Thread: What is sex? Board: Oblivion / Ship of Fools.


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Posted by Sibling Coot (# 220) on :
 
Chastmastr made the following post on the homosexuality thread:
quote:
As part of my obedience to my faith, I do not believe in genital sexual intercourse (which, as I understand it, is genital penetration of any bodily orifice, and/or deliberate stimulation to orgasm) outside of male-female marriage. I am, happily, an active member of the gay community and of the leather community. I cheerily am OK with, advocate, practise, and/or teach (in at least one club I am a member of) practically everything else under the sun (within safety and consensuality limits) apart from the previously defined notions of sexual intercourse. (No-one ever seems to suggest that two (or more) men or women could have intimate, loving, physically affectionate relationships without sexual intercourse.
This reminded me of 2 friends, engaged to be married who told me how, doing the good christian thing, they had abstained from sex. 'Just a second' I said, 'You sleep together'. 'Oh. Well. Yes' came the reply, 'We have oral sex. But not sex'.

My response was: 'Oh, puh-lease.'

I'm not having a go at you Chast, and you haven't qualified whether the other activities are of a sexually gratifying nature - neither do you have to - talking in the abstract here. 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.

My position is this: it does not matter in what manner people gain sexual arousal - kissing, prancing about naked in front of the other person or rubbing up against each other fully clothed if you like. If the end result is sexual arousal, then a sexual act has taken place, and imo, is not distinct from intercourse or stimulation to orgasm (I believe also, this sort of intimacy should be reserved for the permanent and exclusive partner). [Where fetishes with inanimate objects and masturbation fit in, I don't know]

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, unless maybe, it was restricted to hand-holding. (And I can recall at least one steamy hand-holding session).
 


Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
 
i tend to agree, coot. getting off is getting off. if you do it with someone else its sex. mmm... one cavet. thats if the other person is a willing participant. if not, then it isn't. ie phone sex is sex. making obscene phone calls isn't.
 
Posted by Hostie (# 116) on :
 
Hmm..

I seem to remember a truly awful book around in my teens called Just Good Friends by Joyce Huggett. It was either in here or in another such worthy - and useless - tome that the classic line is to be found:

If anything that your boy/girlfriend does makes you aroused, you shouldn't do it. If watching them play the piano makes you aroused, you shouldn't watch them play the piano.

To coin a phrase:
'Oh, puh-lease.'

Are you seriously suggesting that a couple who are serious about one another abstain from mutual piano-playing-watching until marriage? That watching someone play the piano (or wash the dishes, or dance, or stand on top of a mountain and sing) is sex?

Come on!
 


Posted by Sibling Coot (# 220) on :
 
Well hostie, I guess it depends on intention...

If partner A sits down at the piano with the intention of arousing partner B by so doing, and partner B consents say, actively watching partner A lasciviously playing the piano. Well yes.

I think you'd be struggling to find people who get off on that though. Then again. I've seen tomb's organ.
 


Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
And here I thought this was going to be about Clinton.

Alexis (ducking and grinning)
 


Posted by coley (# 1245) on :
 
There's also the "don't touch anything that you haven't got yourself" maxim put forward by people such as Steve Chalke.

Must admit I tend to agree with it, although in my courtship I think we tiptoed over this boundary on a few occasions!

With regard to the piano-playing thing - don't see any harm in arousing the other person by doing it - but obviously if you've decided to be obedient to some kind of non-orgasmic code of practice then you're just making things harder for yourself - don't you think?
 


Posted by rachel_o (# 1258) on :
 
Can you all try and remember that this is actually a difficult and emotive issue before you start getting all judgemental....

If you read some of the comments on this issue in the "sex outside marriage" thread, amybe you will see what I mean.

Legalistic approaches to this are good old evangelistic guilt inducement, and the idea that you can't watch your partner play the piano if this turns you on - also propounded by Steve Chalke by the way - is nothing short of ridiculous.

For me and my fiance, this would mean we could never be in the same room as each other, til we got married - if taken to its logical extreme. His eyes turn me on. His smile turns me on. Shall I get him to cover his head with a paper bag?


All the best,
Rachel.
 


Posted by Nunc_Dimittis (# 848) on :
 
My Dear Sibling Coot, blessed and bedewed with the authority of the Rev G Ambulance himself:

The simple answer of course to all problems of a sexual nature, is simply not to get into a situation that demands dealing with the problems. Let me elaborate.

It would be relatively simple not to get into friendships with members of the opposite sex (esp if you are gay). If of the same gender as those who turn you on, you will need to avoid them. As relationships of even the most platonic type inevitably involve some kind of interaction during which we use our sexuality (a fling of the hair over the shoulder, the way we walk, leave the toilet seat up or down, how we drink, the way we smile etc etc) as part of expression, all relationships should be diligently avoided.

The only other solution to the problem of sex, other than total isolation from the rest of humanity, is for the scientists to somehow create a sexless human, totally asexual and immune to either men or women turning it on. No doubt this is on the genetic engineering books...

Coming to think of it, receiving the Eucharist sometimes produces a similar effect in me. Maybe I should simply stop attending Mass?

Arggh! Maybe I should change my sig... "Oh to be asexual! This is the answer to all the world's problems..."
 


Posted by spigot (# 253) on :
 
Silvia noted with gratitude the bead of sweat that formed on Marcus's forehead as she caressed the keys of his upright piano. His breath quickened as she planted one stilettoed foot upon a pedal and forced her fingers brutally downwards forming a perfect C minor. "Oh yes", moaned Marcus, "Play it for me Silvia....play......CHOPSTICKS!"
 
Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
Hurrah, Nunc, nail on head with a bang!

Sex is a consequence of our sexual nature, which is a part of who we are. It isn't a bolt-on bit.

Will someone want to tackle the ultimate impossible question of defining lesbian sex?

FWIW I think it any kind (gay or het) of 'sex' refers to intention and attitude as well as physical interaction. Eg a gynacologist can poke around a woman and it isn't having sex, but her lover doing the same poking in bed is.
 


Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
 
ok, i stand by what i said, though i'll expand a little. if two people are doing something deliberatly to arouse each other, than they have a sexual relationship.

now that doesn't mean they are having intercourse. and personally, i don't see anything wrong, per se, with it in the first place. depends who, and inder what circumstances and so on. but then i'm someone who will freely own up to not having been a virgin at marriage, having had sex (and intercourse)with more than one partner, and not regreting it.
 


Posted by Matt the Mad Medic (# 1675) on :
 
quote:
I seem to remember a truly awful book around in my teens called Just Good Friends by Joyce Huggett.

Joyce Huggett? More like Joyce stop it!!!

She has this brilliant section where she lists all possible sexual activity on a kind of arousal richter scale something like:

Looking at each other
holding hands
peck kissing
slightly longer kissing
snogging
touching
etc etc...all the way up to
sexual intercourse

She then spends the next chapter saying "where should we draw the line?" and proceeds to draw it further and further down the list...until by the end of the chapter everything except holding hands is putting you at risk of the demons of lust!

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 guess I would say my perfect scenario would be that once you have made the decision this person is "the one" then you just get a shotgun wedding and let things roll from there!

Since that's not possible, I think the best thing is to try and avoid direct genital contact. Basically that's where the temperature starts to rise swiftly.

Most of all...be honest with yourself. If you are having oral sex, does it honestly feel like you are not having sex?
 


Posted by Sibling Coot (# 220) on :
 
Erm. I just want to draw people's attention to the OP: nowhere did I say people should abstain from sex before marriage. In the only mention I made of marriage the salient point was not that they had sex before marriage, but that they believed they had abstained from sex by only having oral sex.

I should have nipped the marriage thing in the bud when Hostie mentioned it:

quote:
Are you seriously suggesting that a couple who are serious about one another abstain from mutual piano-playing-watching until marriage?
For the record, no and for the simple reason that I don't use the marriage ceremony as an indicator of when sexual relations are appropriate in a relationship. Not that I have to give my personal view regarding sexual relations... which anyway I thought I had already when I said:
quote:
I believe also, this sort of intimacy should be reserved for the permanent and exclusive partner
I have in fact, taken pains to use the word 'permanent relationship' in my OP, this is because I am more interested in the intimacy dynamic of same-sex relationships than that in marriage.

There are some things in the above posts that piqued my interest: coley, Joan, nicole. And Nunc, that was Rev Gerald speaking pure truth. I think the sexual nature is problematic, (I might just pop off, read some Augustine and have a cold shower) and I spend time considering what is appropriate, what to aspire to, what we are called to, and how to put it in practice. Of course. Some days I don't give a damn.

Reflections on the possibility of physically affectionate, non-sexual relationships would have been nice. For further ideas, please check again the 4th para of the OP on thread goals.

-------
PS. Looking back, I've just noticed that my response to Hostie's post would indicate that I believe people should not mutually play the piano until marriage if such made them aroused. Sorry about that. I was looking at the 2nd question '...is sex?' My response should have been 'Well, yes. I consider it a sexual act.' Put it down to being 7am in the morn after 4 hrs sleep.
 


Posted by babybear (# 34) on :
 
Without seeking to answer any questions,

What do people think of masturbation, particularily teenage masturbation? I had read on a Christian website that it was a complete and utter "no-no". It was sex, and therefore only for within the confines of marriage.

bb
 


Posted by Hostie (# 116) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by rachel_o:
the idea that you can't watch your partner play the piano if this turns you on - also propounded by Steve Chalke by the way - is nothing short of ridiculous.

Actually you are right, rachel_o, I think it was him in the first place - I misattributed it.
 


Posted by Cosmo (# 117) on :
 
I remember at university some particularly naive members of the Christian Union raving about how wonderful the 'don't touch what you don't have yourself' teaching was. 'So simple', they said, 'so clear and understandable'. They weren't very happy when I pointed out that that meant anal sex between straight people was OK as well as all gay and lesbian sex. These people also enjoyed singing along to 'YMCA' in the bar (and doing the actions) until it was pointed out to them by their cult leader that Village People would burn in the fiery pit of damnation for their homosexualist ways.

I love reading about conservative evangelical attitudes to sex. If it wasn't so pathetic it would be hilarious.

Cosmo
 


Posted by Karl (# 76) on :
 
BB - God wouldn't give us toys if we weren't meant to play with them.

What was that quote? "Rincewind had had several orgasms. Occasionally in company"
 


Posted by Wood (# 7) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Cosmo:
I love reading about conservative evangelical attitudes to sex. If it wasn't so pathetic it would be hilarious.

As opposed to the Roman Catholic Church's official line, you mean?
 


Posted by Dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
Or the traditional, historical, universal teaching of the undivided Church on matters of sexual conduct, for that matter.
"Women? Eugh! Disgusting things! Has anybody got a cloth?" - John Chrysostom.
 
Posted by Wood (# 7) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Dyfrig:
Or the traditional, historical, universal teaching of the undivided Church on matters of sexual conduct, for that matter.
"Women? Eugh! Disgusting things! Has anybody got a cloth?" - John Chrysostom.

Quite.

See also the Life of Saint Thaïs (The moral: "sexually active women are evil and can only become holy by being punished and/or driven insane") or The Life of Saint Pelagia (moral: "a woman can only become holy by becoming a man. A celibate one").

And, of course, our old favourite, the Life of Saint Mary of Egypt, which describes how the heroine had lots of sex with 'innocent men', whom she seduced into sin, despite it being their idea in the first place.
 


Posted by Dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
Oh, btw, Alan, a propos of nothing in particular, you're a former CU exec type - is the CU a "cult"?
 
Posted by sacredthree (# 46) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Dyfrig:
Oh, btw, Alan, a propos of nothing in particular, you're a former CU exec type - is the CU a "cult"?

I am too and I recognise Cosmo's description.

As for "What is sex", sex is really rather messy, and orgasm is like a little death. Sex is Blood, Death, and Pain, for such is the stuff of life.
 


Posted by Amos (# 44) on :
 
"What is sex?" asked jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer.

Apologies to Francis Bacon. Not the painter, silly, the other one.
 


Posted by Old Fashioned Crab (# 1204) on :
 
Err, that was 'truth'.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sibling Coot:
I'm not having a go at you Chast, and you haven't qualified whether the other activities are of a sexually gratifying nature ... [Where fetishes with inanimate objects and masturbation fit in, I don't know]

Thank you for not having a go! Technically, I did qualify it, though I should emphasise it again:

quote:
and/or deliberate stimulation to orgasm

Which to me also includes solo deliberate stimulation to orgasm. Which, as a position (... as it were...) will doubtless make me startlingly unpopular, as well as even stranger ("Okay, so you're okay with consensual bondage and flogging, but not with masturbation?!!?!"), but it is the truth.

As for arousal, Good Heavens, what do I say? In my view, arousal simply means one is enjoying things -- or that one is not dead -- or that one has to use the lavatory -- or that one has just woken up in the morning -- or... etc. Though perhaps I am very odd. (Then again, perhaps one leads to the other -- i.e., lack of masturbation leads to very easy arousal. I don't know... and I only know how it is for me, a 34-year-old man who has never had (as far as I can tell) sexual intercourse.)

Once again I am hoping I'm not being too explicit here. I don't want to drag this into the gutter, though for me it is a relatively clean, albeit (for most people) strange gutter. But for others it might be tempting and I don't want that. (In fact, one reason (though not at all the only one) I am as active as I am in what I do is to provide an alternative without sex. If a man longs for the love and affection he never got from his father (for instance) but does not believe in gay sex, I am potentially there for him. My own foster Dad (whom I met in a gay leather bar, with fear and trembling, praying I would find someone who would respect my sexual limits) took me on without sex -- which for him was not only rare but unique -- and completely transformed my life for the better. And I must pass on what he taught me to those who now come to me. Many aren't interested without sex -- so I wave goodbye and move on. But some are.)

Interestingly, I have had many different responses from people as to whether what I do is or is not "sex." Some men I know even say that they're not even sure I'm gay, because I have not had sex with a man. Some consider what I do to be sex even though there are no orgasms. For me the definition of "sex" in any number of senses is not what is at issue -- it is what I may, as a Christian, be permitted to do, and what is forbidden me. And as far as I can tell that would be what I have posted above.

Nattering on again. I'll stop now.

David
 


Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Joan the Dwarf:
FWIW I think it any kind (gay or het) of 'sex' refers to intention and attitude as well as physical interaction. Eg a gynacologist can poke around a woman and it isn't having sex, but her lover doing the same poking in bed is.

Hopefully her lover's hands are warmer, though.

Alexis
 


Posted by Newman's Own (# 420) on :
 
Vowed celibate here - I suppose that makes me "extra virgin"... I'm not about to go into details of what that entails (largely because far more is prohibited for one who has vowed chastity than for one who has not but believes sex belongs only in marriage and has not yet married.) However, and as a general comment, I think that, as the last sounds of earthly talk die out on the Judgement Day, God will breathe a mighty sigh of relief at no longer having to hear the extremely devout tell him "we didn't do it."

What follows is a general commentary, spanning 2,000 years, and not aimed at anything an individual said on this thread, except for what Sibling Coot's friends mentioned.

[Irony tag on...]
Considering such situations as that to which Sibling Coot was referencing:
1)If one tells God "we didn't do it," one may be assured that, one way or another, one indeed "did." Note that, in other conversations with God on matters moral, one is unlikely to state what one did not do. Now, what is considered moral (or what is truly arousing, etc.) differs according to the individual - but the principle is the same.
2)If one who is telling God "we didn't do it" equally feels obliged to tell one's friends what one did do which is another way of reaching the same destination on another road, one has no style (why would this be an announcement? And remember, I was once a Roman! Couples who practise Natural Family Planning are even worse than Sibling's friends, because they are demonstrating their heroic chastity... but that is another thread... Does anyone really want to hear details of another's sexual behaviour, which is best reserved strictly to parties who were there?); is looking for recognition of one's superiority on a purely questionable legalistic basis; and is indulging in the tiresome and rude behaviour of forcing one's friend to be a virtual voyeur.
3)Sex is as old as Adam, of course... but note that the Tempter's methods had nothing to do with sex but a lot to do with lies. (And we lie to ourselves best of all.)
4)If someone truly wants to ponder the virtue of chastity (in any state of life), there is a great deal more to that than whether one has sex or not... or how.
[irony tag off]

I don't know why this comes to mind, but I remember hearing or reading somewhere, perhaps ten years ago, of a wealthy man who was offering any girl who could medically prove that she was still a virgin at age 19 a substantial amount of money because (I'm cringing) "the best give to give to their husbands was their virginity." (I must find that address... I wonder if he'll give me the sum with 30 years compounded interest...) That enraged me - even though I'm a professional virgin and always was very strait laced. It all came across as "this sum will ensure that some guy has the pleasure of deflowering a virgin" - not morality of any kind, not self-respect, nothing. How I loathe that "saving myself" business, anyway!
 


Posted by The Shorn Coot (# 220) on :
 
(I wrote this for bb but dropped carrier, so don't think I'm ignoring Chastmastr's or N.O's thoughtful posts)
quote:
Originally posted by babybear:
What do people think of masturbation, particularily teenage masturbation? I had read on a Christian website that it was a complete and utter "no-no". It was sex, and therefore only for within the confines of marriage.
Being a solo activity, I can't really see how it is oriented for use within the confines of marriage/a relationship. 'Congratulations, you have a partner. You may now indulge in purely self-contained sexual gratification', or: 'Hey! Let's have a race!'. I mean. I'm really stretching my mind for this one... the purpose of masturbation is for when your partner doesn't put out?

I hope people are appreciating my relative restraint and tastefulness on this thread. I expect a fairy clap at the end.
 


Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Dyfrig:
Oh, btw, Alan, a propos of nothing in particular, you're a former CU exec type - is the CU a "cult"?

There are CUs and there are CUs (I've heard enough from people here to know that not all CUs are like the one I was a Secretary & Treasurer and long time Hall Group leader of). That some people in a CU have weird (to put it mildly) ideas about sex doesn't surprise me.

Whether CUs are cults is a different question from the topic of this thread. If anyone is really interested in my views on that question may I suggest starting a new thread?

Alan
 


Posted by Ultraspike (# 268) on :
 
Overheard on a crosstown bus:
"I'm thinking about making a change in my sex life."
"Oh?"
"Yeah, I'm thinking about getting a partner."
 
Posted by sniffy (# 1713) on :
 
I am wondering if the puritanical views that older Priests and church going folks spew so easily has destroyed any chance of people seeing that sex is a gift from God?

I am wondering if it is possible that when we get turned on sexually by anyone, that we instead of repressing our sexuality .. we let it blossom into its original design? That we see the one who is arousing us as an image of God. Not just as an image of God but an image of God because that person is capable of generous-wonderful life-giving creation. Not just as an object that we can hump until the ache goes away and so does thiers.

Is that possible? Can people raise themselves up and lift up the sexual arrousal to a level where we see each other as images of God, because we are capable of sexual life giving love (just like the Creator)? A God who does not sit alone keeping his thoughts repressed , but a God that reaches out with love and creates us. He wants us to have sex . He doesn't want us to walk around with our eyes glued to the sidewalk.

Can we live this way? Can Priests and the rest of us talk this way? Or must we repress and bottle up and ignore or pretend?
 


Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by sniffy:
I am wondering if it is possible that when we get turned on sexually by anyone, that we instead of repressing our sexuality .. we let it blossom into its original design? That we see the one who is arousing us as an image of God?

Actually, I thought this was part of orthodox Christian theology. In fact it's one of the things which initially helped me deal with my own situation years ago and which I should remember more often now. Thanks!

(I suppose Williams would say that this is a rather unusual example of the Way of Affirmation...)

David
Off to see Monsters, Inc. with his foster uncle's partner
 


Posted by Septimus (# 500) on :
 
It seems as if we have evolving here that most common of ship phenomenon, the multiple first post.

Well, I mean to say, what!! My ego counts for something dontye know??

At the risk of bringing upon my head the wrath of the ever-cooting one, I rather think that the original quesion was something to do wiht disbelief in non-sex if one broadens the definition beyond what is generally understood

(e.g. "that was really bad, we shouldn't have done that.

what do you mean, we didn't have sex, did we?

No we didn't.

So, it was no big deal.

Right. Okay. See you sunday.

etc."

A point which I myself brought up during the thread about "sex before marriage"

So (apart from the Coot and nicole)

ANSWER THE QUESTION

I mean, really, I leave for a week or three and people start posting willy nilly.

Honestly.
 


Posted by Newman's Own (# 420) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by sniffy:
I am wondering if it is possible that when we get turned on sexually by anyone, that we instead of repressing our sexuality .. we let it blossom into its original design? That we see the one who is arousing us as an image of God. Not just as an image of God but an image of God because that person is capable of generous-wonderful life-giving creation.

I would say that is exactly the point. (In fact, those of us who have chosen a way of life that involves total chastity have this as part of the particular ascetic vocation because it is indeed a good - one does not sacrifice what is wrong as a part of asceticism. And I would imagine that one in a vowed life, as I am, would be in something resembling hell were their sexuality repressed.)

My generation were probably the first ones to , most unfortunately, often reduce sex to merely a form of recreation. However, I'll say this much... I do not recall anyone's denying that sexual activity was just that. The "I'm a chaste virgin, only having oral sex" is all the worse for being such a lie.
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:

(I suppose Williams would say that this is a rather unusual example of the Way of Affirmation...)

I don't think it's that unusual - I know there're different views, but I think that's what Dante was doing with Beatrice. Eros points to, sublimates to, is enmeshed with, Agape.

See also Donne: "Here th'admyring her my mind did whet/ To seek thee God, as streams do show their head."

At the risk of going from the sublime to the ridiculous, there's also interestingly an expression of this in the musical Les Miserables: "Take my hand, and lead me to salvation... remember the truth that once was spoken: to love another person is to see the face of God."
 


Posted by The Shorn Coot (# 220) on :
 
I can't say I've ever been too keen on the erotic aspect of relationship with God - God is predominantly to me, the Father or Parent. Father, erotic, ahhhhhh! 'Orrible juxtaposition.

Always excited to see my idol quoted JtD, but not able to share these sentiments:

quote:
From Batter my heart Three Personned God:
Take me to You, imprison me, for I,
Except You enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except You ravish me.
Guilty of straying from my own topic. Oh well.
 
Posted by Firenze (# 619) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by The Shorn Coot:
[QB I expect a fairy clap at the end.[/QB]

Would that be from doing it with a syphilitic sylph?

-------------------------------------------
 


Posted by Matt the Mad Medic (# 1675) on :
 
*cough*
quote:
I love reading about conservative evangelical attitudes to sex. If it wasn't so pathetic it would be hilarious.

Joan the dwarf (quite rightly) sent me to hell for making a comment in a similar tone about liberals.

I think I'm fairly tolerant for a GLE, but Cosmo, I think you are getting a bit near the 10 commandments here.
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ultraspike:
Overheard on a crosstown bus:
"I'm thinking about making a change in my sex life."
"Oh?"
"Yeah, I'm thinking about getting a partner."

Teacher tells her class of 15-year-olds to prepare for a test the next day. She says she will accept NO excuse short of personal or familiar death for not being in school that day. Boy stands up
"Miss, Miss, what if I said I was suffering from complete sexual exhaustion?"
His classmates snigger, but Miss just smiles sweetly,
"In that case, " she replies, "You'll just have to write with your other hand."
 


Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
Cosmo: I love reading about conservative evangelical attitudes to sex. If it wasn't so pathetic it would be hilarious.

Matt the Mad Medic: *cough* Joan the dwarf (quite rightly) sent me to hell for making a comment in a similar tone about liberals.

I think I'm fairly tolerant for a GLE, but Cosmo, I think you are getting a bit near the 10 commandments here.

*****

Wearily groping for host hat ... wondering why Matt couldn't take Joan's example instead of merely citing it ...

If you want to pursue this, do it in hell.

RuthW
Purgatory host

[stupid code mistake]

[ 16 November 2001: Message edited by: RuthW ]
 


Posted by Louise (# 30) on :
 
quote:
If you want to pursue this, do it in hell

Oh please!!! Can I watch?

Wait a minute - that probably raises questions of voyeurism!

Louise
 


Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by The Shorn Coot:
I can't say I've ever been too keen on the erotic aspect of relationship with God - God is predominantly to me, the Father or Parent. Father, erotic, ahhhhhh! 'Orrible juxtaposition.


But on the other hand we do have Christ as the Bridegroom and the Church as the Bride...
 
Posted by Chapelhead (# 1143) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by sniffy:
I am wondering if the puritanical views that older Priests and church going folks spew so easily has destroyed any chance of people seeing that sex is a gift from God?


Can't the liberal views of trendy priests and non-church going folks also destroy the chance of seeing sex as a gift from God?

(With apologies to any trendies, priests, non church-goers or any combination thereof who do see sex as a gift from God).
 


Posted by Erin (# 2) on :
 
Administrator's Notes:

quote:
I love reading about conservative evangelical attitudes to sex. If it wasn't so pathetic it would be hilarious.

Cosmo, I have given you over 48 hours to come back and defend this piece of garbage you posted here. You have not. Therefore, you are clearly trolling, which is a violation of Commandment One of our 10Cs, namely: don't be a jerk. This isn't the first time you've done this, but it damn well better be the last.

First warning. The second warning will come with a suspension. You may not get a third.
 


Posted by Cosmo (# 117) on :
 
How dare you. Do I have to post my diary for the next few days so that if I make a comment about something and don't instantly reply I won't be banned? Or should I put on the board 'Now, everybody, I'm going away for two days so if you want to comment on my threads then I suggest you wait until I get back'.

I know you don't like this but I have a life outside this machine and outside this ship. That means I don't spend my every waking moment thinkng and breathiing and dreaming about these boards and whether or not something I have written has irritated somebody and so I shoud withdraw it but it is my opinion so what do I do......? It's pathetic.

I notice that Dyfrig and Wood haven't been asked to justify their rather silly and snide remarks (to use one of thier favourite phrases) concerning the equally absurd teachings of the Church Fathers about sex and women. Why not? And why is it already for Wood to say that I cannot argue or debate like a human being?

And I stand by what I posted. I do think that conservative evangelical views are absurd. They attempt to railroad sex into a a process that is without pleasure, that it is not a gift from God but merely an imperative to procreate because of Original Sin. Their views on homosexuality and the attempts of many conservative evangelicals (people like the Living Waters Trust and many others) to 'cure' homosexuals of thier sin I find frankly evil, that these views and opinions and actions are outside of God.

Now I know well enough that these views which I have articulated (or so briefly I know) will be opposed by many. Fine. Let them oppose. But for far too long their has been no voice against these people who have been allowed to have their opinions (which they are perfectly at liberty to hold) without any challenge.

I also don't always reply immeadiatly because, yes, I do have other things to do and post on here when I have time, but also I don't like to give knee-jerk replies and reactions. Thus it sometimes takes a little time.

Lastly, I would say to the Administrators that there is such a thing as a private message or e-mail. If you have concerns to this level then why not take advantage of these methods of communication rather than plastering it all over the boards just to cheer up those people who have complained (although I would say the same to those who have complained - if you have a real problem then why not get in touch with me and complain rather than go off to somebody else - it reminds me of children running off to teacher when somebody does something they don't like).

Cosmo
 


Posted by Fiddleback (# 395) on :
 
What you forget, dear Cosmo, is that we are not big clever hosts. We have not been posting on the boards for as longer as they, we have not MET Simon, we have not been to Dyfrig's wedding, we did not help to write the 10 Commandments and blah-de blah-de blah. They are allowed to contend for the tiara of Ship's Tantrum Queen, but we lowly shipmates have got to be good girls or else get booted overboard.

Joyce Huggett IS ridiculous.
 


Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Cosmo:
And I stand by what I posted. I do think that conservative evangelical views are absurd. They attempt to railroad sex into a a process that is without pleasure, that it is not a gift from God but merely an imperative to procreate because of Original Sin. Their views on homosexuality and the attempts of many conservative evangelicals (people like the Living Waters Trust and many others) to 'cure' homosexuals of thier sin I find frankly evil, that these views and opinions and actions are outside of God.

Now, this is where you get very close to a personal attack. You attack all conservative evangelicals over the views and actions of a small number of people as though all conservative evangelicals would agree with their position.

For the record I am evangelical, although probably not as conservative as I once was. I did come across some crackpot views on sex, and recall times before and during my time at uni (where I was on Exec and study group leader for CU) on several occasions joining groups of conservative evangelicals having a good laugh at some of what the likes of Joyce Hugget wrote.

Although most evangelicals would consider that homosexual acts fall short of the ideal God has set, many of them would also recognise that the Biblical texts are too few and open to different interpretations to claim unequivical Biblical support for their views let alone condemn homosexuals to Hell because of their sexuality. I find the actions of those you mentioned in trying to "heal" people of their sexuality as abhorant and evil as you evidently do.

In short, if you want to make comments about the conservative evangelicals (or any other group) you have come into contact with fine; just don't make sweeping statements that all people in such groups are the same.

Alan
 


Posted by Erin (# 2) on :
 
You ignored my last email on this subject, Cosmo, so it's your own damn fault that I took it public. So you can just shut up about that one. Besides, public transgressions demand public resolutions. If you don't like it, stop acting like a jackass on the boards.

And I DARE, dear heart, because you posted elsewhere after this message, so don't feed me a line about how you're SO MUCH BUSIER than everyone else. If you don't have time to stick with a debate, then stay the hell out of it. It really is that simple.

Statements such as the ones you've made are right on par with the idiocy that's gotten other people suspended or banned. Don't think that just because you target it at evangelicals that it's not taken just as seriously as if you'd targeted it at Americans or blacks.

And Fiddleback, this has jack to do with whether or not Cosmo is a host, or has met Simon, or anything else. This has nothing to do with what anyone else has said to me and everything to do with my watching this shameful spectacle over the course of the past few months. This has to do with what the Ship is all about, which is NOT Cosmo's little club to take potshots at everyone else he disagrees with.

For your information, not that I expect either of you to care, the people who find themselves most at home here are those who are able to question what they've been taught. Lots of times they have not been able to do this in their own church. Usually this is because when they tried, their priests/pastors/ministers/whoever accused them of being anti-Christian and were shamed into silence. This is the first opportunity they've had to really explore the questions. And this is our main goal here.

For them to do this, and then be treated with this kind of contempt, WILL NOT BE TOLERATED here. I don't give a flying rat's ass if you're the Archbishop of Canterbury, you will leave off the swipes at traditions other than your own, or you will find your ass overboard.

I cannot be any clearer than this.
 


Posted by CorgiGreta (# 443) on :
 
Alan,

Please help me on this. I am not trying to be critical, but doesn't your post boil down to semantic nit-picking? Are you suggesting that it is forbidden to say (to paraphrase W. H. Auden) "Anglo-Catholic priests are sodomites", but acceptable to assert that "some (many? most? nearly all?} Anglo- Catholic priests are sodomites"?

Greta
 


Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by CorgiGreta:
doesn't your post boil down to semantic nit-picking?

No, it boils down to the Ships' 3rd Commandment "Attack the issue, not the person", specifically the bit that says "Name-calling and personal insults are not allowed, regardless of the context. The same goes for comment which stereotypes or attacks people on the basis of their race, nationality, age, gender, religious belief or sexual preference." Statements like "I love reading about conservative evangelical attitudes to sex. If it wasn't so pathetic it would be hilarious." to my mind says the attitudes of all conservative evangelicals to sex are pathetic; since my (vaguely conservative) evangelical attitude to sex is not the same as commented on it is a personal attack on me (and more importantly others) who are being tarred with holding views I (we) don't hold.
quote:
Are you suggesting that it is forbidden to say (to paraphrase W. H. Auden) "Anglo-Catholic priests are sodomites", but acceptable to assert that "some (many? most? nearly all?} Anglo- Catholic priests are sodomites"?

No, there is no intrinsic difference. You can no more extrapolate personal experience of a small number of people in one group to "most", "nearly all" or "many" than you can to "all". These statements are still sweeping generalisations. A "most, but not those who post here, people of group x are..." type statement is as offensive as "most people of group x are...".

And as host, can I ask that further discussion of this be conducted somewhere other than this thread (probably the Styx) to allow this thread to continue discussing what sex is.

Alan
 


Posted by blackbird (# 1387) on :
 
while i only had one partner before i met my husband, so i don't have a wealth of experience, i think sexual relationships are enhanced by anticipation.

flirting is very underestimated. i don't know if it's the BEST part, but it's a necessary part, for me. sex (intercourse) is a wonderful physical expression of love, but without preparing a protective, playful emotional atmosphere that can takes weeks, months or years, i can't imagine it being any more meaningful than a sneeze.

i do wonder what sex means to someone who has had many, many different partners. or for prostitutes. how do they separate sex with a partner they love from the act of sex with someone they do not know? i guess they must be able to.

personally, i've always been the type to worry more about being emotionally vulnerable, so being sexually vulnerable was out of the question. i'm always surprised at the stories people tell, though...makes me feel like i missed out on something! but, to each his own. for me, sex without love has no appeal. maybe that's a woman thing?
 


Posted by frin (# 9) on :
 
Fiddleback
I do not appreciate your attempt to drag my wedding into the evidence you use as part of your long running campaign to encourage disrespect of the hosts.

quote:
we have not been to Dyfrig's wedding

There were 6 ship of fools regulars at the wedding, one was me, another Dyfrig. It was not a "ship event", we did not lord it across the boards, we did not start the thread which discussed it in All Saints, nor know it would be mystery worshipped. The few ship people who were there are people we had met in real life and like in real life. No consolidation of power bases went on, no networking, nothing sinister. We got married in the presence of friends, end of story.

That was a cheap shot, Father Fiddleback. I hope other people will have realised that as they read it.

'frin
 


Posted by madkaren (# 1033) on :
 
Sex changes over time. The longer you've been with someone, the more sex encompasses.

Madkaren
 


Posted by 'Cello (# 125) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by frin:
[QB]Fiddleback
I do not appreciate your attempt to drag my wedding into the evidence you use as part of your long running campaign to encourage disrespect of the hosts.

[QUOTE]we have not been to Dyfrig's wedding


PEEEEERRRRRRRRLLLLLLLEEEEEEEEEEEZZZZZZEEE!!!

I have read through this thread - haven't been on the boards for ages. I've only just recovered from the RSI incurred during the 'offended' thread, and here we go again.

Do you really think, Frin that Fiddleback was 'having a go' at your wedding ? I read it as a passing remark - I didn't detect in it any resentment that he wasn't invited, or suggestion that it was an underhand event during which Secret Ships Business occurred. I have found myself in agreement with Erin on this thread - funnily enough. I do think that Cosmo and Fiddleback are a bit OTT, their wit is often savage, and is possibly off putting to many who post here. I am among those here who find it interesting to question and find my anonymity helpful. I don't like to be made to feel a fool for asking questions - though to be fair neither of them has ever made me feel that way. Your post simply isn't helpful in all this.

By the way, some of the hosts here who reprove are rude and sarcastic but seem exempted from the same rules that we 'mere shipmates' are supposed to follow. I think that that is what he was trying to say.

Let's all grow up a bit, the SOF is becoming tedious.

'C
 


Posted by Angel of the North (# 60) on :
 
OK, I've spoken to a friend of mine on this one. He's had many sexual partners - more than 10 times as many as me. And yet, in his current relationship, he finds sexual intercourse far harder - he knows the moves, what works in practice, yet he's had the loving side of himself so numbed by the life he's led, that, now he wants to express that, he's finding it horrendously difficult.

He also finds the attitudes he was brought up with hard to reconcile. On the one hand taught that sex before marriage was wrong, on the other - anything goes. There wasn't any sort of middle ground.

The conservative evangelical attitudes to sex that I have encountered have been laughable - partly because I've found them not to have been thought through properly by those propounding them. Many of them were too simplistic in nature, and hadn't been thought through, so that, when challenged I was constantly being told "that's different". Mostly I would be talking to them about "whoever looks at a woman lustfully...." - a lot of them were taking this very literally, and consequently (though safe with me) some of the men struggled with relationships with women. Then they'd wind up swinging so far in the opposite direction - because there was little or no consistent guidance about the middle ground.
Are there any good sites/guides about the conservative evangelical view of sex, to counteract my current warped perception thereof?

Angel
 


Posted by 'Cello (# 125) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Angel of the North:
OK, I've spoken to a friend of mine on this one. He's had many sexual partners - more than 10 times as many as me. And yet, in his current relationship, he finds sexual intercourse far harder - he knows the moves, what works in practice, yet he's had the loving side of himself so numbed by the life he's led, that, now he wants to express that, he's finding it horrendously difficult.

He also finds the attitudes he was brought up with hard to reconcile. On the one hand taught that sex before marriage was wrong, on the other - anything goes. There wasn't any sort of middle ground.

The conservative evangelical attitudes to sex that I have encountered have been laughable - partly because I've found them not to have been thought through properly by those propounding them. Many of them were too simplistic in nature, and hadn't been thought through, so that, when challenged I was constantly being told "that's different". Mostly I would be talking to them about "whoever looks at a woman lustfully...." - a lot of them were taking this very literally, and consequently (though safe with me) some of the men struggled with relationships with women. Then they'd wind up swinging so far in the opposite direction - because there was little or no consistent guidance about the middle ground.
Are there any good sites/guides about the conservative evangelical view of sex, to counteract my current warped perception thereof?

Angel



Pre marital sex is great fun. Post marital sex is much better.

Pre marital flirting is fun. Post marital flirting with any man but ones husband can be very dangerous indeed!

I don't think that sex before marriage is wrong. It isn't risk free, but provided both partners go into it in the same spirit it can be informative and exciting.

I firmly believe though, that once married a couple should stay faithful to each other.


'C
 


Posted by Amos (# 44) on :
 
Nice to see you back, 'Cello. You have, as it were, taken the words out of my mouth on the subject of this thread. Fidelity and gratitude are greatly underrated as "marital aids".
 
Posted by blackbird (# 1387) on :
 
ah yes...just to clarify, i did mean flirting with my husband, not with men at large...i agree that can be very dangerous. especially because you never know where the line is weakening. and nipping overtures can sometimes feel like a part-time job.

angel, i really sympathize with your friend because it seems the people i know who have had many partners have a very difficult time being open with people...maybe sex seems safer than being emotionally exposed. some of us have difficulty with both! seems pretty clear when you look around that casual sex is not the answer. and his difficulty loving is just what i imagine prostitutes must experience. what a horrible aspect of one's self to have permanently damaged. it's so hard to be a human sometimes.
 


Posted by The Coot (# 220) on :
 
I take on board what Alan says. But I question the 'small number'. All I can say is that in my experience evangelicals (here, you are struggling to find people who identify themselves 'broad evangelicals', predominant flavour is literalist or conservative) are narrow in their views of sexuality. In respect of homosexuality (considering 2 churches and a house church that I was part of/attended) I'd estimate 10% could cope with homosexuality as anything but aberrant and sinful.

For example, I was driving the female friend of the couple I mentioned in the OP around (she was legally blind and engaged at the time), when out of the blue she said 'You know, you really are rather attractive' in a come-on tone. Oh dear, I thought, and said 'Well. You're not on the blind pension for nothing'. We both collapsed in gales of laughter, and it was really the best response in the circumstances. This anecdote tickled me enormously and I related it to a mutual friend in this friend's presence. Afterwards, she took me aside and anxiously asked me to be careful who I told it to because 'there are people at church who would never speak to me again if they heard that'.

Sigh. This friend's home group also were in the habit of looking around furtively and asking 'Are we all married here?', before having any conversation about sex.

While I might privately think the majority of conservative evangelicals have views on sex that are absurd and pathetic (especially when I'm seething with frustration), the best I'd come out with in reasoned debate is that these views are narrow and oppressive.

Cosmo's posts can be intemperate, and I like his style, but I would be sad to think that evangelicals coming out of communities with narrow views on sexuality who are questioning or trying to look beyond their tradition might be frightened off the ship.

The Coot,
The One True Bent Evangelical Tat-Queen.

There've been some really thoughtful on -topic posts on this page, I hope we can pursue them a bit more.
 


Posted by rachel_o (# 1258) on :
 
[note] this post will get round to being on topic if your read all of it![/note]

quote:
Originally posted by The Coot:

Cosmo's posts can be intemperate, and I like his style, but I would be sad to think that evangelicals coming out of communities with narrow views on sexuality who are questioning or trying to look beyond their tradition might be frightened off the ship.

I come from a community with very narrow views on sexuality, and I'm not frightened off the ship in the slightest.

I am, however, rather grateful to Erin for wading in and dressing down Cosmo. Sometimes, out there in real life - and even on the Ship - those of us who are "good little Evangelicals" feel that the world's attitude is that it's wrong to make prejudiced, stereotypical remarks about blacks, liberals, homosexuals etc etc, but absolutely fine to say that all GLEs have their heads stuck up there own backsides. Thanks Erin, for sticking up for us, even if you don't agree with us!

As to the subject of the thread - I think that perhaps there is something different about actual sexual intercourse, than about other sexual acts on the sliding scale that has been described. I interpret the biblical phrase "becoming one flesh" as meaning intercourse, since this strikes me as the most intimate act that 2 human beings can experience together. I believe that this act leads to some kind of spirtual connectedness between the 2 people that I don't really understand. In marriage, this act cements two distinct individuals becoming one. Not two halves making one whole - but 2 wholes coming together, to become one.

Whilst I am NOT about to get drawn into what I personally am willing or unwilling to do outside of marriage, or to condone or condemn anyone else, I wanted to mention this because I think this may be where the engaged couple The Coot mentioned are coming from.

Having said that - I'm happy to admit to being a virgin and therefore probably can be thought of as not having a clue. Ask me again after I get married.

All the best,

Rachel.
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by rachel_o:

I am, however, rather grateful to Erin for wading in and dressing down Cosmo.

Oh my. Now there's a mental image I would rather be rid of
 


Posted by IanB (# 38) on :
 
nevertheless...

It still seems to me a bit odd to ask the question "what is sex"? and not seem to reach a concensus at this stage in a thread.

So what is it? Sex is either of the two divisions of organic beings distinguished as male or female - or some quality relating to that. The word has the same root (sec-) as in section and sect.

Surely the problem we have here is that we are coming to things the wrong way round - only when you have got your brain round the concept the word seeks to describe can you then describe how it relates to adjunct concepts (sexual relations, sexual attraction etc.). If you try to do things the wrong way round you will end up trying to include exceptions in an understanding or definition.

Please understand I only speak etymologically. It may sound tough but that's what is meant by the word.

Ian
 


Posted by 'Cello (# 125) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Cosmo:
I remember at university some particularly naive members of the Christian Union raving about how wonderful the 'don't touch what you don't have yourself' teaching was. 'So simple', they said, 'so clear and understandable'. They weren't very happy when I pointed out that that meant anal sex between straight people was OK as well as all gay and lesbian sex.

I may have missed the point of the Huggett rule here, but surely a girl can't have anal sex with her chap without coming into contact with a body part that she doesn't possess herself?
 


Posted by Angel of the North (# 60) on :
 
I would have said that all sexual relations involving penetration of a bodily orifice (anal, vaginal and oral sex) involve a deep intimacy, each of them subtly different.

It is the intent behind the action that is important as much as the mechanics. Is it to build intimacy, or for sexual gratification, or both, or neither - a mechanical act?

I have less problem with a one night stand, than I do with certain long term intimacies, where a great deal is shared, without it being physical. In some cases it can be more damaging than an actual affair. And yet, because it's non-sexual, it can be conveniently ignored.

To give you an example of my own. I have never met P. We have known each other for 3 years in virtual form. we talk a great deal, about a lot of things. And for a time, it could, rightly, have been seen as an affair. As it happens, neither of us was attached at the time. But if one of us had been, and we were spending several hours a week working on one of our mutual projects, a few phone calls here and there, on top of hours put in at work that actually brought money in, neither of us should have been surprised at our partners being jealous. Especially when we denied it was anything more than just professional and necessary contact for the completion of said mutual ongoing project.

The friends of mine that are not involved in this virtual world say that this is bollocks. And some people that are involved in this virtual world quite well, and are in a similar situation would apply such an epithet, as a convenient means of avoiding some highly uncomfortable truths, like their mutual project is wrecking their real life relationships.

The nature of sex is kind of nebulous, because it in part depends on the tags that one wishes to put on it. As a society both too much and too little emphasis is put on sex. Too much is placed on the physical act. Too little is placed on the feelings behind it.

You cannot disengage the one from the other, in a relationship. I have friends who, though they have never touched beyond a friendly hug, you know will marry, in that they have agreed thus. It wasn't intentional that they didn't kiss, or anything physical, but you and they can feel the tender emotion there. And it will happen. And I sincerely envy them that they can be so intimate like that, and try and follow their example in my own relationship. And I have other friends, though they use each other for penetrative sex, have no great feeling for each other. These are two extremes.
I'm afraid i cannot be more erudite than that.

angel
 


Posted by Amos (# 44) on :
 
Angel--I agree with your point concerning the grey area of the relationship which is deeply intimate but non-sexual: this was a big issue in the anti-Catholic polemic of the 19th century, and there is a marvellous Punch cartoon from the period of a Victorian wife confessing to her sympathetic priest (who is, incidentally, leering smarmily) while the husband creeps up behind with a horsewhip.
'Cello, it seems to me that if the act in question were performed digitally it would qualify under the rubric quoted.
 
Posted by Cosmo (# 117) on :
 
It reaffirms the superior role of the man in all forms of life including sexual ethics and morality to allow anal sex. After all, the man is not touching a part of the body that he doesn't have himself, therefore, according to the rule, it's OK. That is the logical conclusion of such a rule. Silly I know but logical and, perhaps, scriptural (if we take sex to be a spiritual matter).

Cosmo
 


Posted by IanB (# 38) on :
 
Cosmo -

Check your "I-Spy" book of orifices. You have got the wrong one.

The anus is surely the orifice of choice when posting here on SOF. One simply inserts one's head up it and then types away. I frequently do it and look how spiritual I am.

Ian
 


Posted by sniffy (# 1713) on :
 
I was a 26-year-old virgin when I married my wife. We have since had 4 children. Anyone who can wade through the confusion and weight of adolescence and young adulthood and arrive a virgin at their wedding deserves at least a York Peppermint Pattie. (Not me though, I cheated too much with masturbation - that is a huge habit. I battled with that baby into my married life)

Sex is intercourse, oral sex and anal sex (never had any anal, my wife wouldn't allow me and she has never been sufficiently drunk to the point of not knowing the difference). All other forms are giz on the side - a halfhearted attempt to the real one body thing.

Bill Clinton can't pull that "what is sex" thing and expect us to walk away from him with a slightly white liquid dripping from the corner of our mouths. Can he? We know that is sex. He and I have never had sex, but if he had his cigar up my doopa and his penis in my pie hole, I'd take a wild swag at it and say that we were having sex.
 


Posted by Amos (# 44) on :
 
Fascinating, sniffy.

No, on second thought, I won't touch that one with a bargepole.
 


Posted by Ultraspike (# 268) on :
 
I dated a fiercely conservative Irish Roman Catholic for several years and he refused to have intercourse on the grounds that it was against his religion to have pre-marital sex, but had no problem with oral sex. Is this hyprocrisy or was he just secretly gay as I suspect? Part of the problem was that he didn't believe in contraception and supposedly believed in the whole "sex is only for procreation" nonsense, but I believe oral sex is just as much sex as intercourse. Is this common among RCs or am I making a sweeping generalization here?
 
Posted by CorgiGreta (# 443) on :
 
As I recall, Dr. Kinsey, the pioneer in scientific studies of sex counted only sexual activity that culminated in orgasm, and I believe that most subsequent researchers have followed his lead. By this view, people could penetrate and be penetrated without limit, but it would not necessarily be sex.

Greta
 


Posted by Louise (# 30) on :
 
Ultraspike,
given what several males of my acquaintance have candidly confessed about their definite preference for oral sex over other forms thereof, I would call this 'being on to a good thing'!

Louise
 
Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
 
ultraspike, i have been told by a friend that there is a saying in some parts of the country "if it's eatin', it ain't cheatin'".
 
Posted by Amos (# 44) on :
 
nicole---now, imagine if Clinton had said THAT on TV!
 
Posted by Ultraspike (# 268) on :
 
Yes, thank you Slick Willy. Mind you I wouldn't be complaining if he gave as good as he got, but that was not the case.
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
Clearing throat, hastily hiding copy of trashy novel behind Improving Reading before donning host hat ...

As enlightening as this all is, it is veering away from serious debate. Prurience is not becoming to Purgatory, and this thread is itching to get into Hell. Either take a cold shower, or prepare for the flames ...

RuthW
Purgatory host
 


Posted by Septimus (# 500) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ultraspike:
I dated a fiercely conservative Irish Roman Catholic for several years and he refused to have intercourse on the grounds that it was against his religion to have pre-marital sex, but had no problem with oral sex. Is this hyprocrisy or was he just secretly gay as I suspect? Part of the problem was that he didn't believe in contraception and supposedly believed in the whole "sex is only for procreation" nonsense, but I believe oral sex is just as much sex as intercourse. Is this common among RCs or am I making a sweeping generalization here?

This reminds me of a friend of mine from school who claimed proudly after spending a night with a young man that she hadn't had sex with him, merely given him a "blow job."

She was most upset when I pointed out that with that under his belt (as it were) he achieved success beyond his wildest imaginings and was rather unlikely to call her in the near future. (His ongoing respect, or lack thereof, for my friend was an avenue I had no wish to go down).

So then, Ultraspike, I would say that your fierce Irishman was no more gay than the next man, rather he simply knew when he was on to a good thing.

Please, please, RuthW. Send this prurience to that dark recess where it most belongs.
 


Posted by Cosmo (# 117) on :
 
Why do you, RuthW, imagine that reading a trashy novel should be discrete from improving literature? I always find that the trashier the novel (or preferably film) the more improving I find it. This is particularly true of tracts concerning sexual conduct and morality (even more so if they contain pictures or photogravures). So RuthW, do not be ashamed of your trashy novel fixation. Glory in it and be proud.

Cosmo
 


Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
As enlightening as this all is, it is veering away from serious debate.

Yes, and I think the attacks on Clinton are inappropriate for Purgatory also. Some of us here actually supported him as president even during the scandals. (And yes, I *DO* believe what he did was sex, and I believe it was very wrong, but I supported him as president anyway.)

David
 


Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
 
hear, hear, chastmastr.
 
Posted by Ultraspike (# 268) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Septimus:
So then, Ultraspike, I would say that your fierce Irishman was no more gay than the next man, rather he simply knew when he was on to a good thing.

So there are some straight men who don't like traditional intercourse with a woman?? I would say that while they may prefer oral sex most of the time, it is highly suspect to a woman if that's all they ever wanted. I spent four years with this guy hoping some day we'd finally "do it", but no. To me that is not a normal man, whatever his religious beliefs.
 


Posted by Septimus (# 500) on :
 
For many men, sadly, "traditional" intercourse (I assume that this is something to do with kilts) is synonymous with "intercourse". Moreover, "many" men is synonymous with "men".

It sears me to the very loins that in four years your other half didn't have the decency to arrange a fall from grace or six.

I do assure you, being a "man" myself, that anything comprising insecurity, desire and fantasy can be termed a "normal man" and dismissed as such.

Septimus (curled up behind a Harold Robbins and clutching a picture of a girl dressed as Pierrot. He weeps.)
 


Posted by Happy Abby (# 1814) on :
 
I think that the whole 'what is sex' thing misses the point of why we do or dont do it before/after we're married etc etc. Seems to me that the reason God put certain rules into place was to ensure that we didn't end up, hurt and disillusioned, having had big time emotional intimacy with lots of different people. I always understood the point of not sleeping with someone I wasn't married to, as being a good thing because I was preserving my emotional well being. Course, it didn't really stop me from doing the wild thing - but still, now, with a few years of baggage attached, wish that it had. So really, sex has got to be any act that builds up emotional/physical intimacy between two people - a sort of bond. I quite recently had phone sex with my boyfriend and I think we surprised ourselves when we discovered it was the most intimate thing we had ever done...I really, honestly, felt physically and emotionally that we had had actual sex. Weird.
 
Posted by Ultraspike (# 268) on :
 
So would phone sex or computer sex be sex?
 
Posted by Happy Abby (# 1814) on :
 
This experience of phone sex was definitely almost identical to the real thing.

Cyber sex, on the other hand...ah well....I dont know about that...I mean, its so impersonal. I can't see that there would be a real way of building up intimacy in instant messaging. It could be very sexual, I'm sure...but not intimate.
 


Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
 
oh you would be surprised. and enough said...

yes, i think both count as sex, absolutly.
 


Posted by Cosmo (# 117) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ultraspike:
So would phone sex or computer sex be sex?

Preferably both and with two different people (whilst eating fois gras to the sound of trumpets).

Cosmo
 


Posted by Septimus (# 500) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Happy Abby:
This experience of phone sex was definitely almost identical to the real thing.

It's strange, isn't it, what bakelite can do to a girl.

I'm not sure that silicon holds quite the same sway.

Septimus
 


Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Cosmo:
Why do you, RuthW, imagine that reading a trashy novel should be discrete from improving literature? I always find that the trashier the novel (or preferably film) the more improving I find it. This is particularly true of tracts concerning sexual conduct and morality (even more so if they contain pictures or photogravures). So RuthW, do not be ashamed of your trashy novel fixation. Glory in it and be proud.

The enjoyment of trashy novels is greatly enhanced by hiding said trash behind "improving" reading.

And with that, we're off to hell ...
 


Posted by Happy Abby (# 1814) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Septimus:
It's strange, isn't it, what bakelite can do to a girl.

I'm not sure that silicon holds quite the same sway.

Septimus


Septimus - I'm confused! What is Bakelite and why would it be preferable to phone sex?


 


Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
 
bakelite is the stuff that phones are made out of abby.... (or, actually, the stuff they used to be made of. a hard plastic stuff)
 
Posted by tomb (# 174) on :
 
Well. Isn't this special (sez tomb trying to imitate the Church Lady and failing miserably).

Now that this thread has descended to the netherdepths (how's that for a tautology?) tomb would like to reiterate a couple of guidelines based on his reading of the above fascinating discourse:

That being said, carry on, and God bless.
 


Posted by Ultraspike (# 268) on :
 
". tomb almost hurled when he read one of the posts above. "

I didn't know you were so delicate, tomb. We'll try to be more careful.
 


Posted by TonyK (# 35) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by tomb:
[list]
  • ....tomb almost hurled when he read one of the posts above.
  • Are you sure it was only one?????
     


    Posted by tomb (# 174) on :
     
    tomb refuses to discuss the triggers for his bodily functions on this or any other thread.
     
    Posted by Septimus (# 500) on :
     
    quote:
    Originally posted by tomb:
    tomb refuses to discuss the triggers for his bodily functions on this or any other thread.

    Is that because of the thing you have with sardines?
     


    Posted by Amos (# 44) on :
     
    UltraSpike: I always understood that William Jefferson C. did give as good as he got, and that was the reason for the massive support he received from female voters.

    ChastMaster: Yes, I supported him too.
     


    Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
     
    amos, alas, no he didn't. well, not monica at any rate. except for the cigar, but i don't think that compares.
     
    Posted by Amos (# 44) on :
     
    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.
     
    Posted by Ultraspike (# 268) on :
     
    quote:
    Originally posted by Amos:
    UltraSpike: I always understood that William Jefferson C. did give as good as he got, and that was the reason for the massive support he received from female voters.

    Actually I was talking about my personal experience, but I wasn't aware that WJC did anything other than poke around with his cigar.
     


    Posted by Happy Abby (# 1814) on :
     
    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)


     


    Posted by The Coot (# 220) on :
     
    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.
     


    Posted by Happy Abby (# 1814) on :
     
    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.
     
    Posted by The Coot (# 220) on :
     
    [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]
     


    Posted by Ultraspike (# 268) on :
     
    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.
     


    Posted by Happy Abby (# 1814) on :
     
    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!
     


    Posted by tomb (# 174) on :
     
    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 ]
     


    Posted by that Wikkid Person (# 4446) on :
     
    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?
     
    Posted by Girl with the pearl earring (# 9151) on :
     
    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?
     
    Posted by Girl with the pearl earring (# 9151) on :
     
    I'm also aware this is a very old thread, and probably no-one will read this now anyway!
     
    Posted by The Lady of the Lake (# 4347) on :
     
    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.
     
    Posted by Halo (# 6933) on :
     
    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.
     
    Posted by that Wikkid Person (# 4446) on :
     
    So can we agree that the Old Testament contains no rules making sex before marriage a trespass?
     
    Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :
     
    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.
     
    Posted by Alliebath (# 10547) on :
     
    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…
     
    Posted by badman (# 9634) on :
     
    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!
     
    Posted by DangerousDeacon (# 10582) on :
     
    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!
     
    Posted by Cymruambyth (# 10887) on :
     
    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]
     
    Posted by AndyB (# 10186) on :
     
    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"
     
    Posted by sharkshooter (# 1589) on :
     
    quote:
    Originally posted by Cymruambyth:
    ...If it wasn't for sex, where would we be? Inconceivable!


    Don't you mean "Unconceived"?
     
    Posted by Mousethief (# 953) on :
     
    You keep using that word. I am not sure it means what you think it means.
     
    Posted by Leila (# 11555) on :
     
    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.
     
    Posted by AndyB (# 10186) on :
     
    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.
     
    Posted by Leila (# 11555) on :
     
    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.
     
    Posted by Eliab (# 9153) on :
     
    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.
     
    Posted by les@BALM (# 11237) on :
     
    Sex is the trinity of the meeting of mind, body and spirit in the one loving act.
     
    Posted by wanderingstar (# 10444) on :
     
    Really? I never thought such a trinity could feel so underwhelming at times.
     
    Posted by leo (# 1458) on :
     
    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).
     
    Posted by Emma. (# 3571) on :
     
    giving or recieving leo??
     
    Posted by Eliab (# 9153) on :
     
    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.
     
    Posted by Gracious rebel (# 3523) on :
     
    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]
     
    Posted by les@BALM (# 11237) on :
     
    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.
     
    Posted by leo (# 1458) on :
     
    quote:
    Originally posted by Emma.:
    giving or recieving leo??

    Both!
     
    Posted by AndyB (# 10186) on :
     
    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.
     
    Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
     
    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.
     
    Posted by Eliab (# 9153) on :
     
    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 ]
     
    Posted by Emma. (# 3571) on :
     
    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!!
     
    Posted by Alex Cockell (# 7487) on :
     
    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]
     
    Posted by eyeliner (# 4648) on :
     
    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.
     
    Posted by Divine Outlaw Dwarf (# 2252) on :
     
    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.
     
    Posted by Zorro (# 9156) on :
     
    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"?
     
    Posted by Eliab (# 9153) on :
     
    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.
     
    Posted by Divine Outlaw Dwarf (# 2252) on :
     
    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 ]
     
    Posted by Gay Organ Grinder (# 11833) on :
     
    quote:
    Originally posted by leo:
    quote:
    Originally posted by Emma.:
    giving or recieving leo??

    Both!
    Amen to that as well!!!
     
    Posted by Eliab (# 9153) on :
     
    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.
     
    Posted by Gracious rebel (# 3523) on :
     
    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!!
     
    Posted by Scooby-Doo (# 9822) on :
     
    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]
     
    Posted by Eliab (# 9153) on :
     
    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 ]
     
    Posted by Gracious rebel (# 3523) on :
     
    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.
     
    Posted by Lori (# 9456) on :
     
    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 ]
     
    Posted by duchess (# 2764) on :
     
    Well, some think that if you don't become "one flesh" then you didn't really have sex...and that is only penetrative sex. Okay to do and have outside marriage every thing

    I believe much like Lori that sex is much more than that.

    And while I choose to remain celibate, I try to fight the urges in my brain to make a sex story.
     
    Posted by Doublethink (# 1984) on :
     
    Oh go on, write some erotica, you know you want to.

    If only to demonstrate it can be done in a Christian and tasteful way. [Big Grin]

    You could use this thread as a reference point and write an erotic novel about what constitutes sex, and when and why it is a good idea. Then you could marry, or civilly partner, off the two lead couples at the end. [Two face]

    [ 20. January 2007, 13:47: Message edited by: Doublethink ]
     
    Posted by Divine Outlaw Dwarf (# 2252) on :
     
    quote:
    Originally posted by Gracious rebel:
    But the logical result is that two people could then rightly disagree about whether or not they had 'had sex'.

    Well, not necessarily. I'm not denying that there may be objective criteria for what 'sex' is. I am saying that discerning what those criteria are is tricky, and that I've yet to hear a plausible account.
     
    Posted by duchess (# 2764) on :
     
    quote:
    Originally posted by Doublethink:
    Oh go on, write some erotica, you know you want to.

    If only to demonstrate it can be done in a Christian and tasteful way. [Big Grin]

    You could use this thread as a reference point and write an erotic novel about what constitutes sex, and when and why it is a good idea. Then you could marry, or civilly partner, off the two lead couples at the end. [Two face]

    Boy meets girl. Courts her. Marries her. Then goes off to have hot wanton sex. The end. [Smile]
     
    Posted by Pheonix (# 2782) on :
     
    quote:
    Originally posted by duchess:
    quote:
    Originally posted by Doublethink:
    Oh go on, write some erotica, you know you want to.

    If only to demonstrate it can be done in a Christian and tasteful way. [Big Grin]

    You could use this thread as a reference point and write an erotic novel about what constitutes sex, and when and why it is a good idea. Then you could marry, or civilly partner, off the two lead couples at the end. [Two face]

    Boy meets girl. Courts her. Marries her. Then goes off to have hot wanton sex. The end. [Smile]
    [Killing me] Its kinda lacking a bit in terms of depth of character isn't it?
     
    Posted by MouseThief (# 953) on :
     
    quote:
    Originally posted by Pheonix:
    [Killing me] Its kinda lacking a bit in terms of depth of character isn't it?

    Unlike all that other porn -- excuse me, erotica -- that is written?
     
    Posted by Pheonix (# 2782) on :
     
    quote:
    Originally posted by MouseThief:
    quote:
    Originally posted by Pheonix:
    [Killing me] Its kinda lacking a bit in terms of depth of character isn't it?

    Unlike all that other porn -- excuse me, erotica -- that is written?
    Yeah, but there's usually a bit more detail in it than that?
     
    Posted by MouseThief (# 953) on :
     
    Definitely more detail. Not much more depth of character (not that I've read any myself, no, certainly not).
     
    Posted by Left at the Altar (# 5077) on :
     
    It lacks some of the essential words for erotica.


    Boy meets girl. He has pulsing Love Engine, never used, good condition. She has pert breasts, never used, good condition. He courts her with Love Engine straining to be released, but fights temptation to take it for a run by praying hard. She resists temptation to run her hands over its smooth duco by praying hard. They kiss. She keeps her legs crossed. He marries her. Then they go off to have hot wanton sex for the purposes of procreation, with the lights off. The end.
     
    Posted by duchess (# 2764) on :
     
    Yes, I think you've nailed it.
     
    Posted by FreeJack (# 10612) on :
     
    quote:
    Originally posted by Left at the Altar:
    She resists temptation to run her hands over its smooth duco by praying hard.

    Smooth duco? Where can I get that effect from?
     
    Posted by MouseThief (# 953) on :
     
    quote:
    Originally posted by FreeJack:
    quote:
    Originally posted by Left at the Altar:
    She resists temptation to run her hands over its smooth duco by praying hard.

    Smooth duco? Where can I get that effect from?
    Dude, open your email.
     
    Posted by duchess (# 2764) on :
     
    I have to say you all turn everything I write into dirty filthy novels.

    But this one did make my point very well. And LATA naughty, naughty, naughty!

    I will say though that YEAH, I really do think like that. And I will stay on my island and wait until my ship sails by with the dude who actually wants a commitment with me before kissing. That would be so totally cool, to feel that secure. But I guess that is a girl thang.
     
    Posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider (# 76) on :
     
    quote:
    Originally posted by duchess:
    quote:
    Originally posted by Doublethink:
    Oh go on, write some erotica, you know you want to.

    If only to demonstrate it can be done in a Christian and tasteful way. [Big Grin]

    You could use this thread as a reference point and write an erotic novel about what constitutes sex, and when and why it is a good idea. Then you could marry, or civilly partner, off the two lead couples at the end. [Two face]

    Boy meets girl. Courts her. Marries her. Then goes off to have hot wanton sex. The end. [Smile]
    You missed out a stage.

    Can I interject between "Marries her" and "Then goes off.."

    "Spends a hilarious if humiliating week trying to work out which of her dohickeys are which, finally gets his south pole geography sorted out, then spends another week finding out that you can't just go diving in, because no-one's explained about foreplay".
     
    Posted by Pânts (# 999) on :
     
    Ok, so I've just read the 4 pages of the thread, and didn't see the answer.

    What is sex?
    Is 'virtual' (ie online chat) sex actually sex?
    Is phone sex actually sex?
    Does that mean masterbation is actually sex?
     
    Posted by Gill H (# 68) on :
     
    Karl - no, because this is fiction. The hero and heroine of the story will have read good, sensible and interesting books by Christian authors which explain the whole thing realistically, and do not make it sound like an exam or mess up the hero and heroine's minds before they start.

    (Not entirely fictional - such a book does exist, but sadly it's out of print. Unlike the bad ones, which are legion.)
     
    Posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider (# 76) on :
     
    Shakespeare wrote two plays on the subject, you know.

    Love's Labours Lost and The Comedy of Errors
     
    Posted by MouseThief (# 953) on :
     
    quote:
    Originally posted by Pânts:
    1.What is sex?
    2.Is 'virtual' (ie online chat) sex actually sex?
    3.Is phone sex actually sex?
    4.Does that mean masterbation is actually sex?

    1. I can't define it but I know it when I see it.
    2. Yes
    3. Yes
    4. Yes
     
    Posted by Henry Troup (# 3722) on :
     
    quote:
    Originally posted by Pânts:

    Does that mean masterbation is actually sex?

    "masterbation" is a spelling error for "masturbation". Which, IMO, is sex.
     
    Posted by Henry Troup (# 3722) on :
     
    quote:
    Originally posted by Henry Troup:
    ...

    And I'm a pedant, which is a worse sin that either masturbation or misspelling.
     
    Posted by Jack the Lass (# 3415) on :
     
    quote:
    Originally posted by Henry Troup:
    quote:
    Originally posted by Henry Troup:
    ...

    And I'm a pedant, which is a worse sin that either masturbation or misspelling.
    Oh, I don't know - some of us find pedants ever so sexy [Big Grin]

    [Where did my point go?]

    [ 06. February 2007, 21:22: Message edited by: Jack the Lass ]
     
    Posted by mountainsnowtiger (# 11152) on :
     
    Just a minute .... you guys are saying that masturbation by a person who is alone is actually sex?!?!?!?!?!?! [Eek!]

    I'm female, but I've been lead to believe (and I've not heard any counter-evidence) that masturbation is pretty much a biological requirement for post-pubescent males (if sex with a partner is not available) - sperm and semen get produced inside blokes' testes no matter what and all that sperm and semen needs to get out one way or another.

    So if 99.9% of the male population start having sex by masturbation when they hit puberty, why is it a big deal whether or not they get another person involved? (ie - can't they argue that if they're having sex already (by masturbating), they might as well have sex with another person even if they're not in a committed relationship with that person.)


    Hmmm ... I think the main upshot of this post is that I don't think masturbation is the same thing as sex. I think that sex needs to involve more than one person.

    But I'm interested in thoughts on the above points from those who think that masturbation is sex. Do you believe that masturbation is always wrong? Or that it is sometimes wrong and sometimes okay? - in which case, which circumstances make it okay? Or that it is always okay?
     
    Posted by MouseThief (# 953) on :
     
    quote:
    Originally posted by mountainsnowtiger:
    Just a minute .... you guys are saying that masturbation by a person who is alone is actually sex?!?!?!?!?!?! [Eek!]

    What other category could it possibly fall under? Exercise?
     
    Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
     
    quote:
    Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
    Shakespeare wrote two plays on the subject, you know.

    Love's Labours Lost and The Comedy of Errors

    Three, at least. You forgot Much Ado About Nothing --in which the "nothing" is a well-known pseudonym for, um, something shaped roughly like a zero (nothing, geddit?).
     
    Posted by OliviaG (# 9881) on :
     
    quote:
    Originally posted by MouseThief:
    quote:
    Originally posted by mountainsnowtiger:
    Just a minute .... you guys are saying that masturbation by a person who is alone is actually sex?!?!?!?!?!?! [Eek!]

    What other category could it possibly fall under? Exercise?
    Well, it does relieve stress! OliviaG
     
    Posted by mountainsnowtiger (# 11152) on :
     
    I wouldn't say it falls under any category. I would say 'masturbation' in itself is an activity. And that it's distinct from 'sex' which I think needs to involve more than one person.

    My question is:-
    Are you saying that all the unmarried single blokes who masturbate and attend churches which teach that one shouldn't have sex outside of marriage, are actually going against that teaching by masturbating? (I ask this question whether or not you yourself think that sex outside marriage is wrong - although that would also be an interesting thing to know in the context of the discussion.)
     
    Posted by MouseThief (# 953) on :
     
    quote:
    Originally posted by mountainsnowtiger:
    I wouldn't say it falls under any category. I would say 'masturbation' in itself is an activity. And that it's distinct from 'sex' which I think needs to involve more than one person.

    My question is:-
    Are you saying that all the unmarried single blokes who masturbate and attend churches which teach that one shouldn't have sex outside of marriage, are actually going against that teaching by masturbating? (I ask this question whether or not you yourself think that sex outside marriage is wrong - although that would also be an interesting thing to know in the context of the discussion.)

    That rather depends on their definition of "Sex", not mine.
     
    Posted by mountainsnowtiger (# 11152) on :
     
    I think masturbation is a sexual activity, but it is not 'sex' per se.

    Okay. I'm not actually asking you to answer these questions, because they are far too personal to be answered on a public web-forum, but the following questions might illustrate where I am having difficulty with the logic that masturbation = sex.

    1) Do you believe that sex should only take place inside a committed relationship?
    2) Have you ever masturbated while not in a committed relationship?
    3) If yes to both of the above, was your masturbation wrong? If not, why not?

    I get the impression that quite a few Christian men would answer yes to questions 1 and 2, but would not consider their masturbation to have been wrong because it did not involve other people/promiscuity etc. At which point, the answer to question 3 - 'why wasn't the masturbation wrong' - is 'because it was a special category of sex not involving another person'. At which point, we're messing about with semantics and if masturbation is such a distinct category of sex why can't it just be classed as a sexual activity which is not equivalent to 'sex'.
     
    Posted by Pânts (# 999) on :
     
    quote:
    Originally posted by MouseThief:
    quote:
    Originally posted by Pânts:
    1.What is sex?
    2.Is 'virtual' (ie online chat) sex actually sex?
    3.Is phone sex actually sex?
    4.Does that mean masterbation is actually sex?

    1. I can't define it but I know it when I see it.
    2. Yes
    3. Yes
    4. Yes

    Mountainsnowtiger, if as MT says, 2 and 3 are sex, then 4 must be too as 2 and 3 are a form of 4. Although they are different as there is 'someone' else involved with 2 and 3.
     
    Posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider (# 76) on :
     
    quote:
    Originally posted by Henry Troup:
    quote:
    Originally posted by Henry Troup:
    ...

    And I'm a pedant, which is a worse sin that either masturbation or misspelling.
    Or confusing "than" and "that".

    I hereby formally state KLB's Law:

    "Any Internet posting criticising another's spelling, grammar or punctuation will itself contain at least one solecism".

    [ 07. February 2007, 08:38: Message edited by: Karl: Liberal Backslider ]
     
    Posted by Divine Outlaw Dwarf (# 2252) on :
     
    quote:
    Originally posted by Pânts:
    quote:
    Originally posted by MouseThief:
    quote:
    Originally posted by Pânts:
    1.What is sex?
    2.Is 'virtual' (ie online chat) sex actually sex?
    3.Is phone sex actually sex?
    4.Does that mean masterbation is actually sex?

    1. I can't define it but I know it when I see it.
    2. Yes
    3. Yes
    4. Yes

    Mountainsnowtiger, if as MT says, 2 and 3 are sex, then 4 must be too as 2 and 3 are a form of 4. Although they are different as there is 'someone' else involved with 2 and 3.
    Are the following human beings?

    2. George W. Bush
    3. Billie Piper
    4. All animals

    Now, according to your reasoning above; we must conclude that all animals are human beings, since 2. and 3. are forms of 4. Spot the problem?
     
    Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
     
    Is reading War and Peace equivalent to doing military service? Is watching a cop show on TV murder? Is Star Trek space travel?

    Fantasy is not the thing itself.
     
    Posted by Pânts (# 999) on :
     
    Ken, I take it you're saying M isn't sex? And if so, what about 2 and 3?
     
    Posted by leo (# 1458) on :
     
    Confessors' manuals have defined masturbation as a sinful misuse of sex.

    I wish they hadn't because it would have made my teenage years more enjoyable.
     
    Posted by MouseThief (# 953) on :
     
    quote:
    Originally posted by ken:
    Is reading War and Peace equivalent to doing military service? Is watching a cop show on TV murder? Is Star Trek space travel?

    Fantasy is not the thing itself.

    Thus, imagining yourself having an orgasm, or reading about somebody else having an orgasm, is not sex. That's as far as this metaphor will take you. It certainly says absolutely nothing about masturbation.
     
    Posted by mountainsnowtiger (# 11152) on :
     
    Would any of the male contributors to this thread who think that masturbation is sex and/or that masturbation is a sin care to comment on whether they think it's accurate to say that 90% plus of men who don't regularly have sex with a partner, do masturbate relatively regularly?

    As already stated, this is the impression I've previously gained - but I'm young and female (I might even try keeping up my claim to be young and innocent [Biased] ) and I don't think masturbation is sex.
     
    Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
     
    quote:
    Originally posted by MouseThief:
    Fantasy is not the thing itself.

    Thus, imagining yourself having an orgasm, or reading about somebody else having an orgasm, is not sex. That's as far as this metaphor will take you. It certainly says absolutely nothing about masturbation.

    Nonsense. Sex is the sharing of genetic material. Two-becoming one. Orgasms might be a common accompaniment to that but they aren't the same thing.

    [Edited to fix UBB]

    [ 08. February 2007, 16:52: Message edited by: TonyK ]
     
    Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
     
    quote:
    Originally posted by mountainsnowtiger:
    it's accurate to say that 90% plus of men who don't regularly have sex with a partner, do masturbate relatively regularly?

    I would think that is an unbelieveably low estimate. 99% is more likely. 99.9%. Effectively everybody. When young anyway. Perhaps if fades away with age.
     
    Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
     
    quote:
    Originally posted by Pânts:
    And if so, what about 2 and 3?

    No, obviously not. Maybe count as fantasy or flirting or whatever. Would still probably be a betrayal when done by a married person with someone they are not married to. There are forms of unfaithfulness that are not sex.
     
    Posted by mountainsnowtiger (# 11152) on :
     
    Well, it probably belongs on a separate thread, but if any churches do still think masturbation is a sin in and of itself - it seems pretty unfair for something to be a sin if it's virtually a biological necessity for young (but post-pubescent) men (which, again, I've previously stated is the impression I've gained, while not actually being male myself).
     
    Posted by Jahlove (# 10290) on :
     
    Here's the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the subject, mountainsnowtiger:

    quote:
    2352 By masturbation is to be understood the deliberate stimulation of the genital organs in order to derive sexual pleasure. "Both the Magisterium of the Church, in the course of a constant tradition, and the moral sense of the faithful have been in no doubt and have firmly maintained that masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action." "The deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for whatever reason, outside of marriage is essentially contrary to its purpose." For here sexual pleasure is sought outside of "the sexual relationship which is demanded by the moral order and in which the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love is achieved."

    To form an equitable judgment about the subjects' moral responsibility and to guide pastoral action, one must take into account the affective immaturity, force of acquired habit, conditions of anxiety or other psychological or social factors that lessen, if not even reduce to a minimum, moral culpability.

    Without wishing to get into a long (and ultimately fruitless) debate on whether the Church is Right, Wrong or Bonkers in this pronouncement, I would just point out that it does take “affective immaturity” into account as a major factor in the “fairness” or otherwise of considering this a “sin”. (As someone pointed out to me, in order for it to constitute Mortal Sin, one would have to be masturbating in order to defy God, which, pace Aleister Crowley, is really a rather negligible consideration. [Big Grin]

    Not male myself, either, but I had rather picked up that, even if young men do not masturbate, excess sperm production finds natural egress via involuntary nocturnal emission, aka "wet dream".
     
    Posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider (# 76) on :
     
    In some men, apparently. But "men who never masturbate" is too small a sample to really research the question.
     
    Posted by Jahlove (# 10290) on :
     
    Well quite, Karl. Even if young men wank themselves stupid 10 times a day, they often also have wet dreams, such is the power of the thing at that age. All I was saying is that, even if their hands were tied behind their backs, there would still be emission.
     
    Posted by mountainsnowtiger (# 11152) on :
     
    Exactly to all of the last 3 posts. And I have heard it on good authority (i.e. from somebody male) that wet dreams can be a much more disturbing example of human sexuality than straight-forward masturbation (i.e. when wanking a bloke will probably imagine having sex, but the 'dream' part of wet dreams can involve all sorts of weird and wonderful and potentially disturbing variations on the general theme of sex).

    So it would seem to me rather unfair to decide that wanking is a sin and to therefore force all celibate men to endure unpleasant and potentially disturbing wet dreams (which might well also be considered sinful, or at least unhealthy, by the people who think masturbation is a sin - at which point what is the poor unmarried bloke meant to do about the semen which biologically needs to depart his body?).

    But then, I doubt that this is the only area where my own thinking about sexual activities differs from that of the Catholic Church. (There are plenty of people on this planet already, thanks - if I'm ever lucky enough to get the sex as true love phenomenon, then I'll do without the procreation bit of it - but then that's probably a seperate thread again ....)
     
    Posted by leo (# 1458) on :
     
    quote:
    Originally posted by ken:
    quote:
    Originally posted by MouseThief:
    Fantasy is not the thing itself.

    Thus, imagining yourself having an orgasm, or reading about somebody else having an orgasm, is not sex. That's as far as this metaphor will take you. It certainly says absolutely nothing about masturbation.

    Nonsense. Sex is the sharing of genetic material. Two-becoming one. Orgasms might be a common accompaniment to that but they aren't the same thing.

    [Edited to fix UBB]

    So lesbians don't have sex, then?
     
    Posted by MouseThief (# 953) on :
     
    So sex with a condom isn't sex then?
     
    Posted by Scooby-Doo (# 9822) on :
     
    quote:
    Originally posted by mountainsnowtiger:
    Would any of the male contributors to this thread who think that masturbation is sex and/or that masturbation is a sin care to comment on whether they think it's accurate to say that 90% plus of men who don't regularly have sex with a partner, do masturbate relatively regularly?

    As already stated, this is the impression I've previously gained - but I'm young and female (I might even try keeping up my claim to be young and innocent [Biased] ) and I don't think masturbation is sex.

    I think 90% of men do at some time, whether in a relationship or not. The other 10% are liars!
     
    Posted by John Holding (# 158) on :
     
    quote:
    Originally posted by ken:
    quote:
    Originally posted by MouseThief:
    Fantasy is not the thing itself.

    Thus, imagining yourself having an orgasm, or reading about somebody else having an orgasm, is not sex. That's as far as this metaphor will take you. It certainly says absolutely nothing about masturbation.

    Nonsense. Sex is the sharing of genetic material. Two-becoming one. Orgasms might be a common accompaniment to that but they aren't the same thing.

    [Edited to fix UBB]

    So same-sex ....isn't sex at all!

    John
     
    Posted by Timothy the Obscure (# 292) on :
     
    I've seen some research (it was quite a few years ago and I can't recall where) that found that men actually masturbate more when they're in relationships than when they aren't.

    I 'm not sure what that proves, exactly...
     
    Posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider (# 76) on :
     
    quote:
    Originally posted by Jahlove:
    Well quite, Karl. Even if young men wank themselves stupid 10 times a day, they often also have wet dreams, such is the power of the thing at that age. All I was saying is that, even if their hands were tied behind their backs, there would still be emission.

    Not in all. Or even most. I suspect that "wet dreams" are as often an explanation for stained sheets as they are real phenomena ifyouseewhatImean.

    And most men manage quite well after vasectomies - where do their sperm go?
     
    Posted by Jahlove (# 10290) on :
     
    I must, of course, yield to your first-hand knowledge although chaps of my acquaintance say otherwise.

    This article describes what happens to sperm post-vasectomy.
     
    Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
     
    quote:
    Originally posted by Timothy the Obscure:
    I've seen some research (it was quite a few years ago and I can't recall where) that found that men actually masturbate more when they're in relationships than when they aren't.

    I 'm not sure what that proves, exactly...

    Probably that they are less embarrassed about talking about it when they are in a relationship.
     
    Posted by Divine Outlaw Dwarf (# 2252) on :
     
    quote:
    Originally posted by leo:
    Confessors' manuals have defined masturbation as a sinful misuse of sex.

    I have in my possession a confessors' manual which describes 'attending places where they dance' as sinful.
     
    Posted by mountainsnowtiger (# 11152) on :
     
    Where who dance? The elves or the pixies?

    [Big Grin]
     
    Posted by Louise (# 30) on :
     
    Fascinating though the subject be,
    This is Dead Equines here not TnT.
    'What is sex?' we answer in this thread.
    Take merely wanking somewhere else instead!

    cheers
    Louise

    Dead Horses host [Big Grin]
     
    Posted by Cod (# 2643) on :
     
    Although what is generally considered sex no longer accords literally with "sexual intercourse", ie, intercourse between the sexes it is generally accepted, and I think always has been, that more than one person must be involved in the act itself.

    So Johnny aged 13, in his room with only his hand and his Kleenex for company, is not having sex.
     
    Posted by Eliab (# 9153) on :
     
    quote:
    Originally posted by duchess:
    I will say though that YEAH, I really do think like that. And I will stay on my island and wait until my ship sails by with the dude who actually wants a commitment with me before kissing. That would be so totally cool, to feel that secure. But I guess that is a girl thang.

    Why do you say that? Being male doesn’t stop me from thinking that kissing someone is a serious and intimate thing, which should indicate (at the least) a willingness to make a commitment to them.

    I don’t think that kissing is “sex” (in that a decision not to “have sex” would not bar me from kissing) but that doesn’t mean that I think it is always appropriate. I married the only person I ever kissed.

    quote:
    Originally posted by Pânts:
    Is 'virtual' (ie online chat) sex actually sex?
    Is phone sex actually sex?
    Does that mean masturbation is actually sex?

    If I said that “I didn’t have sex before marriage”, and you believed me, I don’t think you would necessarily conclude that I had never had an erotic conversation (phone/online/in person) with my fiancée. You almost certainly would not conclude that I never masturbated. I might not have, and there might be good reason for saying I ought not to have, done any of those things, but they aren’t remotely implied in the bare statement that “I didn’t have sex”, in the way that the words are usually meant.

    They are examples of sexual behaviour, sure, but so is (some forms of) kissing. So are (some) embraces. That doesn’t make them “sex”.

    I agree with Ken that virtual or phone sex might count as ‘cheating’ if you were in a relationship with someone else, but even then, I think that if my wife had phone sex with another man, I’d merely be very hurt and annoyed. If she “had sex” with him I’d be absolutely devastated – because sex (narrowly defined) is for me an expression of the highest commitment and intimacy.

    Sex is a lot more than just one way amongst several of getting an orgasm. Orgasms aren’t really that important. As Jahlove’s observations imply, many (most?) men have had an orgasm without it even waking them up. Saying that anything that gets you off is fundamentally the same thing as sex seems to me to miss the point. The main thing about sex is that what you are doing ought to mean something, not that you get a certain physical reaction from it.
     
    Posted by MouseThief (# 953) on :
     
    I want to hear Ken defend -- or short of that explain -- his contention that sex requires the swapping of genetic material.
     
    Posted by Henry Troup (# 3722) on :
     
    quote:
    Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
    I suspect that "wet dreams" are as often an explanation for stained sheets as they are real phenomena ifyouseewhatImean.

    Even in my forties (and twenty plus years married) I've been woken up by a real ejaculation during a erotic dream. YMMV.
     
    Posted by Gracious rebel (# 3523) on :
     
    quote:
    Originally posted by MouseThief:
    I want to hear Ken defend -- or short of that explain -- his contention that sex requires the swapping of genetic material.

    Well he's a biologist isn't he? My guess is that he was using the term 'sex' in more scientific sense to that generally understood. I reckon he would therefore say that plants 'have sex' as well (well I guess he wouldn't use those actual words but you get my drift) because they exchange genetic material. If you take as a definition that 'sex is an exchange of genetic material', then obviously that excludes any activity that does not involve this, and includes other things (like plant reproduction). Its not right or wrong to see it that way, its just using a different, scientific definition.

    Well that was my understanding of what he was trying to say anyway.
     
    Posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider (# 76) on :
     
    quote:
    Originally posted by Henry Troup:
    quote:
    Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
    I suspect that "wet dreams" are as often an explanation for stained sheets as they are real phenomena ifyouseewhatImean.

    Even in my forties (and twenty plus years married) I've been woken up by a real ejaculation during a erotic dream. YMMV.
    I'm a light sleeper, which unfortunately means I tend to wake up thinking "Oh BOLLOCKS!!!! I was dreaming" rather before that point.
     
    Posted by Pânts (# 999) on :
     
    quote:
    Originally posted by Eliab:
    I agree with Ken that virtual or phone sex might count as ‘cheating’ if you were in a relationship with someone else, but even then, I think that if my wife had phone sex with another man, I’d merely be very hurt and annoyed. If she “had sex” with him I’d be absolutely devastated – because sex (narrowly defined) is for me an expression of the highest commitment and intimacy.

    Yet, as I think someone might've said before, online / phone sex can be so much more intimate. RL sex can just be a physical act, in and out. Whereas doesn't online / phone needs to have more to it?

    Or you could say that 'in the heat of the moment' you got swept away by it all and had sex. But online / phone there's some premediated thought involved?
     
    Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
     
    quote:
    Originally posted by Gracious rebel:
    I reckon he would therefore say that plants 'have sex' as well (well I guess he wouldn't use those actual words but you get my drift)

    I would use those actual words. And so surely would just about anyone. Isn't it quite normal, for example, to talk about flowers as being the sexual organs of plants? At least in school biology lessons anyway...
     
    Posted by MouseThief (# 953) on :
     
    quote:
    Originally posted by Gracious rebel:
    Well he's a biologist isn't he? My guess is that he was using the term 'sex' in more scientific sense to that generally understood.

    In which case I'd say it's completely irrelevant to this thread, which is about the morality of sex, not the biology thereof.
     
    Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
     
    quote:
    Originally posted by MouseThief:
    this thread, which is about the morality of sex, not the biology thereof.

    Yeah, but don't you agree with

    quote:
    what Eliab wrote?
    If I said that “I didn’t have sex before marriage”, and you believed me, I don’t think you would necessarily conclude that I had never had an erotic conversation (phone/online/in person) with my fiancée. You almost certainly would not conclude that I never masturbated. I might not have, and there might be good reason for saying I ought not to have, done any of those things, but they aren’t remotely implied in the bare statement that “I didn’t have sex”, in the way that the words are usually meant.

    They are examples of sexual behaviour, sure, but so is (some forms of) kissing. So are (some) embraces. That doesn’t make them “sex”.


     
    Posted by John Holding (# 158) on :
     
    So, getting back to my previous comment, do you, Ken, think anal intercourse between two men is sex? There cannot be "sharing" of genetic material". But then there isn't exactly "sharing" in normal, missionary position sex between a man and a women either.

    Or by "sharing" do you just mean partner A depositing material in partner B -- which is not how people use the term, but if biologists do inside their world, fair enough -- though it would be nice to be given a hint that you weren't using the word in the usual way.

    That means that any form of "deposit" works -- providing a very wide definition of sex so long as two people are physically in the same location.

    John
     
    Posted by Autenrieth Road (# 10509) on :
     
    quote:
    Originally posted by ken:
    quote:
    Originally posted by Gracious rebel:
    I reckon he would therefore say that plants 'have sex' as well (well I guess he wouldn't use those actual words but you get my drift)

    I would use those actual words. And so surely would just about anyone. Isn't it quite normal, for example, to talk about flowers as being the sexual organs of plants? At least in school biology lessons anyway...
    This begs the question, in the technical sense? The discussion is about which activities done with sexual organs are encompassed by "sex".

    [ 13. February 2007, 13:48: Message edited by: Autenrieth Road ]
     
    Posted by Divine Outlaw Dwarf (# 2252) on :
     
    quote:
    Originally posted by John Holding:
    So, getting back to my previous comment, do you, Ken, think anal intercourse between two men is sex? There cannot be "sharing" of genetic material".

    There almost certainly will be, in the sense that the DNA of both will end up in contact with the body of the other. Indeed, one of the problems with defining sex as 'sharing genetic material' is that it throws the net far too wide. Breathing, for example, would become a sexual activity. Perhaps we could say 'reproductive sharing of genetic material'? But then; homosexuality? Contraception? I think the best way to put a Ken-ish point would be 'sharing of genetic material is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for sex'. Not that I agree.
     
    Posted by MouseThief (# 953) on :
     
    quote:
    Originally posted by Divine Outlaw Dwarf:
    I think the best way to put a Ken-ish point would be 'sharing of genetic material is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for sex'. Not that I agree.

    Which rather leaves us where we started.
     
    Posted by Divine Outlaw Dwarf (# 2252) on :
     
    Yes it does. The Dead Horses equivalent of a Dollis Hill loop.
     


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