Tuesday, March 25, 2008

And now, SEX!

There's a lot of stuff besides sex I'm interested in, of course.

It's just important enough that it finally inspired me to start me one of these here bloggy thinamajigs of my very own.

Here's my thesis for this post: Sex and sexuality are not related to morality.

Now, to some folks, this is patently obvious. No one is harmed by my masturbating or getting laid. I highly doubt God's even killing kittens. To others, however, especially among those brought up in old school American Puritanism, it represents a truly massive paradigm shift. "Fooling around" and "shacking up" are things TO BE CONDEMNED, dontcha know, and if somebody (especially female) loses their virginity than they have lost something vitally and critically important. For extreme cases of philophobia, it is taken for granted that self-discipline and self-denial are inherently GOOD and the pursuit of pleasure for pleasure's sake is BAD

Holee shite, we have a fucked-up view of fucking.

Now, I should make it clear, since we as a culture add a lot of potential baggage onto the discussion of sex, that I am *of course* talking only about enthusiastically consenting adults (or teenage peers). Questions of rape, power differences, incest, and what-have-you are irrelevant to the overall morality of sex and sexuality. It's like saying that going to Disneyland is immoral because I could kidnap a minor and take them to Disneyland without their parent's consent. Or that driving a car is immoral because I could go on a rampage running over pedestrians willy-nilly. So, while we can add issues to sex (ie, force, coercion, age) that make it problematic, it *does not follow* that sex itself is problematic, any more that driving or Disneyland.

In response to those who bring up and pregnancy, disease, and emotional overattachment, I say this: I'm talking morality, not wisdom. It would be most exceedingly *unwise* for me to hook up with my emotionally-needy conservative douche of an ex, for example, but, provided I'm not being deceitful regarding my intentions for a temporary hookup, there's no additional *moral* problem involved.

Again, my thesis is simple, and I think actually rather self-evident. Morality concerns behavior that is unethical; that is, it hurts, deceives, and otherwise negatively effects other people. Sex is completely and utterly UNRELATED to this, as it does none of it. There is no logical reason for us all to get our knickers in a knot (and, no, Paul writing a letter saying God said so is *not* a reason, thankyouverymuch). It's frankly unbelievable that there's so much pain and frustration in the world (honor killings, disowning, shaming, FGM, to name a few, along with just general emotional-fucked-up-ness) that could just be solved by the acceptance of sex as NOT THAT BAD.

Why, then, does our society continue to attach "honor" and "shame" to sex. Why? Just why? I mean, there's something of a historical impulse to maintain bloodlines, which manifests itself in the imposition of shame on those who threaten bloodlines (ie, by having sex while female in eras without contraception), but I'd like to think we're beyond a.) obsessing over the purity of blood in our children and b.) restricting women's sexuality to the purposes of being a brood mare.

If somebody comes up with a successful counterargument; ie, demonstrates that sexual pleasure, in the absence of cultural inertia or religious dogma, is immoral, I will give them $100 of my starving-college-student money. Because I don't think it's possible.

And yet, if I were a politician, I couldn't go public with this statement, because the American citizenry would shit a collective brick. Yes, it does imply that I am perfectly a-OK with premarital fucking, open-marriage-fucking, many-people-fucking, same-sex-fucking, and anything else that consenting adults can come up with. Why would ANY of these be problematic, unless we chain ourselves to the idea that sexual pleasure is dirty and bad and wrong? Yet so many of my fellow Americans have a major problem with this. It's just mind-boggling.


*UPDATE: No, this wasn't inspired by Spitzer. Hypocrisy *is* a pretty sucky thing, especially if you're making life harder for the same workers you patronise. It *was* inspired by Patterson, Spitzer's replacement, when he and his wife both came out as having had infidelities in the past. It was also inspired by the (many, many) comments I've seen regarding Bill Clinton's infidelity and how Hillary couldn't manage her own marriage let alone the country and all that claptrap. I'm personally convinced that the Clintons probably had an open marriage by that point, and couldn't say anything because, well, a powerful white guy cheating is more palatable in middle America than open marriage. Sad, but true.

No comments: