Saturday 1 November 2008

Sexual Morality After The Revolution

This post, like all posts, has music provided at the end which was chosen to go with the post. If you would like to listen to the music as you read the post, scroll down to the end of the post and press play, then enjoy the post.

One commenter asked 'Why are you so obsessed with sex'.

Well actually, one of the key opinions of this author is that sex generally is something we're having real problems with in human society right now for a number of reasons.
We really don't know whether we're coming or going with it. We no longer have a consistent opinion on it, we don't what we believe, we do not in fact have a consistent set of values on it.
In fact, sex generally has ceased to be something we have any logical opinions on at all.
We're obviously all clearly obsessed by it, if you look at popular culture, you'd think humanity had only just discovered it. If you trawl the blogosphere it's clear that human beings who think they don't have enough sex by far outnumber those who think they get too much.

It's a human activity generally that causes huge social problems. It is abused as a tool of power, it creates jealousy, the warping of human sexuality to turn it into potentially something very nasty indeed on occasion is a poison in our society.

On the one hand, we have a rigid desire by some to maintain sex as it was in the days when its main purpose was reproduction, to maintain the values appropriate to that.
On the other we have a society which is able to practise sex free from the risks of venereal disease and pregnancy and able to determine genetic parentage without having to enforce one woman one man rules.

We are all talking about it, some of us are doing it, but even then mostly getting angst ridden about it, and some are just not getting enough.

And everybody is busy judging how everyone else gets it.

So I'd like to suggest that I'm not actually obsessed with sex, we all are, just I'm actually concerned about tackling it.

Now, I saw a LOVELY comment recently about this blog which said 'It is quite evident that this is a hate blog attempting to destroy the fabric of societies family morals and values.'

So there you are. Hate blog. I think what the author meant was that HE hates this blog. He missed out a few words. Just like he obviously misses the point of this blog, which is a world in which love, not hate, rules. But that's the problem with these crusty old right wing types, they don't actually want a world of love, they quite like the hate based system as it is, it suits their prejudices, so they try present those who seek to overthrow their world as being motivated by hate, when in fact, the motivating factor in our desires to overthrow all that, is love. The only thing I hate, is this system of hate and its slave morality.

But yes I'll agree with the fact that I'm doing my bit to destroy the fabric of society's family morals and values. Those sorts of morals, yes, those are exactly the ones I want to see completely turned on their head.

Because they happen to be outmoded and damaging for the most part. And I want to see the back of them. And I'll give the rotten door a good kick any time I can.

And I'll be straight. I see the nuclear family as something we can render obsolete. We don't need it any more.
I actually advocate, as I have stated several times, that living the way we do is inefficient. It's a mode of living that wastes energy and we only do so because of the capitalist cult of the individual. Post-revolution, I envisage us living communally.

Just to explain how I see these communes, it is generally agreed that villages formed the perfect sizes for internally cohesive communities. The communes I envisage people living in, would be the base social unit. The units provided with food, power and basic necessities by the infrastructure. They would be like vast hotels, each one home to about five hundred or so people, each having their own self contained apartment. So each person would have their own living accommodation, as they would in a hotel, only more spacious. But the Commune would cook for everyone, clean for everyone, do the laundry, each person would now live like they would do as a hotel guest. The commune would combine the dynamics of a village, with the dynamics of the family. Each commune would have its own childcare and education facilities, so the responsibilities of a parent in such a society would be far less than they are now. Let me point out, this doesn't mean enforced separation of parents from children. Merely that the community is prepared to take on the full burden of child rearing and biological parents are free to have as much- or as little- input into the lives of their offspring as they freely choose.

So this social change actually renders the nuclear family as a social unit superfluous.
It doesn't destroy family sentiment. It doesn't prevent people from loving their children and playing an active role in their lives. It's just that society can function just as well if they don't.
So society can actually dispense with any moral codes that have to do with maintaining the nuclear family. It can kiss goodbye to the family values which are already so out of synch with the way we live.

In which case, how do we look at human sexuality, in this social climate?

The first point to observe is that sex clearly fulfills functions in humans that have nothing to do with making babies. Otherwise we wouldn't find ways of doing it without making babies. Quite clearly we want to do it even when we DON'T want to make babies. And quite clearly, many people enjoy sexual acts with people they CAN'T make babies with, due to both of them being the same sex.

Unlike other animals, human beings have sex all the time, not just in times suited to baby making.
Sex obviously fulfills functions in human existence totally unrelated to baby making.

Two factors have however, prevented human society really releasing the full potential of its powerful sexual desire.

  1. It creates babies.
  2. Due to a design flaw, caused by the fact evolution really is a blind watchmaker, sex can be unhygienic, because it involves use of passages that also pass waste and are therefore, rife with diseases that have evolved specially to be transmitted this way.

Two problems we have pretty much conquered. Not yet entirely, but we're not that far away. Not really.

And this being so- stop me if I'm going too fast here- why shouldn't we do it as much as we bloody want? And stop getting so guilt ridden about it?

Now the moralists mumble a bit here about 'cheapening sex' and 'demeaning womanhood' and all this crap.

Cheapening sex. As in, we don't have to pay such a high price for a pleasure. Yes, that's right. The social price for having sex has dropped dramatically. It's a pleasure, and it's now cheap. That's a social advance. A technological advance.
What it means, is that you don't any longer have to consider the consequences of your actions when you have sex. It is now potentially a harmless pleasure. Totally.

Demeaning womanhood.
Ok, say that again and tell me how it isn't sexist.

I think what you actually mean, is that you're a bloke and you dream of a world where you get to shag God knows how many girls and still marry a virgin.
Though why you'd want to, I'm not sure.

Give me a girl who's been around the block a bit any day.

Now let's look at human sexuality freed from the 'moral' constraints of past taboos and look at the potential.

Currently, we have a world where people generally don't seem to be doing at anywhere near as much as they like. Mainly because they still have some lingering idea it should be special. Or because of guilt complexes.
We also have a world where people like to put labels on sexuality. We have a 'normal' version, heterosexuality and a version which we can't decide which is 'abnormal, but still ok', or actually serves a function, homosexuality.

I put it to you that we're all actually bisexual. Because human sexuality has evolved to serve a function above and beyond simple reproduction, just we're not utilising that potential. We're born bisexual, but what we do is try condition ourselves to be simply heterosexual. Some rebel against that and decide to be simply homosexual. But I actually think all of us are wrong. I think we're all actually bisexual. Just most of us have repressed it one way or another, either by doing what we think is normal, or by making a statement that we're not.

And I think a lot of that conditioning takes place in adolescence. I think probably many of us are conditioned by our initial aesthetic preferences, and most of us come out repressed bisexuals only capable of seeing one sex in terms of sexuality. I often wonder if I'd be more open to the idea of homosexual sex if I hadn't written it off in my early years and I actually genuinely believe that the main reason I don't sleep with men, is just that at my age, it really would be too strange. I'm just far too used to sleeping with women. If I hadn't 'decided' during adolescence I was 'heterosexual', perhaps things would be different. I think if people get to thirty and haven't lost their virginity, they're never going to and I guess that's the truth regarding me and full bisexuality. In homosexual terms, I'm still a virgin. I've ended up 'heterosexual' out of habit. Because the potential other side of my sexuality was repressed. And I think it's like that for most of us. We probably all have a preference for a gender, but a preference is all it is. I have a preference for black women, but the woman I love is white.

The fact is, that sex serves a function as a bonding mechanism. In a society where it was given freely and people didn't feel the need to hold back on it, but were far more forward in their approach to it and didn't feel the need to go through complex rituals to achieve it, it would serve a powerful dynamic in bringing people together. The fact remains that once two people have had sex, some sort of bond exists between them. It may not be undying love, but it's still something that brings people together. A society where more people had more sex with more people and lowered the threshold to have sex with other people, would be a society where people were more bonded to eachother generally. If people could get over their hang ups and jealousies about it. If people were able not to be jealous of the people who had had or were having, sex with the person they were having sex with for the reason they loved them.

And I guess it would start by how people were introduced to sex in the first place. Adolescents would need to be taught that sex wasn't something dirty. That sex in itself could never be dirty. That it was never wrong to have consensual sex, that consenting sex between adults was always a beautiful expression of life and humanity, that it was always in all circumstances a powerful affirmation of the amazing ability of the human species to connect with other members of the same species, that the sexual act was the most basic expression of the magic ingredient that separated humanity from the animals, even though it was in itself a function of animals. Because in human beings, sexuality was the expression of man's ability to communicate with other souls, to unite with them, to bond with them, to transcend the individual, it was the most basic communication of all.

And communication is the magic ingredient that created mankind.

I would suggest such a society could be a little more progressive than simply showing adolescents how to put on condoms. How to actually have rewarding sex would be an idea. Get adolescents past the hang up stage early. Actually encourage them to practise it with eachother (safely, obviously), encourage them to experiment, encourage them to explore what they as individuals enjoyed sexually, encourage them to try out both sexes, to see if they liked something before they ruled it out. Guide them through this phase of their development and then ensure they graduate into adult society mature, rounded, sexually confidant adults, devoid of hang ups or the kinds of warping of human sexuality that result from this stage of development going wrong, because people don't like to talk about it.

So yes, I envisage a future society where every individual probably has sex with several different people every week, one where the average individual of each sex probably has sex with hundreds, if not thousands of individuals in their lifetime, where the majority have sex of some type with members of both genders, even if in most cases they have a definite gender of preference.

I'm even tempted to say, sex being such a basic human function, that society should undertake to guarantee that every individual should have a right to sex, that society should employ members of both sexes to provide guaranteed sex at least once a week to those unfortunates unable to achieve it even in a culture where people were so free with it. Rather like we now give out unemployment benefits to those unable to earn their own income.

The mistake the critics of sex seen in these terms, is in thinking it would cheapen love. No, no it wouldn't. Though it would make love more open. If one had sex with these numbers of people in a lifetime, then it is clear that one wouldn't be having overwhelming feelings for a huge proportion of them, but that doesn't mean there wouldn't be ones that one did.
Though maybe we would be more comfortable with the idea that it IS possible to genuinely love more than one person at the same time.

And maybe we'd all realise that now sex wasn't such a big deal, there were more perfect and complete human experiences to strive for, including the most perfect of them all.

The greatest concept that the human mind can conceive.


The striving for which should be the goal of every human individual.
And the right to search for that, a basic human right.


Anonymous said...

Goodness - so much work here for me to catch up on !

Have you been tripping on something new, Ingsoc ??? Any ... regrets ??? (Anyone of any character has done the same things - relax a bit, you'll be fine)

Be sure not to ruin that fine brain of yours !

Anonymous said...

in fact i'm pretty sure there have been and still are successful, functional, even sustainable societies that are not fundamentally committed to ideas of monogamy and/or small family units, so its not hard to see this kind of social evolution, even without a revolution.

I leave you with some food for thought that mark twain wrote nearly a hundred years ago:

"The law of God, as quite plainly expressed in nature's construction, is this: There shall be no limit put upon your intercourse with the other sex sexually, at any time of life.

"The law of God, as quite plainly expressed in man's construction, is this: During your entire life you shall be under inflexible limiys and restrictions, sexually...Now if you or any other really intelligent person were arranging the fairnesses and justices between man and woman, you would give the man a one-fiftieth interest in one woman, and the woman a harem."

Anonymous said...

It never occurred to me that you were obsessed with sex, honestly. It is an odd thing to mistake openness with obsession. To me, the people so bent on NOT talking about it are likely the ones more obsessed, in all honestly.
However, as a woman, despite all the announcements that men appreciate women who are open about their sexuality... I'm not sure I entirely believe it to be true. It just seems to be paid lip service to.
(but that's a whole post in and of itself, I suppose)