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Source: (consider it) Thread: What is sex?
Happy Abby
Apprentice
# 1814

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quote:
Originally posted by Amos:
Happy Abby: If you believe that the Old Testament strictures re. fornication were put there to prevent us from being hurt emotionally, you may also believe that the law against eating the flesh of the pig was put there to prevent us from contracting trichinosis.

I'm a little confused about this post (what's new??). I don't believe it says anywhere in the Bible that God asks us to refrain because we'll get hurt - I've just superimposed that notion on to the type of God, that, in my head, is the one I follow after! But it makes sense to me when I spend an evening (rather like I did tonight) drinking too much red and mulling over the past, wishing I had not had some of the sexual encounters that I had had - knowing now at least, that I would regret it and that it would also cause problems in my first full on relationship with a Christian. So, am not really sure what your point was Amos - but if it is that God gives us rules,not because he just feels like being bloody nasty - but because he actually cares about our deepest needs and doesn't want to see us as half human beings - then yes, I would follow the line that the rule about pigs was given to prevent people from getting nasty diseases.

Whew - that was a pretty impressive narrative for someone who has just consumed the better part of a bottle of wine. (pats self on back)


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John Donne

Renaissance Man
# 220

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I've looked again at my OP
quote:
This thread is to solicit opinions on what constitutes 'sex' in the context of the goal to remain celibate and chaste and/or chaste before permanent relationship and by association, the possibility of non-sexual, physically affectionate relationships.
I wasn't really looking to debate whether to remain celibate and chaste should be one's goal (I'm not sure how well this thread lends itself to rigorous debate anyway), or whether that is what we are called to, more like, what's appropriate for people who have adopted it as their goal.

Basically I'm still where I was with the topic before we started - avoid all intimate contact. I considered Chast's take on the issue, for me this is a recipe to explode from frustration or restraint. Physically affectionate non-sexual relationships again, doubtful. Others might have more self-control, but I don't think I could do it.

As the OP I request the thread be closed.


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Happy Abby
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# 1814

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Hi. I think that your original OP is being debated (albeit with some tangents en route) but it seems that people are entering into a good discussion about intimacy and whether phone/cyber/oral sex are 'sex'. Maybe I'm wrong? I for one, am finding this all very interesting and kind of hope that it doesn't get closed. But ah well...whatever will be, will be.
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John Donne

Renaissance Man
# 220

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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Happy Abby:
I think that your original OP is being debated (albeit with some tangents en route) but it seems that people are entering into a good discussion about intimacy and whether phone/cyber/oral sex are 'sex'.[QUOTE]
Yes, I think there's interesting discussion happening, but I'm a bit conscious of being part of and generally assisting threads go into salacious death spirals, and fearing the worst now that we're in Hell, wanted to avoid it. The prurience thing.

[Brings bowl of water. Washes hands]


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Ultraspike

Incensemeister
# 268

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quote:
Originally posted by The Coot:
[QUOTE] ... salacious death spirals ...

Sounds like all of the sexual relationships I've ever had. But to your original premise, I can say that my best relationships and the closest to real love have also been the most chaste. A case can surely be made that love does not really need sexual intimacy to grow and often sex and its many-headed dragons are the death of it. But on the other hand sex is truly sublime when love is present, so go figure.

But I at least hereby absolve you, Coot, from any responsibility for further musings in this thread.

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A cowgirl's work is never done.


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Happy Abby
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# 1814

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quote:
Originally posted by Ultraspike:
Sounds like all of the sexual relationships I've ever had. But to your original premise, I can say that my best relationships and the closest to real love have also been the most chaste. A case can surely be made that love does not really need sexual intimacy to grow and often sex and its many-headed dragons are the death of it. But on the other hand sex is truly sublime when love is present, so go figure.

But I at least hereby absolve you, Coot, from any responsibility for further musings in this thread.


Hmmm...not so sure about this whole love not needing sexual intimacy in order to grow. I would say that sex is a pretty crucial element to any long lasting relationship. After all, you can love your mum to the point of wanting to die for her and you can love your friends in likewise manner but to leave them (to some extent) and spend the rest of your life with someone you are not related to, see every single day, share a bed with, maybe have children with - ah well, that, in my opinion requires a different kind of love. Sort of love that means that you keep on working through issues with that person even if at that precise moment, you hate them. Hence, mehtinketh, thats where sex comes in. Its emotional, bonding intimacy that keeps ya together.

But ah well...there I go again...off on another tangent. I'm sorry!


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tomb
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# 174

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quote:
Originally posted by The Coot:
....I'm a bit conscious of being part of and generally assisting threads go into salacious death spirals, and fearing the worst now that we're in Hell, wanted to avoid it. The prurience thing....

Well, as I have previously posted, I have no intention of permitting that to happen. This thread may be in Hell because of topic, but that does not automatically assume it will stay there because of content.

I would like to keep it open for a while, Coot, and we'll do our best to keep the naughty-bit factor down.

[fixed my own stinkin' UBB code]

[ 21 November 2001: Message edited by: tomb ]


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that Wikkid Person
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# 4446

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I teach high school. Children always want to know "Why can't we...?" because they are unduly focussed on rules and what is allowed, at the expense of choosing goals and then considering what path to take to them. Often they want to do all the things they aren't allowed to do, just because. I guess we all tend to do that. Maybe a good question isn't "Is it wrong/against the bible" to do a thing, but rather "What do I hope to accomplish and am I doing it in a good way?" or whatever... This would mean a guy who's picked up a drunk girl in a pub would have to justify "What is this in aid of, in the larger tapestry of my life and trying to be true to who God made me to be?" rather than "Is this against a rule in the bible somewhere?"

P.S. Also, could someone please summarize for me all those Old Testament proscriptions against fornication? I don't clearly remember any, so I think I'm missing something. I remember that men had a right to be angry if their wife wasn't virginal, but I don't remember any fornication stuff. Could someone quote some specifics or give me a condensed version please?

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We have only one truth and one reality. Let's make the most of them.

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Girl with the pearl earring
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# 9151

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Possibly a slight deviation from subject, but hopefully not too much (also, rather second hand opinions, but still relevant):

In a recent conversation with my boyfriend about sex (of which I hold the opinion of only one partner as it's a huge commitment and not one I could make to someone I don't love), he said described sex as being analogous to having a conversation with someone. He reckoned you could draw parallels between one-night-stands and 'superficial, small-talk' sex, or you could have 'in-depth conversation' sex, or somewhere in between, you could have 'comfy-chat-down-the-pub-with-a-friend' sex. It wasn't a concept I could understand, as I see sex as a big committment, and one requiring a huge amount of trust and definitely only in a loving stable relationship, but I was just wondering what other people thought of these views?

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Girl with the pearl earring
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# 9151

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I'm also aware this is a very old thread, and probably no-one will read this now anyway!
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The Lady of the Lake
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# 4347

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Well I'm interested in Dead Horses, at least sometimes. [Biased]

Your boyfriend's analogy is an interesting one, but I'm not convinced by it because I would think that the proper analogy to 'superficial, small talk' in terms of physical activity is something rather less full-on than a one-night stand! I'm also not convinced small-talk is superficial; I think it depends on the intentions behind it. You could say that formalities like 'hello, how are you, how is your job/family'etc. count as small talk.
As for 'comfy-chat-down-the-pub-with-a-friend', that perhaps depends on whether one wants to have sex with a friend! [Eek!]
I'm a bit happier with the analogy of an in-depth conversation, because it helps point out its own shadow side, of an activity analogous to a monologue, lecture, exam or being talked at but actually ignored as a person.

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Halo
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# 6933

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quote:
Originally posted by that Wikkid Person:
P.S. Also, could someone please summarize for me all those Old Testament proscriptions against fornication? I don't clearly remember any, so I think I'm missing something. I remember that men had a right to be angry if their wife wasn't virginal, but I don't remember any fornication stuff. Could someone quote some specifics or give me a condensed version please?

I searched and searched for the verse that supposidly warned people from sex before marriage and found nothing. I finally got up the courage to ask my Mum (who knows everything) and she pointed me in the direction of 1 Corithians 6 v 18. The King James version says 'shun forniction' which is sex outside of marriage, but the revised standard says 'shun immorality' which could be refering to any sexual sin.

NB 1 Corinthians 6 v 19 is the oft quoted verse about ones body being a temple.

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that Wikkid Person
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# 4446

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So can we agree that the Old Testament contains no rules making sex before marriage a trespass?

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We have only one truth and one reality. Let's make the most of them.

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Janine

The Endless Simmer
# 3337

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Trying to fine-tune the brain to think like an OT patriarch here...

Sex before marriage would seem, thinking through my OT studies, to be a Bad Thing only in that it devalues the formerly virgin women in the Marriage Mart. Also messes with reasonable proof of paternity of the first child of a marriage.

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Alliebath
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# 10547

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quote:
Originally posted by Girl with the pearl earring:
Possibly a slight deviation from subject, but hopefully not too much (also, rather second hand opinions, but still relevant):

In a recent conversation with my boyfriend about sex (of which I hold the opinion of only one partner as it’s a huge commitment and not one I could make to someone I don’t love), he said described sex as being analogous to having a conversation with someone. He reckoned you could draw parallels between one-night-stands and ‘superficial, small-talk’ sex, or you could have ‘in-depth conversation’ sex, or somewhere in between, you could have ‘comfy-chat-down-the-pub-with-a-friend’ sex. It wasn’t a concept I could understand, as I see sex as a big committment, and one requiring a huge amount of trust and definitely only in a loving stable relationship, but I was just wondering what other people thought of these views?

In an internet exchange of views with someone from the world of paraphilia, I was challenged with the question: “Could there not be a little bit of love in one-night stand?” Which seems to run a parallel course with your boyfriend’s questioning.

I have had to ponder that long and seriously, and I have to agree that that, yes, there can be. Even if it is only one-sided someone seeking some loving from a one-night encounter.

We bracket sexual activity so differently from everything else we do, and then the Church brackets it even more.

Reading Queer Theology has really made me challenge our stereotypical views on sexuality and sexual behaviour, although seeds were sown long, long ago by Harvey Cox in his Situation Ethics. We have given up the food laws of Judaism, we have given up the clothes laws, we have gievn up the cultic worship laws…

Out there in the paraphilia world there are ethical debates of very high quality and concern about relationships and acceptability, and even books published like The Ethical Slut.

I’ll stop or I’ll start wanting to quote bits of Hamlet…

--------------------
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as an expensive way
of playing marbles

G. K. Chesterton

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badman
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# 9634

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quote:
Originally posted by Girl with the pearl earring:
Possibly a slight deviation from subject, but hopefully not too much (also, rather second hand opinions, but still relevant):

In a recent conversation with my boyfriend about sex (of which I hold the opinion of only one partner as it's a huge commitment and not one I could make to someone I don't love), he said described sex as being analogous to having a conversation with someone. He reckoned you could draw parallels between one-night-stands and 'superficial, small-talk' sex, or you could have 'in-depth conversation' sex, or somewhere in between, you could have 'comfy-chat-down-the-pub-with-a-friend' sex. It wasn't a concept I could understand, as I see sex as a big committment, and one requiring a huge amount of trust and definitely only in a loving stable relationship, but I was just wondering what other people thought of these views?

A different analogy would be eating. Snacking too much might spoil your appetite for the main meal. And might not be very nutritious.

On the other hand, when you're starving and you haven't time or opportunity for the main meal, a snack can help you carry on for the time being.

One analogy, two points of view!

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DangerousDeacon
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# 10582

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It seems there are two different aspects here - the moral aspect and the legalistic. What constitutes sex is going to range from anything that is erotically arousing involving two people through to sexual intercourse with mutual orgasm. Morally, it is hard to draw a line; perhaps anything which makes you personally feel guilty is sex! (Only joking, but points up the relativistic problems in making judgements here). For my mind, if it involves two or more people and involves touching each other genitally, then it is sex, but this position is as open to critique as others.

On the other hand, the law requires certainty, be that the law of the church or the law of the state. Thus the state often differentiates between rape and indecent assault (the latter having a lesser penalty) and does this by describing what is sexual intercourse (usually defined in penetrative terms) and thus what is not.

So, in short, no easy answer as to what is sex in moral terms, as it can be variously defined at various points along a wide continuum, usually in a fairly arbitrary way. Truly a dead horse this one!

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'All the same, it may be that I am wrong; what I take for gold and diamonds may be only a little copper and glass.'

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Cymruambyth
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# 10887

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I think this whole thread is a complete hoot! I get the feeling that more than a few participants are enjoying a bit of a turn-on just reading along!

What is sex? Well, depending on your point of view:

1) It's a gift from God
2) It's anything you do with your partner that gives you mutual pleasure (and, yes, that can include piano-playing in a lusty way or eating oysters provocatively - remember that hilarious scene in 'Tom Jones'?)
3) It's the most fun you can have with your clothes off - or on.

If it wasn't for sex, where would we be? Inconceivable!

[Overused]

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"Tradition is the living faith of the dead; traditionalism is the dead faith of the living." Jaroslav Pelikan

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AndyB
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# 10186

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back on the OP, the question is what constitutes sex where staying chaste is concerned.

I've never had full sexual intercourse with anyone, but I did have oral sex (very happily) with my last gf.

In retrospect, it has to be said... we were as much sexual lovers as if we'd been having full sex. Truthfully, it's a poor defence... "We were only having oral sex" "Yes, and you of course weren't lovers?"

Will I do it again? I know I want to, but I'm certain God is saying "No, Andy"

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sharkshooter

Not your average shark
# 1589

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quote:
Originally posted by Cymruambyth:
...If it wasn't for sex, where would we be? Inconceivable!


Don't you mean "Unconceived"?

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Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. [Psalm 19:14]

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mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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You keep using that word. I am not sure it means what you think it means.

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Leila
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# 11555

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quote:
Originally posted by AndyB:


Will I do it again? I know I want to, but I'm certain God is saying "No, Andy"

So is what you're saying that you believe God has called you to celibacy or that you think sex is bad and wrong and God's getting the blame for that?

If you truely believe that God has called you to celibacy and you're happy with that then you need to embrace that and get on and live your life. But also be open to the fact that sometimes God's call on any of us in any situation aren't neccesarily forever calls.

If you think sex is bad and wrong then don't do it or else get counselling if you want to be able to do it without feeling guilty. To even imagine that oral sex isn't really sex is just a cop out - in my humble opinion.

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"Do not believe just because it has always been that way, do not believe just because others may believe so. Examine and experience yourself." The Buddha

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AndyB
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# 10186

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quote:
So is what you're saying that you believe God has called you to celibacy or that you think sex is bad and wrong and God's getting the blame for that?

If you truely believe that God has called you to celibacy and you're happy with that then you need to embrace that and get on and live your life. But also be open to the fact that sometimes God's call on any of us in any situation aren't neccesarily forever calls.

Actually, no - just not to have sex (oral or otherwise) outside marriage.
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Leila
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# 11555

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quote:
Originally posted by AndyB:
quote:

But also be open to the fact that sometimes God's call on any of us in any situation aren't neccesarily forever calls.

Actually, no - just not to have sex (oral or otherwise) outside marriage.
AndyB.
That's what I meant when I said that God's calls on any of us aren't neccessarily forever calls.
If you feel that God has called you to celibacy outside of marriage then that's fine and dandy and I know several Christian women who would be delighted to meet someone like you because they feel exactly the same.
Before that I think I was just sayng that it's no good letting sex become a focal issue in your life if you know you're not going to be doing it for sometime - I think that's how some people with similar opinions to you can end up in marriages which ultimatly don't work. Just enjoy living your life.

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Eliab
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# 9153

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quote:
Originally posted by AndyB:
we were as much sexual lovers as if we'd been having full sex.

I don't think I quite get that. You presumably had a reason for not having "full" sex - you had decided to hold back the act which (for you) represented "fullness" of sexual intimacy. Surely the fact that you were able to make that distinction, and have one sort of contact while feeling that the time was not right for the other is pretty good evidence that you weren't "just as much" sexually involved as if you had not restricted yourself?

(That isn't to say that you didn't go too far - but I don't know that and it isn't for me to judge.)

quote:
Originally posted by Leila:
To even imagine that oral sex isn't really sex is just a cop out - in my humble opinion.

I don't think it is, at least, I don't think it necessarily is. I suppose for someone who sees the purpose of sex simply as reaching orgasm, it doesn't matter much how you get there, but if sex is also about expressing intimacy and commitment then there might well be a distinction for some couples and some ways of getting each other off might seem to them more serious than other ways.

I'm not suggesting that (from a no-sex-before-marriage perspective) oral sex is always ok. It is a very intimate act and my view would be that it is appropriate only for commited and loving relationships. For me, though, it is lower on the scale than "full" sex, and that does not in my experience appear to be a very unusual view.

It doesn't seem to me to be in the least a cop out to say that there are relationships (or stages of a relationship) at which I think it would be appropriate to kiss but not have oral sex, or to have oral sex but not have full sex, or to feel that anything goes. Other people's scales may be calibrated differently.

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"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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les@BALM
The Ship's Visionary
# 11237

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Sex is the trinity of the meeting of mind, body and spirit in the one loving act.

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il sole d'Italia mi è rimasto nel cure
Italia campioni del mondo ****

Tiggs the cat.

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wanderingstar
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# 10444

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Really? I never thought such a trinity could feel so underwhelming at times.

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You know what you shouldn't have done? You should never have let me press all those buttons...

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leo
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# 1458

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quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:
quote:
Originally posted by AndyB:
we were as much sexual lovers as if we'd been having full sex.

I suppose for someone who sees the purpose of sex simply as reaching orgasm, it doesn't matter much how you get there, but if sex is also about expressing intimacy and commitment then there might well be a distinction for some couples and some ways of getting each other off might seem to them more serious than other ways.

I'm not suggesting that (from a no-sex-before-marriage perspective) oral sex is always ok. It is a very intimate act and my view would be that it is appropriate only for commited and loving relationships. For me, though, it is lower on the scale than "full" sex, and that does not in my experience appear to be a very unusual view.

Why is 'oral sex' not 'full sex'? Why this obssession with one sort of penetration over another? Why obssession with penetration full stop?

Sex is many and glorious. (And for many males, oral sex is often more fun).

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My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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Emma Louise

Storm in a teapot
# 3571

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giving or recieving leo??
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Eliab
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# 9153

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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
Why is 'oral sex' not 'full sex'?

I’m quoting AndyB here, but I think it was a revealing choice of words. Oral sex, nice though it may be, isn’t “going all the way”. It doesn’t imply a loss of virginity, won’t serve to consummate a marriage, and won’t help you make babies. It’s different from full sex. It feels different (physically and emotionally) and (for me at least) doesn’t mean quite as much.

quote:
Why this obsession with one sort of penetration over another? Why obsession with penetration full stop?
No obsession from me, simply recording the fact that I think oral sex and sex are qualitatively different, and therefore it seems quite reasonable for those people who feel as I do to treat them differently.

The same logic applies just as well for non-penetrative contact. Kissing is sexual. It can be as intense and enjoyable as ‘full sex’. There are (IMO) some relationships where kissing is right, and some where it is wrong. But, for me, kissing is lower on the scale of intimacy than sex. It means less, and it promises less. So the number of possible relationships in which I would kiss is larger than the number in which I’d have sex. If someone were to say that it’s a cop out, or a poor excuse, to say that kissing isn’t really sex then (as far as I am concerned) they would be quite wrong.

I’m not suggesting that everyone should have the same attitude as me. If you think that kissing, or oral sex, or anything else, is ‘full sex’ then that’s fine. I don’t.

If you have some sort of scale of intimacy at all (and I think you must if – as the OP here postulates – you think some sort of chastity before marriage is desirable and you intend to see, touch and speak to your partner at all before to get married) then there is going to be a point which, for you, constitutes ‘sex’. In my opinion, a couple might reasonably put oral sex either before or after that point, and it would be unfair to assume bad faith whichever they choose.

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Gracious rebel

Rainbow warrior
# 3523

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quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:
It’s different from full sex. It feels different (physically and emotionally) and (for me at least) doesn’t mean quite as much.

I agree that oral sex is different. I would disagree that its in any way 'less intimate' than full sex.

But maybe that's because I only experienced oral sex (either giving or receiving) some time after I experienced 'normal' sex. (And only experienced normal sex after marriage.)

To me, it seems far more intimate to get your mouth down there on your lover's most sexual parts, than to simply thrust your genitals together. To be honest I still don't like to give oral (although I love to receive it!) but as it happens, that is fine in my marriage, as my husband is one of those rare men that doesn't much enjoy it anyway!! [Big Grin]

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les@BALM
The Ship's Visionary
# 11237

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Regarding the thread title, I have to be honest and say I dont know, as its not something I've experienced for a many a year.

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leo
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# 1458

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quote:
Originally posted by Emma.:
giving or recieving leo??

Both!

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AndyB
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# 10186

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On the distinction between oral sex and full sex...

I find oral is probably more intimate, partly because it involves a lot of giving. Certainly, the emotional bonds I feel would have been the same.

I think that for me to sit and say that oral is all right because it's not full sex is fooling myself.

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RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:
Oral sex, nice though it may be, isn’t “going all the way”. It doesn’t imply a loss of virginity, won’t serve to consummate a marriage, and won’t help you make babies. It feels different (physically and emotionally) and (for me at least) doesn’t mean quite as much.

What means more to you is of course indisputable. But you're aiming toward making a more general statement about why oral sex is not on an emotional par with "going all the way," and it seems to me that lots of gay people, especially lesbians but not excluding all those gay guys who don't have anal sex, would have grounds for taking issue with this.
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Eliab
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# 9153

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quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
What means more to you is of course indisputable. But you're aiming toward making a more general statement about why oral sex is not on an emotional par with "going all the way," and it seems to me that lots of gay people, especially lesbians but not excluding all those gay guys who don't have anal sex, would have grounds for taking issue with this.

Fair point, except that I'm not making a general statement about how anyone else ought to feel about sex.

My general statement is limited to saying that (for a straight couple) there are objective differences between oral sex and 'full sex'. I am not saying that every couple has to translate those differences into the same emotions that I would. If AndyB and his next partner decide that oral sex is something that means so much for them that they want to reserve it for marriage, I respect their determination and hope they stick to it.

What I am arguing against is the view that, if, at an appropriate stage of their relationship, they think oral sex is a suitable expression of their love even if they are not ready for (what they regard as) 'full' sex, then they are in some way fooling themselves, making excuses, or acting in bad faith. They need not be.

I'm not saying that engaged couples, for example, should have oral sex, or that it's always ok for them to, or that when same-sex couples have oral sex it isn't 'proper sex'. My point is that it is a reasonable position for a straight couple to take that vaginal intercourse is what they mean by 'sex' and that when they made a commitment not to have sex before marriage that, and only that, is what they meant. I think (as a no-sex-before-marriage person myself) that this would be a valuable decision to make and I would not condemn such a couple for unchastity even if their definition of 'sex' isn't absolutely on a par with mine.

[ 23. July 2006, 13:00: Message edited by: Eliab ]

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"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

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Emma Louise

Storm in a teapot
# 3571

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If I had agreed to have no sex before marriage (as I did with my ex-husband) I would definately say oral sex was on a par with vaginal sex. For me revieving oral sex is far far more intiate than being penetrated.

I am aware its different for all women - but some of the "penetration is the real thing" comes from men for whom that is the "goal" and the point at which they usually orgasm. Most women cant orgasm from penetration alone and for many oral sex is more orgasmic than just penetration. Therefore saying "penetration is real sex" even for a straight couple is really just not on.

I very much think saving just "penetrative sex" til marriage is really sticking to the letter of the law rather than the spirit. Nope you cant get pregnant from oral sex, but emotional and spiritually if i had had oral sex lots before getting married and then had penetrative sex i might have been disappointed!!

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Alex Cockell

Ship’s penguin
# 7487

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quote:
Originally posted by Cymruambyth:
What is sex? Well, depending on your point of view:

1) It's a gift from God
2) It's anything you do with your partner that gives you mutual pleasure (and, yes, that can include piano-playing in a lusty way or eating oysters provocatively - remember that hilarious scene in 'Tom Jones'?)
3) It's the most fun you can have with your clothes off - or on.

If it wasn't for sex, where would we be? Inconceivable!

[Overused]

Re 2 above, I couldn't help but think of Dave Allen's spoof of the Albert Finney version of that scene...

They ate far too much... almost a Mr Creosote moment... [Razz]

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Persephone Hazard

Ship's Wench
# 4648

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quote:
Originally posted by Matt the Mad Medic:
Personally, my take on the issue is that if a couple never went any further than kissing before marriage, restraining themselves for months and months they would feel hopelessly unnatural and out of their depth come wedding night.

I know several couples who have done this all through courtship and then gone on to have healthy, happy and loving marriages that started with, AFAIK, very happy, healthy and enjoyable wedding nights!

Of course, this is all devil's advocate as I don't think that the bible condemns pre-marital sex at all and I Am One To Talk and yadayadayada.

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A picture is worth a thousand words, but it's a lot easier to make up a thousand words than one decent picture. - ken.

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Divine Outlaw
Gin-soaked boy
# 2252

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quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:


My general statement is limited to saying that (for a straight couple) there are objective differences between oral sex and 'full sex'.

I fail to understand why this holds good for 'straight couples' only.

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Zorro
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# 9156

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I don't understand what you're saying here DOD, is it that you don't understand why non-straight couples can't have "full sex"?

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Well, churches really should be like sluts; take everyone no matter who they are or whether they can pay. Spiffy da wondersheep

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Eliab
Shipmate
# 9153

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quote:
Originally posted by Divine Outlaw Dwarf:
quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:


My general statement is limited to saying that (for a straight couple) there are objective differences between oral sex and 'full sex'.

I fail to understand why this holds good for 'straight couples' only.
I'm not saying it holds good for straight couples only. I'm saying that it is generally true for straight couples. Whether or not it is true of gay couples I have no idea. I've never been part of a gay couple.

I completely accept that some straight people won't see the differences between these various sorts of sex, or won't see them as important, or will think that different as they are they are all appropriate only to marriage. Which is fine - they can act accordingly. I don't think the assumption that of bad faith, legalism or unchastity against those who honestly take a different view is warranted.

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"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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Divine Outlaw
Gin-soaked boy
# 2252

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quote:
Originally posted by Zorro:
I don't understand what you're saying here DOD, is it that you don't understand why non-straight couples can't have "full sex"?

No, I'm saying:

(a.) I see no good reason why a gay couple can't decide, by stipulation or by some kind of sub-cultural convention, that a certain act will signify intimacy more than another one - be 'full sex' if you will.

Conversely,

(b.) I think there is almost certainly more diversity in the experience of real straight couples than the view, whether propounded with exclamation marks by Loaded magazine or in polysyllables by the House of Bishops, that there is a neatly defined 'home base', to which all other sexual activity is mere prolegomena.

Which isn't to say that I subscribe to an absolute relativism of the Liz Stuartesque 'rubbing sun tan lotion on your partner can be more intimate than penetrative sex' variety either. I just think the situation is rather more complicated than most people allow. But I also suspect that the kind of Christian who runs the 'oral/anal/whatever else sex isn't sex, so I'm not having sex before marriage' line is acting in bad faith.

[ 11. January 2007, 10:49: Message edited by: Divine Outlaw Dwarf ]

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Dennis the Menace
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# 11833

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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
quote:
Originally posted by Emma.:
giving or recieving leo??

Both!
Amen to that as well!!!

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"Till we cast our crowns before Him; Lost in wonder, love, and praise."

Posts: 853 | From: Newcastle NSW Australia | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged
Eliab
Shipmate
# 9153

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quote:
Originally posted by Divine Outlaw Dwarf:
But I also suspect that the kind of Christian who runs the 'oral/anal/whatever else sex isn't sex, so I'm not having sex before marriage' line is acting in bad faith.

I don’t think that the assumption is warranted. There may be good arguments for saying that oral sex is best kept to marriage, but since it is (in my head, and as far as I can tell, in the attitudes of most people I know) distinguishable from and lower on the scale than ‘sex’, someone who draws the line just after, rather than just before, a particular act isn’t acting in bad faith any more than is anyone else who holds that some sort of intimate act (kissing, hugging, fondling…) is permissible before marriage.

Anyway, how about this as a definition of ‘sex’ (which works for straights and gays equally):

Suppose you find someone attractive and you pay them to “have sex” with you (with no other specifications or qualifiers). An act is “sex” if, should it be rendered in satisfaction of such an agreement, and were it to be competently and consensually performed, you would not feel entitled to ask for a refund.

Speaking for myself, applying this test would mean that phone sex or text sex doesn’t come close to being sex, mutual masturbation isn’t, oral sex isn’t, anal sex (if I were inclined to it) might be, and vaginal sex certainly is. I’m not suggesting that everyone else (or indeed, anyone else) should get the same results, but the fact that if I wanted the intimacy of “sex” then I would be disappointed to have a blow job tendered in lieu, suggests that there is a meaningful difference.

And therefore making a commitment to abstain from sex-narrowly-defined is a meaningful commitment. It is giving up the satisfaction of a desire which other permitted acts do not fulfil. There is nothing wrong or dishonest about such a commitment. I’ll grant that a greater renunciation might be still more meaningful, but that doesn’t make the lesser one valueless.

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"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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Gracious rebel

Rainbow warrior
# 3523

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Eliab I must say that you definition of sex based on how you would feel if you paid a prostitute to have sex with you, is at the very least distasteful, and most certainly unhelpful. For it is of course one sided. It takes two to tango! And while you might feel that a blow job (how I hate that term!!) is in some way inferior to your expectations of what constitutes 'sex', for the other partner, it just might be the most intimate thing she could imagine doing for you. So whose definition wins?

I cannot see how this approach would be helpful in defining what counts as sex, if one wants to be nit-picky before marriage!!

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Scooby-Doo
Shipmate
# 9822

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quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Divine Outlaw Dwarf:
[qb]There may be good arguments for saying that oral sex is best kept to marriage, but since it is (in my head, ...


[Killing me] [Killing me] [Killing me]

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Posts: 1036 | From: Dorset | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Eliab
Shipmate
# 9153

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quote:
Originally posted by Gracious rebel:
Eliab I must say that you definition of sex based on how you would feel if you paid a prostitute to have sex with you, is at the very least distasteful

Well, yes.

quote:
and most certainly unhelpful. For it is of course one sided.
Naturally. It’s an entirely subjective test.

The point of the example (which I could have put more delicately) is I have a particular set of physical acts in mind when I speak of “having sex”, which might well be different to anyone else’s set, but which is meaningful to me. The test proposed was not “does the act fit a particular definition?” but “does it actually fall within what I think of and value as sex?”. It isn’t nit-picking – that’s the whole point of it being a subjective test. It isn’t about saying that a technical virginity is good enough, but about looking at what is honestly counted as being sex in one’s own heart, not in a textbook definition.

For me, there really does seem to be something I value about the intimacy and importance of “full sex” that oral sex, nice though it may be, doesn’t have. There may not be for someone else – they may make no important distinction in the degree of commitment expressed. That’s fine – I don’t insist that they need to. I don’t get to accuse them of being shallowly insensitive to what I see as a real difference in meaning, they don’t get to accuse me of legalism or bad faith.

[ 19. January 2007, 20:57: Message edited by: Eliab ]

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"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

Posts: 4619 | From: Hampton, Middlesex, UK | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
Gracious rebel

Rainbow warrior
# 3523

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But the logical result is that two people could then rightly disagree about whether or not they had 'had sex'. If this seems OK to you, fine, but shades of Clinton's 'I did not have sex with that woman' come to mind which to me is a most unhelpful starting position.

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Lori
Shipmate
# 9456

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quote:
Originally posted by Sibling Coot:
My position is this: it does not matter in what manner people gain sexual arousal .... If the end result is sexual arousal, then a sexual act has taken place .... So I guess also, I am doubtful of the possibility of existence of a non-sexual, physically affectionate relationship between 2 people who are attracted to one another

I had been living a decade with another woman (gay relationship) when I became a Biblical Christian (ie no relationship with God, but adhering to the Bible). Although I saw no condemnation in the Hebrew/Greek re. homosexuality, I thought, hey, God only likes sex within marriage ... and marriage is between a man and a woman (says she who is nowadays married in civil partnership to another woman) .... and so I became celibate.

My partner was initially horrified, but, within a few months, said she was convinced ... and a Christian also.

We still shared a bed. We still kissed each other hello and goodbye (in a rather pecking sort of way). We still hugged. We were still attracted to each other etc: but we backed off from arousal. And remained celibate for the five years we were believers. We simply put our understanding of 'what God wanted' first. And that made it kind of easy. So, yes, I'd say, a cuddly celibate relationship, even when there is physical attraction, is possible.

But as for sexual arousal: during that time I have never been so sexually responsive in my life. I suddenly understood how Victorian men were (allegedly) turned-on my the glimpse of an ankle. My lack of sexual expression burst out every way possible: if it were true that 'if the end result is sexual arousal, then a sexual act has taken place', then I am guilty of having sex with every person of every age and body type (and both genders) that ever appeared in front of my nose.

I couldn't (and can't) control my physical responses. I could (and can) control what I did with them.

My body has a mind of its own. But there is that real mind of mine that ultimately decides.

[ 20. January 2007, 02:13: Message edited by: Lori ]

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