Wednesday, April 20, 2011

21st Century Sexuality


God is losing the Kinder, Küche, Kirche battle, and female believers as well. Although some women will chose (be indoctrinated into) this path, the best and the brightest will leave the religious gene pool. The other nail in the religious coffin is female contraception. If you can't keep them barefoot and pregnant, why on earth would they want to go to church and listen to all that sexist garbage. There is an enviable trend in many denominations to women clergy, that perhaps recognize the social and community attraction of churches for women, and are downplaying the misogynic traditional theology of the Abrahamic traditions.

The thing that religions generally do not want to recognize is that reproduction in humans is not just popping a litter out and seeing who survives. Reproduction in humans is a long term investment if the zygote is going to get to puberty. One of the main evolutionary purposes of pleasure in sex and the evolutionary reason for the hidden estrus in humans is that the pair bond is essential for reproductive success, that is getting reproducing offspring into the world.

Technological solutions have insured that for practical purposes all pregnancies will result in a pubescent human for those that can afford the technology and many that can't. Historical fecundity limiters of maternal and child mortality have been eliminated by technology, so it is reasonable that technology should provide the solutions for fecundity limitation to sustainable limits.

Women have solved this problem with contraception. If a man is going to have progeny the equation has changed radically. He can rape all the sterile women he wants to, or if you prefer make love to them, but he might as well as stay home with Rosy Palm for all of the progeny he is going to get. Before the contraceptive is going to disappear he is going to have to convince the woman that he is the best father she is going to find.  Or should I say co-parent as the lesbian pair bond is a viable parenting option with the sperm donation arranged in a variety of ways.

Think of it as evolution in action.

In defining what constitutes gender roles I suspect I am an apostate to the traditional males, although thoroughly and happily heterosexual. I am much more interested in relationships than sex, and partnerships rather than dominance. When I had growing children I did more than my share of parenting since my partner had the more demanding career and I had no problem with playing the male MBA privilege card when necessary to change jobs and careers to accommodate parenting.

Probably because I make a point of noticing them, I see more males adopting this relationship model rather than the traditional patriarchal rape model. If this is effeminate so be it. I don't think so, I think it is simply not being a prick. That is one who is driven by testosterone to spread genes as far and wide as possible whether or not it will do any good. I see the testosterone driven model waning at least among the educated elite, but perhaps that is wishful thinking and I am only noticing the minority that isn't growing at all. I hope not, as I think this is the only way a modern society can survive. Relegating half the society's brain power to the bedroom is not going to work.

For me sexual responsibility involves radical respect for one's partner. That means no sex until both partners think it is a good idea. It means preventing pregnancy until again both partners think they are ready for the responsibility of raising children financially, emotionally, and with the social support including medical that constitutes responsible parenting. Preventing the possible transmission of STD's is usually not an issue if both partners have the same ideas about responsible sexuality. But if one has had irresponsible sex in the past that may be a consideration until medical testing confirms freedom from STDs.

This normally results in monogamy long before the monogamy is blessed by some church, but if the bond fails, as occasionally happens in spite of sexual bonding, it will happen early and before children are involved. Then the result will be serial monogamy usually on the second try.

I was never indoctrinated that my sexual impulses were bad or 'dirty.' I was, however, strongly indoctrinated that if the Girl Scout was not similarly inclined (Hat tip to Tom Lehrer) or I was not prepared and ready to accept the consequences of my instinctual action, I had better cause her to cry and walk out the door, or cause myself to say 'Oh, shit. Oh well, there will be another who will be similarly inclined.'"

All of which have happened to me. As well as similar situations where we were both willing and eager, but not ready for the expected consequences. In one case purely psychological consequences. As a normal heterosexual male, in normal heterosexual social activities, I have had all the usual opportunities, and temptations, but in general according to my standards I behaved morally rather than instinctively. I have no regrets about missed opportunities, I think I chose wisely to miss them. But it was not denying my dark side. It was controlling my life.

Will it work for everybody? Of course not, but it works a lot better than denying the pair bonding efficacy of long term sexuality. And it works a lot better than trying to deny the stiffie. It seems that not even priests can do that reliably. As my favorite T-shirt says: Got a stiffie wear a Jiffy (brand condom.) The stiffie will win every time particularly if she or in some cases he is interested. It is called being mammalian.

Personal responsibility may or may not include abstinence, monogamy, marriage, masturbation, porn, sex toys, prostitutes, homosexuality, and sundry other things the churches deplore for everybody but the preachers. It does include radical respect for a partner, a partner capable of informed consent, and acceptance of responsibility for anything that is the result of the sex including STDs, psychological problems, and conception.

I strongly advocate deferring first pregnancies to the last few years of education, but I am enough of a realist to know that changing instinctive behaviors is not going to work. Every person over the age of 8 should know the benefits and possible risks of all forms of contraception singly and in combination, the Pope be damned. Teens will have sex. This is a given. Very few of them male or female want the responsibility of pregnancy or abortion and will take the necessary steps to prevent it until they are ready for the responsibility of parenting. None of them will "Just say no"

A huge change and I see it in the teens I know well is the complete separation of sexuality and reproduction. Teens of the appropriate age are doing the teen thing just like their remote ancestors did. The difference is that they know how to prevent conception and if relevant STD's and are deferring reproduction until much later. This is a mind-boggling change in attitude toward both sexuality and reproduction. At least for those of us who grew up with much different sexual morality and iffy contraception. My guess is that for those inclined that way late college and grad school will be breeding time for the females. Perhaps with older men who are already out working and established. Although many of the teens are bonding with people their own age and deferring children until an appropriate time. I can certainly understand that particularly with grad schools supporting married couples adequately if not comfortably.

It has already started and it will be the death of paternalism and misogyny. It is called Norplant and safer, less invasive female controlled contraceptives. Once the female can truthfully say "Go ahead fucker, it won't do any good," although the .32 or three fingers up into the solar plexus will have the same effect, the mating dance changes considerably. It doesn't make any difference if God says do it, or force says do it, if the man wants progeny, he will have to convince her to stop the contraception. Certainly "God says do it" will retain power over those properly conditioned to accept God's word. But even back in my childhood, there were a bunch of "unlucky" Catholic families with 2 or 3 children. It was probably a coincidence that the woman was intelligent, educated, and employed.

There will probably still be women that will choose to be sex toys and probably even have children by the rich and famous, recent news events prove that, and it is a viable reproduction strategy. The rich and famous probably have useful genes, or at least genes useful to the current culture. Prenuptials and paternity suits take care of the financial support issues whether or not the rich and famous guy is a father or simply a prick. The few that choose this route will make very little difference, those that aren't rich and famous are going to have to find the whorehouses or the Rosy Palms, or make themselves desirable husbands and fathers.

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