Evidence of Human Stupidity

Linking the words "shame" and "sex" is a prime example of the way human beings manage to perform the reverse alchemy of starting with heaven and ending up with hell.  Who would be ashamed of enjoying sex?  That would be like being ashamed of enjoying breathing.  If you don't enjoy sex you must be a very slow student indeed, arriving at school in a teeny, tiny bus.  You will never find "shame" linked with "sex" except where there is also organized religion.  The reason for this is simple.  Organized religion is about controlling people.  The pleasure of sex is such powerful voodoo that the church must find ways to master it, so, it demonizes it.  Absolute rubbish.    
ElLagarto ElLagarto
56-60, M
8 Responses Jul 10, 2007

I have indeed been through some horrific pain - I even tried to capture it in a book. There is nothing quite like losing everything - even one's own sanity - to provide insight about what's real and what's important. I was told long ago - Change or die.

OK, you know I'm a fan, El, but that last paragraph you wrote, that one just above this one? That is the truest thing I've read in a long time.<br />
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My friend, I see now by deduction you have been through some painful ****. That is the only filter that lets anyone see things so clearly, so simply, using the fundamental mechanism of making it so miserable to hang on to the same old crud you are forced once and for all to let go.<br />
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Humdinger, thinking about sex all of a sudden - how did that happen?

Thank you for your kind words - you is no slouch your own bad self!<br />
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So many great observations here. To me, all the snickering and moral posturing that surrounds sex has to do with two of its primary qualities - first, the intensity of the pleasure tops pretty much any other human experience - next, the loss of control is so absolute that for many it is downright terrifying. We lose ourselves - the very selves we labor so desperately to construct and maintain. As you point out so nicely, human events on this grand a scale - like death with its funerals - to say nothing of the bizarre rituals associated with puberty - inevitably attract la<x>yer after la<x>yer of societal wrapping paper, intended to explain the mystery and in a way - protect us from it. I think the people who enjoy sex the most understand that there is an element of risk involved, of surrender, of abandoning control.

ElLagarto, you are ridiculously good with words and insights. I take this opportunity to say it's not fair. And I love it.<br />
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Sex and shame...I remember that strange period as a kid when I was first getting a clue about sex, and I'd look at my teacher at the front of the class, or at my mom and dad at the breakfast table and try to imagine them doing this crazy, naked sex thing my friends were telling me adults did. It made my brain lurch, it was so foreign. Made my stomach want to lurch, too. It just didn't fit with everything else I knew.<br />
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And my folks were confused about sex, as were most people around. I was getting huge red flags that there was plenty there to be ashamed of. People acted so weird about it.<br />
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But when I actually became sexually active, instead of all the petty social crap, I realized it was something really big, something we were all born to do, and invariably it was going to be one of those things that's so essential and huge that humans will totally screw it up. We can't get the big stuff right most of the time and we invent these bizarre social rituals to try to deal with it. <br />
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My examples - death is big, so we invent funerals. I'm sorry, but funerals are weird. Heartbreak and loss are big so we invent country music. I'm sorry, as a lifelong diehard country fan I think I can safely say 90% of it sucks. Love bonds are big, so we invent marriage. Not only is divorce a coin toss statistically speaking these days, but right here at EP the sexless marriage group is one of the fastest growing.<br />
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But I digress. Sex is too big, too important, too meaningful. As humans, we were bound to screw it up most the time. Shame is just one of the ways we do that, but it has more staying power than BBQ sauce on your new white tshirt.

Sadly this is all true. But this says less about the act than it does about all the interpersonal schmutz and emotional baggage surrounding it.

Amen. I recall college fondly - 68-72 - sex, drugs, rock&roll - pre-STDs, pre-AIDS, all girls were on the pill. The excesses were virtually Roman.

I agree. Sex is great. Wish I had some. I remember that in church camp the boys and the girls couldn't have free time together...we managed to find some though...those church kids are the worst.

Thanks! Sex is a fascinating subject all right. I think a lot of the mythology that's built up around it revolves around the raw power and loss of control - many people find that frightening.