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Author Topic: Flamekeeping - Sexuality  (Read 1631 times)
HeartShadow - Cutethulhu
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« Topic Start: September 27, 2010, 03:34:53 pm »

No discussion about a philosophy of living can be complete without talking about sex and sexuality.  It's an inherent part of who we are, part of our deepest instincts and needs.  While there are those people that are not interested in sex, there is no way to get around the fact that sexual relations caused all of us.  So how do we deal with sexuality and each other according to Flamekeeping?

It's complicated, of course.  Sex tangles up lust with our desire for romance, love, pleasure, and our desire to simply not be alone.  It's a place where both Dark and Bright flames burn most strongly.  As it's not a simple thing, simple answers are inherently wrong, in whole or in part.

First, then the desire to not be alone.  This is a craving of our Darkness.  Being alone is hard, and it hurts.  Loneliness cannot truly kill, but it feels as though it can.  The biggest threat we feel in the Dark of our own selves is that of soul-aching loneliness the fear that we are, truly and completely, alone.  Whether or not there are others there, the fear that there is no one with us makes us crave and need connection desperately.  Sex is a time of physical closeness, so we know we are not alone.  Sometimes that is enough.  Sometimes, though, it isn't.

Then there is romance and love.  While perhaps not a universal emotion in humanity, it certainly seems to be a common one.  We want someone to lean on, someone more than simply not being alone, but a true partner.  We want someone to look at us as though we are the most important person in the world.  Love and romance are incredibly complicated things, full of differing desires and hopes.  No two people mean exactly the same thing when they say they want love, and yet, everyone thinks they know what it is.  Some people crave this to the point that they become romance addicts always seeking the high, never accepting the reality of the other person.

That's one of the perils of romance, as well.  Honest love involves dealing with the real person, but romance doesn't have to.  You can interact with the person you want to be there, instead of the reality, and the entire focus of the relationship can be on yourself.  Love requires compromise, give and take, and bending.  Romance is about the atmosphere and the beliefs you walk into the situation with.  And while romantic love does require romance, romance requires nothing but itself.

I don't mean this to be a screed against romance.  There's nothing wrong with romance itself.  The problem comes when romance is viewed as the same thing as love, or supersedes love as the desire.  Our culture celebrates romance, screaming it from the rooftops.  But love?  The real love, that keeps you going during the long days and bad times?  It's nowhere to be found.  And yet, it is love our soul craves.  Romance is easy.  Love is hard.

And both romance and sex, and love, feed into our desire to not be lonely.  Alone sometimes, certainly, but there's a difference between alone and lonely.  And we crave connection, person to person.  Friendship, family, love, sex all plays into the fact that we are a herd animal.  We don't want to be alone.  But sex is about physical closeness while one can have emotional closeness at the same time, it's by no means guaranteed or a physical prerequisite.

Is there a problem with sex being used as a means of comfort like that?  I'm not sure.  If everyone involved knows what's going on and agrees, well, it's not my place to say what is and isn't allowed.  I do not believe in victimless crimes.  That said, there's a difference between an occasional encounter on a bad day and using sex regularly as a replacement for friendship or companionship.  Why?  Because it doesn't work.  It's not a moral failing, it's just a treatment of a symptom and ignoring of the cause.  No amount of physical closeness can solve an emotional problem.

So, what about pleasure?  Yes, sex is pleasurable.  However, it has consequences that need to be taken into account that other pleasures simply don't have.  No amount of chocolate is going to create a new life, after all.  An unplanned sexual encounter, however, can.  And there are also disease risks that need to be considered.

Which isn't to say sex is a bad thing.  There's nothing wrong with a healthy sexual relationship, as long as the people involved are consenting adults and know what they're agreeing to.  But there is something wrong with indulging in pleasure without caution or care.

Most people know they cannot simply eat whatever they want, whenever they want.  There are consequences stomachaches, weight gain, ill health.  And yet when it comes to the pleasures of sex, there seems to be a culture of all or nothing.  Either it's fine, or it's not allowed.  Either no big deal or the most important thing there is.

Of course it does matter.  It's a matter of physical closeness and intimacy that nothing else can match, with a physical response nothing else brings.  We're hard-wired to like and want sex, and while not everyone has the same level of desire, the desire itself is found in almost everyone.  Anything that important to people is going to get a certain amount of pushback.  Anything that important is going to be the confluence of a number of issues.  Which is why any simplification only clouds the issue instead of clarifying it.

In any relationship, openness and honesty is the most important prerequisite, both for yourself and the other people involved.  Adding sex to it just makes the honesty and understanding more important.  It complicates, and anything that does that needs to be taken seriously.
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« Reply #1: September 28, 2010, 02:12:06 am »

*standing ovation* Beautifully said!
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