Sunday 15 March 2009

The Promiscuity Revolution- Destroying the Power of Sex

I have said before that ultimately I hope that the revolution, when it comes, will not just be a political revolution, but a cultural one.

And one massive sea change I hope will happen will be what I see as the third and final phase of the feminist revolution and the second and more comprehensive phase of the sexual revolution.

My essential view on sex is thus.

Now we have separated sex from reproduction, now we have made sex 'safe'- and it will become increasingly more so, I do have faith that we will eradicate AIDS, syphilis, Chlamydia and all those other irritations- this radically alters how we need view sex and its role in human society.

And so let us ask ourselves- what role does it CURRENTLY play in our society and does that role do more harm than good?

The reality is that sex is in fact a basic bodily function. Not just sex, but also intimacy, are things we all crave. Badly. We don't die without them, but we all need it.

And because of how much we need it, it acquires power. As a commodity.

In fact, so much of our culture is actually geared up to the buying and selling of sex. We ourselves- every one of us- live lives geared up to buying and selling OUR OWN sexual favours.

The curious thing about sex, is that isn't a resource. Not like food. Let us say two people, a man and a woman are sitting side by side in a room devoid of food. They cannot feed eachother. The food has to be got from somewhere.

But we have a society where most people deliberately starve themselves of sex for one purpose and one purpose alone- so they can sell their sex as a commodity.
We deliberately choose to make it expensive.

What never seems to occur to us, is that what we do is contribute to keeping the price high. We feel we do not want to devalue it.

Which is strange really. If someone told us that tomorrow, modern scientific advances would mean that all food now only cost a tenth of what it now costs, we'd think that an advance.
And yet with sex- we ourselves have the power to devalue it. As a culture.

I guess this one thing I've hesitated in actually saying. Precisely because people get wary when they hear of sex being cheapened. And yet of course, that really is what I am proposing.

The value of anything is related to supply and demand. With most commodities the supply depends on ability to produce. But with sex, it really is true that there are absolutely no limits on the supply. It really is a matter of choice. We as a culture choose NOT to supply to the degree we could, so as to increase the demand relative to supply, so as to keep the price high.

Furthermore, we encouraged women to believe it was something they themselves didn't enjoy. That made them dirty. So really, if a woman valued herself, she sold high.

The purpose of this, was to get men to pay for sex, basically.
Now why did we want this to be so? Well, because although that's what men were paying for, their payments were used to pay for the offspring sex produced.

The whole point of Judaeo-Christian morality regarding sex is to ensure that the price men have to pay for sex is high. So the supply is limited and confined by moral codes and a rigidly constrained set of cultural constructs designed to price sex outside of wedlock out of the market. Because the price involves getting stoned to death.

Now in primitive society, the payloads of this system were so great that some of the evils created by this control of sex could be ignored.

Firstly, it creates the culture in which sexual offences flourish. There does seem to be good evidence that the stricter a society's sexual taboos, the more child abuse, the more rapes etc are part of it. Why? Because most rapists and child abusers are using sex as a tool of power. Because sex has overpowered them, basically. They use sex as a tool of power because they seek some kind of revenge on sex itself. Sex has twisted them. It's not that simple and I'm not maintaining that cultures with a wider degree of sexual promiscuity are free of sexual offences. But by definition they create less hatred of sex in itself. Rapists despise female sexuality. Child abusers seek to rectify their sense of powerlessness in the face of sex by turning it onto those weaker.

Secondly, it creates sex trafficking. Women only sell their bodies because men will pay for them. We see this as exploitation, and it is, in it's practical results. But not for the reason we generally give. The results are that women who sell their bodies are seen as selling themselves cheaply, so they either live secret lives, or live ostracised by polite society. The same society that set a high price for sex, and looks down on them- because they undercut the price.

The men who use prostitutes aren't the whole problem. The society that treats that level of prostitution- undercutting the basic price of sex so as it becomes an underground trade, linked with heroin addiction and poverty- is as much to blame.

Because as a society we still try to maintain the ideal that the price of sex should be a white dress and a gold ring.

Now of course, I have always conceded that our attitude to sex has always been conditioned by our mode of living.

So, once we have truly moved over to communal living and we can be sure each child born is guaranteed to be provided for, once we have completely broken the connection between sex and the need to ensure that there is a price for sex- how then should we view it?

We would then be right to view its pricing as the root of so many evils in the world. And our aim should be- to cheapen it. Quite deliberately.

Shock horror from the morality brigade.

Except what the morality brigade don't see, is that new circumstances now make the pricing of sex immoral. Our culture now serves simply to aid and abet sex as use of a power tool and a commodity, intimacy for barter, for cash, for oneupmanship, for asserting dominance.

So I would be hoping that the post revolution world will see sexual promiscuity as a virtue- every citizen who increases the supply of sex is reducing its demand, therefore rendering sex powerless, lacking any grip whatsoever.

And all it takes to do that, is to stop people thinking that too much sex, or the wrong sort of sex, demeans and devalues them.

So- my proposal in a post revolution world would be simple. Instead of the barrier being a simple barrier at sixteen, one introduces two barriers. No one over eighteen may have sex with anyone below eighteen. However, anyone between fourteen and eighteen may have sex between anyone else in that age range.

And during that period, we totally change sex education. Instead of it being a simple explanation of how not to get pregnant, we teach adolescents that sex is good and virtuous. And encourage them to have it with eachother. Encourage them to have sex with anyone else they feel like and that to do so is virtuous.
I would actually go so far as to suggest that society pretty much insisted on everyone becoming sexually active and comfortable with sex at this level. That sex was taught in schools and as it was being taught, pupils told to go away and practice what they had learned with eachother. And that would go for both heterosexual and homosexual sex. All pupils of both sexes would be taught how to practise both and feel comfortable with both. Then it would become a matter of choice for them which they chose to practise one form to the exclusion of the other, or not. But no one would see either form as better than the other.

The benefits of this would be that once true adulthood was reached at eighteen, no one would think that sex was dirty, or think any form of consenting sex between adults was dirty. No one would think less of any woman for having had multiple sexual partners, because all women would have done- as would men. And no males would be homophobic, because even though males inclined to what we now call heterosexuality would predominate, they would all have experienced homosexual sex.

So indeed, when two people met, sex would no longer be the end game, something which games were played for to achieve, it would be the begining. The initial gesture by which two people met. Like shaking hands. Or buying someone a drink.

Would it be less pleasurable?
Of course not. It would just have no power any more. It would be something people did just because they felt like it. Something that couldn't be bought or sold, because it had no power. Everyone gave it freely to anyone who had a reciprocal urge.

It would become a simple pleasure. The one pleasure that cost absolutely nothing to give and nothing to receive. A symbol, perhaps of the capacity of humanity to bond. And cherished as such.
And those of us who gave it most, would be seen as the most virtuous of all.

A person would not be considered virtuous be how high a price they set on their sex, but on how freely they gave it.

And a person would seek out for their true love, not someone who gave their body solely to them, but one who gave their body to many.

And sex would finally- finally- have become a true gesture of love.

A sign of the love of the species.


darkfoam said...

during the early 80s when i briefly thought of becoming more promiscuous (I was, at the time, between a long lull in monogamous sexual relationships) news of aids became real prevelant. that put a dead stop to any interest i had in promiscuity.

i do think that eventually there will be cures for sexual diseases or they can be prevented altogether. i think eventually moral sexual codes will change, but i can't see it happening anytime soon at all.

Anonymous said...

I would love cures to be found for STD's. This would definitely encourage more sex. Moral standards would probably quickly change after that.

Sex without guilt, shame, stipulations or stigma is the best. Given freely to someone it's wonderful...


Anonymous said...

It sounds a bit like Brave New World...

Judith said...

Sex without shame and guilt sounds great, but promiscuity as a "virtue" and encouraged? No no no. Sounds like a high school boy pressuring his not ready girlfriend with "you would if you loved me, baby" and "everyone else is doing it, what's wrong with you?" It's no better to expect everyone to be promiscuous than it is to expect everyone to be monogamous. It should be whatever works for the individual and his or her partners with no guilt or pressure from anyone to be one way or another.

That's real love.

QUASAR9 said...

lol Crushed,
the fact remains that humans like other animals respond to some 'chemical' triggers or impulses - allegedly 'designed' by Nature to ensure the survival of the species.

Of course what makes us 'human' is that we also have triggers which prompt us to mimmick what we see - ie: Monkey see, Monkey do.

Whether it be women and lipstick, or cowboys, horses and Marlboros...

When it comes to SEX, even if you did not remove the 'risk' of reproduction and remove the 'risk' of STDs ... humans would still be running around in a sexual frenzy of one sort or another - males especially seeking that 'instant' gratification, unless they are practising tantric sex and seeking to hold on to the moment of instant gratification for hours, days??? weeks??? months??? years??? lifetimes???

However even in this age where the woman is encouraged to be more aggressive and/or seductive, the woman's role is still to give the man gratification ...

hence 'fccking' and 'cum shots' into a girls mouth face - constitute the bulk of porn. To some womrn this will always appear to be using the woman as a 'subjet or object' for gratification, whilst other women will defend themselves by assuring you they get pleasure from making men cum.

Some get paid for it
And some are always willing to do it for free --- hence amateur porn.

I can't believe I hust wrote that at 7:00 am

Moggs Tigerpaw said...

Crushed, You still have to be careful when it comes to sex. STD's are out there. I'ts not as "safe" as you seem to imagine. And if you don't like the way things were, and still are in many places, well I figure it was basically guys who did the setting up and keeping it that way.

As for no one over/under 18 with each other!

Are you crazy? Did you forget what it was like to be 16? or 18? Lots of girls go out with guys two or 3 years older than them.

Sad to say a big part of the reason is that guys that age have caught up with a 16 year old girls level of maturity by then, though not all of them. ^_^

Chris Benjamin said...

-generally speaking, in human-bacteria-virus relationships have evolved, in the history of civilization anyway, such that as one disease is 'cured' another emerges. and even 'cured' diseases are not globally cured, they still occur wherever there is poverty, and in rare cases where there is not poverty. it seems more likely that this revolution you speak of will be led by or caused by diseases than any cure for them.
-your proposal seems to swing attitudes toward sex from one extreme to another. i agree with mutley, it's kind of brave new world, enforced enjoyment of loose sex. but in reality it's not for everone. what about those who have low sex drives? or for whom intercourse is painful?

Crushed said...

Foam- Fear of AIDS, I think, holds a lot of us back.
Though actually, your statistical chances of catching it are still small compared to Gonhorrea or Chlamydia.

I think sexual codes are changing rapidly, certainly for women. I think that started pretty much round about my exact age group. I'm amazed how much more liberal and forward younger women are about sex. They certainly don't see it as dirty.

Sweet Cheeks- I think so, yes.

I'll be honest, these littlerplastic bags aren't exactly encouraging. Kind of kill the moment a bit, don't they? I hate them.

Mutley- You should read 'Island' by the same author. It's about a tropical island sexand drugs parasdise.

He inverts the negative aspects of his own dystopia to show them in a utopian light.

VR- Ideally, I'd agree with you...

But I instinctively feel promiscuity to be more in tune with our urges and I instinctively feel promiscuous humans would be happy humans...

Like Bonobos...

Quasar- Of course, we're culturally programmed. But right now that programming seems to fight our instincts.

Our Inner Monkeys like getting jiggy. Lots. With lots of people. And we fight it, for social reasons.

I think a lot of sexual interconnection is linked to gratification, and usually women are culturally conditioned towards submissive posturing, though it's worth noting that thee is more openess today about variation on that theme (speaking as a male more inclined to enjoy a submissive role in the sport)

I guess porn will always cater for our more primal fantasies.

My view is that commercial porn is dieing as amateur orn becomes so widely available. And I think it's only a matter of time before genuine penetrative sex become the norm in mainstream films- Nine Songs has shown that.

Porn itself has become mainstream.

It was indeed, an interesting comment for 7AM :)

Moggs- I do know that :)
Even I, believe it or not, have been treated in the past by what is now euphemestically termed a GUI Clinic.

Yes, it WAS guys who set it up. My point. This sexual repression was created by men...

The enemies of promiscuity are for the most part (though not always) closet male chauvinists...

They do, I'm aware, but I'm not sure it's good for them to be actually sleeping with guys that much older.
Yes, I do remember being that age. And actually, if I'm honest, the first girl I did the deed with was about 22. I was about 17. In fact, I'm not sure the first time I actually did the deed with someone younger than me. Not till I was 19, I don't think.

Benji- Well, we've eliminated smallpox.

I suppose one might see it as enforced enjoyment. i prefer to think encouraged enjoyment.

I take your point about the fact that some people really MIGHT not enjoy it. And no, I don't think anybody should be FORCED.

But I'm not sure that sexual abstinence is the virtue we currently represent it as.

I would see not liking sex as being a bit like Anorexia, in a way. And operhaps we should see it such.

I say that as someone who has a mild eating disorder themselves.

Judith said...

Promiscuous people would be happy people? Are you nuts?! I can't think of all that many people I want to share a meal with, nevermind my body. But under your revolution I'd be some sort of freak, no?

What I think this idea springs from is your terror of trusting someone with your whole self than actually sharing yourself with everyone. Instead of naming it the fear of intimacy it is, you want society to normalize your need to compartmentalize and desire to not be responsible for anyone besides yourself. Live as you wish to live, but call a duck a duck.

gnataes said...

I think everything I said on your wordpress has already been addressed in everyone else's comments here.

Moggs Tigerpaw said...

Crushed, Vicariousrising has a point.

Now I don't want to be mean here, but it seems to me that your brave new world is not so different to the Islamic thing with all those virgins.

A toys for boys juvenile idea of heaven. Lots of pneumatic willing totty on tap with no responsibilities or (scary word alert) "commitment".

Crushed said...

Vicarious Rising- Hmm. I tend to find the number of people one is happy to go to bed with exceed the numkber of people one could converse with intelligently for a full three course meal.

Your second paragraph may have a grain of truth in it.

I'm not sure I have a fear of intimacy, per se. Of being controlled, yes.

Akai- Party, yes. It's interesting how varied opinions are though. Yours was quite a considered response.

Moggs- Not really, because I have no great desire for virgins.

Pneumatic totty..
Interesting idea. Not sure quite what it means though.

What did you have to mentioning commitment for! You're right, very scary word.

Seriously, commitment, it shouldn't be something one associates with EITHER sex or love. It belongs in business contracts. Or manifestos

Nunyaa said...

While boundaries exist whether you agree or not, legally and morally, peoples views on sex will always be different. I had to smirk at the comment that no one over 18 will have sex with anyone under 18, as much chance of that happening as pigs flying lol l:) and vice versa, older peoples screwing around with those young enough to be grandchildren.

Moggs Tigerpaw said...

Crushed, You are being deliberately obtuse. It was the general juvenile "boys own heaven" world view I was pointing out, the virgins bit is simply more juvenile thinking. Practice makes perfect, I figure virgins have little of that ^_^.

Pneumatic. Obviously not actually pneumatic, but as if their assets have been inflated, maybe having a similarity to a blow up dolly?

Commitment? Well it can be independent. I am committed to my friends.

You won't find it has anything to do with a political manifesto, no commitment there. That was actually proved in court of all things, over the last one New Labour got elected on. Sort of like an empty promise to get you into bed...