That is right and natural when it comes to human sexuality and relationships? Because of the way cultural norms and mores so severely affect our beliefs in these areas, some of my favorite topics of discussion are sex, relationships, and gender-related issues. These topics allow me the chance to keep my culturally implanted impulses from influencing my reasoning. I invite you to do the same as I share with you some of my more controversial conclusions on widely debated subjects.
Adolescents and sex
In my opinion, consensual teenage sex should be encouraged, since it is not only healthy but, from a societal point of view, ethically imperative. Research by such notable scientists as neuropsychologist James Prescott shows that societies in which sexual activity in adolescents is freely accepted are far more likely to produce nonviolent adults than societies that repress such activity. Put another way, societies that deprive their young of the pleasures of the body tend to be violent.
The drive for sex in adolescents need not be approached differently than the body's hunger for food. A child is ready for sex when the child desires it. When adults encourage physical affection and closeness in their youngsters, they simultaneously discourage negative behaviors such as stealing, misogyny, and violence as an answer to problems. Healthy adolescent sex can help create adults who eschew the reptilian predilection toward aggression, nationalism, authoritarianism, and the superstition-laden rituals of organized religion. It follows that sexual repression is not simply unnatural, but is also a crime against humanity.
Adolescent pregnancy, however, poses a problem not only because children are generally not ready to become good parents themselves, but because the world is already suffering from the effects of overpopulation. Because of overpopulation, it is crucial that we extend the length of the human generation as much as possible. Luckily, we have at our disposal the condom. All we need to do is make it freely available worldwide and instruct children in its proper use-and counteract the so-called "abstinence only" courses that have been replacing scientifically-based sex education.
Why should people have to marry for life in a time when opportunities for personal growth and exploration abound? After all, marriage is nothing more than a social contract between two consenting adults, requiring no sanctification, mystification, or coercion. "'Till death do us part" should not be exclusively supported by society, as it only creates a populace ridden with guilt. Why not replace marriage for life with a marriage contract lasting for an agreed-upon period of years, with an option to renew? People are free to reject archaic dogma and cultural influences and choose marital contracts that suit their need to expand their experience of life. The desire for progeny might inform the duration of the marriage-but not necessarily. Moreover, why should people have to commit to just one mate at a time? People should be free to form polygamous and polyandrous social contracts and have them supported by their society to the same extent that monogamy is supported. If a person desires to enter a marital contract with any number of consenting men and women, no harm is perpetrated on their progeny or on anyone else.
In general, human beings are polygynous sexually, though we tend to be monogamous emotionally. For example, even polygamous or polyandrous individuals admit to maintaining primary partnerships despite having multiple partners. If we all desire many sexual partners yet feel committed to only one, how then can adultery be considered immoral? In fact, it is merely a symptom of strict and authority-based monogamy. But during the Dark Ages and the exaltation of Judeo-Christian theology, the symptom, and not the disease, got the bad reputation. A modicum of honesty regarding our legitimate sexual needs turns adultery into no more of a threat to a healthy relationship than a satisfying meal at a newly discovered restaurant. The sooner we embrace our polygynous genetic fate, the happier and less hypocritical we can all be.
For Christianity--a rather sexually depraved religion--Paul represents the voice of violence against the sexual self when he says it is better to marry than to burn, as if nature gives a hoot about a marriage license when it comes to the procreation of the species. The voice of moderation says it is better to fornicate before, during, and after marriage than to burn in the fires of sexual anxiety, repression, and desire. While most of us think that a marriage is not really consummated until the couple has sex, some backwards Christian writers go so far as to say that sex isn't consummated unless the couple is married! Nature has been around forever, but supposedly the warped theology of a few self-mystifying human beings trumps nature. Someone needs to tell these people that, in fact, Mother Nature never gave birth to a bastard. All babies are legitimate; it's their beliefs that are irrelevant. Christianity's unhealthy influence on human sexuality in the West needs to be undermined.
Homosexuality is natural because it is one of the many expressions of heterosexuality, meaning that opposites always sexually attract one another. Everyone and everything manifests a balance (or an imbalance) of masculine and feminine tendencies. In homosexual couples, for instance, male-female polarity is established. Absolute gender qualifications are conventions and do not exist on their own. Same-sex attraction is apparent even in the animal kingdom, so it is no wonder that around ten percent of human beings exhibit homosexual tendencies. If we are looking to produce progressive human beings that serve to improve the human condition, "straight" does not mean heterosexuality; it means a healthy balance between male and female tendencies.
Homosexuality, defined by open social relationships, is only a bit over a century old. We have to remember that historical fact when we read (the writings attributed to) Paul, for whom two men having sex was just a pleasure resort. The idea that two men or two women would have a loving, supportive, and lasting relationship never crossed his mind. Incidentally, he didn't care much for men and women having sex purely for pleasure either. He also believed the world was going to end soon, so we need to take his writings in context. If a theologian wrote Paul's garbage today, divorced from the context of twenty centuries of sexual suppression, most people would rightly conclude that this guy is having trouble getting laid. But for hundreds of millions, Paul represents the inspired word of a one and only God. This is nothing short of mass insanity. Homosexual relationships are natural, and are now socially acceptable, making Paul's hedonism argument against them untenable.
I believe that prostitution should be unconditionally decriminalized. Women own their bodies and are free to have sex with any number of men at any given time, for money or pleasure or any combination of either. Social systems that create the conditions in which pimps and slave traders thrive are not good for, or protective of, women. But as soon as social systems are revamped to give women back power over their own bodies, men who profit from women's degradation will lose their influence.
Pornography, on the other hand, is not so healthy for women or society. I do not believe in criminalizing it as a way of getting rid of it, and people certainly have the right to engage in it both as participants and consumers, but unlike sex, it largely increases sexual desire without providing an outlet that simulates either conquest of or union with another person. So contrary to prostitution, this leads to more violence against women and in society, not less.
The Double Single Standard
There has always existed a double standard when it comes to men's and women's sexual activity. Men have often believed that they should be free to have sexual intercourse with many women, while women are held to a different expectation of behavior. This is partially due to the fact that penetrating someone carries different emotional resonance than being entered by someone.
Today, many people think that it's hypocritical for a man to suggest to his female partner that he should be free to penetrate others to alleviate the pressure of all the testosterone he is producing-but she should not be as free to be penetrated by other men. Of course, such a declaration is hypocritical, yet it is true that sex for these two heterosexual individuals may constitute two different things. However, many women can be penetrated and leave emotions out of it, and many men open themselves up when they penetrate, yet the fact remains that being penetrated carries a stronger emotional suggestion than penetrating. The feminine principle in all of us is defined as naturally more caring, sympathetic, and receptive than our male principle. When men are penetrated, they have a greater likelihood of experiencing this emotional suggestion to sex than if they were penetrating, assuming they are willing to open themselves up in that way to a man or woman. Similarly, women sometimes complain of the baseless feeling of love that rushes into their hearts when penetrated by men to whom they are not otherwise emotionally attached. One woman I know began feeling emotional attachment during a sexual encounter where she was severely taken advantage of. Conclusion: being penetrated might increase the chances of an emotional encounter; what's good for the penetrating individual is not always good for the penetrated individual. Each person needs to be honest about his or her capacity to leave unfounded emotions out of sex.
Non-Ejaculation as a Practice
Galen, the famous Roman physician, found that only two creatures are happy after sex: the woman and the rooster. Women tend to feel a sense of contentment while roosters apparently feel proud and elated. Most men feel a sense of loss after orgasm because ejaculation strains the nerves and weakens a man's sensory and intuitive faculties. Intuition means nervous energy moving in and up while ejaculation means nervous energy moving down and out. The solution is for adolescent and adult men to forgo the orgasm if progeny is not desired. This is done through sublimating the orgasm using pranayama, or energy control, during sex. In that way, men orgasm more in they way women do-primarily in their torso and upper bodies instead of primarily in their glands. When a man practices pranayama during sex, the orgasm is directed to the head, which causes the sublimated orgasm to diffuse energy throughout the body rather than pulling energy from the body and senses. This results in men being able to derive a great deal of enjoyment from sex while experiencing none of the energy loss. As a bonus, intuition is actually stimulated and aggressive tendencies otherwise resulting from a thwarted sex drive are undermined.
When boys and men are starving for orgasm or proper sublimation, there is an increase in the need to conquer externally, sometimes leading to acts of aggression such as rape. Therefore, it could be said that rape is to some degree natural. Male human beings evolved to have larger body size and more strength than women, with a corresponding sex drive and conquering instinct. Since in addition to men's proclivity to rape, women do no need to get erect, reach orgasm, or even desire sex in order to get pregnant, the obvious conclusion is that nature has no problem with rape, as it has provided a perfect recipe for it.
This is not to say that rape should occur, of course. Nature is by definition amoral-lacking morality or immorality. While human morality is flimsily based on the survival of our own particular social system, nature's amorality merely considers procreation and the survival of the species to be the greatest good. Nature's amorality is not concerned with the violence that comes with rape as long as the woman survives to bear a child.
Human morality, on the other hand, outwardly condemns rape, yet religions often insidiously condone it, despite what their teachings say on the surface, by counterintuitively teaching young men to stew on their sex drive in the hopes that their raw libido will be sublimated by prayer. This situation can only increase the likelihood of rape. In some cases of extremist religion, raping a woman is a justifiable form of punishing her. The result of these dogmas is sanctified misogyny and self-loathing. No wonder one of every six young women will be the target of an attempted rape.
Raping women may be fine with nature, and some social systems may be fine with stripping women of the unconditional right over their bodies in other ways, but obviously these close cousins need to be eradicated from the face of the earth. Humanity's self-determining quest for self-knowledge and self-expansion is ethically reason enough for men to sublimate their sexually aggressive tendencies, using healthy creative and cathartic outlets and scientific principles of pranayama, to increase their own self-realization.
Finally, let's examine how the moral outlook of organized religion, which still controls most of society today, compares with my views. Our religions usually suppress adolescent sex or any sex before marriage, often do not support contraception or abortion, and discourage divorce in favor of monogamous heterosexual marriage (as long as it is sanctified within their walls). They vilify homosexuality, adultery, prostitution, and in general do not accept polygamy. In theory they are against rape, but in practice their dogmas foster all forms of it. Still, after centuries of breeding bloodthirsty madmen who tortured men and women in the name of God, today at least one religion protects its priests who have sex with young, innocent boys.
And I'm the controversial one?