Sex As a Room: Our Right to the Sex We Want
Sex is a room into which we should walk in as whomever we wish, and be able to walk out as usual again. The convention that we should be ashamed of our sexuality, what it craves, that it craves anything at all, or that we should abstain from our more lascivious desires, is nonsense. No good arguments exist for it.
Now allow me to be clear, everything I am about to discuss is confined within the bounds of consenting, legal adults. But it is within this circle of reasonable restrictions that I say everything is fair game. (This of course does not include activities that seriously maim people – consenting or not.)
Whether you want to role play rape or prefer foursomes where two of your partners are dressed as alien fascists screaming the word flapjack, as long as you’ve discussed it with your partners and they’ve said go, then everything is fine.
Talking about it
Realizing these kinds of fantasies, however, means receiving consent. In order to achieve that we need to take the first step of asking, which is often the part we find most troubling. The stumbling block of broaching the topic of one’s sexual desires, even with your intimates, is one that resigns most sexual initiatives to the proverbial sarlac pit. This bizarre phobia of sex talk, no doubt a relic of religious educations, is unhealthy and distracting. Partners should be able to discuss with ease the topic of sex and how they want to do it – anything less is oppressive.
Even in the most liberal of circles, anything beyond acknowledging homosexuality, the most general masturbatory techniques, or pornography is considered inappropriate and ‘too much’. And while maybe two strangers have no reason to discuss such matters with one another, certainly friends do. If only for practical reasons we can take the edge off of sex by exchanging ideas and experiences; to learn what feels good, what doesn’t, and to learn who around us likes what we like. Maybe we’ve been missing out, or we come to find that someone else is equally interested in pouring spaghetti on themselves while giving a blowjob. Possibly a friend of yours is just as eager to begin a fuckbuddy relationship. The point here is, we won’t know unless we discuss it. These sanctions on sex talk likely exist to keep us ignorant of our options and blind to practices that are actually common.
What good arguments exist for relegating sex to the realm of whispers and backdoor exchanges? Propriety as an excuse is an obvious cop-out. Who decided that sex, essential for both happiness and propagation, is improper? And why do novels, pornography, and film greedily portray and with vigor the diversity of human sexual expression and desire if it’s innately unnatural, aberrant, or inappropriate? For something so remarkably taboo it seems to come very easily to us.
The fact is, it is all arbitrary. Like so many things in civilization it is only because someone said so and nothing more. As my friend Allie used to say, that’s weak sauce. This is also why there is no good argument for it, because there is no good reason.
If you think you’re mature enough to engage in sex in the first place then it follows that you should be able to exhaust the topic. Developed and mature sexually active people don’t cringe at the word penis or vagina. They aren’t needlessly afraid of sexual desire or the potential hazards. Pregnancy and diseases are obvious and sometimes inevitable consequences of intercourse. If the idea of getting tested for HIV or chlamydia petrifies you or the notion of pregnancy is too anxiety provoking to plan for, then you aren’t ready for sex. If condoms and lubricant cause you shame in the pharmacy, this too is a sign that you probably need to grow up.
If you’re ready to have it then you should have been ready to talk about it first. Say what you want to your partner, listen to what they want, and then proceed from there. There will be times when you want something they don’t and vice versa. In these cases, try to accommodate each other. Of course, if the notion is too uncomfortable to bear then move on but ask yourself why that is. Are there health concerns? Is it painful? Have you tried it before? If you did, did you do it with a less capable partner? Is it possible you could both experiment with something the other wants? Maybe it is a trust issue and if so, say that. Partners shouldn’t leave each other in the dark about their concerns, they are equally as valid and important as the desires.
But before you do anything you should definitely be talking. And both parties should keep an open and respectful mind to what the other says. Very few human beings have not, in the deep recesses of their secret mind, imagined sex they would feel ashamed to speak about – sex that should be shameless.
Attitudes and Ethics
I gave some examples of role playing before and it is important to remember that whatever your personal preferences or feelings, they have no bearing on what others consent to do. You can choose to not be a part of it but do not think for a moment that you have a right to police others with your discomfort. Simulating rape, abuse, or other power dynamics, are not the same as actually committing them and if this is a difficult distinction for you then you are in desperate need of an education. Objections to role playing are as ignorant of human sexuality as they are stupidly oblivious to the line between simulation and reality.
This rule is the same for art more generally. When we talk about literature, paintings, film, and video games, there are numerous themes and depictions we could object to. But even if you could argue that something is morally objectionable this does not translate to legally unacceptable.
Hefting an argument against any legal pursuit requires evidence that you and others are directly injured by it, and thus, that your freedoms are equally truncated. You may feel disgusted or emotionally discommoded, but none of these feelings should or do count as a violation of your fundamental freedoms. Feelings are not arguments. What other adults consent to do on their property is none of your business, so stop minding it.
Suggestions to the contrary are the purview of totalitarianism and all those who wish to institutionalize thought crime. That crowd is easily the single biggest threat to freedoms of any kind.
Attitudes regarding submission and domination are equally backward and arbitrarily so. Contrary to what feminists will have you believe, there is nothing wrong with desiring either of these two roles in sex. Again, what good arguments exist for that? How is being submissive inherently bad versus being dominant? Doesn’t this depend on preferences regarding power and control? What if you’re more comfortable allowing others to take the lead? When sex is consented to then the roles we play are agreed upon and presumably enjoyed.
This does not mean you are a submissive or dominant person in real life – it is totally possible to be an assertive and confident person in one’s public life while desiring domination in the bedroom, the converse is clearly true for otherwise shy people and milquetoasts who can turn into veritable bosses while fucking.
The parallels people draw between their sex lives and their public ones are incongruent because they conflate who we are at a specific moment in time with who we are generally. People are not static, they change, their moods range, and we are not the same person all the time, especially as beings that grow both physically and intellectually.
Our inability to appropriately distinguish between states of being and being generally is problematic for the reason that it creates false perceptions of who we truly are. This perforce leads to inappropriate judgments of character.
Rights to Sex
Another popular concept in our societies is the notion that we have a right to abstain from sex but no right to it. No, I am not endorsing rape. I am stating that everyone has a right to desire and seek out sexual activity even if they are in an ‘exclusive’ relationship. Again to be clear, you have no right to sex with any particular person but we certainly have the right to fuck, generally speaking.
Many people, when they find they have been sexually betrayed by their partners fail to consider how they contributed to this affair. In many loving couples, people that want to be together, there is an issue with the frequency sex is had.
It is true that no one should be compelled to have sex against their will, but if you know your partner has a stronger drive than you and you willingly and knowingly abstain to the point of forcing deprivation upon your partner, they can hardly be expected to wait for you to decide to become sexually available. If they have no control over when you have sex then surely, neither do you. And you cannot expect them to have sex with you exclusively if you refuse to fuck with any reasonable frequency. They will predictably, for their psychological and general well-being, seek out sex.
Naturally if such problems exist in a relationship they need to be openly discussed. I am not openly endorsing infidelity for infidelity’s sake but rather, I am saying that if you have a partner who refuses to discuss sex, refuses to compromise on the topic, then they are in fact at fault when infidelity occurs.
You might then believe that person, the cheater, should end the relationship, but sex is not the only aspect of our intimate relationships and for many people, as mentioned before, sex can be met and enjoyed for itself. Merely because sex is lacking, for most people, this is not reason enough to terminate the relationship as a whole.
Partners with lower sexual drives should be willing to compromise. Sexual energy can be conjured. You may not like bike riding but wouldn’t you do it at least sometimes if your partner loved it? You may not like romantic comedies or scifi but surely you would endure them on occasion for your intimate. And if sex is so tiresome and burdensome that you can’t be brought to do it with any frequency then why are you with this person in the first place? Relationships are multifaceted and sex is one of those facets, like many other aspects, it sometimes needs to be worked on.
Conclusion and General Refutation
Sex is okay and the drama surrounding it is a direct result of ignorance, paranoia, and serious misunderstandings regarding the relationship between the whole self and the momentary self.
I want to now refute what I think will be the most common objection or facetious comparison to my general statement that the intimacy of sex should not prevent it from becoming table talk. Many, I am sure, when considering this thought to themselves, ‘Well, what about shitting and urinating? Why not discuss those things openly and all the time, that’s the same as sex right?’ No…it isn’t.
Primarily because, if we’re not facetious, as an aggregate and objectively speaking, people are repulsed by the sight and smell of human waste. Again, objectively, people in every society make an effort to separate themselves from their waste and for very practical reasons. You do not need to socialize people to make them find their own waste rebarbative, whereas, if we discuss sex, intense socialization is required to create pathologies regarding it. There is no natural distaste of sex, rather there is clearly a very natural love of it.
Further, no subculture or art, largely speaking, has resulted from bowel movements. Whereas, again, pictures, music, film, novels, and poetry have all invoked the act of love making and fucking. There is clearly something inherently attractive about the act itself and of course, the bond it can create between two people. It is a collective act by its very nature, for even while masturbating we imagine others with us. The same cannot be said for the act of relieving ourselves.
Lastly, the last time I checked, no one was obsessed with shitting themselves. But maybe you know a few people. Sex on the other hand, there lie too many stories to tell.