I have been thinking about sex a lot lately. I know many of you have too, but I have been thinking more specifically about sexuality. I have been struggling with how to determine what is right and wrong with sex, when and how people have sex, and the circumstances surrounding having sex. I know my view hasn’t been correct but do not want to change just for the sake of change. I want to find a reasonable way to determine the truth about healthy sexual behavior.
I know I have not been able to see clearly on the matter. My whole life I was taught a very Christian fundamentalist view toward sex. Sex was only for a married man and woman. It was for procreation and relationship building for such couples only. Anything outside of that was sin.
Within the married heterosexual model sex was sacred and anything too deviant was certainly wrong as well. Things here were never really defined for me. There was not a set of guideline to show me what sex acts were right or wrong and why they were right or wrong. But I was taught that any sex that was not beautiful and loving and happy was wrong. Any sexual act that did not fit into a God-approved model was wrong.
So, let me give some example of what I was taught.
Masturbation was definitely wrong. That cannot procreate and there is no one to build a relationship with other than yourself. If you are only gratifying your self then it must be a big sin.
Anal sex had to be wrong. No procreation and it was invented by perverse homosexuals. It was wrong on the same grounds as rock music, because it was the devil’s corruption and mockery of God’s beautiful gift.
Anything having to do with S&M was wrong. If you must associate pain with sex then you are unfulfilled as a person. You seek to fill your desires without God’s blessing and it has messed up your mind. Sex is a loving thing and is only perfect when it shared in a soft, loving manner.
No one ever told me oral sex is bad. You cannot procreate with it. Unless, I suppose, the female is very flexible and has other oral talents that would be quite unique. Even then it would be a long shot on getting pregnant. Anyways, I was not told oral sex was bad. I guess because it was too good to put on the naughty list.
There are more examples but I think you understand the mindset I have lived with my whole life.
Well, I want to understand my own thoughts and views on sex. I want to find the truth. I want reasonable definitions of what is right. I want to discuss it intelligently with others and I want to be able to distinguish between what is wrong from what I don’t like. To me that concept is a SUPER BIG DEAL. Just because I like something does not make it right and just because I don’t like something does not make it wrong. Most of the world I see gets that wrong to some degree.
So, I have come up with a way for me to understand sex and I am going to explain my thoughts here. I realize I may be wrong and am not convinced this is my long-term stance on sexuality. I am open to comments, rebuttals, and whatever else you have to say on the matter.
Sex is a natural, inborn desire. So is eating and so is sleeping. I have decided to look at them the same way and see what that is like.
Some people like many different foods. Some people are picky and do not like variation. Some folks even eat the same things everyday. Some people like a varietiy of sexual positions and acts. Some are picky and only like a few. There are even a few who only like it one way.
Some people sleep in the same position all the time. Some do not. Most have their favorite position. Some only find it comfortable sleeping in bed. Other can enjoy sleeping in a variety of places. Some even like to sleep anywhere they get a chance. I think if you replace “sleep/sleeping” with “having sex” and that statement makes just as much sense.
Some people eat very natural foods. They like different tastes but do not like processed food or do not like spicy hot foods. Habanero peppers for example would bring pain to many who consumed them. Other adventurous people, while they might like the traditional foods really prefer their food hot and spicy. Again, some are not satisfied unless their food is extreme. It must be hot. I have seen people who carry hot sauce with them in case they are offered food that isn’t hot enough. I liken this to S&M sexual acts. Some might find it painful but it is the preference for others.
Some people enjoy eating alone and cooking their own meals. I think most people would rather share their dining experience with someone else. Many people have shared a meal with someone they found absolutely fascinating and it made that meal so much better. Same with sex.
Some people cherish sleep. They often have good dreams and pleasant thoughts while sleeping. Others dread sleep and are haunted by bad thoughts, nightmares, or even night terrors. Often those sleep patterns are a part of life circumstances that shaped us as humans. Some people like sex, find it pleasant to think about, and have magnificent thoughts during sex. Other dread sex or even find it repulsing. They do not have enjoyable thoughts during sex.
Some people over eat, but some eat to little. Some people eat too much then purge themselves of their indulgence. Many who do feel guilty about that cycle. Some people are consumed with having sex. Others rarely have sex. Some people feel guilty because they have had too many sexual partners or feel they have experimented too much with sex.
Often times couples desire different types of food. Often one partner will desire to eat more than the other. Two people will find their eating habits and desires are just as diverse as their sexual habits.
There are many more examples, but I think you get my point. So let’s get to my, at least for now, definitions of good sex and bad sex. (Those don’t seem like the right terms, but I imagine that is just the tip of what is wrong in my thinking here.)
Sex, like food and sleep, is natural.
You should never force someone else to eat if they don’t desire to eat, sleep when they don’t desire to sleep, or have sex when they don’t desire to have sex. An exception might be if they would suffer or die from a lack of one of those activities. I cannot think of a time where someone might die if they did not have sex soon.
Your taste in food and taste in sexual expression is no better or worse than anyone else’s (Except in the case of mental unwellness). You should not try to make others eat only what you eat or only participate in sex in only the same ways you participate in sex. You should not make people sleep in the same pattern as you or have sex in the same pattern as you.
When you see others eating you have no right to judge what they eat, how they eat, or who they eat with. Same goes for sex.
If some people find watching the chefs prepare exotic foods and fanciful dishes for pleasure you should not look down on them. It is fine for someone enjoy the idea that they might be able to prepare or enjoy food that isn’t realistic in their day to day life. It is fine for someone to desire a sleeping schedule they cannot work into their life. The same principle for both ideas here apply to sex.
Children do not have the same appetite for food. Their bodies cannot properly digest certain foods at younger ages. (Newborns, for example, cannot eat table food.) They do not have an understanding of nutrition or healthy eating habits. Children should not consume foods that are too spicy or consume alcohol. Those items have effects on the human body and can effect growth and mental development. Children are incapable of making fully informed and proper decisions regarding their health. Likewise, children should not partake in sexual activities until their bodies and minds are developed and prepared for it. They cannot understand the effects on their bodies and minds at least until they pass into puberty.
It is important that we teach children about proper nutrition, eating habits, and about all that goes into preparing healthy and safe food. We should teach them that different cultures eat different types of food and have different ways of dealing with food preparation and consumption. The same is true for sex and sexuality.
Some people abuse food, some abuse sleep, and some abuse sex. We know that mental illness can cause someone to eat things that are very harmful to their body and mind. I have seen TV shows where people eat paint or Styrofoam or other toxic things. I also know that mental illness can cause someone to try to harm others with food. That is not uncommon if someone suffers from Munchausen By Proxy. Mental illness might also cause someone to be a petophile. We should not allow people to hurt one another with food or sex. We should help anyone who suffers from any unhealthy behavior caused my mental illness. That includes eating disorders, sleeping disorders, and sexual disorders. We do not have a cure for all mental disorders and some people will never be completely healthy in one or more of these areas.
If consenting adults, who understand the potential risks and consequences, decide to over indulge in food consumption together or eat potentially dangerous food they should be free to do so as long as it does not stand in the way of others consuming the food they wish to eat or effect their ability to eat it in the manner they wish to eat it. (* I understand that things like “If a person eats to obesity they cause insurance companies to charge everyone higher rates to cover their health” and other matters that might counter this point. I think those arguments are more for a discussion on libertinism and politics.) If consenting adults participate in potentially harmful sex and are aware of the consequences they should be allowed to do so in their own private life. We don’t blink twice when people eat in an equally unhealthy manner.
We should stop putting stigmas and negative labels on people or activities just because we don’t like them. If someone chooses to be a vegetarian they should not be chastised or considered weird for fulfilling their natural desire to eat in a specific way. Just like if a woman chooses to have safe, protected sex with many consenting adult (male or female or other) she should not be labeled a slut.
Homosexual desires are no less valid than heterosexual desires.
I see no reason why a man cannot have 5 wives if the six of them all agree it is what they wish.
I think society and religion have caused us to be biased against many things that may be quite natural. I think many aspects of nudity are good examples of this.
I think we should continue to learn more about healthy sleep, diet, and sexuality. I think we should teach our children more about healthy habits in all 3 areas. I think if we did not treat varieties of behavior as bad or evil when they are truly just different from our world view we would be better off.
I think if we did learn and teach more about sexuality we might find that many adverse effects of sex are actually just a false guilt that has been taught. Society has used sex and sexual desires as a tool to judge or control people.
I do not mean to say that all my analogies are perfect or even correct. I really am trying to make the point that sexual desires are just as natural as sleep and hunger. I know they aren’t the exact same, but they are similar and should be viewed similarly.
I cannot imagine what the world would be like if we tried to control everything people ate or thought about in regards to food. It seems silly to say everyone who frequents adult entertainment establishments are perverts and only seeking to indulge their fleshly desires, but people who frequent fast food establishments are not.