Join Date: Jun 2009
Ruminations about sex and some other stuff
As a child in church, I was taught that we should be selfless and that "things of the flesh and of this Earth" are sinful. Things like "love of money," too. If you are rich, it's really difficult to get into heaven, like trying to get a camel through the eye of a needle. And, of course, sex is baaaaad. Especially lusting in the heart for a woman (like Carter admitted doing). If you even think about that stuff, you should feel guilty, guilty, guilty.
I felt guilty a lot. (Okay, not so much)
In church, I was taught that man cannot get his moral beliefs himself, rationally. He must get that from God, and God wants us to be selfless and practice self-sacrifice. But sex in marriage (God ordained) is allowed.
Then I went off to college. I was there when the hippies arrived. It has been advertised as a revolution, but it was not really. Their big thing was drugs, sex, anti-capitalism, collectivism, and protests. Revolt for the sake of revolt. The hippies never rejected the fundamentals of their parents' morality. In fact, they were into them even more. If we are supposed to be selfless and to practice self-sacrifice, shouldn't the govt be compelling everyone to do that? And isn't that capitalistic profit motive pretty evil also?
And what about sex? Well, the hippies could see no reason for those antiquated views about sex being evil, etc., so they got into the free love stuff. I mean, if you are going to be radical, revolutionary, and rebellious, what better way to do it?
Basically, kids coming out of high school and into college were faced with the choice of praying and abstaining with the Christians or partying with the communists. (Remember the movie Animal House?)
Plus, they no longer had their parents around to watch them.
And they did have their leftist professors around to "enlighten" them.
Plus, the Christian ethic required them to go to work after graduation, which was not nearly as cool as saving the world from their would be capitalist employer-oppressors.
But the question I had about all this is how does any self-respecting selfless humanitarian hippie engage in selfless sex. Years ago, I started a thread here on Too Hot about this very question. And our resident leftist here then, the famous PD, undertook to explain that and to ridicule and condemn my Objectivist view that sex is the most selfish thing one can do.
As you can imagine, the thread attracted a lot of attention and ran on. TH was lightly moderated then ( if at all), and I can't repeat some of the things that were written. But I do remember asking PD if selfless sex meant doing it with honkers out of pity, suffering during the act, and some things like that. You know, being selfless like you were giving stuff to derelicts and bums and getting nothing in return.
Of course, by then I had learned from Rand that sex was an expression of self-esteem, that it essentially is something to be earned, a celebration between people who are somebodies, as with the heroes in her novels, selfishly.
Thinking about sex like this explains a lot.
Like pedophile priests, Jimmy Swaggart, and Jim Bakker. Religious people who preach one thing while doing something else. When people are taught from birth that engaging normal bodily functions is evil and made to feel guilty about it, especially something as powerful as sex, it is going to cause psychological damage, I have no doubt. And what about the idea of original sin, the notion that you are born into sin and are a depraved, sinful creature by your nature? How much damage can that have been causing over the centuries?
But about the hippies.
What sort of fulfillment were they getting from sex?
IMO, virtually nothing.
They had no self-esteem to express.
Which is why they treat the subject with such a cavalier attitude, so unseriously.
For a rational person, the fulfillment of sex is something that has been earned and is a very serious subject. It's a celebration between people who are somebodies.
Not to be shared with others or treated with diffidence.