This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Wow! Epimetheus is talking about _sex_ this week! Cool! I love
reading about sex! It's just so damn naughty!
Ahem. Now that you've gotten that out of your system, let's talk
seriously about the "dirty act". Bumping uglies. Rockin' and rollin'.
Doing the nasty. We all know what I'm talking about. _Everyone_ thinks
about sex; you can't help it. It's built in, a survival mechanism - spread
your genes, proliferate the species. It's a perfectly natural biological
act, and it's one of the things that brings humans together; it's something in
common we can all share, like our own mortality. Humanity is driven by sex,
there is no doubt about that. However, there has been concern over the degree
to which people are motivated by it. If one was to ask Freud, for example,
he'd probably start foaming at the mouth and calling for his mother.
One could easily be of the opinion that all of history has been the
reflection of the pursuit of sex. An extreme view, to be sure, but maybe not
as much off the mark as we'd like to think - look at the Trojan Wars, where an
entire war was fought over one woman, or Shakespeare's _MacBeth_, where the
promise of sex motivates a man to kill. The animal within us cannot be denied,
try as we might. But denial is exactly what we engage in, daily, unconciously.
Clothes help provide the illusion that people aren't inherently sexual - hiding
the "forbidden" areas is a must. Sex is also relegated to being a private act,
one that is not inherently public, suited only for certain rooms of the house -
yet that is also a more induced by society.
You shouldn't necessarily think that I'm against these measures, in
fact, I'm all in favor of at least a few of them. They're quite necessary
in more than one way. I for one, would not dare to give up the feeling I get
when I see a beautiful woman in scanty lingerie - if everyone were naked all
the time, I'd hardly have a reason to get excited over the possibility of
seeing a person naked again - in fact, in such a society, _dressing_ would be
the sexual innuendo, as opposed to undressing. But there's more to it than
even just that.
Robert Pirsig is a fabulous author, and I recommend you read any one of
his works. His most recent success is the novel _Lila_, subtitled _An Inquiry
into Morals_. In it, he describes a philosophical system of his own devising,
known to most as the Metaphysics of Quality. He goes into greater depth with
this system in his earlier works; it is basically his own method for dealing
with what he considers reality, and it works really well. At any rate, he
manages to make an interesting classification - he establishes a hierarchy,
if you will, to demonstrate the descending priorities of what he loosely
terms "morality". His idea of what is moral is according to this
classification - something is more morally important if it is higher on the
Phew. That was a mouthful - if you can understand that on the first
read, you're a better person than me. Pirsig's hierarchy of moral patterns
is as follows: inorganic patterns, biological patterns, social patterns,
and intellectual patterns. Without going into any more depth, let's just say
that biological imperatives must be superseded by social imperatives. As
Pirsig says, it is more moral to be follow social patterns than purely
biological ones. It's a pretty obvious thing, once you think about it.
Society is much more important than immediate biological need, for the
majority of us, anyway. Therefore, it is necessary to supress some of the
sexual nature so as not to express all of it - at least to preserve society.
So we've established some necessity for "hiding" humanity's innate
sexual nature, though some would still disagree, even with the cost of society
in the balance. But to go to the opposite extreme, we can scrutinize total
repression of sexual nature. I hardly see how this can be possible, just as
I can't readily see how we can totally comfortably embrace our sexual selves at
this time in history. I recall a religious group from early American history
that believed in total repression of human sexuality; fortunately or
unfortunately, they all died off, not being able to reproduce and thus pass on
their non-sexual tendencies. You tell me what's wrong with this picture.
If you try to hold back the innate tendencies of human nature, you
not only end up fighting a losing battle, you also end up creating worse
problems for yourself later on. It's just not possible to hold back the
floodwaters for very long; if you dam up the river long enough, it's going
to overflow. If you expose someone to sex for sixteen hours a day, constantly
stimulating and arousing them, and then prevent them from channeling their
sexual energies into a constructive outlet... well, you tell me what you think
is going to happen. Obviously, they're going to explode - one way or another,
they'll find an outlet, whether it's through violence, or anger, or just
passion, they'll find a way to get rid of it.
There are ways to avoid the negative outlets - some people adopt strict
exercise regimens, some are properly trained to keep it inside (causing worse
internal damage through stress). But there are others who use a less accepted
form of release - pornography. Some are willing to argue that pornography
causes more stress than it releases, which is true in a lot of ways. Porn is
indeed another method of stimulation that we don't necessarily need,
considering the massive amount we already recieve. And yet, there is a way to
reconcile these feelings. If we made a concious effort to further embrace
our sexuality, say like, making pornography less of a business and more of an
art; like showing our children what the sexual experience is like when it
is heightened with loving emotion, instead of the industrial pumping
spectacle we show in the video stores. Sex is not something we should avoid;
it is something we should control, but not something we should hide. One
of the teachings of the Buddhist Zen master Suzuki is that to "retain control
over an animal is to give it a large open pasture to graze in."
In the throes of the human experience we call everyday life, it's not
entirely uncommon for two people to end up clinging to each other for warmth
against the cold indifference of the universe. Note that I said two _people_;
all people are the same underneath, regardless of gender, regardless of
race/ethnicity, regardless of social influence. People all have the same
feelings, the same problems, the same fears and hopes. People are, and people
In the end, we're all alone. In the end, we only have each other.