We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Thursday, March 27. 2014
Isn't all sex recreational in some sense of the word? Eating is recreational too, in part, and they are both fun. Well, unless these things are dutiful chores which they can be, sometimes, for some people.
What's wrong with recreational sex (eg FB's, friends with benefits, dorm trios - meaning studly guy plus 2 playful and adventurous gal roomies, one-nighters, etc) among the uncommitted? And isn't lots of marital sex really recreational, in some sense, anyway? If not "casual" - see "kitchen table sex."
It's a serious question. In the old days, people married in their teens so that an extended period of sexual ache, longing, and loneliness was more or less taken care of. Of course, we all have our morals, scruples, religions, ethics, and considerations for the feelings of others to take into account. That's the issue, isn't it?
Frequent sexual and romantic thoughts and desires are, for better or worse, a routine part of being human. People can fall into love, lust, or desire readily. (They can fall out of those things too, fairly readily.) I am constantly reminded in my work about how prevalent, but far from universal, recreational sex is among the young, and among older singles. (No, I am not one who views sex as sacramental but more as an animal aspect of humanity with an overlay, so to speak, of a hundred other meanings. In my youth, I think I was too sentimental, religious, soulful, respectful - and controlled - to ever have been a party girl. Some regrets? Not saying. My fantasies are exciting, but private.)
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
Charlie Allnut: … it's only human nature.
Rose Sayer: Nature, Mr. Allnut, is what we are put in this world to rise above.
From "African Queen" (1951)
I would suggest that sex is religious but I'm afraid I may get yelled at.
I attend to my devotions as often as I can, but getting older, much older...
I appreciate your reluctance, Doc. That's as it should be; we don't need to know.
Levinas has a good phenomology of eros as an appendix to Totality and Infinity, that shows it's a little beyond an animal need.
It gets informed by humanity, you could say.
It's online with missing pages via google books. huge url
I'd add that it's a male point of view; the female experience I am told is different.
One important thing I'd add is that an orgasm is something the guy has to do by himself, and it seems a priori like it ought to be shared.
Unless it can lead to a child. Then it's not alone.
A lot of the mystery that comes about by wiring that makes no sense corresponds poetically to the future and the child.
Sex is important for good mental health, as a means of keeping the body calm and encouraging a healthy, happy marriage. I admit I don't draw greater lessons from sex than that, but its a lot to me.
It is not really so that in the old days people married younger. They did in some cultures. Mid 20th-C America saw a drop in average marriage aage, but not enormous. Northwestern Europeans have been delaying marriage for centuries, compared to the rest of the world. They seem to have done alright for themselves for that. See Hajnal Line http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hajnal_line
depends on how far back you go.
Go back to say the middle ages and you will find marriage and childbirth common in the early teens.
Of course you'd also find that people in their 30s were considered old, and few lived into their late 50s.
The special attention given to the 50th birthday in western culture is a remnant of that. It was very special to make it that far.
Similarly with setting the retirement age and thus the age at which you can draw a pension at 65 (which happened much later, in the early to mid 20th century). So few people made it to that age that it was a nice political red herring, and cost the government very little money while they could now campaign on "helping the poor old people from falling into poverty".
Considering that the CDC has declared that gonorrhea is on the verge of being incurable, a little education and caution is the order of the day now.
I've found sex much more deeply satisfying when treated more incrementally versus casually.
There is a lot of potential psychological and physical harm to young promiscuous sexual activity, particularly girls.
Our culture loves to celebrate the 'freedom' of recreational sex but rarely mentions the risks.
Isn't the primary point of a properly ordered transcendental religion such as orthodox Christianity to call us to something higher than simply follow our basic animal urges?
Purely for research, I took your recommendation and searched "kitchen table sex." Then my wife wandered into the office ... "Hey, what are you ... WHAT IS THAT??" Thanks a lot. OK, honest time. "I didn't know you could to that!"
"There is a lot of potential psychological and physical harm to young promiscuous sexual activity, particularly girls."
I have to ask, why particularly girls? I think that in general women use sex to get what they want so therefore they resent sex that they had which didn't get them what they wanted. Therefore they claim regrets and psychological harm because it gives them the high ground. The media reinforces the cultural beliefs that shame woman who have sex and this also contributes to the desire for women to after the fact deny any pleasure or happiness with having had sex.
Well, you may have the answer in your question. If women use sex to procure something else, popularity, social acceptance, etc., the impact of can be more deeply felt than if the sex is purely personally recreational.
And, even if intellectually accepted and/or desired, female sex involves a lot more acceptance of another inside their bodies, which is about as personal as it gets.
Let's face it, all sex, marital or otherwise, that is not specifically designed for procreation is recreational sex for one or both individuals. Wait, it's all modern now, change that to "one or more partners".
And historically, sex came before marriage, even in times of intense religious emphasis on marriage before sex. I found a sex practices in America survey book from the 17th century. It covered the 1690s in, I believe, Massachusetts, published in just after the turn of the 1700s. Skipping over the humor that they used church records as their source material, I skimmed it to find a lot of entries of basically a young couple confessing to fornication, usually while holding the evidence in the young woman's arms. Most were married when this confession happened, but apparently not long enough.
We kind of think through the mythology of the Puritans and others in that area in that time, that pre-marital sex wouldn't be so prevalent. We think wrong.
I'm surprised you stretched the thread that way, Hardin. You know better.
"My fantasies are exciting, but private.)"
Always the tease.
It certainly works.
Babies are the consequence of recreational sex. Since time immemorial such has caused consternation. Empires to small families. Only now, in the 'modern' age, have we 'legitimized' the results of same, by abortion. No one need ever know.
Some strains of Gonorrhea are becoming resistant to anti-biotics. It seems to me that by the time you know your partner long enough to trust them enough with your health, your time for "casual sex" is over.
My father was the doctor who gave the VD talks at my high school. I never had a chance to have a "normal childhood"!