Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Sex as a Language

In the last half century or so, it seems, our society has swung from utter abandon in pursuit of sex of every tawdry, extreme and bizarre form, to outright rejection of sex, either with tablets of law from a mountain top or in expressions of sexual indigestion.

Chani, aka Thailand Gal, had this to say in response to my post yesterday:
I am incapable of being a slave to other people's needs, especially someone's sexual needs.
By all means, give up being a slave to someone's sexual needs. But must we forget that sex is a language -- like Thai or English or French?

A better analogy might be a special purpose computer language. Xbase. (I'm not really a techie, I just can do a reasonable imitation.) Few people still program in Xbase, although it's very sturdy and useful to handle databases.

Theoretically, you could write a compiler (a program to make programs) in Xbase and you could create a computer game. But why would you want to?

Xbase, originally dBase later Clipper and other variants, was invented in 1978 to go directly and intimately to the core of the information in a database, to build relations between sets of data, to link up what is often not obvious or easy in a deceptively simple way.

Like sex.

Technically, you could have sex with goats or design a robot to fulfill your every fantasy, but why would you want to?

Sex is a special purpose language that involves seeing, hearing, touching, tasting and smelling. (And, let's not forget, that off chance of reproduction.)

The combination of thought, word, mime and physical contact meld into a whole new dimension of contact with the core of another person. At the same time, we shed the layers of our selves. Then, at a powerful ego-barrier-destroying instant we all associate with intense pleasure, we have an exchange of being occurring that defies logical comprehension or comparison.

Sex is the language of love between two peers.

How to speak such a powerful language? In window shopping for love, look but don't touch, wrote Snoskred a few days ago. Touch and listen to the soul, responded Genevieve.

Chani reminded me that I've already expressed my dislike the idea of shopping for love (here), when I attempted to speak about love as an absolute value.

Yet my original question a week or so ago was whether love occurred one at a time, whether two or more might be touched by love. All in light of the idea that "The One" is largely a chimera (on this Chani's observations seem to match mine, although I have not quite abandoned the possibility).

One answer is to keep a certain distance. Another is to take a little nibble, as of a canape.

Yet another is the approach Leonard Cohen expressed in an interview aeons ago, in which he compared sex to a form of communication. Might we not be able to have several sexual conversations going? This would not be window shopping at all.

One is not intending to "buy" anything, but to share something of oneself and to receive from another, to practice the phrases, the verbs, the syntax of the complex language of love. If all of us could experience an all-connecting orgasm together, wouldn't wars cease, dog-eat-dog competition end, hatred dissipate?

This is not an invitation to a worldwide orgy. (Although ... what are you doing next Saturday?) No, seriously.

I repeat: Sex is the language of love between peers. We are not all peers. Sex should be an expression of equality, of similarity or complementary polarity, of abandonment and trust in another. It is often an instrument of oppression, a stand-in for power, a soft-touch leash.

In the end, sex between everyone and everyone else is not appropriate. But neither is no sex between anyone.


Geneviève said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
thailandchani said...

It has changed from deep, substantial conversation to casual small talk.


Julie Pippert said...

You make good points. I believe I mainly agree.

The theoretical---that we agree on---is, however, a far cry from the actual.

My point has nothing to do with quantity or quality. Some languages have many words for one thing---like Inuits and snow---while others only have one.

My point has to do with what you said here: Sex should be an expression of equality, of similarity or complementary polarity, of abandonment and trust in another. It is often an instrument of oppression, a stand-in for power, a soft-touch leash.

Anonymous said...

You answered your own question. "Sex should be an expression in one another". In any relationship where there is closeness, some degree of physical, emotional vulnerability, one has to feel that there is a level of commitment. I might fight with my best friend or brother but I can do that because I trust that we are committed to each other, e.i. they are not going to abandon me and they will show up in a moment of need. When one has multiple relationships of the type you are describing (which are unlikely to happen if one is not a lier), it opens wide the possibility of abandonment which is devastating to most healthy people. There is something in humans, as well as many animal species, that exact a level of committment i.e. some guarantee that trust won't be violated in order to have a caring relationship, sex or no.
To love one must trust. To trust one needs to have some level of committment, attachment, or the guarantee that everything one is won't be cast off like an old shoe. Maybe you or some of your corresponents do not need commitment or trust but I think most people do. You will be hard pressed to find someone who can tolerate loving another under your conditions. Sociopaths play at this but are incapable of real love and committment. Have you never suffered when you were abandoned? Do you have time for several really close, loving relationships that offer support and help in many ways, that provide care in sickness or be a companion at the end of the day, someone to cry or be happy for
you, to love your children?
Mothers and lovers, friends and brothers are often a pain but, for me, they are essntial. And sex w/o love is either exploitation, masterbation, relief from boredom, or someone to warm up the bed.