Friday, August 5, 2011

The best things in life.

I'm in bed with Rowdy, half-asleep, curled up against his warm skin, his head on my arm and my other hand on his belly, and I can feel his breathing deepen as he falls asleep and softly snores. I untied him before he fell asleep, taking off the thick black rope that had been bound around his chest and shoulders, the rope I'd held while we fucked, at first using it to tease and restrain him and then losing all control and just hanging on as he pounded me into ecstasy.

And I don't want to cheapen this. It's a wonderful feeling--the best feeling--to share physical and emotional joy with someone I love, and I don't want to make it be about anything else. Trying to apply some dry ulterior motive to this, making it all be about economics or competition or gender dynamics or reproductive urges, just feels to me like the ultimate party pooping. Making sex into a rational transaction is the "why go trick-or-treating when you can just buy a bag of candy?" of armchair sociology.

Is this an anti-science, anti-intellectual, "fuckin' magnets, how do they work?" sort of thought? Maybe it is. Maybe it'll advance human knowledge to analyze sexual desire and interaction in ways other than "gosh, sexual desire and interaction are so beautiful." But that knowledge should never take the place of the beauty. If I learn that, say, smell has a place in sexual attraction, I don't want to throw that out because it doesn't fit my personal ideology--but I also don't want to run my fingers through Rowdy's hair and think "really, this is all just about smell." There is still some magic left in it.

Rowdy's skin is smooth and freckled and feels like electricity everywhere it touches me. This isn't something I won. This isn't something I bought. This isn't the mindless, joyless enactment of hormonal urges or sexual politics. This is just awesome.


  1. Absolutely awesome sentiment. I love it!

  2. You may enjoy Richard Dawkins' Unweaving the Rainbow. It expresses the sentiment that greater knowledge of the natural world adds to aesthetic enjoyment, rather than detracts from it. Seems related to your excellent post.

  3. Hershele OstropolerAugust 5, 2011 at 12:04 PM

    It's not the act of analyzing that's the problem; if anything, analysis adds yet another level on which you can enjoy the moment. Magnets are cooler when you know how they work.

    1. I'm going to graduate from a Masters in Physics in one month. NOBODY knows how magnets work. They emit something called a "field". This is pixie-dust! It isn't made of particles (unless it is) and has no mass (and let's not get into mass!) or maybe it does... fucking magnets. How do they work?!?!?!

      That song snippet is in fact a prized joke/rant amongst my colleagues, made all the more piquant because we know why we are saying that...... which kinda makes your point. Huh, how'bout that?

  4. I guess my problem isn't with knowledge but with conjecture and interpretation. If you can prove something about sex, that's worthwhile; if you're projecting some horseshit framework onto it to support your pet theory or your "the gender dynamic that rules the world" agenda, that's when I feel like you're being a little rough on the golden goose.

  5. I think understanding how and why something works just makes it more beautiful. =3

    If you want to read someone who looks at sex from both a really awesome, loving stand-point, and an analytical, scientific one, you should totally read Emily Nagoski. She is one of my favorite sex bloggers of all time.

    I love this post:

    And this one:

  6. Actually, just watch this video, it's the best thing I have ever seen in my life:

  7. Okay, I'll try to make myself more clear because I really didn't mean the post to be "fuckin' magnets":

    It's not knowing about sex that bothers me. It's reframing sex.

    Saying "sex is awesome, and did you know it works like this?" is awesome. Saying "sex isn't so awesome, it's just a rational transaction to satisfy hormonal impulses" isn't so awesome.

  8. I think Rev. James Huber's poem, The Day We Learned, pretty much sums it up for me:

    The day we learned that
    The Sun doesn't go around the Earth,
    The sunset was still beautiful.

    The day we learned that
    Evil spirits don't make us ill,
    The sick still suffered.

    The day we learned that
    Our hearts are not where we feel,
    We were still in love.

    Our world is not a conjurer's trick.
    Knowing how it's done
    Doesn't make the magic go away.

  9. "Saying 'sex is awesome, and did you know it works like this?' is awesome. Saying 'sex isn't so awesome, it's just a rational transaction to satisfy hormonal impulses' isn't so awesome."

    Well, Holly, I guess now you know most of your readers haven't been exposed to PUA sludge! XD Else they'd have known what you meant right away.

  10. I think I get what you mean, Holly.

    Like the armchair psychologists who think anyone who does age play was either horribly abused by their parents, or had such a good relationship they want to revisit it with sexual overtones.

    Actually did a comic on this kind of thing, only with Pony Play:

    What does it matter WHY it works, so long as it works? If it gets folk hard and wet and horny and aching for each other, isn't that all that matters?

  11. I feel like this post missed something. You expressed a distinction between thinking rationally and unemotionally about sex (through biology, economics, gender philosophy, etc.), and simply experiencing sex without without any thought, even with an attitude against thought. What I think is missing is thinking about sex in a arational, emotional way, the kind that leads you not to anthropological knowledge, but to personal knowledge of yourself and your partner. Just because unemotional thought is kind of sterilizing, doesn't mean one has to take a totally thought-negative position.

  12. Saying sex works because of market theory or behavioral evolution is like saying that magnets work because of molecule glue. Rejecting that theory isn't anti-intellectual. You can clearly see that it doesn't explain the reality that you observe.

    So now you get to put forward your own theory. I suggest you amass as much observational data as possible to ensure accuracy.

  13. I think this basic sentiment applies to science as well as sex (I'm a scientist/mathematician).

    We should study things (sex, life, the universe...) because they're beautiful, and never allow the knowledge we gain to reduce our appreciation of that beauty.

  14. Hershele OstropolerAugust 5, 2011 at 9:53 PM

    Saying "sex is awesome, and did you know it works like this?" is awesome. Saying "sex isn't so awesome, it's just a rational transaction to satisfy hormonal impulses" isn't so awesome.

    Ah, ok. It came out as a "measuring the marigolds" kind of thing.

    Certainly, sex isn't just mindless animal urges. But in my experience it's only militant asexuals who say otherwise.

  15. We can have it both ways. Sex is awesome! Analysis is awesome! Reductionist thinking is for putzes.

  16. violetjimjams: I think I have a new favorite bondage comic.

  17. maxwellsilverhammerAugust 8, 2011 at 5:50 AM

    "Saying "sex is awesome, and did you know it works like this?" is awesome. Saying "sex isn't so awesome, it's just a rational transaction to satisfy hormonal impulses" isn't so awesome."

    The buyers and sellers involved in these rational transactions don't have to be aware of the transactions to make them.

    For example: Lions have sex. Evolutionary pressures have shaped the psyche of lions such that they seek out sex. Lions do not understand evolution.

    So in other words, sexual transactions can be "rational" in the sense that from a god's eye perspective they are evolutionarily advantageous, but that does not mean the organisms involved are aware of, or motivated by the reasoning behind these transactions.

  18. "This is awesome." I know that sentiment in a new way. I've recently discovered that sex can be so much more amazing than I ever knew was possible. And it's so much more than just the sex. We fit together in every way imaginable. We connect. And IT. IS. AWESOME.

  19. I kind of share this sentiment, although I didn't really understand what you were getting at in the initial post, the comments you made clear it up. I sort of look at people funny when they seem to think that knowing how something works makes it mean any less. "Ok, so, I just provoked this chemical reaction in you...and that just came from a literal fuckton of insanely complicated and fast electrical and chemical and kinetic interactions that make up my body, and what I have consumed with that body, and from what my body can manipulate in the insanely complicated chemical and physical mess of 90% vacuum that we perceive as a solid world. HOW FUCKING COOL IS THAT now let's do it again..."