Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Sex, and Why It's Bad For You.

"Sex without love is an empty experience. But as far as empty experiences go, it's one of the best"
-Woody Allen

In my opinion, it is not quite so innocuous as that. Casual sex, sex without personal and socially sanctioned commitment between the partners, can be dangerous and evil. This is true for many reasons, and here I present one:

Behavior is inertial; even if we don't make any choices or exert will, we still engage in behavior. If I'm hungry, it takes more effort, and is therefore more of an activity, to refrain from eating than to eat. In such a case non-behavior is more active than behavior. One's default behavior in a given class of circumstances is a habit. Habits can be changed by an experience or by thinking, but the most effective way to change one's habits is by willful action in opposition to the habit in the given circumstance-class. This will be called changing one's pattern of behavior.

For most people, whether by nature or nurture, sex is by default a powerful connective mechanism reinforcing a very close relationship. Even if this is not the only default position, I would argue that it is possible for the sexual relationship to have this effect, and one ought to still retain openness for it when possible. To lose this ability is a great loss.

Say I want to engage sexually with this woman with whom I do not hold a commited relationship. Either (1) I do not want a commited relationship with her, or (2) I do, but have not (yet) developed one.

If (1): Fine, we're two consenting adults, so what's the problem? Being that by default I should feel this close bond, if I am not to feel it - which is my intention in this case - I have to actively change my habit to this association. I have to dissociate in my mind and life the close tie between sex and commited love. The result is a change in my pattern of behavior. I slowly lose my habit for associating sex with love. The terrible consequence is that down the road it will be more difficult to create a good, real, meaningful, commited sexual relationship.

If (2): Either (A) I think it's appropriate to commit to her, or (B) I don't yet know if it is appropriate.

If (2-A): Then put your money where your mouth is and commit to her with the sanction of the law. Take the appropriate steps and you're in the clear. This argument only objects to casual sex.

If (2-B). then either

(I) It isn't an appropriate relationship. The sex will, by default we argue, make me like her and want to commit to her. If we stay together, then, we will be stuck in a bad relationship, and I'll find it out hard when the flourish fades. If we do not, then I am ever more likely to dissociate sex with commited love. 

(II) It is an appropriate relationship. These often don't work out either. If it does not, then if I had already been having sex with her, not only will that tend to the dissociation of sex with commited love, but probably more so than in any of the other cases, because it will advance a cynicism: "I though that this sex was a token of great love and commitment, but it's all loss and a waste of time."

If it does work out in (2-B-II), then what can I say? Lucky you.


kisarita said...
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kisarita said...
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kisarita said...
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