February 2008

Addressing a few apparent misconceptions and concerns from the sex post:

  • All of this should assume "…given the full agreement and consent and participation of my partner, with whom I have fully discussed all the potential issues, pitfalls, and dangers, and who is still keen." Manipulation, coercion, exploitation, use and abuse are all completely uncool. Look, I'm not a selfish person, I would want what's best for my partner too. Principle of least harm, okay?

  • This isn't attempting to be a "should I have sex with X?" flowchart, this is just my attempt to think through some of the more glaring moral issues I can see. There are quite obviously whole swathes of things I haven't even considered, and which I would consider in that situation. (Or which I have been considering, but didn't fit easily in the original piece.)

  • I'm not saying everyone is incomplete without sex – Greg is correct, some people seem to do just fine without. All I'm saying is (in an intentionally vague manner), I feel incomplete without some way to (healthily) express my sexuality. Come on, I thought we were post-moderns? Subjective personal experience is all that matters, right?

  • There's another whole question in there; that of how we relate to our (supposedly God-given) genetic heritage – the "animal bits." Traditionally, Christianity says "spirit good, flesh bad," but I think that's pretty destructive and (here it is again) gnostic.

  • Jim raises an interesting point in asking: what should we expect to get out of sex? Is it about me getting my rocks off, or two people sharing a moment, or both, or something else? I set up a physical/spiritual dichotomy, but I really did completely leave out the emotional and mental, both of which need to be considered. These were outside the scope of the piece, but are important questions nonetheless.

Nato commented:

First thought; just just because someone says that an aspect of behavior is wrong, doesn't mean they are gnostic. For example, most Christians see sex as not wrong in the context of marriage, so clearly it's not simply a matter of spirit good, flesh bad.

A thought I had while reading today's article in the press about polyamory. If sex isn't a one to one bond, then should we have an issue with one person having multiple partners concurrently? Is having multiple partners consecutively really that different to having multiple partners concurrently? I am thinking there would be a different, if each consecutive relationship had the aim of being exclusive. Perhaps. Anyway, it's something worth thinking about.