• Posty McPostface
    1.7k
    I never understood the fascination with sex in the West despite being from the West myself.

    Why is sex so idolized in the West? It seems nowadays that almost every film produced for adults has to have at least one sex scene. The internet is awash with pornography. I find it disturbing that people are so mesmerized by it.

    I've never had sex myself and frankly don't want to. I want to go through life not indulging in it; but, the struggle is real with sex being advertised and promoted almost everywhere you go.

    It's quite saddening.
  • TheMadFool
    1.6k
    Sex is a primordial instinct-even bacteria engage in it.

    Is it surprising if it dominates most, if not all, of human interaction?
  • The Great Whatever
    2.2k
    I don't know about never, but having a wife and going at it in the missionary position with the lights off and holding hands once a week sounds alright.
  • R-13
    83

    This is a great issue. Our Western eyes are mouths these days. The lust is largely cerebral. The "money spirit" keeps lust in check and steers it into the monogamous and the virtual. (The young, though, are often hornier than they are greedy or vain.)
  • Bitter Crank
    3.9k
    Why is sex so idolized in the West?Question

    Is it idolized? Is "the West" a uniform, billion+ person sex-worshiping fertility cult? I think not. Most people do not engage in anything remotely associated with "sex idolization".

    Of the billion+ people who comprise the population of the west, there are three groups that might lead one to think that "the West" idolizes sex.

    First, there may be 25 million people that may actually idolize themselves and sex. These people would be the younger, quite a bit more attractive, healthier-looking, more affluent heterosexual and homosexual hedonists who live in the larger urban centers. They are a small fraction of 1.5 - 2.0 billion people. They get a disproportionate amount of attention in the press because their hedonistic sexually active lives are much more distracting than coverage of the overweight working class people who are too tired and too poor to lead dazzling lives.

    There is an second relatively small groups of people who are engaged in activities that might lead one to think that "the West" idolizes sex: certain businesses like advertising and cultural production and distribution. The cultural influence of this group is wildly disproportionate to it's size. This group primarily uses sex as a tool to sell an infinity of products.

    The principle that "sex sells" comes with a critical catch: Sex sells products that almost never result in more sex. If it did, the product would have a much more limited sales life. If buying Lady Killer cologne promptly led to users finding more sex partners, their need for more Lady Killer would be diminished. They'd pour some of the stuff on themselves, go have an orgy, and not need to buy any other sex-promoting product for a long time. The product must always promise plenty but never deliver much.

    Hence, we are inundated by advertising that promises sex and never effectively delivers it. What tends to get us sex is our own pheromones, reasonably healthy bodies, attractive faces, charm offensives, good hygiene... and money, of course. Even just a little money helps. Enough money to buy him or her a few drinks... Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.

    A third group is the cultural production businesses--Hollywood, TV, Internet, music, video, magazines, and so on. This group sells entertainment that is laced with sexual imagery (and in the case of porn, sexual activity) because sex sells (and spices up) entertainment. Sex adds an air of verisimilitude to a dull and otherwise uninteresting story.

    How much spice we each need varies. I can totally enjoy an orchestra concert which offers zero sexual innuendo or imagery. A steady diet of movies about love affairs that didn't involve any sex at all would not be acceptable.
  • m-theory
    1.1k

    I agree.
    It is not so much that sex is idolized in the west, but the west is less culturally uptight about sexuality.
    Maybe that is not even right.
    I have no idea about sexuality in eastern cultures.
    From what I have been informed, they are kind of uptight about it in middle eastern cultures though, at least compared to the west.
  • Bitter Crank
    3.9k
    I've never had sex myself and frankly don't want to. I want to go through life not indulging in it; but, the struggle is real with sex being advertised and promoted almost everywhere you go.Question

    Do you want us to discuss your personal sexual feelings? I'd be more than happy to -- your lack of sex is a fascinating topic, and I would love to make you the object of prurient speculation, but you might not want that.

    By the way, I suspect you'd find that your struggle to never have sex would be as difficult in the 10th century as in the 21st century.
  • Posty McPostface
    1.7k
    Do you want us to discuss your personal sexual feelings? I'd be more than happy to -- your lack of sex is a fascinating topic, and I would love to make you the object of prurient speculation, but you might not want that.Bitter Crank

    I don't understand it myself. I suppose something happened a long long time ago that doesn't want to be brought up; but, is a need of attention. Either that or I'm telling myself a crock of shit. Really confusing as I shouldn't have problems satisfying this urge; but, clearly have them as I've created this topic.
  • Posty McPostface
    1.7k
    Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.
  • Ying
    42
    never understood the fascination with sex in the West despite being from the West myself.

    Why is sex so idolized in the West? It seems nowadays that almost every film produced for adults has to have at least one sex scene. The internet is awash with pornography. I find it disturbing that people are so mesmerized by it.

    I've never had sex myself and frankly don't want to. I want to go through life not indulging in it; but, the struggle is real with sex being advertised and promoted almost everywhere you go.

    It's quite saddening.
    Question


    It's not so much about sex as it is about selling things. Sexual imagery merely is a means to an end in that regard. Not really meant to arouse in itself but to make some or the other trinket more exciting. We don't live in a society that idolizes sex imho. We live in a society that reinforces economic materialism through constant repetition. On an atomic level, it's innocent enough. Some idiot trying to hawk his wares. On a larger scale, advertisements become an ubiquitous part of our behavioral environment. This is great if you happen to be a capitalist; capitalism and economic materialism go hand in hand...
  • Terrapin Station
    3.7k
    I'm very libertine, and I'm a big fan of sex. Contemporary culture seems rather prudish when it comes to sex to me. We are still very monogamy-oriented, we have sexual scandals, we publicly demonize women who have a lot of casual sex, prostitution is illegal, we have huge hang-ups about the idea of youths having sex, we have all sorts of behavioral restrictions on sex, we don't at all promote a casual sex culture, etc. I see all of that as rather problematic.
  • Bitter Crank
    3.9k
    I suppose something happened a long long time ago that doesn't want to be brought up; but, is a need of attention. Either that or I'm telling myself a crock of shit.Question

    It's always possible that you are telling yourself a crock of shit. All of us do that at one time or another.

    If something happened a long time ago that doesn't want to be brought up and is in need of attention, then a public forum is probably not a good place to delve into it. You would benefit from the assistance of a good therapist to deal with the "doesn't want to be brought up" stuff.

    Crocks of shit, though, are fair game.

    There seems to be a cross-cultural consensus that sex is good for people and that they benefit from having healthy (not abusive) sexual encounters and sexual relationships. Unless one is sacrificing sex for a higher goal (like taking a vow of celibacy required of priests, monks, and nuns) there usually isn't any virtue in avoiding the kind of sex one desires.

    There may not be all that much virtue in celibacy either. It's a very tough row to hoe for even the most committed, as are the vows of poverty and obedience.

    You don't have to have sex, of course. Not everybody does, but most people do. It's mostly a question of "is this a comfortable and happy choice" or "is this an unpleasant accommodation of unpleasant personal experience"? If it is the former, talking about it here might useful. If it is the latter, talking about it someplace else (in private) would be better for you.
  • Bitter Crank
    3.9k
    Right on! as we used to say. One of the causes of the neo-freudian Wilhelm Reich's downfall was that he advocated for the right of juveniles to have healthy sexual experiences. Surgeon General Jocelyn Elder hit the rocks for suggesting that sex education programs should encourage masturbation as an alternative to very problematic juvenile intercourse (children having babies, STDs, all of that).

    We only "seem" to be saturated with sex. Sex saturation is mostly a commercial tease: "Here it is, quick look" then "NO you can't have it".

    I used to be a libertine but that gradually went away as I crept into old age. Some 70 year olds are still quite active sexually. But... after being in a relationship for a long time, I don't really have that much interest any more. (Well, interest--yes, but not the performative élan I used to have.)
  • m-theory
    1.1k
    Are you really 70?
  • Bitter Crank
    3.9k
    Really! I find it hard to believe myself, sometimes. Other times, not so much.
  • m-theory
    1.1k
    Huh.
    For some reason I thought you were younger.

    I am surprised you can figure out the computer to use the forum.
    >:)
  • Agustino
    7.7k
    This thread quickly becomes filled by sex-crazed sharks - as with most sex related threads. Terrapin Sextation and Bitter Crank being prime examples.

    Sex is a primordial instinct-even bacteria engage in it.TheMadFool
    Nope, that process of horizontal gene transfer is different than reproduction. Bacteria don't reproduce through sex.

    Is it surprising if it dominates most, if not all, of human interaction?TheMadFool
    Well - it doesn't, and it's such a simplistic reductionism to think it does.

    I don't know about never, but having a wife and going at it in the missionary position with the lights off and holding hands once a week sounds alright.The Great Whatever
    >:O true that

    I can totally enjoy an orchestra concert which offers zero sexual innuendo or imagery. A steady diet of movies about love affairs that didn't involve any sex at all would not be acceptable.Bitter Crank
    That's very strange. Why do you need to see sex? Now that's really weird brother. In fact, I hate seeing sex in movies about love - I like those movies which imply but do not show it.

    It is not so much that sex is idolized in the west, but the west is less culturally uptight about sexuality.m-theory
    Right. That's why you have so many teens keen on sex when they aren't even 14 - because we don't idolize sex. Give me a break dude. It's what all teenagers today are preoccupied with. Back when I was in school, we only started to get preoccupied by sex late - like 8th or 9th grade. But nowadays, kids do it as early as 12. That's unacceptable, and evidence of a culture in decline.

    First, there may be 25 million people that may actually idolize themselves and sex. These people would be the younger, quite a bit more attractive, healthier-looking, more affluent heterosexual and homosexual hedonists who live in the larger urban centers. They are a small fraction of 1.5 - 2.0 billion people. They get a disproportionate amount of attention in the press because their hedonistic sexually active lives are much more distracting than coverage of the overweight working class people who are too tired and too poor to lead dazzling lives.Bitter Crank
    It's not about the number of people who do it, but the attitude that exists with regard to it. Most people would think that having lots of sex is a good thing. That's what it means that we idolise sex.

    By the way, I suspect you'd find that your struggle to never have sex would be as difficult in the 10th century as in the 21st century.Bitter Crank
    Not true. The desire for sex is mediated through the culture in which you live. I've spoken with people who have lived in conservative cultures their whole lives, and they attest to the fact that the desire for sex exists, but it's not that great.

    I'm very libertine, and I'm a big fan of sex. Contemporary culture seems rather prudish when it comes to sex to me. We are still very monogamy-oriented, we have sexual scandals, we publicly demonize women who have a lot of casual sex, prostitution is illegal, we have huge hang-ups about the idea of youths having sex, we have all sorts of behavioral restrictions on sex, we don't at all promote a casual sex culture, etc. I see all of that as rather problematic.Terrapin Station
    Oh yeah, this guy would even want to shag my wife if he could! Give me a break...


    There seems to be a cross-cultural consensus that sex is good for people and that they benefit from having healthy (not abusive) sexual encounters and sexual relationships.Bitter Crank
    Ehmmmm... no. In fact, I challenge you to provide me evidence that, any kind of nonabusive sex in any kind of culture is good. That's just not true. Conservative cultures will find sex with random people to be bad for example. They would find sex within a relationship to be good though (so in-so-far as they treat sex to always occur within the relationship, they will consider it as good). So there is no cross-cultural consensus about sex. Sex depends on culture. If there is any clear fact, then it is that sex isn't required to live a good life - it's not a necessity towards that aim, and not having sex isn't psychologically bad (unless you live with a culture on your back which pushes you to have sex every single day of your life - then yes, you may go a little bit nuts). We see this not only in human beings, but also in animals. When I was a child, I used to have a dog that never had sex. He lived a very happy life. If you don't let the dog have sex, he doesn't go crazy, stop eating and die. But - if its owner dies, then it will become depressed, it will go next to the grave, stop eating, and die. There's more important things in life than sex - in animals and in humans.
  • Agustino
    7.7k
    I never understood the fascination with sex in the West despite being from the West myself.Question
    It's a relatively recent phenomenon (past 150 years or so considering its roots), and in my opinion will be temporary in duration, simply because a society which behaves this way will go extinct - and that much is unavoidable. Moral degradation always leads to societal dissolution.

    Why is sex so idolized in the West?Question
    Because the West has it too easy. Literarily. When life becomes so easy, people lose motivation, and they get bored and start getting interested in the pursuit of meaningless hedonistic activities like drugs, sex, etc.. Look at Baghdad in the Golden Age of Islam for example, and you'll see the same phenomenon happening, with the young becoming obsessed about sex day in and day out, rising unemployment, etc. Same for Rome back in the day...

    It seems nowadays that almost every film produced for adults has to have at least one sex scene. The internet is awash with pornography. I find it disturbing that people are so mesmerized by it.Question
    Yes I do too. In fact, I've stopped watching movies because it's disgusting to see sex in every movie - that's fucked up. Sex is private for a reason.

    I've never had sex myself and frankly don't want toQuestion
    Personally I've only ever had sex with two girlfriends (out of a total of three that I've had), so probably not much sex at all for someone my age. I would want to have sex but not with a woman whom I don't love but rather with one whom I have a relationship with that's not dependent on sex. I think that much is a natural desire - although not one that is easy to fulfil given our hyper-consumerist and highly individualistic culture.

    I want to go through life not indulging in it; but, the struggle is real with sex being advertised and promoted almost everywhere you go.Question
    I live practically celibate and have done so for a number of years so far, and it's not that bad. I mean once you stop getting involved with those folks who talk about sex day in and day out, and once you start living life on your terms - it's not that bad at all. Once you get rid of the evil cultural demon whispering "you must have sex, you must have sex" in your ear, every single day, then you'll be fine. Lots of people have lived celibate lifestyles for most of their lives - for example even C.S. Lewis has. So there's absolutely no problem with it - don't let yourself be influenced by the irrational crowd.

    It's quite saddening.Question
    It's provoking me to anger personally, more so than sadness, because, by adopting such an attitude, they are destroying something that would, otherwise, be beautiful. That's a disaster! These folks have lost the plot... Like look at Terrapin! He's complaining that we're too conservative! He'd probably like to come and shag my wife, because why not? What's so bad about him having sex with my wife, he would say? What a loony...
  • m-theory
    1.1k
    Well I guess some people are still uptight about sex, but I mean as a culture we are not as uptight as other cultures.

    Teenagers interested in sex you say?
    Well that certainly is unnatural.
    The only explanation must be our oversexed culture.
  • Agustino
    7.7k
    Well I guess some people are still uptight about sex, but I mean as a culture we are not as uptight as other cultures.m-theory
    Yes which is unfortunate that we're not as uptight as other cultures. They have a little bit more reason left in them compared to us.

    Teenagers interested in sex you say?
    Well that certainly is unnatural.
    The only explanation must be our oversexed culture.
    m-theory
    Their mere curiosity isn't the issue. It's their unthoughtful engagement in sex at a young age that is the issue - that is motivated by our oversexed culture.
  • m-theory
    1.1k

    Well in a historical context the youth of today are prudes.
    Heck not but a 100 years ago and you would be married off with kids by 15.
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