Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A typical debate on facebook

Status update:

Yes, I know that no one wants to discuss same-sex "marriage" with me anymore because the discussion gets very ugly. Most people would say it is all my fault. Not only because I am an irrational bigot but also because I am a churlishly hypersensitive resentful fuck as well. Fine, see how you like it when you are repeatedly compared to a racist for no good reason at all.

Anyway, if in the future someone does decide to risk debating this topic with me again, could someone suggest a term for buggery that has no pejorative connotations? This debate is incendiary enough. I don't need to pour gas on the fire by needlessly using terms my opponents may resent. Yes, I know that 'anal sex' is the accepted neutral term but refuse to use it. It's a wild misnomer. 'Sex' is an abbreviation of sexual intercourse, which is the communication between the sex organs. The anus is NOT a sex organ. Ergo, the term 'anal sexual intercourse' is just nonsense. That's why I've been using 'buggery', not to express any contempt for the act, but to avoid using what I believe to be a term of nonsense. But I know that advocates of ss'm' take offense at the word. Fine, then tell me if there is a kinder and gentler word I can use. Otherwise, I'll continue to use 'buggery'.

An Enlightened Woman: "[The] wish for sexual meaning is also behind the common desire for special rules to govern sexual behavior and decision-making. This is an example of the wish, as Fromm called it, to escape from freedom: to avoid taking responsibility for the complex and (it feels) dangerous richness of our sexuality."
-Marty Klein, Ph.D.
"The Meaning of Sex"

By the way, "sex organ" is not a scientific term. Reproductive organ is the phrases you're looking for. And you're right, anuses are not a reproductive organs. Neither are mouths, lips, tongues, or fingers, but all (anuses included) can be used during sex.

I'd also like to point out that if you're only using sex for reproductive purposes, then you are a minority within our species, and are seriously missing out. I've avoided commenting on your posts for a while, and here I am, finally gave in. I find your views to be misguided and quite frankly, pretty pathetic. Disappointing, as well.

Sorry, I think I may have been wrong in correcting you about reproductive organs and sex organs. I guess I just think of "sex organs" as ones that determine one's sex. The gonads. Ovaries and testes.
Anyway, the "human reproductive system" contains only some of the structures that contribute to pleasurable acts within human sexuality.

Me: Yes, but the reproductive organs differentiate the sexes. Hence, the term 'sex organ'. And to say that sexual intercourse can be performed only by a man and a woman is not to imply that procreation is the only purpose of sex. It is simply to insist on the proper meanings of words.

I am sure kissing is pleasurable, I am sure a blowjob is pleasurable. That does not make those acts sexual intercourse.

EW: Actually, according to many sources, it does!

EW: Or, rather, they do!

Me: Fine, I find playing chess pleasurable. That means that playing chess is sexual intercourse.

EW: Nope. Only if playing chess gets you off. Mental stimulation and pleasure is different than sexual stimulation and pleasure. You can't apply silly logic to an argument like this. Sexuality is a spectrum. Definitions are very limiting.

Me: Fine, so masturbation is by your lights sexual intercourse?

EW: No. Sexual intercourse is... "any physical contact between two individuals involving stimulation of the genital organs of at least one."
That's according to a medical dictionary. I can find lots of other resources that define sexual intercourse similarly.

Look at the meaning of the term intercourse! Interactions, communications, etc. But why the need to define it at all? So you don't offend someone with opposing viewpoints? Paul, if you're offensive to anyone, I'm sure it goes beyond your choice of words to define sexual acts.

Me: Yeah, well every single dictionary once defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman. So, dictionary definitions mean nothing nowadays. Look, what would bovine intercourse mean? Interaction among cows, of course. If "sexual" means "of or relating to sex" then sexual intercourse must mean intercourse between things that are sexually distinctive. An anus is not sexually distinctive. I guess, by my understanding of the constituent words, "scissoring" would be sexual intercourse if bumping counts as interaction. If "sexual" means, on the other hand, "of or relating to orgasm", then sexual intercourse can only happen if both partners are orgasmic things, i.e. achieve orgasm.

EW: Oh you and your search for "meaning." Ha. Good luck with all that.
I don't waste a lot of time worrying about how people define their marriages. I'm getting married soon! You know what I care about? My fiancé and our life together. It doesn't offend me that some people marry for money, or that some marry without love, or that some people have marriages that look different than what mine will. Who cares?

Me: I have to search for meaning. I have nothing else to do.

EW: Well why not search for the meaning of something else? Surely, you're passionate about something other than terminology for anal sex.

Me: I am anal retentive.

EW: I prefer Piaget's developmental stages. In his system, you're stuck at the concrete operational stage.
Me: But it points to a larger issue. If people are conditioned to understand buggery as a form of sexual intercourse, then it is much easier to obscure the unicity of coition and coital relationships and this in turn makes it easier to obliterate in people's minds any qualitative difference between opposite-sex and same-sex relationships. Orwell was right. Language controls thought.

EW: I know a lot of different kinds of families. Two moms, two dads, moms and dads, adopted kids, kids from surrogates, folks that have had trouble with conception, etc. some are married, some are not, some are horrible parents, some are awesome, some have partners, some do not, some have sex regularly, some do not.

If parents love their children and do a good job of turning them into thoughtful, productive citizens, then who cares where their children came from? And who cares what kind of sex they have behind closed doors? Not me! I have my own relationship to worry about.

Love is love.

Me: Well, actually, and this may surprise you, I really don't care about what consenting adults to behind closed doors. What I care about is the relativization of coition as just one random act of intimacy among many. Coition alone among the acts of intimacy can and does have very public consequences. In fact, it's because of coition that we have a public in the first place.

EW: I'll tell you one thing, using the term "coition" is not helping in continuing our existence as a species. Hahaha. Vaginal sexual intercourse is also not exclusively used for reproductive purposes, so why not define it as just another random sexual act? Sure, sometimes that results in conception. But conception can happen through different means, as well.

Me: And cars are not exclusively used for driving. Sometimes they are used as random shelters for making out. So, let's define them as that. Of course, this is vulnerable to the objection that whereas most of the time cars are used for driving, coition is not used mostly for procreation, it is used for pleasure, and we should define a thing by what it used for usually. Fine, but coition resulting in conception is a pretty damn usual thing, no? It happens all the time. No other act of intimacy can replenish the population but coition. That alone makes it unique among the myriad of intimate acts. And to say that conception can happen by other means (e.g. ivf or artificial insemination) hardly gainsays this point.
Besides, coition is far and away THE most popular way to replenish the population. The last statistic I saw about this put the percentage of people conceived through IVF or Artificial Insemination at around 2%. To call an act that is still responsible for 98% of the people on this planet merely a random act of intimacy is, with all due respect, simply risible.

EW: I don't think you get to define what vaginas are for. You didn't mean to start a discussion of the anthropology of sex, anyway.

This is getting wildly off topic. You asked if there was a better term for anal sex than buggery. Anal sex is the proper term. Anal sex is a form of sexual intercourse. No, it does not lead to conception, but it does contribute to intimacy.

Human beings are one of a handful of species that use sex recreationally. Vaginal sex is used as a means of recreational intimacy far more often than simply for procreation. If you have a vagina, then you can let me know how you use it.

Very little of your logic is actually sound. And this debate transcends logical discourse because it's about feelings, politics, biology, deep metaphysical mystery, etc.

Anyway, I believe I answered your question. "Sexual intercourse" is not synonymous with reproduction. Anal sex is a form of sexual intercourse according to many authorities and dictionaries and much social science research.

And I grow tired of this. I'm going to try to stay away from your Facebook soapbox from now on. Over and out.

Me: If I thought for even so much as a picosecond that I somehow had the authority to tell you how to use your vagina, I assure you that I'd have something far more particular, specific, and immediate in mind than global population statistics.

No comments: