Regulated and Unregulated Sexual Marketplace

Originally written in September 2013

Since life is fundamentally about spreading one’s genes through reproduction, it is the primary goal of life. Rational beings may not have it their goal consciously, but in nature’s design it is the only goal.

Sex is a resource that women possess which men have to compete for (a facet of survival of the fittest game). A woman would be naturally selected by evolution to mate with a man who comes up as the best bet for the spread of their genes. That gives rise to the market mechanism in nature. And since the pursuit of sex is central to all of human life, the world of human beings can be viewed as sexual marketplace.

How market forces work in the domain of human sexuality is brilliantly explained in Sexual Economics by Roy F. Baumeister.

The forces of sexual marketplace are not human-engineered but natural, and hence are often detrimental to well-being of human beings as rational animals who have pursuits and goals apart from the nature’s evolutionary goals. The market, by objectifying humans, robs them of dignity and undermines everything that one values as a rational being. Hence, regulation of sexual activities is necessary to subdue the brutal market forces. Religions have historically been regulators of the sexual marketplace, but are losing the power and authority now.

Unregulated sexual marketplace

Unregulated sexual marketplace is a society in which sexual pursuits and activities of its members are not governed by religious norms or traditional values. Modern urban world is mostly transformed into one.

Contemporary mass media, technological “developments” and consequent changes in lifestyles are major factors contributing to washing away of traditional values, whereas scientific advances have long challenged religious worldviews. Although religions still have strong foothold, they hardly have any influence on the lifestyles of urbanites.

In market, survival of the fittest is the norm. The battle is always on, and there is no peace. Participants in market operate with relentless self-interest (as opposed to being cooperative) since market essentially is a place where one participates to get benefits for oneself – and that too more often than not short term ones since the life is finite.

In the unregulated sexual marketplace, romantic love would a disease, and marriage and family would be virtually non-existent. There would be few winners while most people would lose. And even those who win would have no peace of mind since sexual competition would always be on.

Unregulated sexual marketplace is a nightmare of human existence, though people living it may not know any better.


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