Originally written in March 2012
In our times there are many advocates of sexual freedom or free sex (myself formerly being one of them) with a justification that sex is a natural activity, suppression of which would cause many a type of suffering.
The above line of thinking suffers from a fallacy called appeal to nature. What these people fail to understand is that what is natural is not necessarily good or desirable from social perspective. Nature is barbarous. One needs only look at the lives of other animals to see that.
Sexual restrictiveness is one of the foundations of human development into civilization. A society which lifts all restrictions on sexual pursuits would turn into chaos with man-woman relationships becoming more painful than ever.
Sex has evolved to be taboo not because of crazy ignorance of the society, as the advocates of free sex who decry tradition would have one believe. It’s considered bad for the reason that it is counterproductive with respect to most of the human pursuits.
For the creatures with self-awareness and the goals of their own apart from the nature’s evolutionary goals (propagation of genes through reproduction), it’s only obvious that sex should come under regulation. From nature’s standpoint, sex is the sole purpose of our existence. But since nature’s goals are not our goals as humans, sex is detrimental to our interests.
No doubt that sex is immensely pleasurable, but pleasure is kind of a trap. It’s an incentive placed by nature for us to reproduce. Not that reproduction is bad. In fact, where nature’s goals overlap human goals is when one wants to have a child of one’s own. But in every other situation sexual pleasure is a distraction from the worthwhile human pursuits.
Overindulgence of sex is not only counterproductive but destructive with respect to our social goals. Look at the life of a sex-addict. Look around to see what obsession with sex does to marriages. Our society is too evolved to afford giving free way to the so-called natural behavior.
Why is it so difficult to tackle this problem?
Sexual freedom is always an attractive thing from an individual’s standpoint. Since everybody enjoys sex and possesses strong sexual urges, the easier one gets it the better. It’s one of those nasty problems which turn almost irrevocably harmful to the society after they have become a mass phenomena. Until then the individuals with the potentially harmful tendencies greatly benefit from exercising them. It’s hard to be checked at an individual level because the benefits of sexual restraint are far away in effect and indirect (in that it will benefit the society as a whole, not the individual directly), whereas in direct sight to the individual are mostly the disincentives of controlling one’s urges in the face of choices.
Religion had worked out an ingenious solution to this conundrum by making unregulated (premarital and extramarital) sexual indulgence immoral, courtesy the Big Guy in the sky. Now thanks to increasing influence of mass media, the values established by religion are washed away, bringing about animalistic culture of narcissism and alienation, and disintegration of families and society.
Majority of the modern generation are lost creatures without the sense of right and wrong, without correct guidance, and with no higher purpose in life than pleasure seeking. No wonder they so love the idea of free sex.
Unrestrained sexual expression and predominance of sex in relationships is not the mark of a forward society but a backward one. Kill tradition and bring sexual freedom, and let marriage become an utopia and ugliness crime.
Happy riding back to nature!