Sunday, May 15, 2016

[twltdatf] Sex as validation

In many cultures, there is shame in masturbation and shame in consumption of prostitution, reflected, for example, in huge efforts to maintain the privacy of clients.  (Providing prostitution is also considered shameful, but not the subject of this post.)  Relatedly, there is shame in consumption of some forms of pornography.  Why is there such shame?

Hypothesize that the reasoning is that only people who cannot obtain sex through the standard courtship process find it through masturbation or prostitution.   But those who are failing at the standard courtship process are pariahs for some reason: by that reason, whatever it is, they must be inferior, defective human beings, so it is appropriate to heap shame upon them.

This then provides one reason why people find sex obtained through the standard courtship process pleasurable: it provides validation that one is not an inferior, defective human being.

This then provides some hint as to why there is sexual violence: rejection of sex to such people represents a deep insult against one's status as a person, and so might provide incentive to go out one's way to be violent, despite violence requiring effort.

In general, the feeling of validation, regardless of context not limited to sex, is an intensely powerfully pleasing emotion in many people.  (Inspired by someone for whom the pleasure of good partner dances is the pleasure of validation that one is a good dancer, or possibly deeper than that, that one is a good person.)

What can be done?  Perhaps further understanding, and education to make common knowledge, of the mechanisms by which people's sexual preferences and boundaries develop.  However, a fundamental question is, are they actually defective, inferior people, especially when considering not just biological but social features of a person?  If so, further knowledge could make things worse.

Is this powerful insecurity people have of their status as a person a recent phenomenon, perhaps a product of the American social class structure, or is it as old as humanity?  Although sex itself is of course as old as humanity, the possibility that the reason we enjoy it being a modern phenomenon is mind-boggling.  It could explain how art from a different era or different culture, especially art about sex or courtship, is difficult to appreciate nowadays, perhaps considered misogynistic.

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