re: premarital sex

I think your problems coming to resolution are based in part out of a warped domain. I had this interesting math sort of analogy that I don’t really know enough math to state. =) What the hell, I’ll try anyhow.

Imagine if you have some sort of operating function that you use to contextualize and understand the world around you. You receive some stimulus, you classify it to be a part of some domain, and then you apply some set of comprehension functions to it to come up with your opinion which then combines with some other factors to determine your response.

It is the nature of mind I think and the function of intelligence to recognize patterns and simplify incoming information so that it can be dealt with more effectively. Shades of what Pirsig is talking about in Zen and the Art riding down the road on his bike and talking about how he has to group sets of shades together into objects like tree and bush and road and bird to be able to process it. If it was just a mass of shades he might have an interesting mystical sort of experience, but he probably wouldn’t be able to function.

The sorting speeds processing and recognizing patterns to sort by is based on experience.

You are hunting for some pattern of response to be able to apply to premarital sex, right? Get it figured out and then whenever something comes up that you can identify as premarital sex you can associate it with a set of contexts that you already have thought out.

I think it is a good thing to do. From an efficiency standpoint it lets you get reapply existing work. That way you can identify your basic positions on various issues and form a higher quality opinion more quickly.

The issue I think is with your domain though. What you are calling premarital sex varies widely from committed sex before marriage to careless casual sex. There are a wide variety of attitudes about sexuality and a separation into premarital or not creates domain sets with such a broad base that you can’t create a proper function to apply. In my opinion you can’t come up with a single rule for premarital sex with much precision because the essential issues in the ethics of sexuality are not related to marital status. Even to the extent that the issues correlate with marital status (as committment often does) there is not a strong enough correlation to get a solid domain to work with.

Does that kinda make sense? (I have been getting into my Prob and Stat class and really learning what math means this semester.) =)

I’d guess that the monogamous person would be more mentally stable. Maybe not all the time.

I see the breakdown more along the lines of mental attitude. I personally have at least four distinct perspectives on sex and intimacy. Any given sexual encounter is a combination of those to varying degrees.

  1. Sex is a physical act; I do sexual things because it stimulates parts of my brain that I really enjoy.
  2. Sex is an emotional act; I do sexual things because it connects me with another person and is a powerful expression of intimacy.
  3. Sex is an expression of power; sexual intercourse is almost always one person doing something to someone else. It is arguable that any human interaction has some element of dominance/submissiveness to it, but sex almost unarguably so.
  4. Sex is a psychological act; having sex gives me a place from which to see and understand myself, especially my gender. Occasionally it takes certain illusions away from me and the power of the experience reveals things to me about myself that I did not see before. It is also an action exercising my understanding of myself and my societal roles; I am aware of the social concepts surrounding sex when having it.

I don’t think any one perspective really encompasses the potential well. All of them go together to make the experience more rich, though a particular encounter may easily focus almost entirely on one part and be healthy.

I will say that as a person that has been having premarital sex for several years now and as someone who has been doing at least a little work developmentally it has in no way been a detriment to my growth. Far from it; I was at one time so caught up in the idea of sex and all sorts of issues surrounding it that I could hardly move at all. Having sex and exploring my sexuality has helped immensely.

Like with self-esteem. I can sit and think about what a good person I am all day long, but if I am not doing anything with my life the solid foundation of experience will not be there. There is only so far you can go on paper; eventually you have to see it in action to believe it really works. And also many things I thought about sex and how sex ought to be did not hold up in the laboratory. =)

But I have also had responsible sex on the whole. I have never had sexual intercourse without using birth control and I have never had sex with someone that I wasn’t pretty sure didn’t have any diseases and I haven’t had sex outside of a committed relationship.

Those sorts of issues are the ones that I think a better set of distinctions are made of when discussing the ethics of sexuality. A person can very easily be in an unhealthy sexual relationship and married or vice versa.

I think premarital sex is great and I think that most of the social stigma surrounding it is simple indoctrination and baseless. I think casual sex is irresponsible and though theoretically possible it would take some very special circumstances and some very emotionally stable people. The issue of marriage is pretty much secondary to me; I do think it is an important symbolic action and not to be taken lightly, but so far as sex goes I think it is meaningless.

Perhaps being monogamous is the of equivalent of a higher level of thinking. You would give up more sex in order to receive physical health and mental stability, peace, and grace.

I would. Being monogamous within a relationship is an entirely different issue than having premarital sex though. I am both monogamous and having premarital sex. =)

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