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The taboo of sex

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Harbringer, Jun 5, 2007.

  1. Eran of Arcadia

    Eran of Arcadia Stormin' Mormon Retired Moderator

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    Marriage is about more than regulating sex (just as sex is about more than pleasure). In fact, it was to some degree about regulating sex for its reproductive abilities (as in, it was reassuring to be able to know whose kids were whose.)
     
  2. Bozo Erectus

    Bozo Erectus Master Baker

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    Yes I know, 'love'. Love within marriage is expressed through sex. A marriage isnt consumated until sex has taken place. Sex outside of the marriage is forbidden. A marriage license amounts to issuing a couple a permit to have sex, but only with each other, and only in certain, agreed upon ways.
    Marriage is an artifact of culture. I highly doubt that man in his natural state is naturally monogamous. The institution of marriage is about enabling the social hierarchy to maintain strict control of the 'tribe'.
     
  3. Eran of Arcadia

    Eran of Arcadia Stormin' Mormon Retired Moderator

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    Actually, if monogamy were so unusual to the human condition it is quite unlikely that societies would have developed it, given that society is made up of humans. And when I said marriage was about more than love, I was referring primarily to economics.
     
  4. Bozo Erectus

    Bozo Erectus Master Baker

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    Eran, its all about power. The hand that rules the world isnt the one who rocks the cradle, its the one that controls how people are allowed to get babies in to the cradle. The way you do that is by controlling how people have sex.

    If the pleasure of sex was free of restrictions, then people would be free, and there would be anarchy. The traditional family unit is the most basic building block that makes up our social order. Loosen the controls and the society itself comes undone, along with its power structure, needless to say.
     
  5. Eran of Arcadia

    Eran of Arcadia Stormin' Mormon Retired Moderator

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    Well, maybe monogamy is about power (I think it is more, but it is that to a degree) but even so, it is still in that sense "natural" - humans are social animals, the links we form are part of us just as a herd is a natural thing for, say, a horse.
     
  6. C~G

    C~G Untouchable

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    Even pack of wolves have rules who can mate with who so why not with humans?

    In general the taboo towards sex was develop to be able to control who gets children with who and who is able to provide for them. So It's also an issue of power and control. Some where along the line societies have developed such thing as monogamy as best form creating safe enviroment for the inviduals inside the family (parents, children) that can take care of each other. Also such units are more easier to control from the society's point of view.

    But like already said there's also bunch of other reasons as well as sexually transmitted diseases and also jealousy that could lead into destruction of community. Probably I would imagine sexuality (lust) was seen as force that could lead into other evil acts so it's no wonder female sexuality has been thought to be notorius. Since of course there cannot be nothing wrong if man gets lusty, it's just natural! This view is also reflected in todays society in many ways.

    There are clear reason for the development of sexual morals when it comes not only to the survivability of invidual but also for the community itself. Sometimes these (or quite often nowadays) these two ends clash with each other.

    Personally I would be extremely careful choosing my words considering whether monogamy for human being is natural. Even some experts seem to disagree about it mainly because it's hard to look the behaviour of inviduals millions of years back. Only people can do is read about some old texts (which aren't that old) or try to percept behaviour currently but it's clear that current culture also affects these studies to reflect more of current reality than the "natural state of the man". In fact I would say there has never been "natural state of the man" without culture. Before man there was no man and when man started developing culture, he became man which is at the same time his "natural state".
     
  7. Eran of Arcadia

    Eran of Arcadia Stormin' Mormon Retired Moderator

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    Indeed, what we consider "society" and culture and its rules and standards are compared to the history of humanity, very new. Our last common ancestor of another living species lived about 6 million years ago; who knows what we were doing then? But there seems to be some genetic basis for monogamy.
     
  8. aneeshm

    aneeshm Chieftain

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    I'd dispute that point.

    Have you ever read the Mahabharat? Or any of the Puranas?
     
  9. Bozo Erectus

    Bozo Erectus Master Baker

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    Is it a coincidence that the most important task the human animal peforms, reproduction, is inextricably bound to the most intense physical pleasure humans are able to experience? Is it a coincidence that cultures attempt to strictly control this powerful force? Sexual pleasure is the WMD of biology. Control it, and you have power.

    As C~G says, all animals have controls on who can mate, and under what circumstances. Im talking specifically about monogamy and the sexual taboos. Monogamy isnt the only way to control how people have sex. Humans in the natural state are most likely like other mammals. A powerful Alpha male or males have sole access to all of the females in the troop, and the younger, less powerful males sneak whatever they can get when the Alpha males are distracted. You can still see echoes of that to a certain extent in humans.
     
  10. C~G

    C~G Untouchable

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    That is partly true but rest is pure speculation.

    Males can always form new groups to challenge alpha males inisde the group and there's also problem how to win the trust of females in that respect since the carrying/nurturing time of completely helpless child is long. If you aren't able to provide for the child, you might not get another look from the female.

    Mating habits of different species of primates vary greatly. I'm willing to think that humans have the tendency to pick whatever mating strategy bets fits them. I think that's why varying degress of sexuality is present in human behaviour. Whether it leans towards monogamy or not, I have no idea. Problem isn't only natural urge for parenthood but as mentioned also the need for sexual pleasure and "human touch".

    I think one of the things missing here is that we're too concerned about some kind of lustful sex while the actual answer might lie in the fact for human need of human tenderness and care. The ability to feel and give love, psychological aspects of our being are probably quite important which we sometimes forget and concentrate into just to the primitive sides of human beings while talking about sex. I guess the "taboo of sex"-thought also still affects us as we seem to think it as some kind of dirty pleasure. Or maybe it is just our primitive mammal male organ that does the talking.
     
  11. Rambuchan

    Rambuchan The Funky President

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    I read the first when I was a teenager, and it does deal with my earlier comments about sex and social groupings (the politics of family interractions if you will). But in the post you've quoted I was referring to previous western societies, which were much touchier about sex and choice of partners.
     
  12. Bozo Erectus

    Bozo Erectus Master Baker

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    There are no varying degrees of sexuality. What varies is how that sexuality is allowed to be expressed. Monogamy is one way.

    Most of the sex taking place in the world at this moment among humans is strictly for pleasure.

    Human tenderness, caring and lust are all part of the same thing: ensuring that DNA is passed on.

    Theyre important, yes, because theyre part of the sexual reproductive drive. Theres nothing 'primitive' about sex.
    A human who grows up in complete isolation from other humans wont have any concept of sexual 'taboos'. Those are strictly a byproduct of culture. A 'raw' human being only knows what feels good.
     
  13. aneeshm

    aneeshm Chieftain

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    It's quite funny, but consensual sexual relations were recognised as a valid form of commitment in ancient India. It was even called a form of marriage - the Gandharva form. People should look it up before passing judgements on their own societies as somehow "immoral".
     
  14. C~G

    C~G Untouchable

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    Nope.
    Each invidual has their own sex drive and some of use refer more sex while others less and we also have preferences whether it's male, female, both, not forgetting such things as positions. Our bodies are also all different. Some are more sensitive than others etc.
    Or by your definition we are all the same and it's social pressure that causes us to seek certain kinds of relationships?
    I don't think so. This doesn't mean social pressure doesn't have affect to it thought.
    It depends what you mean by pleasure. If you mean only physical aspects of it, you're on wrong track.
    In my theory it ain't. Originally the purpose was just that (primary purpose) but it has already gained (possible because of behavioral agents) such meaning as social bonding (secondary purpose) and I believe it's very important part of how human psyche is constructed. We need touch even if it doesn't prepare for us for the sexual act itself.
    The DNA factor is for biologist-psychicalist-greedy-reductionists that see everything as passing of DNA. Dawkins even though otherwise very well aware of things is prime example of this. It's like nothing that human does has any meaning but to carry these small pieces of ourselves. It's important part if not the most important part but there's more.
    But over time during evolution there will be born other forms actions that not only affect the survivability of one's DNA but also one's own experience of selfness and one's own community (by bonding).
    The reprodution drive of "let's just get jiggy with it" is the primitive side.
    Of course. But each invidual is different on this and also the society affects all of us. We could say that human living in complete isolation hasn't lived in natural enviroment for humans at all since humans are social animals. Therefore his sexual drive might be geared towards completely differently compared to other humans living in social enviroment. This is why studying the subject is hard as the natural state of human is have culture that defines part of him."
    In fact it was common courtesy in some European countries some centuries ago for upper class men and women have a recognised lover or two.
    Nothing immoral about it, it's simple social contract like marriage.
     
  15. aneeshm

    aneeshm Chieftain

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    That wasn't it, actually.

    Marriage was a sacrament, not a contract, and consummation of a consensual sexual act was one way of consecrating it.

    Really weird from a Christian POV, I know, but perfectly natural if you consider that the people who came up with this system actually knew and accepted human nature.
     
  16. Leonel

    Leonel Breakfast Connoisseur

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    What I think is the cause of it (and take this with a grain of salt) is that if you go around having sex with lots of girls, you MIGHT hook up with a girl that will try to trap you with a baby and try to get your money or child support. So I guess ultimately it's to prevent you from getting 'screwed', pun intended. ;)
     
  17. Kosez

    Kosez Sitting Wool

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    Well that's simply not true.
    Mommy and daddy are invention of some societies. In others they have other forms of families. Polygamy, polyandry, etc...
    Children are tabula rasa, it doesn't really matter to them who cares for them and who loves them. More the better though.
     
  18. King Alexander

    King Alexander Universe explorer

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    I was only reffering -with my bad english usage- to the various priests and monks( who''re the ones that dictate with their words/actions what a society must/must not do, and therefore, I consider them responsible for the "side effects" on society, etc... and not to "simple" religious people(as I've said, there're various reasons for people seeing sex as a taboo).

    And since you mentioned it, yes, I'll also add that, imho, another reason for an x society to see sex(or, say, alcohol) as a taboo, is, as you wrote, "people who genuinely believe that pre-marital sex is taboo because of their faith", but don't forget who is the real reason for this(first paragraph).

    Thing is, one must study when and why pre-marital sex was considered a taboo, and in which societies(and I mean what reasons/circumstances exactly led it to being a taboo; a "reason" isn't considered what books and priests/gods said - I'm talking about how a historian would study it, behind the myths/scenes and from the society's point of view).
    It's one thing to not want/like anymore, things like the orgies an x society did and other older bad usages of sex as an act, and another to completely go to the other side and just forbid one of the most natural human needs with the excuse that a divine being "just said so/wants to".

    I'm not sure this is true for every era and age and for every ancient society.
     
  19. Bozo Erectus

    Bozo Erectus Master Baker

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    I wasnt speaking about individuals, I meant humanity in general, and comparisons between cultures. Different cultures express the same basic human sexuality differently.
    Most of the time people have sex because its pleasurable, not because they want to have kids. This much is obvious because people have alot more sex than they do children. The pleasure of sex is to make sure we keep having sex, because then its more likely that people will continue being born. Without getting to R rated, the sexual reproductive act is a very specific thing, which is highly unlikely we would be doing if it didnt feel so good.
    Of course, all higher animals need touching. Our nervous systems are wired that way, because of sex.
    We can attach whatever meanings we want to it, whichever ones make us happy. It doesnt matter, the reality is that its ultimately about the DNA being passed on. You could say "I pay my taxes because I love my country" that might make you feel good, but the reality is that you pay taxes because you have to, not because you love to.

    Enjoying the physical act of sexual intercourse is 'primitive'? Whats 'modern' then?

    What I said would apply equally to a large group of humans raised in isolation from all cultural input. Over time, theyd inevitably develop their own set of taboos, but they wouldnt have any initially.
     
  20. C~G

    C~G Untouchable

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    OK.
    Yes, yes. But you aren't paying attention.
    Because sex is pleasurable those animals that are aware this will continue have sex even without the possibility of getting pregnant. You probably agree on this. But my point is that this will create secondary behaviour based into simple fact that it creates bonds between people and is pleasurable which in turn affects further the community we live in.
    Well it depends whether you consider the touch of your mother being sex...
    But we are aware that it doesn't get passed on. The original purpose of sex is of course reproduction but it doesn't mean it's the only purpose as you have said yourself which dictates our behaviour towards it.
    Well as you said we wouldn't preproduce if it wouldn't be instinctively pleasurable but additionally humans attach numerous behaviour attitudes towards sex which in turn can cause sex being example unpleasurable.
    We could say that the primitive part is just enjoying ones company and flying your doodles in two seconds and that's it. Both probably enjoyed it I'm sure. It's nothing but physical action and basically it doesn't matter who the other party is as long as the deal is done. That's the primitive side that most of the mammals probably do as well.
    But the problem is that soon as they grow up they start to create that cultural output by themselves as they cannot possible otherwise deal with each other. This is what I'm talking about. Human without culture isn't an human. Of course they wouldn't develop same kind of taboos as us but it would depend from the circumstances just like other cultures do currently. Cultures change data within themselves and with others and do what they believe is best for their survival. It can lead everything of course to utter destruction. Who knows, if we all would have sex with each other (including you and me) we might be ten times more happy and world might be brighter place for all. So let's get rid of all our taboos and find our inner and outer selves one's and for all!

    Sexual taboos (as all moral codes) are rules that societies and cultures believe to benefit them in the long run, this may apply to invidual too or not.

    But in general I believe we are in some sort of agreement, it is just we talk about bit of different things really.
     

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