This will be an unusual sort of “assorted” piece: one with a unifying theme. I trust you’ll allow me my little innovation.
In case you haven’t noticed, sex is now one of the most heavily politicized subjects in the history of the United States. Both the “doing” and the “being” are now political subjects – with right and wrong answers for each, according to which major political family one mentions. This is, not to put too fine a point on it, a very bad thing.
Feminism has completely slipped its cams, as we can see from Robert Stacy McCain’s ongoing coverage of their various lunacies. However, this is partially counterbalanced by a strange resurgence of revulsion toward sex among some sectors of the Right, as if one extreme were somehow evoking the other.
Few palliatives would do as much to lower our national blood pressure as the complete depoliticization of sex – i.e., returning it to something parents educate their kids about, and the rest of us fumble with in private. But as sex has been a major recruitment tool for the Left since the advent of oral contraception, that’s unlikely to happen within the lifetimes of Americans now living.
Sexual repression is an important tool of Islamic jihadism:
We know the recipe for creating a psychopath: You take their normal sexual interests and you pervert them by telling them what is normal is sick and wicked.
You confuse them sexually, and then all that sexual energy, diverted from its normal healthy channels, seeks another outlet for expression.
Tell men that women are dirty, filthy whores created by Satan to mislead them and you'll create men who are attracted to the innocence of 13 year old girls. (And 13 year old boys.)
Psychic energy, like all other energy, can neither be created nor destroyed; it can only be changed from one form to another.
This is an important insight, though not an absolutely new one:
'Haven't you gotten it through your head yet that the whole "pariah" notion is this tyranny's scapegoat mechanism that every tyranny requires?'
'Shut up. Take sex away from people. Make it forbidden, evil, limit it to ritualistic breeding. Force it to back up into suppressed sadism. Then hand the people a scapegoat to hate. Let them kill a scapegoat occasionally for cathartic, release. The mechanism is ages old. Tyrants used it centuries before the word "psychology" was ever invented. It works, too.'
There’s so much sublimated aggression in the sex act that the conversion of sexual energy into actual violence is a one-step process – really, no trouble at all. But we wouldn’t have expected anything complex from a gaggle of seventh-century savages.
Marriage, the most important social institution of all time, has its origin in the concept of sexual responsibility: i.e., responsibility for one’s dependents, both acquired and begotten. The man assumed responsibility for his wife and his children by her; the woman assumed responsibility for the nurturing of the children and was abjured against producing children by a man other than her husband. In a sense, the marital contract was the birth of the idea that one is responsible for the consequences of one’s actions. Inversely, the contract proclaimed that one cannot rightly be held responsible for something he did not do.
Much of Western moral and ethical thought descends directly from the responsibility ethic embedded in the traditional marital contract...which is probably why the Left has been hostile toward marriage throughout its history and seeks to degrade it to meaninglessness with “same-sex marriage.”
Sex and love are separate phenomena. The relationships that intertwine them don’t magically transform one into the other.
Sex is a biological function. We’re designed to want it, to seek sex partners and enjoy their bodies. However, men and women differ markedly in the incentives buried in our genes and psyches. Men have an innate incentive to “scatter the seed,” whereas women have a natural inclination toward securing a protector-provider by offering sex in recompense. This cannot change without radically altering the natures of the sexes.
Love is an emotional response to another person one deems worthy of a deep commitment. It elevates the well-being of the other to a plane equal to one’s own. Clearly there can be sex without love, and love without sex. But less clear is how and when humans learned to love. (I doubt we needed to “learn” sex, other than its reproductive consequences.) It’s hard for me to imagine love among nonsentients, however charming their instinctual behaviors toward their young often appear.
The motif I employed in this novel notwithstanding, I remain firmly convinced that the unit of two – the monogamous heterosexual marriage – is the unit best suited to human beings. The responsibilities involved are perfectly clear, whereas larger groups tend to exhibit all sorts of murky ambiguities, with concomitant instabilities of loyalty and affection. “Big Love” is merely a misspelling of “Unreliable Commitments.”
That having been said, there are cases about which I am uncertain. If the Old Testament is trustworthy on this subject, God did allow polygamy to the Hebrews while they wandered in the desert seeking Israel. However, much of the Old Testament is not trustworthy – a collage of morally edifying stories and allegories rather than a factual history of the Jewish people – so on this, my “jury” remains undecided. In particular, should the human lifespan be extended to hundreds or thousands of years, it is unclear whether traditional monogamous heterosexual marriage would survive. But perhaps that won’t come to pass, which would render the subject moot.
To close, allow me a small joke:
“Where ya been, Garth?
“Oh. What did the preacher talk about?”
“Well? What did he say?”
“He’s for it.”
I feel the same way about sex. But remember to take appropriate precautions:
- Your partner should be a member of the opposite sex – a willing member.
- Do not consume garlic, beans, or a large quantity of beer beforehand;
- Do not begin until you have obtained privacy for yourselves. (Yes, that includes foreplay.)
- Make certain the area is free of weapons, fragile objects, and dangerous detritus.
- Most critically: if your partner is a new acquaintance, say her name to yourself several times before beginning.
That is all.
(P.S.: Under no circumstances say, “I’ve never done it that way before!” You won’t be believed.)