Saturday, March 12, 2011
I just now saw something on facebook about somebody being a great "sex ethicist." I don't even want to know what that means. I like wondering. It's an oxymoron, like good grief. If it's not an oxymoron, I can't imagine what it might be. Maybe it's the title of a Surrealist sculpture. I suppose it has to do with behavior such as date rape being against the rules. Or does it propose an etiquette for date rape? Though the more it stays in my mind, the more I'm able to make sense of it. Considering that I grew up in fundamentalist baptist middle-America, deny it and it doesn't exist, everything I learned about sex during teenage years was from boy talk, inexperienced kids talking like they know all about it. The 4 Fs: find em, feel em, fuck em, forget em. That's the sex ethics I was raised on. It's not what I did, but it was what I was told by an experienced adult man. At the time, I didn't take it for sound counsel, but he said it with the conviction that he knew what he was saying. I supposed it was his conclusion after years of much experience that never worked out to his advantage. At the age I am now, looking back at his advice, I wonder what kind of issues he had with his mother. Or it might have been just telling a dumb joke to somebody he hadn't told it to already. Big man talk.
Like John Lee Hooker's song, "Let me be your little wheel, baby, tell you all the big wheel talk." Lying and denial seem to be the approaches to sex ethics when I was growing up, the 1950s. By the time I started dating, the other guys had filled my head up with so much trash about totally ignoring the individual I'm with, who is also another person, not just an inflatable doll. I have to say, I needed a course in sex ethics at school. At home, it was, No, Don't, and You Better Not! At church it was the fire in hell for eternity. I've an idea this is getting close to what is meant by sex ethics. Anything that is pertinent and sensible beats a morality of denial. One thing about it, in this time when girls in high school get pregnant and go on in school, have the baby and keep on going to school as a single mom, feels a whole lot more healthy to me than going to another town to have the baby, give it up for adoption, get a coat hanger abortion, and feel shamed for life. These are tremendous sorrows for a woman to live with.
I'd say sex ethics have to do for one's whole life instead of only the early experience. It can get complex continuing to think about it. Extra-marital, what a big one that is! Things like that happen mostly against the will, so whatever "ethics" or morality or what-have-you is involved, forget all of it. It's going to be what it's going to be. That's when the brain between the legs takes over and the other brain shuts down but for automatic pilot. Then there are the marital sex games of control and whatever else comes up. Some of those games could use a book of etiquette. Disease transmission is another need for some sex ethics. Like if you have a disease, don't pass it on. There too, a great need. I've heard tale after tale over the years of people who get a fatal disease and hate being singled out so much by the apparent random chance of it, they pass it on to as many as they can. That's not ethical.
Ethical seems largely to have to do with what interacts well with others, considers others, is not totally self-centered. Sex is as one-on-one (sometimes) and as other-oriented as anything can be, but I'd bet an awful lot of women would say their men don't give them consideration, it's all about self. Then to say sex is focused on others is not necessarily so. The other is about getting oneself off. Then, sex being a self-centered act to the max, it needs some understanding around ethics. Like a life lived ethically is a good life, sex done ethically is good sex. In the history of Christendom, we've not allowed sex to have any consideration where ethics are concerned. The answer to all questions: No, Don't, and You Better Not! That's no answer to any question, really.
Now that preachers don't have the social power they once had, used to be they were the morality police, and their policing had no ethics or morality about it, just No, Don't, and You Better Not! It's the same tack our government takes distributing contraceptives for disease and pregnancy protection at home and in 3rd World countries. A bunch of preachers in Kansas don't approve, so No, Don't, and You Better Not! is government policy in the world Rupert Murdoch created. Of course, our government is in need of not just sex ethics, but any kind of kindergarten ethics, a starting place. Sex is a good starting place, it keeps the earth abundant. I've about convinced myself to go look up this guy who is the sex ethicist and see what he has to say. I've talked myself into believing there is something to this strange oxymoron that is starting to make sense to me.