliffe).

The best I came up with in answer to my question was that Jill McCabe received the $675,000 and lost her election before Andrew McCabe took on a role in the Hillary Clinton investigation, so when Clinton's ally gave the money to Jill, her husband was not yet in the position she had a huge interest having influence over. I don't think Andrew McCabe is saying the WSJ published lies, and the only "lies" I see in what Trump said is giving an impression about the time line.

I think Jill and Andrew are horrified at how effectively Trump weaponized the material. Of course he used it "for his own advantage"! Is that what Andrew McCabe is calling "manipulating"? Why isn't that just being a very effective candidate?

"I doubted Jussie Smollett. It breaks my heart that I might be right."

Writes Nana Efua Mumford, "the executive assistant to The [Washington] Post’s editorial board."

I can't understand why anyone would want to admit that they're happier to know that a racist, homophobic violent attack took place than that one person told a big lie.
I wanted to believe Smollett. I really did. I know that there is a deep, dark racist history in Chicago and, if proved true, this would be just one more point on the list. I wanted to believe him with every fiber of my being, most of all because the consequences if he were lying were almost too awful to contemplate.
So it would be okay knowing that there was a horrible attack because you're so certain that so much more of the same out there?

She says "I need this story to be true," because otherwise people will be dubious of claims of "racist hate crimes or sexual violence" and more likely to buy into the notion that "there is a leftist conspiracy to cast Trump supporters as violent, murderous racists." Ironically, Mumford's column itself bolsters the belief that there's a big effort to misrepresent Trump supporters. She's saying she wants the hateful image of Trump supporters to stick. She was (and still is) hoping for Smollett's story to hold up. She's admitting she is an actively biased recipient of evidence.

In that light, it's interesting to read her crisp summary of how suspicious she was all along:
I tried telling myself that it is possible that two assailants were walking around downtown Chicago at 2 a.m. in January in 10-degree weather, waiting for a black victim. In addition to that, they were stalking around with a bottle of bleach and a rope. And ultimately, the prey they selected was an actor on a show that they must’ve been somewhat familiar with, because they were able to not only name the show but also know that he played a gay character. Never mind the fact that he was likely bundled up because again: Chicago, January, 10 degrees. Also, after he fought to get away, he left the rope around his neck until he got to the hospital....
There are over 2,000 comments on this column. The most-up-voted one, by a lot, is:
I'm black, and I and all my black friends doubted this story from the get-go.

A guy who has received death threats goes out alone at 2 a.m. in below-zero temperature because he got the midnight munchies? Nuh-uh. He'd go out with his security team, or send his security guys out to get it for him, or (most likely) have it delivered. This smelled like a hookup gone bad.

Smollett has done incalculable damage. God help the next victim of a real racist attack. Nobody is going to believe him because of this idiot.

Old guys generally shouldn't be singing about how attracted they are to girls who are just 17...

... but this is okay:

That took place in 2017, when Paul was 74 and Little Steven was 66.

February 17, 2019

"The former Wimbledon champion Martina Navratilova has been criticised for 'disturbing, upsetting, and deeply transphobic' comments after she argued that allowing transgender women to compete in women’s sporting tournaments was 'insane and cheating.'..."

"'To put the argument at its most basic: a man can decide to be female, take hormones if required by whatever sporting organisation is concerned, win everything in sight and perhaps earn a small fortune, and then reverse his decision and go back to making babies if he so desires. It’s insane and it’s cheating. I am happy to address a transgender woman in whatever form she prefers, but I would not be happy to compete against her. It would not be fair.'... Under guidelines introduced by the International Olympic Committee in 2016, trans men are able to compete without restriction, while trans women must demonstrate that their testosterone level has been below a certain cutoff point for at least one year before their first competition.... 'Simply reducing hormone levels – the prescription most sports have adopted – does not solve the problem,' wrote Navratilova. 'A man builds up muscle and bone density, as well as a greater number of oxygen-carrying red blood cells, from childhood.'"

From "Martina Navratilova criticised over 'cheating' trans women comments/Former tennis player says trans athletes competing in women’s tournaments is ‘insane’" (The Guardian).

The well-upholstered deck furniture.

Just now...


"Boys have teased me about my curves since 5th grade. My mom said 'hold your head high and don’t let it bother you.' That @Fox2News story was way out of line. I’m tough, I can take it."

Tweeted Gretchen Whitmer, the Governor of Michigan, who wore a dress to her State of the State Address that was just way too tight. As many of the commenters (at The Daily Mail) observe, you can see the outline of her bellybutton. It's not really fair to accuse everyone of body shaming when you wear something that fits so poorly. People talk about Trump's tie being too long....

"You’ve told this amazing story about Gilda, about how she came to your house to observe you and your husband living. What was she trying to learn?"

Michael Schulman asks, interviewing Jane Curtin (in The New Yorker):
CURTIN: She just wanted to see what it was like.

SHULMAN: To be married? To be normal?

CURTIN: Just to live. “What is your day like?” So she came over in the morning, and she sat on the sofa. And we went about our business. She drank coffee. I think she actually walked the dog at one point.

SHULMAN: What did you do?

CURTIN: I did laundry. Patrick was working in the office. We made lunch. It was just a day.

SHULMAN: Do you think she was really that mystified by normal people?

CURTIN: To a certain degree, yeah, because she wanted a relationship so badly, and she didn’t like being alone. But she hadn’t been very successful at it. She just didn’t know how you could be in a relationship with somebody if you didn’t work at it all the time.... She was very much of this world, but she skipped through this world, because her energy was just constant—until she got sick. When she was feeling good, no one felt better, and it was hopeful and funny and fun. It wasn’t a bipolar thing—she didn’t crash. But she could turn it up, and she could sort of temper it. She would tap-dance for hours and hours, just trying to get rid of some of the energy.
Of course, Gilda Radner went on to marry Gene Wilder, and, as Curtin puts it, "She finally found someone that she could be with."

"The Radziwill-Capote friendship ended... They fell out when she refused to testify for Mr. Capote in a libel suit brought by Gore Vidal..."

"... over a Capote assertion, citing her as his source, that Mr. Vidal had been ejected drunk from the Kennedy White House. Mr. Vidal said he had merely been escorted to his hotel by friends after antagonizing Attorney General Robert Kennedy. Mr. Vidal won the suit and an apology."

From "Lee Radziwill, Ex-Princess and Sister of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Dies at 85" (NYT).

I've never been interested in Princess Radziwill, but I'm thoroughly intrigued by the news that Vidal sued Truman Capote for saying that he was drunk when what he was really doing was antagonizing Robert Kennedy.

Here's an article from People from 1979: "Sued by Gore Vidal and Stung by Lee Radziwill, a Wounded Truman Capote Lashes Back at the Dastardly Duo." That's the way we talked back then, 40 years ago — "dastardly duo."
Says Capote of Vidal: “I’m always sad about Gore—very sad that he has to breathe every day.” Retorts Vidal: “Truman made lying an art form—a minor art form.”
Celebrities were so much better then — better at talking, I mean.
The spat, legal and otherwise, springs from a 1975 Playgirl interview in which Capote charged that Vidal had been bounced from a 1961 White House party because of drunken and obnoxious behavior. Should it ever come to trial, the case could feature cameo court appearances by such eminent eyewitnesses as John Kenneth Galbraith, George Plimpton, Arthur Schlesinger Jr.—and even Jackie O herself. Capote has given a preview of the fireworks-to-come in a withering blast at the guest of honor of that ill-starred Camelot bash—Jackie’s little sister, Princess Lee Radziwill, 46.f

It was Princess Lee, says Capote, who told him that Gore was tossed out of a White House function. Vidal’s alleged offenses: putting his arm around Jackie and insulting her mother, Mrs. Hugh D. Auchincloss. (Curiously, Gore’s mother was a previous Mrs. Hugh D. Auchincloss.[)]
Keeping up with the Auchinclosses.  By the way, "[)]" is not an emoji — what would it be an emoji for? — It's me providing the close-paren that People left out.
Guests at the party... deny that Vidal was forcibly ejected, though they confirm that he squabbled with Bobby. And Lee herself—on whose testimony Truman had counted—shocked him by signing an affidavit for Vidal. “I do not recall ever discussing with Truman Capote the incident or the evening,” she declared in the document. Replies Capote angrily: “She’s just a treacherous lady, and that’s the truth of it. She’s treacherous to absolutely everyone.”

What did the princess think of being caught in the quarrel? “We know what they are,” she told a New York gossip columnist. “They are two fags. It is just the most disgusting thing.”
Okay, the "treacherous lady" is dead now and so are Capote and Vidal, the men she called "two fags."  Capote fought back at the time:
“We all know a fag is a homosexual gentleman who has just left the room,” he said, and went on to define a Southern fag as “meaner than the meanest rattler you ever met.”... “I know that Lee wouldn’t want me tellin’ none of this,” he giggled, “but you know us Southern fags. We just can’t keep our mouths shut.”... 
“You know, she calls herself a princess,” he marveled in falsetto. “I always thought that a princess was the daughter of a king and a queen.” (Radziwill’s title dates back to her 1959 marriage to Polish Prince Stanislas Radziwill, whom she divorced in 1974.) ... He accused Lee of jealousy toward her sister (“The princess kind of had it in mind that she was going to marry Mr. Onassis herself”) and claimed she once tried to woo author William F. Buckley Jr. away from his wife....

“You know, I was placed in an impossible situation by this whole thing,” he says. “It wasn’t as though I sat down and was deliberately being vindictive. She simply didn’t tell the truth.” He accuses Radziwill of turning sister Jackie against him, then deserting him for Vidal during Capote’s lengthy struggle against liquor and pills. “I think she kind of thought I wasn’t going to pull myself out of that the way I did,” he surmises.

"Dana Densmore, a founding member of the separatist group Cell 16, took issue with the idea that sex was a basic human need."

"In 1968 in a journal appropriately titled 'No More Fun and Games,' she wrote that 'guerrillas' had important things to do and couldn’t be sidetracked by sex, which was 'inconvenient, time-consuming, energy-draining and irrelevant.' Romantic love was a problem, too. Ti-Grace Atkinson, a radical feminist philosopher, positioned it as the enemy of independence and insecurity. 'What is love but need?' she wrote in 1968. 'What is love but fear?' Other early feminists weren’t against romance in a perfect world, but they reasoned that until conditions improved, heterosexual love was too tied to marriage and societal expectations of what it meant to be feminine. Shulamith Firestone, in her classic 1970 manifesto 'The Dialectic of Sex,' saw romance as 'a cultural tool of male power to keep women from knowing their conditions.'.... 'Why has all joy and excitement been concentrated, driven into one narrow, difficult-to-find alley of human experience?' Firestone wrote."

Writes Nona Willis Aronowitz in "Don’t Let Sex Distract You From the Revolution/Maybe the Second Wave celibates were on to something" (NYT). It's just by chance that crossed my bloggability line on the same day as the WaPo article "How Lady Gaga convinced me to give up dating — and finish my book" (link goes to my blog post) — other than that the newspapers might have been influenced by Valentine's Day.

Nona Willis Aronowitz, who is 34 years old, is the daughter of the radical feminist Ellen Willis, so take that into account. It's interesting to hear a relatively young person make sense of what the older generation had to say, and I'm struck by the shortsightedness of what she has to say about her own generation:
Ultimately, the pro-sex feminists won out. In this moment of feminist resurgence, no one is suggesting we stop having sex....
Ultimately? There is no ultimately. Life goes on. And there is another generation after you. If you can see that "Maybe the Second Wave celibates were on to something," why are you confident that the war is over and the "pro-sex feminists" have won? Isn't the label "pro-sex" a little hollow and too proud of itself?

" I would've ragequit right there if I didn't have this thingie to write."

Rex Parker does not like the Sunday crossword today.

We're not talking about Gov. Northam anymore.

I wonder why. Is it just a matter of time? Steel yourself when they all come after you and wait. They'll go somewhere else soon enough.

Or did something else happen that drove the story out of the news? Was it just big news — Trump's "emergency"? Or something that specifically offset the Northam story — maybe the Jussie Smollett  story: Maybe some people don't want to think about why Northam made himself into a fake black man if we're worried that Jussie Smollett made up some fake white men.

Smollett's possibly fake white men were outright hateful and they make black people feel that they are hated, and Northam's fake black man was more ambiguous, perhaps more mockery than hate and even possibly admiring (if it really was about imitating Michael Jackson). And, of course, what Smollett did — if he did it — happened just a couple weeks ago and Northam's idiocy is more than 30 years in the past.

ADDED: If it turns out that Smollett staged an elaborate hoax, how do you think it will/should be resolved? Obviously, one answer is criminal prosecution and punishment.

But — especially if he would continue to assert that he was attacked — it might be better for everyone involved if Smollett were allowed to escape all punishment if he would only clearly explain that it was a hoax, acknowledge that it was very wrong, and give a sincere apology. I'd be happy to forgive if we could get out a strong message that hoaxes like this are cruel and destructive.

Another scenario I've pictured is something about mental illness and rehabilitation. We'd learn that Smollett is unwell and will get treatment, which is problematic because it might feel like another hoax.

By the way, I hope it's a hoax. Aware that I'd prefer it to be a hoax, I'm wary of talking about it as a hoax at all. Maybe it happened, and if it did, Smollett deserves empathy for both the attack and the doubting of his integrity.

AND: A montage of media people and politicians conveying Smollett's allegations as if they were proven facts:

"'I have this weird thing that if I sleep with someone,' she explained, 'they’re going to take my creativity from me through my vagina.'"

"She was laying out why she didn’t have a partner, why she worried about the depletion of artistic energy that stripping bare in front of someone could precipitate. 'I’m lonely when I’m in relationships,' she continued. 'It’s my condition as an artist.'... There it was, in black and white: Dating could sap you. There it was: If you want to be your fullest self, it’s possible a partner will weigh you down...."

From "How Lady Gaga convinced me to give up dating — and finish my book" by Anna Maxymiw (WaPo).

I think "tak[ing] my creativity from me through my vagina" is a better image than "weighing you down."

Gaga had me researching incubi — the demons that have sex with women. I was wondering if they were thought to extract the creativity from women. I'm reading Wikipedia and it seems that incubi are involved in the very specific form of creativity that is childbearing:
Incubi were thought to be demons who had sexual relations with women, sometimes producing a child by the woman... Thomas Aquinas argued against the possibility of children being conceived by intercourse with demons: "Still, if some are occasionally begotten from demons, it is not from the seed of such demons, nor from their assumed bodies, but from the seed of men, taken for the purpose; as when the demon assumes first the form of a woman, and afterwards of a man; just so they take the seed of other things for other generating purposes."... It became generally accepted that incubi and succubi were the same demon, able to switch between male and female forms. A succubus would be able to sleep with a man and collect his sperm, and then transform into an incubus and use that seed on women.... 
Gaga wanted artistic creativity, so the idea that the man is "taking" her creativity through the vagina could be understood as his giving creative force to her, but in a way that determines where her creative energy will go, which is into childbearing.