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lemur
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With the recent government budget-cuts targeting planned parenthood and other abortion-related institutions, the question is whether abortion is the ultimate target or is the bottom line sexual freedom? If sexual freedom is a target for government intervention, are there ethics to constraining the sexual freedom of others or must sexual control be left to individuals and their doctors privately? Are there potential benefits to individuals in restricting their sexuality against their will?

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I'm not sure it is accurate to say the government wants to restrict your sexual freedoms but it is the goal of many religions. They often work through government to accomplish this. While abortion is the buzz word that the religious right uses to convince others of their cause it is really birth control and sexual freedom that is their target. Planned parenthood is about much more than abortion on demand but i agree that sexual freedom is really their target and I see no benefit to restricting the sexual freedoms of adults. .

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i agree that sexual freedom is really their target and I see no benefit to restricting the sexual freedoms of adults. .

I'm not sure that restricting sexual freedom for adults is entirely negative in its effects. I find it strange that no one argues the merits of sexual restriction openly, yet political policies that promote it get favored.

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I'm not sure that restricting sexual freedom for adults is entirely negative in its effects. I find it strange that no one argues the merits of sexual restriction openly, yet political policies that promote it get favored.

 

 

I've seen it argued quite a bit but sexual restrictions are mainly religious and religion is a difficult thing to argue, if you believe then my disbelief doesn't matter and there are far more believers than non believers and believers pretty much make the rules and if you are not a believer then you have little to no political power. Try to get elected in the USA if you are not a beleiver...

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I've seen it argued quite a bit but sexual restrictions are mainly religious and religion is a difficult thing to argue, if you believe then my disbelief doesn't matter and there are far more believers than non believers and believers pretty much make the rules and if you are not a believer then you have little to no political power. Try to get elected in the USA if you are not a beleiver...

I can go both ways. I dislike the fact that believers and non-believers can't openly discuss the pros and cons of sexual regulation without resorting to all sorts of posturing tactics. Why can't it be as simple as arguing your case for or against sexual regulation? If you're for sexual freedom, for example, why not lobby government to promote guilt-freedom for abortion? Why not promote sex-education in schools that treats life as a completely subjective quality of biological organisms? Scientifically, does life really begin or end; or is it just a psychological obsession that people have with creating boundaries? Should psychological issues really get in the way of free sexual choices?

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If you're for sexual freedom, for example, why not lobby government to promote guilt-freedom for abortion?

 

This is a straw man argument, why does sexual freedom hinge on abortion? There is more than enough birth control to keep abortion from ever being necessary but the main thrust of sexual regulation is to restrict birth control, abortion is just a buzz word used to inflame the masses from the real issue.. birth control and the right to have sex any way you and a partner want.

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This is a straw man argument, why does sexual freedom hinge on abortion? There is more than enough birth control to keep abortion from ever being necessary but the main thrust of sexual regulation is to restrict birth control, abortion is just a buzz word used to inflame the masses from the real issue.. birth control and the right to have sex any way you and a partner want.

But if you would overcome the taboo of abortion, wouldn't it liberate heterosexuality completely, except for STIs? Without fear of pregnancy issues and disease, why couldn't sex be as common a leisure activity as conversation?

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But if you would overcome the taboo of abortion, wouldn't it liberate heterosexuality completely, except for STIs? Without fear of pregnancy issues and disease, why couldn't sex be as common a leisure activity as conversation?

 

 

lemur, i honestly don't understand why abortion on demand with no guilt would allow sexual freedom any more than birth control being readily available with no guilt. 100 years ago it was condoms that were illegal and the idea of family planning obscene. i am not going to argue for abortion here lemur, i simply cannot, it's too much of an emotional issue for me but I honestly cannot see why i should have the right to tell some one else who is pregnant what she can and cannot do.

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lemur, i honestly don't understand why abortion on demand with no guilt would allow sexual freedom any more than birth control being readily available with no guilt. 100 years ago it was condoms that were illegal and the idea of family planning obscene. i am not going to argue for abortion here lemur, i simply cannot, it's too much of an emotional issue for me but I honestly cannot see why i should have the right to tell some one else who is pregnant what she can and cannot do.

Idk, maybe sex remains an elite commodity because the risks associated with it are high. Maybe if abortion was reduced to the same status as a haircut (and STIs were totally manageable), you could have sex with anyone you wanted with no issues. If I want to ask a question to a beautiful woman, for example, I can just do so. With sex, I would have to pay a large sum of money or satisfy some other criterion. Sex continues to be valued in numerous ways that seem to be related to a corresponding value attributed to reproduction. If that value was completely eradicated, would sex remain problematic? Would it maintain an allure?

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Condoms were illegal just 60 years ago in the United States, even for married couples: see Griswold v. Connecticut. All cultures fear the power of sex and seek to affirm their ability to control it, either actually or symbolically; just look at primitive societies which practice female circumcision, or which cut the penis to ensure the escape of semen during ejaculation. Perhaps sexual restrictions help stabilize the social order in some helpful way, since people do not go around promiscuously interfering with the sexual bonds of others, which would create conflicts, and are not constantly interrupting their work to fulfill the more pressing demands of immediate gratification. Societies which do allow absolute promiscuity and have no sexual taboos, such as the Kalahari Bushmen of Southwest Africa, are also primitive cultures without much internal organization to maintain.

 

It is also possible that sexual control diverts the libido to more productive energies which are beneficial to society, even though they harm the individual. I am sure everyone knows a few bright academics and scientists who seem to have lost their creativity as soon as their sex drive was satisfied.

 

But even if rules inhibiting sexual happiness have some utilitarian benefit to society, is society just in asserting its right to impose such rules on people, thereby denying them an essential personal freedom and doing them injury? The basic concept of a liberal society is that we should allow as much personal freedom as possible as long as others are not harmed by it and society is not severely disrupted by it, so certainly the panoply of rules limiting sexual happiness should be rigorously scrutinized to ensure that there are no more restrictions than are necessary. Probably more than half of the current restrictions serve no rational utilitarian or rights-protecting goal.

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Condoms were illegal just 60 years ago in the United States, even for married couples: see Griswold v. Connecticut. All cultures fear the power of sex and seek to affirm their ability to control it, either actually or symbolically; just look at primitive societies which practice female circumcision, or which cut the penis to ensure the escape of semen during ejaculation. Perhaps sexual restrictions help stabilize the social order in some helpful way, since people do not go around promiscuously interfering with the sexual bonds of others, which would create conflicts, and are not constantly interrupting their work to fulfill the more pressing demands of immediate gratification. Societies which do allow absolute promiscuity and have no sexual taboos, such as the Kalahari Bushmen of Southwest Africa, are also primitive cultures without much internal organization to maintain.

 

Despite what some idealistic anthropologists like to claim all societies have social taboos and are not absolutely promiscuous.

 

It is also possible that sexual control diverts the libido to more productive energies which are beneficial to society, even though they harm the individual. I am sure everyone knows a few bright academics and scientists who seem to have lost their creativity as soon as their sex drive was satisfied.

 

How so? I'm sure everyone knows many more academics and scientists who were just as productive with there sexuality intact.

 

But even if rules inhibiting sexual happiness have some utilitarian benefit to society, is society just in asserting its right to impose such rules on people, thereby denying them an essential personal freedom and doing them injury? The basic concept of a liberal society is that we should allow as much personal freedom as possible as long as others are not harmed by it and society is not severely disrupted by it, so certainly the panoply of rules limiting sexual happiness should be rigorously scrutinized to ensure that there are no more restrictions than are necessary. Probably more than half of the current restrictions serve no rational utilitarian or rights-protecting goal.

 

This I agree to wholeheartedly

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The ultimate goal of medicine is to produce as much human happiness as possible given the limitations of the human body through aging, disease, and accident. This is a battle that medicine always ultimately loses, and even en route to its inevitable defeat through death, it performs pretty poorly -- much worse than most people who have never been seriously ill can imagine. Most serious illnesses can at best only be managed, and the management often yields such an unpleasant existence that it simply falsely tempts and ultimately traps the patients into continuing to live when they should have chosen death -- as they would have had to do had medicine not been so 'advanced.'

 

But once the tragedy of medicine's feeble efforts is admitted, it seems absurd that one of the strongest weapons we have in this struggle to achieve the greatest possible human happiness in the face of the limitations of disease and death is voluntarily wasted to such a large extent. This weapon, which official social policy artificially and unnecessarily restricts and hems in at every point, is sexuality, which is a natural happiness produced by the human body and which is available as a counterweight against all the miseries that the human body naturally produces. So my question is, why spend billions of dollars trying to win the war against physical human misery by producing a net balance of physical happiness through training millions of doctors, buying countless imaging machines, constructing hospitals, developing new drugs, etc., but then throw away something capable of producing more physical happiness than all of that -- which is what human sexuality is.

 

Prudish recommendations for why sex should be restricted in this way or that should always only be discussed in a cancer ward.

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Perhaps sexual repression can to some degree intensify sexual pleasure when it is allowed to appear, but I suspect that repression still generates a net loss of happiness for humanity. Just consider the satisfaction of another physical desire like food or thirst. We all know that eating food or drinking water will be more pleasurable if we deliberately go without satisfying these urges for a long time first, but no one makes a practice of doing that, no doubt because we recognize that the net pleasure from the restriction-intense satisfaction game is lower than from the constant satiation practise.

 

What is the average human realization of potential sexual happiness compared to what its maximal realization could have been in a world with no deliberate wasting of potential sexual pleasure by arbitrary cultural rules? Perhaps 10% of what it could have been with the stimulus of a wide range of new sexual partners all the time and no unnecessary rules?

 

Consider this tentative suggestion:

 

Ages 14 to 34: Intercourse six times a day: Total: 43,800

Ages 35 to 55: Intercourse twice a day: Total: 7300

Ages 56 to 66: Intercourse once a day: Total: 3650

Ages 66 to 86 (death): Intercourse once a week: Total: 1040

 

Grand total: 55,790 (a lot of children to support)

 

Actual total under the restrictive rules of Western society, which require young people to live in sexual starvation, which require old people to be regarded as sexually unavailable, which force people to try to keep their sexual desire artificially alive under the oppressive constraint of monogamy (how many days in a row do you want to eat nothing but vanilla ice cream all day?), etc.: Perhaps 4000? In any case, pitiful compared to what could be possible in a rational society concerned to maximize happiness.

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Perhaps sexual repression can to some degree intensify sexual pleasure when it is allowed to appear, but I suspect that repression still generates a net loss of happiness for humanity. Just consider the satisfaction of another physical desire like food or thirst. We all know that eating food or drinking water will be more pleasurable if we deliberately go without satisfying these urges for a long time first, but no one makes a practice of doing that, no doubt because we recognize that the net pleasure from the restriction-intense satisfaction game is lower than from the constant satiation practise.

Actually, the food and drink example is good. You would not want to deny yourself adequate water for hydration, but drinking only water most of the time enhances the pleasure of drinking flavored beverages. Compare you enjoyment of any treat you enjoy on an occasional basis with one you consume daily and I think you will find that the occasional treat is more pleasurable. If you compared this with sexuality, you could have a regular diet of affectionate interaction with potential partners on a regular basis and some non-intercourse physical affection slightly less often and reserve sexual intercourse for special situations. This all assumes, of course, that poly-amory doesn't have detrimental effects - which I think it must, although at the level of non-intercourse physical affection and definitely non-physical interaction, it is the norm rather than the exception. How many people avoid all social exchange with people they are attracted to besides their partner?

 

Consider this tentative suggestion:

 

Ages 14 to 34: Intercourse six times a day: Total: 43,800

Ages 35 to 55: Intercourse twice a day: Total: 7300

Ages 56 to 66: Intercourse once a day: Total: 3650

Ages 66 to 86 (death): Intercourse once a week: Total: 1040

 

Grand total: 55,790 (a lot of children to support)

I would be interested to see empirical data that shows that people could maintain such high levels of intercourse on a regular basis. I think sex would become more of a chore than a release.

 

 

related issue: what would happen if the taboo on discussing sexual relationships openly (kissing and telling) was completely ignored and everyone knew how much sex everyone was having and with whom? Would that lessen the titillating effects of (imperative) privacy as a form of sexual repression?

Edited by lemur
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I would be interested to see empirical data that shows that people could maintain such high levels of intercourse on a regular basis. I think sex would become more of a chore than a release.

 

 

 

 

Anecdotally i am an example of that, I've been told i have an unusual sex drive but it seems totally natural to me and i enjoy it the same no matter how often i have it. Prostrate cancer has slowed me down somewhat i admit...

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Anecdotally i am an example of that, I've been told i have an unusual sex drive but it seems totally natural to me and i enjoy it the same no matter how often i have it. Prostrate cancer has slowed me down somewhat i admit...

Sorry to hear about the cancer. I've never had sex that much but I always just assumed that when you do it enough, it loses allure.

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The close human relative, the bonobo, has sex almost all the time it is awake, but only in the form of brief encounters which occur throughout the day between males and females in the group, often not leading to orgasm, perhaps so they can have intercourse more often. (I was surprised when I first noticed that guinea pigs also have intercourse to the point of orgasm and then stop so that they can prolong the experience. How could creatures that simple be so calculating? And wouldn't that be a survival disadvantage?) So if humans with the cultural patina stripped off are really 'naturally' like bonobos, then perhaps we should normally be having sex all the time.

 

The numbers I offered are just speculative maxima for the possible frequency of sexual intercourse. They actually apply only to Moontanman.

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The close human relative, the bonobo, has sex almost all the time it is awake, but only in the form of brief encounters which occur throughout the day between males and females in the group, often not leading to orgasm, perhaps so they can have intercourse more often. (I was surprised when I first noticed that guinea pigs also have intercourse to the point of orgasm and then stop so that they can prolong the experience.

Maybe these animals just get confused as the feeling of orgasm begins to approach and stop because they're afraid something bad is happening. It takes a certain degree of foresight to recognize before orgasm that climax is going to end in relief. Imagine if you worried that the build-up would just keep going - you might stop too. Maybe humans have sex less because they control the sex act more effectively, pursuing it to completion in one go instead of trying to stop only to have the urge continue and have to keep starting (and stopping) again. Btw, sorry for the crass detail of the act but I don't know how else to consider what might be going on with these animals.

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The numbers I offered are just speculative maxima for the possible frequency of sexual intercourse. They actually apply only to Moontanman.

 

 

Well not any more that's for sure but i have been sexually active most of my life and i haven't found many partners who were as amorous as me but the point is that sex has always been great, frequency doesn't seem to effect the enjoyment for me. (too be honest some orgasms are better than others but that is not affected by how often i do it) There is one thing that frequency seems to affect but it would lead to some embarrassing questions to tell it over a forum where children might be reading, I'm not sure how graphic such questions and answers should be in this open forum.

Edited by Moontanman
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