Do you have the right to sex?
Do you have the right to sex?
I think most people would answer enthusiastically, “YES!” The thought that we might not have complete freedom in this fills us with terror. The bedroom is sacrosanct, and we all laugh at laws that make it illegal to have sex with the lights on.
But does a man who's spent a good bit of his paycheck on top scale dinner, a movie and dancing have a right to sex at that point? Or more commonly, does a college kid who has paid for burritos and beer have a right to it?
Obviously, we don't have some absolute right to sex. We have the right to build consensual relationships with whomever we want and do whatever funky consensual things we want to do with each other. Outside of that, we'll there's no better explanation of consent than the tea metaphor:
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That's just brilliant. But why do we have to have the conversation? I mean seriously this is some obvious stuff. But a problematic number of people are, to extend the analogy, holding people down and water-boarding them with tea. And it's not just the creepy psychopath in a clown outfit at the end of the woods. This is a serious problem. Let's think about what could be driving this.
Some of you are going to say our society is obsessed with sex, and I can see where you're going with that. Just look at our current election. Most of the conversation revolves around whether or not Donald Trump or Bill Clinton is the bigger sexual predator (with Hilary as his enabler, of course.)
I'm desperately curious how they're going to work “Grab her by the p*ssy” into textbooks down the road.
But then there's the one sex related topic that get's everyone going, and that's abortion. Now you all probably know where I stand on this, but I'm taking it in a different direction, so bear with me here.
Hilary says that partial birth abortion—killing the baby right before it could be born and have all the rights we American's claim—is protected and should be allowed.
Here's the clip where she says it:Dim lights Embed Embed this video on your site
Now what message does this send?
This says that you should be able to have sex without consequence even if you have to kill someone for it.
You may think differently about what a fetus is, but most people get that it's a baby. And this is the message they're receiving. This is why every so often you get a story of some girl in high school drowning a newborn in the bathroom. She doesn't have the wherewithal to see the legal differentiation between partial birth abortion and baby murder.
As a public service, girls a rule of thumb for the way things are now. “If you don't pop out, you've got no clout.”
Now back to my original premise. If a woman can kill a baby because she wants to have sex and not have babies, then where does that logically leave rape? I mean in the mind of the rapist. “If she can kill a baby to get some, hell I just want to hold her down for a bit. Perhaps slip a little something in her drink. She won't even know it happened. I'm not killing anyone.”
Put another way, if the woman's right to sex is ironclad in all situations, then so is the man's.
I'm not endorsing this, mind you. I think if you have a sense of the value of life all this is offensive. My point is that we have elevated the pleasurable aspect of sex to the point where live has no value in comparison.
Right now people are complaining about the TV show Westworld having a graphic orgie scene. I don't get HBO, so I can't judge the scene. My initial thought was, “It's HBO. It classically isn't as bad as Skinemax but still gang, no surprises here.”
But I have seen the Yule Brenner movie upon which Westworld is based (Westworld, 1973), and in my interpretation it is largely about reality catching up with fantasy. People want to do things without consequence, and eventually consequence catches up. If the new Westworld is trying to go there and failing, it might be a problem of execution.
Or, it is possible they don't understand the source material
Side note: Westword is a fantastic movie, which you can measure by the fact that Dick Van Patten is in it.
Now I'm not saying that we need to adopt puritanical norms to save society. But I think we need to be reality based. We need to actually value one another as people. Right now we're marching about whether black lives or blue lives or any lives matter. Isn't that a sign that we've lost something.
In every relationship where sex is going to occur, there should be a long talk that acknoledges that latex isn't Vibranium Steel alloy and there is a chance that a life could be created. There should be an acknowledgment that life is a possibility.
This takes the objectification of the other person out of the loop, and acknowledges the power of the act about to be performed.
If a different type of sex is being performed that doesn't have life bringing potential, the same reverence should occur. The same sense that the other person is a person should be actively acknowledged.
Until we as a society start acknowledging that each of us has value, we are in the long run screwed.
This is the key to sexism, racism, just about every ism you can name. Any form of hatred relies on removing another person's intrinsic value from the equation.
To answer my own question. There is no "right" to sex. There is a privilege to create relationships with people and a responsibility to treat those people as having intrinsic and inalienable value.And until we train ourselves to value people, our problems will remain.