Sex- one word for a myriad of fairly different human activities.
Please don’t get me wrong. I don’t have trouble with sex per se, or troubles with others who do have sex. Yes, sex can be thrilling, ecstatic, and beautiful. Or leading to death. Sex can be so many things – some forms are acceptable to society, others aren’t.
Since the beginning of human history, leaders and ordinary people tried to figure out rules about sex. Why so? Well, we humans are primates, genetically almost identical with the chimps and the gorilla. These, as well as other monkeys and we humans are obsessed with sex. Deeply engrained in our physical existence, sex is a force to be reckoned with. Being a crucial element of society, it also means power, and yes, here we are! Power needs rule and rituals, and that’s why every society has sex rules and taboos. Let’s first have a look at various appearances and functions of sex. I won’t comment on perverted obnoxious stuff:
• The Rose Garden. Mostly portrayed as a companion of romantic love, romantic sex is shown as one of the carrots of life. It also teaches how egoism can be overcome, and the equality of loving partners. Film-making would collapse without this theme.
• Entertainment. But quite often, sex is also entertainment. Millions of people migrate every year to the world’s swelling cities. Guess why? Cities do offer an almost inexhaustible reservoir of potential (single or multiple) sex partners. There is no good sex life in the nosy village, because everybody knows everything about anybody, and there is simply no good choice. In the city, there is anonymity, which translates into sexual freedom.
• Sex and good health. Several Asian religious traditions point out, that sex can stabilize life, and lead to a happy old age. There can be little doubt that a happy and seasoned sex relationship helps to balance one’s life. In a happy relationship, the seeds of anger and extremism don’t seem to grow well.
• The multi-purpose drug. Yes, sex can be a powerful drug, too. The search for the right sex partner can be a powerful and never-ending hunt (The ‘new’ partner might not turn out to be quite as fresh as hoped). It can easily consume one’s life. There is addiction to sex as there is addiction for alcohol, or smoking. Needless to say that there can be no freedom in addiction, and there can be no sexual freedom in sexual addiction.
• Stress. As for all primates, sex is also a strong antidote to stress. What do chimps do under pressure? They have sex. What do Wall Street traders do after a busy day? They go to the titty club. Where are the best deals made? In sex clubs and whorehouses. There is no town in the world without a red-light district. In strict Islamic societies, homosexual contacts replace the female whorehouse. And yes, suppressing sexuality leads to an explosion of masculine anger. Just look at the Middle East. Liberal societies don’t produce fanatics and suicide bombers.
• Trade. As in the realm of primates, sex is often used as a token of trade. Very often, the road to fame and power leads through many (male or female) bedrooms.
• Commercial sex. It has always existed, and will always exist. In some cultures it was considered a divine activity; in others it’s called crime.
• Hierarchy. For many, unfortunately, sex isn’t fun but a tool of power. Aggressive attitudes against women seem to be deeply engrained in (masculine) behavior, ultimately rooted in pride and insecurity. In many countries of Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia, however, such attitudes are ‘legalized’ by tribal law and even religion (so they say). Here sex serves as a tool to abuse, and to humiliate the female part of the population. By no coincidence, it is in those countries where human rights are absent, and gender-balanced law doesn’t exist.
Given the above, indeed, certain rules are needed. What kind of rules, what kind of laws? How should law-making and spiritual guidance address sexuality? Though difficult in detail, there could be a number of universal ground-rules:
• Equality. Law should respect the wishes and aspirations of individuals, male and female. Individuals in a sex relationship should be on equal terms.
• Tolerance. Law and religion should stay out off the bedroom, other than specifying measures to protect individuals from harmful and humiliating activities.
• Consensus. Sex should always be consensual, and there must be a minimum age for consensual sex defined.
• The right of free choice. Neither society nor law should interfere with individuals who want to engage in a partnership. This might also include consensual arrangements other than monogamy marriage.
• A legal framework to define the obligations arising in any partnership.
• A legal framework to provide guidance for commercial sex.
• Strict prohibition of any sexual activity, in any possible form and shape, leading to harm, distress, disease and humiliation.
Be it as it may, sex will always be a tricky matter. Let’s be as open as we dare to be, and as liberal as we can afford without destroying our societies.
© 2006 by Franz L Kessler
Web Site: matahari sky
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|Reviewed by Deas Plant (Reader)
|I personally think that this author has missed one vital point in his article. For mine, there is no trouble with sex. It works just fine. It must do because it keeps reproducing our species, which is one of its two primary finctions. The other primary function is to form a bond between partners in a relationship/family.
The problems all lie with people's perceptions of sex, their attitudes, beliefs, taboos and the ways in which they use sex. And make no mistake, many, MANY people USE sex for various purposes, not the least as a weapon. More is the pity 'cos such usage destroys the inherent beauty of the act and experience.
|Reviewed by m j hollingshead
|Reviewed by Vena McGrath
I read this piece with interest for a few reasons. I'm wondering why us humans were made so we are constantly sexual, or I should clarify that to constantly considered by others to be sexual. I recall hearing a very funny piece by Billy Connolly on sex; so funny in fact that I could barely hear some of what he said for laughing so hard. Luckily I didn't have to try and watch him as well because the tears streaming down mhy face would have made it impossible to see him.
He lamented that the human being wasn't more like a dog. The female comes on heat and the male doesn't have to court, or marry or make promises, he just does what comes naturally. He does this with as many females as he has the stamina to and the girls just line up like it's totally natural. No hiding in a bedroom either; anyone can watch. No inhibitions. Now that part I don't agree with as naked bodies stuck together at the pelvis don't interest me at all. However, the coming on heat now and then does.
Billy made some very pertinent points in his hilarious speel, and most of it was spot on correct. Sex isn't something that two people can do because they enjoy doing it together, or not often anyhow. There are expectations that the job is done correctly, that both parties get over the top and together. This seems to be the ultimate aim or so it appears by what one reads about sexual activity. It's all so confusing. No wonder so many humans have opted out of the activity all together.
There are too many expectations for humans to be able to meet adequately and so most of us have these fears every time we hit the sheets with someone. I had a copy of the Karma Sutra and if anyone tried to follow that they would end up in a straight jacket. Some of the positions were highly dangerous, or so it was written, and readers were advised not to attempt them.
I looked at that book and the illustrations and decided if you were expected to perform in accordance with the book, then I would just give up and forget about it. It was all so boring and repetitive and every move was spelt out exactly as it should happen. A 'bob' is much superior. You don't have to feed it, wash its clothes, put up with its moods and you direct it to the right spot without having to tell it how to get there. All you have to do is buy batteries for it. 'bob', fondly known by millions of females as 'battery operated boyfriend'.
Another thought sprung to mind when reading your article. Now who is going to monitor that people, while being open and liberal about sex, are also not destroying our societies, causing harm, spreading disease and generally stuffing up? I don't think rules about sex are going to work. It's the animal in us. Who rules the animal world about sex? The animals themselves. We have to be responsible for our own bodies, our own actions. We have enough 'do-gooders' and watchdogs in our societies now. Sure, sex for sale has to be monitored and policed, but sex between two consenting adults has to be as it should be, a concience thing. No matter if there is no sex in a relationship, people are going to be hurt and humiliated. If you step outside your boundaries of safety then you leave yourself open to possibilities that may not be to your likening.
As to the consentual age for sex, I don't know what that age should really be. No matter what barriers are set in place, humans will be animals at times regardless of age. Sexual arousal is normal and happens when it's supposed to in each individual. I was having sex with my boyfriend before I turned 17. In those days you weren't an adult until you were 21. My parents had to sign papers at the Police Station in order for me to marry at 20. Mind you he was my only sexual partner as I was brought up in a strict world. But for all the strictness of that world, I still participated before I was considered 'adult' enough to. I guess if I were asked for my opinion I would say that 16 would be a fair age to set for age of consent.
The difference in ages of the partners should not be an issue unless one is forcing the other. I totally disagree with people being thrown into gaol for having relationships with others much younger. Is not the younger person guilty as well? Some young females and males can be very tantalising and want experiences with an older person. Who is to judge that this is wrong if both are consenting to the relationship?
Anyhow thanks for providing a thought provoking article for an otherwise boring Sunday afternoon. The best thing about today is it's cloudy, cool, and feels like it could rain. After the horrid heat we have been experiencing in Sydney, today is a wonderful respite.
Take care and I shall visit and read some more.