This is something that has always puzzled me. Sex is the way we procreate, it’s the way we make little humans to populate the world. It’s natural, just about all animals do it, and without it we get unhealthy, cranky and twisted. So just how did society make sex immoral?
I do understand the history of it. Men ruled the world, but women made the new little people to be the next generation of rulers. So if the men wanted to stay in power through the ages, they needed to make sure it was their genes passed on and not the genes of some random bloke who happened to catch the woman’s eye. So they made it immoral to have sex outside of marriage and eventually at all.
There is a religious component here as well, a legacy of two thousand years of lifelong programming and some pretty twisted morals. These morals made women, as the focus of sex, dirty and wrong. Even within marriage, women were the temptress, the only reason that men strayed from the moral path. In certain cultures, whenever a man had sex with his wife he had to cleanse himself afterwards, the belief in the corruption of the act and the connection was so strong.
I’ve also heard of men who believe and act in the same way even in our modern age. That’s probably one of the most stupid things I’ve ever heard of, by the way.
It was an effective strategy, to control women and their ability to create life by making it wrong for them to do so even within the confines of marriage, let alone without. But the thing I don’t understand is why this way of thinking is still allowed to continue. And more than that, it is still encouraged in a variety of contexts, most of them religious, but not all. I can still remember lectures in school about the evils of sex and nothing at all about how it was a natural, normal thing and not to be ashamed of in any way, shape or form. It’s stupid, damaging and a great way to control people.
Sex is natural, everyone likes it and everyone wants it. So if you want to control people, if you profit from their fear and guilt then you can turn that natural thing into a great evil. And claim that you are the only one who can help the guilty ones atone for and lift that guilt and fear. After a while, you don’t even have to do anything to continue this cycle of guilt and fear. One generation teaches the next the same litany of evil and sin and dirtiness and before you know it, you have generations of wrongdoers praying for your cure and your mercy.
Great power trip there, as well. It must be nice to be so powerful and necessary. And so virtuous that you can extend your grace to others.
There are a lot of movements these days to change this thinking of course. Sex and the City, that amusing show, turned out to be a great proponent claiming that sex was natural and good. But the ideas are entrenched. They’re buried deep inside of us, so much a part of the way we think that sometimes it’s hard to see them at all. Why is a woman a slut and a man a stud? Why do short clothes mean that a woman is ‘asking for it’, as if lack of fabric is consent? Why do we think we have the right to judge who others have sex with, how they do it or how often?
I’m a big believer in not causing harm. In fact, my general rule in all things is that if nobody is getting hurt, I have no right to judge. There’s an additional element here that specifies any kind of hurt, so that includes emotional and mental as well as physical. But the rule applies here as well as to other contexts. Stay out of it. If you don’t understand, don’t approve, shut up about it. If no one is getting hurt, than you have no right to condemn. You may be allowed to say whatever hateful thing you want, I can’t stop you doing that, but don’t think for an instant that those ideas are worth acting on or listening to.
You have the right to do and believe anything you want as long as your actions don’t infringe on the same rights of others. That’s it, the end.
Sex is normal. People are going to do it and I’m tired of hearing about how immoral that makes them, how they need to be shown the right way or how a certain way is the only right way.
It’s really not. There are a lot of paths.