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The "How many past partners have you had?" question

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mke
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I believe you ought to know your partner, so you should ask sooner or later.

But if your partner's sexual history makes no difference to your happiness, you shouldn't bother. Suit yourself.

It's not about the past, but about knowing your partner's identity.

Edited by Acadi
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There are basically two ways to be square with yourself in life. The first way is to have high standards and live up to them. This is difficult, though. A much easier way is to have low standards, trivial standards, or no standards and do whatever feels good at the moment.

- Why are high standards/doing what feels good contradictory?

Im interpeting high standards as actually doing something with your life. Getting a job you find respectable, and get good at it.

But why would your high expectations of yourself stop you from going out once a week, pick-up some girl and stay at her place?

That would automatically suggest you have a low expectation of your own life or the value of yourself?

I can understand how your personal deevaluation would be a negative (obviously) - but deriving this as a necessary effect from having an above average amount of sexual partners makes, to me, little sense.

There is another point to be made, and that is if your going to exclusivly have intercourse with people sharing your beliefs then odds are your not getting laid at all. Ever.

Is that a superior moral option?

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(The “you” in this post is not aimed as an accusation at just whoever happens to read this post I’d like to say before anybody possibly gets upset and offended and tells me I‘ve mad such awful assumptions about them. Right now I‘m mostly just inquiring to those who would want to screw somebody they just met at a party or something.)

Would you want to have sex with somebody still at all if you were to learn they were a fundamentalist Christian intent on seeing abortion outlawed, health care socialized, generally thought rich people were evil and deserved to be knocked down a peg or twenty and that everybody should be forced to devote a certain amount of their time to “volunteerism” and that they wanted to have sex with you as an act of charity because they figured you probably aren’t the type who many people would want to have sex with often and it is a virtue for them to take pity on what they believe must be making you feel bad about yourself?

If yes, why? O_o; If no (as I’d expect is the more likely answer), then you’ve got to admit there is more than just something like how a person looks that factors into whether somebody is sexually appealing. (I don’t think that itself is a controversial statement here though.) The thing is just that in most cases of sex with somebody you’ve known for maybe just a couple hours, you are just jumping into bed before you’ve had time to know if this person is that bad as that above example or not on all kinds of subjects like that which don’t often come up between strangers at bars or parties I’d assume. But whether you knew these things about the person or not doesn’t change if they were true of who that person was or not. Nor can you just make them not exist by not asking. Whether you have or want to face it or not, there is a *lot* more to any person than just a body. Why are you intent then on hurrying up having sex before you know what so much of the rest of what your getting into bed with is if it could change your assessment and desire so much? It isn’t as if you’ll suddenly explode if you don’t have sex with somebody else soon enough.

So, I having a sneaking suspicion that in many cases people may be having sex with others “casually” simply through a desire to evade the actual nature of who they are involved with. What they really want is basically just another body to use as a fancy masturbation aid to make things better, but since that doesn’t exist with current technology states today, they try to pretend as if that’s about all there is to another person they have come across, or perhaps treat another person like a doll in that case where they take something like it has no existing personality and graft a desirable one onto it with their imagination. So, that’s one of the things that bugs me here, how much of the other person in cases like this looks to me like it is being intentionally ignored or faked . . . That’s not getting into how well known and how well matched somebody needs to be to be good enough for sex exactly, just what objections I have to at least when the answer is that people practically don’t know each other at all.

Edited by bluecherry
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Would you want to have sex with somebody still at all if you were to learn they were a fundamentalist Christian intent on seeing abortion outlawed, health care socialized, generally thought rich people were evil and deserved to be knocked down a peg or twenty and that everybody should be forced to devote a certain amount of their time to “volunteerism”

- Well, the question is not in my oppinion based in reality (along the "what if somebody buys every single house on earth, where will we live?" line :thumbsup: ). First off fundamentalist christians dont get drunk, and prob dont have casual sex. And if they do, they probably dont do it with Objectivists :D.

But personally, given your specifics, I would not. Primarily because of her position on abortion, which makes the risk/reward scale conclude its not worth it.

When it comes to healthcare and bashing rich people - Definetly would.

But then again, I've never meet a girl my age who oppose socialised healthcare. And I dont meen Obamas solution, I mean outright government monopoly on all important procedures.

and that they wanted to have sex with you as an act of charity because they figured you probably aren’t the type who many people would want to have sex with often and it is a virtue for them to take pity on what they believe must be making you feel bad about yourself?

- How would you know her motives?

If she expressely stated "you disgust me, but if you make it quick then OK" - then that would take some of the charm out of it obviously :P.

But since she probably wouldnt say so (and I doubt this happens much at all), I dont see how this could be a part of our decition making.

Why are you intent then on hurrying up having sex before you know what so much of the rest of what your getting into bed with is if it could change your assessment and desire so much? It isn’t as if you’ll suddenly explode if you don’t have sex with somebody else soon enough.

- Its an oddsgame, most girls in there early twenties are not radical christians (not here, anyways) - and would probably not sleep with you out of pitty.

But if you had the impression that she didnt, and it turns out afterwards that she infact did, well - so what?

Done is done. You had your fun. Ok, she didnt like you afterall. That wouldnt affect me to a degree which would make it more rational not having casual sex at all.

So, I having a sneaking suspicion that in many cases people may be having sex with others “casually” simply through a desire to evade the actual nature of who they are involved with.

- I doubt that.

What they really want is basically just another body to use as a fancy masturbation aid to make things better, but since that doesn’t exist with current technology states today, they try to pretend as if that’s about all there is to another person they have come across, or perhaps treat another person like a doll in that case where they take something like it has no existing personality and graft a desirable one onto it with their imagination.

- To make things better? What things need to get better?

You could say it does nothing more then give you instant satisfaction for that night. But theres nothing inherently wrong with instant satisfaction.

I dont see why you would come with this doll-imagery. Its obviously a real person your having sex with, and shes having sex with you. You both went out looking for a good time, you both got it - its a voulantery deal (meaning both parties consent and by any trade principal implying they both gain from it)

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As bluecherry says in her typical concise way (sorry :thumbsup: ) "There is a lot more to any person than just a body." i.e. refusing to know too much, or anything substantial, about this quick lay, is an evasion of the human being you are sleeping with. i.e. you are faking it.

To turn it around: the girl having the quickie with you is also refusing to know, evading, the real person that is you, therefore, she's also faking it.

So here you both are, putting up pretences about yourselves, and each other, and you want to tell me that this is real? and that this pleasure?

Then what about the morning after.

Any little, white lies about calling her soon? In fact, any sweet endearments murmured in bed with the word 'love' mentioned?

Do you seriously believe that your self-esteem can survive all this deceit?

As I've said, do what you must to scratch your itch, but please don't try to rationalize it.

AND, please don't try to equate casual sex with rational selfishness. If you feel good, it's a range of the moment thing, that has nothing to do with egoism, but plenty to do with egotism.

Told you: been there, and as they say, You can't kid a kidder.

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- Well, the question is not in my oppinion based in reality (along the "what if somebody buys every single house on earth, where will we live?" line :D ). First off fundamentalist christians dont get drunk, and prob dont have casual sex. And if they do, they probably dont do it with Objectivists :P.

But personally, given your specifics, I would not. Primarily because of her position on abortion, which makes the risk/reward scale conclude its not worth it.

When it comes to healthcare and bashing rich people - Definetly would.

But then again, I've never meet a girl my age who oppose socialised healthcare. And I dont meen Obamas solution, I mean outright government monopoly on all important procedures.

- How would you know her motives?

If she expressely stated "you disgust me, but if you make it quick then OK" - then that would take some of the charm out of it obviously :P.

But since she probably wouldnt say so (and I doubt this happens much at all), I dont see how this could be a part of our decition making.

- Its an oddsgame, most girls in there early twenties are not radical christians (not here, anyways) - and would probably not sleep with you out of pitty.

But if you had the impression that she didnt, and it turns out afterwards that she infact did, well - so what?

Done is done. You had your fun. Ok, she didnt like you afterall. That wouldnt affect me to a degree which would make it more rational not having casual sex at all.

- I doubt that.

- To make things better? What things need to get better?

You could say it does nothing more then give you instant satisfaction for that night. But theres nothing inherently wrong with instant satisfaction.

I dont see why you would come with this doll-imagery. Its obviously a real person your having sex with, and shes having sex with you. You both went out looking for a good time, you both got it - its a voulantery deal (meaning both parties consent and by any trade principal implying they both gain from it)

There are some screwy people out there who don't realize their own contradictions. There probably aren't a WHOLE lot of people who fit that exact trait list I gave, but I'd bet some do and anyway, the point is more to make this a girl who has a ton of stuff about them that goes so far against your values. There are definitely PLENTY of people who will fit that bill in some form, so it isn't some unrealistic thing. (And as for the houses example though, you just build more houses, no big deal. :thumbsup: )

Anyway, depending on what you mean by "meet", there are plenty of females on this site your age who out and out oppose socialized health care in all forms. They do exist if you have some patience and go looking. Now as for knowing the girl's motives, I'm assuming she told somebody that she did so, or that she's told people before that this is something she does sometimes, maybe even if you gave her some time to talk about her views of sex she'd tell you herself since after all, she thinks what she's doing in that case is a good thing.

Why make it an odds game at all? You can ask questions, get to know people. Why have to leave it up to "Well, I just didn't know, so oh well"? It's not difficult to just ask people about themselves and so you could get to know them ahead of time, you don't have to just not be informed first.

And by "make things better" I meant as far as physical pleasure goes. I'm not bashing wanting more physical stimulation at all, no, my point is more the old point about how the ends do not justify just any old means. If your means are corrupt, the result is tainted. "I dont see why you would come with this doll-imagery. Its obviously a real person your having sex with," -- exactly my point - she's a person, yet you are treating her like a doll basically. And two people agreeing to something should of course always meet the criteria for what should be legal, but that doesn't make it good enough that it is necessarily moral. Selling and buying cocaine should be legal, but it isn't moral.

@Whynot: "As bluecherry says in her typical concise way (sorry :D )" Lol

Edited by bluecherry
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To turn it around: the girl having the quickie with you is also refusing to know, evading, the real person that is you, therefore, she's also faking it.

So here you both are, putting up pretences about yourselves, and each other,

- Pretences?

Limited information does not equal abstence of information, nor does it equal lying.

You obviously get to know eachother to some extent prior to coming in a situation where anything more is possible at all.

and you want to tell me that this is real? and that this pleasure?

- Uhm, yes..? :thumbsup:

Then what about the morning after.

Any little, white lies about calling her soon?

- Rarely.

Its not like you dont call someone again even though you had a one-night-stand with them. Some you do, some you dont, and some you never got the number to begin with.

Do you seriously believe that your self-esteem can survive all this deceit?

- Yes.

please don't try to equate casual sex with rational selfishness. If you feel good, it's a range of the moment thing, that has nothing to do with egoism, but plenty to do with egotism.

- Off course its got something to do with rational selfishness. If I decided to only have sex with Objectivists for example, I would not have sex. Or switch lanes, which is not much of an option either :D.

That does not meen that sex cant be something important, intimate and meaningful, off course.

But that does not meen its immorall to have sex when its not as important, intimate and meaningful.

Satisfaction IS in my interest, as long as any potential longterm effect wouldnt make it something else.

And so far I can not see that being the case.

Told you: been there, and as they say, You can't kid a kidder.

- You obviously had quite a different additude going into it. Im obviously not going to state I think its in my interest if I dont.

If I thought it was not, I wouldnt do it.

But as long as it appears obvious that it does, it would be silly not doing it.

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That does not meen that sex cant be something important, intimate and meaningful, off course.

But that does not meen its immorall to have sex when its not as important, intimate and meaningful.

Satisfaction IS in my interest, as long as any potential longterm effect wouldnt make it something else.

And so far I can not see that being the case.

But as long as it appears obvious that it does, it would be silly not doing it.

Cheer up, Lasse, often, especially on personal stuff, making mistakes is the way we learn. Reality can be tough. Ha! Tough love.

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- Why are high standards/doing what feels good contradictory?

They aren't--doing *whatever* feels good regardless of its nature indicates a lack of high standards. Eating lots of chocolates feels good in the short term, but it's not ultimately good for you. Emotions are consequences, not tools of cognition. Judgment by standards comes first, so that you make sure you're doing what will continue to "feel good" in the long run.

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I may have misunderstood people like JMeganSnow and Alfa at first. I admit this.

When I was debating with you guys (and others) I thought that I was getting opinions like those of Lasse K. Lien. His opinions are what I'm trying to point out as wrong.

Also, no offense, but please check your spelling Lasse. It's bad and it makes it hard to read your posts. If English is your second language I can understand, though.

Lasse, if all you cared about was physical satisfaction, an orgasm caused by masturbation is exactly the same as an orgasm caused by humping. If you go to bars and pick up women for one-night stands (this is what I mean by casual sex), then the goal is more than just sexual satisfaction, it's a sense that you succeeded at a conquering someone, which is a totally different feeling from falling in love.

Why do people not want to fall in love? Why is OK to just pork every f*cking thing in sight but, in all that time you spent f*cking, you never tried to find someone you could fall in love with and have really intimate sex with them? Why is the goal even sex!?!?!??!?!?! WTF is the point in having sex if you don't F*CKING LOVE YOUR PARTNER?!

God...I'm sorry, I'm burnt out on this topic. I give up. Bye.

Moderator, delete my posts.

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Also, no offense, but please check your spelling Lasse. It's bad and it makes it hard to read your posts. If English is your second language I can understand, though.

- It is, and this is probably my first time writing anything in English since my last post on this forum about a year ago.

Which makes it challenging to write proper english, and as it would be quite a hassle to look up every single word im writing in every post, theres not that much I can do about it ;)

Lasse, if all you cared about was physical satisfaction, an orgasm caused by masturbation is exactly the same as an orgasm caused by humping.

- First of, thats not all i care about. Secondly, no off course its not (!)

Orgasm achieved on your own is not comparable to intercourse. The latter usually goes on for quite a longer period of time, and the overall experience is obviously something quite different.

Im not going to go into more details on the specifics, but sex is not the same as masturbation.

If you go to bars and pick up women for one-night stands (this is what I mean by casual sex), then the goal is more than just sexual satisfaction, it's a sense that you succeeded at a conquering someone, which is a totally different feeling from falling in love.

- This is true. I never made the claim that you fall inlove after one night stands. You probably dont.

Why do people not want to fall in love? Why is OK to just pork every f*cking thing in sight but, in all that time you spent f*cking, you never tried to find someone you could fall in love with and have really intimate sex with them?

- Its not as like because you have casual sex your never going to find a relationship, or that the two are connected at all.

You can do both.

Why is the goal even sex!?!?!??!?!?!

- Because sex is fun? Just as a partial goal of selecting a restaurant is finding one with good food. Why? Because it taste good.

Why do you like driving snow-scooters? Because its fun.

Alot of times the goal of an action is merely to have fun, or experience something you perceive as good.

This is obviously a selfish course of action. And can be applied to your question here.

WTF is the point in having sex if you don't F*CKING LOVE YOUR PARTNER?!

- Because its still a better way to spend your friday evening then by yourself.

Again, that you dont experience the ultimate does not meen the less ultimate is somehow worse then the abstence of the whole experience...

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Bluecherry:

Sorry, didnt notice your response before you made me aware of it now.

Not my intention ignoring it off course ;). To my defense, my reply was five minutes after your post, which probably means I was writing a reply before yours became visible.

There are some screwy people out there who don't realize their own contradictions. There probably aren't a WHOLE lot of people who fit that exact trait list I gave, but I'd bet some do and anyway, the point is more to make this a girl who has a ton of stuff about them that goes so far against your values. There are definitely PLENTY of people who will fit that bill in some form, so it isn't some unrealistic thing.

- Thats probably true. Im sure most girls I've been with do not share my values to a consequent degree. Then again I hardly preach Objectivism much unless someone asks, and for selfperservation rarely have a philosophical or political quiz prior to intercourse ;)

Anyway, depending on what you mean by "meet", there are plenty of females on this site your age who out and out oppose socialized health care in all forms. They do exist if you have some patience and go looking.

- That is a good point. I must admit I somehow regret registering with my full name at this point.. :D

maybe even if you gave her some time to talk about her views of sex she'd tell you herself since after all, she thinks what she's doing in that case is a good thing.

- Im not trying to be very arrogant on this point, im not that attractive or anything, but if a girl whishes to sleep with someone out of pitty, shes not going home with me :).

I'm not bashing wanting more physical stimulation at all, no, my point is more the old point about how the ends do not justify just any old means. If your means are corrupt, the result is tainted.

- Well, I dont think I agree on the methods being that bad.

Boy meets girl, boy complements girl, boy asks girl who she is, what shes doing in town, boy takes girl for a cigarette, boy tries making out with girl, boy eventually goes home with girl.

Theres alot of things that have to match up before getting to the final stage of it obviously.

And I dont see how it is corrupt or anything.

I never go out alone, stay sober and try to fool drunk girls or anything like that. I go out with my friends, get a few beers and sometimes end up with a girl. And I would definitly say my day was better with that conclusion.

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I don't see benefit in asking the question. I've never asked the question--though I have thought about it to myself--and hate it when I'm asked. It takes me by surprise and I become displeased with the person asking. My being displeased occurs because I think the question throws out what someone has learned first hand about me, giving more authenticity to some number that will probably be rationalized into some kind of judgment or impression. It just seems petty to me.

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Bluecherry:

Sorry, didnt notice your response before you made me aware of it now.

Not my intention ignoring it off course :lol:. To my defense, my reply was five minutes after your post, which probably means I was writing a reply before yours became visible.

- Thats probably true. Im sure most girls I've been with do not share my values to a consequent degree. Then again I hardly preach Objectivism much unless someone asks, and for selfperservation rarely have a philosophical or political quiz prior to intercourse ;)

- That is a good point. I must admit I somehow regret registering with my full name at this point.. :D

- Im not trying to be very arrogant on this point, im not that attractive or anything, but if a girl whishes to sleep with someone out of pitty, shes not going home with me :).

- Well, I dont think I agree on the methods being that bad.

Boy meets girl, boy complements girl, boy asks girl who she is, what shes doing in town, boy takes girl for a cigarette, boy tries making out with girl, boy eventually goes home with girl.

Theres alot of things that have to match up before getting to the final stage of it obviously.

And I dont see how it is corrupt or anything.

I never go out alone, stay sober and try to fool drunk girls or anything like that. I go out with my friends, get a few beers and sometimes end up with a girl. And I would definitly say my day was better with that conclusion.

No problem. I just wasn't sure if maybe you figured answer some of the other people's objections was close enough to answering what mine were.

". . . and for selfperservation rarely have a philosophical or political quiz prior to intercourse." I'm not quite sure what you mean by that there, what do you think is self-preservation in a case like that?

You do know that you can seem like you might be the type not many people are interested in screwing even if you don't look so bad, right? As a few simple examples, though not one I mean is necessarily your case, I think most people looking for casual sex wouldn't care if somebody was very good looking if the person still smelled awful or seemed like they were really sick or possibly dangerous.

There are many things people can do where they enjoy it right now and don't see what's so bad about it just in that one little area without realizing how far the consequences can extend and leak over into other areas over time. It may be give you pleasure and seem harmless to have some pizza and ice cream for dinner, but a major habit of that could lead to health troubles over time. (Point of this example is not that you'll necessarily have a long term habit of casual sex and that's the trouble but instead just that it's an easy example of how consequences aren't always such obvious connections and manifestations if you don't know much about the subject.) Or you may think there can't be anything wrong with illegally downloading music, you don't see the harm - after all, you haven't taken anything away from the owner of the IP, you would pay for the stuff if you had the spare money, but aren't doing so just because you don't have the money to spend anyway and so it isn't like you are passing up buying in favor of stealing, and you know, music is enjoyable, it's a great thing you can get lots of pleasure out of and fuel to inspire you - not realizing that here in a rationalization like this what is being evaded is the nature of property rights, the basic way they work, and that morality is about protecting you and the functioning of your mind, it isn't just about "well, as long as you don't hurt somebody else, it must be ok, go ahead, do whatever feels good." This kind of view and action is short sighted in time and scope and breaks down into a sort of combination of pragmatism and hedonism I think and throws out the application of logic and integration of it along the way, trying as hard as you can to not look at what happens when you try to make special pleading type exceptions. Just because you don't make yourself much aware of who somebody is as a whole doesn't mean that other stuff doesn't exist. It is possible to learn about that other stuff before sleeping with somebody and it won't hurt you to hold on and wait until you find these things out before going on baseless assumptions. If there is something wrong with having sex with somebody awful, then you don't make it ok by purposely trying to keep yourself in the dark in order to later say "Oh, well, I just didn't know." Physical pleasure and as much o it as you can get is fine and dandy, but not by just any old means. There are drugs which will give you a lot of physical pleasure, but they're immoral since they're bad for your health and screw with your capacity for rationality. Sex with people who are not any good for you romantically, like immoral strangers, may be bad for your physical health (that's more of a side note here though as if you're careful you can probably avoid that problem and sometimes good people can get stuck with diseases through surprising situations too) and also I contend here that by accepting it as ok to evade who is in the body you're screwing you have already made the bad decision that evasion and not treating reality for what it is is ok, so long as right now you can get some unnecessary extra kicks out of it. Reason and the recognition of reality is no longer an absolute in your mind and instead it is subject to emotional whim. You'll apply reason and the recognition of reality selectively, when you want to, and won't when you don't. How well do you think one can contain this type of thinking to keep it just applying to a little sex here and there?

Now earlier I did say this was all a problem *if* having sex with bad people was a problem. If having sex with bad people isn't a problem, then it doesn't matter if you find out what somebody is like or not because what they are like doesn't matter much. So what's the problem with having sex with people who aren't suited for you romantically? After all, you say you can still have sex with those other, better people too, you aren't giving up those people to instead exclusively screw those other likely not so good strangers.

First, there seems to be something generally disconnected here. If sexual desire for you is fine on pretty much just a body with something (whatever it is, you don't care,) animating it, then desire for you is not connected to values of who the person is basically. You can desire somebody just based on their body, so on the other end of things, can you romantically love somebody for who they are and yet not desire them sexually, to have them physically? If so, then you just don't seem to see sex as related to love at all. On the other hand, if you could love somebody and would always physically desire who you love even if they weren't particularly physically hot shit, then it looks like it is still not a treatment of people as a whole exactly, like you look at it as somebody can be one or the other and that's good enough, getting desire for somebody physically and mentally is just a nice bonus.

Alright, so then what is the problem with not seeing sex as necessarily about a response to a person as a whole, just maybe sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't? Sometimes you want just a body, sometimes it is about expressing your extreme affection for a person in totality. Well, I think one way to illustrate the issue is as compared to a sort of inflation. Suppose you give $1 million to some crappy artist sometimes when there's nothing better around and buy their art because you just like art generally and the artist likes getting a million bucks also and you like seeing people react to what looks like having been successful and you praise them and say their art is absolutely stunning. Then does your money and word carry the same weight when you actually come to an artist who you really do think is grand and try to pay them the same money and praise just because you say, "No, no, this time I mean it,"? If a million bucks is the going rate for whatever random crap you come across, then how the hell much more would you need to compensate the extreme higher quality of this second artist? Well, with money to pay artists we'd probably just end up having a million dollars cease to really represent much value if it gets you crud and we'd need to introduce much larger sums to pay good artists properly and in general all the money is worth less per dollar then it used to be. We can at least do that with money though. The thing is, when it comes to sex, sex is pretty much the highest sensation of pleasure people can exchange. We don't have just higher and higher things we can create to give form and expression to our emotions for each other. We can talk a lot and do lots of nice things for each other to be sure, but this kind of leaves out an equally high treatment of the body of this person, and the idea is to recognize the person as a whole being here. So once you undermine the value of what having sex with you means, you've just got nothing else higher to offer, with sex now you can only give out recognition of significance equal to about the lowest kind of person you are willing to have sex with, regardless of if you are having sex with that lowest type or somebody absolutely wonderful. (As another example to compare a bit with something from real life now, think about how empty the Nobel Peace Prize is with who they'll give it out to. If they actually were to give it to somebody who did something like, say, eradicate the threat of future Islam fueled terrorist organizations doing much of anything for a while by well taking out the governments and other groups which funded them, it still wouldn't be saying so much as long as they considered Barrack Obama qualified for the prize too.)

[summation:] So, the willingness to have sex with any body, indiscriminately, undermines your ability to give complete high enough recognition romantically and just because you don't know or care about whose body your screwing doesn't mean it isn't a full person your screwing so it doesn't count to undermine things or that who you are screwing should just automatically count as a great person and mean everything is well. Trying to pretend like there isn't somebody in that body or that the person can't be bad as long as you don't ask is evasion, a dangerous road to start heading down in general once accepted as ok for you to do sometimes when you feel like it.

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Good post and im getting your point.

Your right that having casual sex makes you (or demands of you) not necessarily equate sex with love.

And as far as I can see the reasoning this is a negative is that when your actually having sex with someone you are indeed falling for/etc than that experience will not be as rewarding as it otherwise would have been had it not been for your prior experiences?

I can partly agree with that, and guess I can see some good reasons for not taking sex that lightly. Which is more then I could say prior to this debate, for the record.

But still the implication is that having to much sex necessarily cheapens the experience - which may make sense theoretically, but again I would claim it not to be the case personally.

The experience of intimacy with a steady partner is, based on personal experience at least, still quite different and a much better experience.

Off course, my first longer relationship started of after I had already had alot of experience - so I had already partly "cheapened" the experience if you will.

You can desire somebody just based on their body, so on the other end of things, can you romantically love somebody for who they are and yet not desire them sexually, to have them physically?

- No. That would seem absurd to me. If I love someone romantically (which I doubt I have so far) I would certainly want to have intercourse with the woman in question.

like you look at it as somebody can be one or the other and that's good enough, getting desire for somebody physically and mentally is just a nice bonus.

- The latter is obviously more then a bonus in a relationship. But I guess that its two different worlds, if your out with your friends just trying to pick up girls then physical apperance is obviously going to be the main factor. Any other perspective would be strange given the context.

When your looking for a girlfriend, obviously her values, interest and sense of life comes into play in a much more relevant role, which will in turn alter your perception of them.

But your premise is that doing the one thing will influence the other.

Thats obviously true to an extent, but the question still remains (imo) if it is so influencial that it would be in your selfinterest to shut out the first "world".

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Whoa, perhaps I didn't make a crucial thing clear enough here. It isn't about *how much* sex you've had or just any sexual encounters you've ever had. You can have a history of screwing a thousand strangers or you can still to this day be screwing somebody three times a day, every day, and be nonetheless a VERY moral person here with no damage to your current sexual morality. This is because the criteria for damage is not how much or what you used to do, but what are your current standards for what you need before it is enough for you to find a relation with somebody merits sex. If you used to screw a ton of strangers, but changed your mind and were to decide "No more! Never again! People have got to earn their way into my bed from now on, baby! B) " then now all is well. Also, if you have a TON of sex constantly with somebody really awesome and great for you, then that is in no way a bad thing, good for you people as long as you don't take so much time up on sex you start missing work and running behind on bills and stuff. :P (If the other examples help at all, with the Nobel Peace Prize example, they could become legitimate and meaningful again if they started only giving it out to really good people and decided to make it official that they no longer support their past awards to people like Obama and Al Gore. ) So making the sex a less rewarding experience basically doesn't depend on your past or sexual frequency, but your current standards for partners. As another illustration of this point, I contend that it is entirely possible for somebody to have pretty empty sexual experiences even if they have sex very rarely and only with somebody they have known for years if that person they are having sex with is somebody who doesn't mean very much to them. Before trying to discuss this further I'd like to make sure your clear on this.

Edited by bluecherry
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Whoa, perhaps I didn't make a crucial thing clear enough here. It isn't about *how much* sex you've had or just any sexual encounters you've ever had. You can have a history of screwing a thousand strangers

- This meens I've still got some playing field left. Quite releving obviously :)

If you used to screw a ton of strangers, but changed your mind and were to decide "No more! Never again! People have got to earn their way into my

bed from now on, baby! B) " then now all is well.

- Also releving, is this something I could postpone say.. Five or six more years?

as long as you don't take so much time up on sex you start missing work and running behind on bills and stuff. :P

- Its kind of funny you should mention that, as it was a reoccuring problem in the Navy. One had to back on base by 06:30, sometimes a challenge on fridays. However, depending on your commanding officer, this was considered a legitimate reason for delay. :D

Ok, but joking aside, I agreed all along (think I made a point of it) that its a less rewarding experience having casual sex with someone you barely know compared to someone your in a comiteed relationship with.

If that person also shares your values it would be even better. But I have no experience on that topic, so im just guessing.

If it does not do you any longterm harm, then how is it more to ones interest not having intercourse up to the point where one gets in a comiteed relationship?

I dont see that a pursuit of that would exclude more casual relations in the meentime.

One could make the argument that no sexual interaction over a long period of time could be a psychological disadvantage, as it probably would effect your selfesteem. This would not be the case if one had made a conscious choise (explicitly turning down chances) - and that a negative response towards oneself as a consequence would be irrational. But then again alot of irrational emotions are hard to fight - take simple things like fear of flying, etc.

So as far as I can see, your shortterm consequences are decent (physical satisfaction), your longterm consequences are not that bad, and the abstence of any sexual relations could be a bad thing.

But obviously one would ideally have a nice girlfriend whos smart, funny - share your interest aswell as your perspective on philosophy and politics.

But I dont know anyone like that in my areacode..

Before trying to discuss this further I'd like to make sure your clear on this.

- Check

Offtopic:

(If the other examples help at all, with the Nobel Peace Prize example, they could become legitimate and meaningful again if they started only giving it out to really good people and decided to make it official that they no longer support their past awards to people like Obama and Al Gore. )

- I cant remember the last deserving person to get the award, and if one where to give it to people who actually did something good one would probably go against the explicit will of Albert Nobel..

And as long as nobody really cares who gets it anyways, why not use your seat on the commission to get a chanse to meet Obama?

If it had not been for the fact that Mr Jaglands English is on the level of my Mongolian, he might get something out of it.. :)

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Lasse, you write -

..."no sexual interaction over a long period of time could be a psychological disadvantage, as it probably would affect your self esteem."

and, (to bluecherry) "I'm getting your point."

This last is not true - you haven't got her point.

The first indicates that you do not understand 'self esteem.' A man of self esteem does not fake reality; he does not rationalize; he does not play games with ongoing casual sex and casual emotions (his own, and the woman's); lastly, his self-esteem is not based upon his sexual conquests.

You have every right to carry on fooling yourself that being a big lover is cool, or worthy, but stop trying to fool us. Again - you can't kid a kidder.

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I think there can be several good reasons to engage in casual sex (i.e. in sex without romantic feelings involved):

1) It is pleasurable

2) It is physically healthy

3) It can give you valuable practice for great sex later on with a romantic partner

4) It can be a thrilling and adventurous experience

5) Sex and sexual intimacy is a basic human need just as much for singles as for those in romantic relationships

If we grant that these reasons count in favor of casual sex, it seems that if we are to rationally conclude that engaging in casual sex is harmful, we will need to point to a strong overriding reason why that is so. Let us consider three candidates that are presented in this thread.

A) Casual sex brings with it diseases, unwanted pregnancy, etc.

This is a reason, but it’s weak. If you value your life, you have a moral obligation to protect yourself, and with the proper use of condoms, the chances for pregnancy are next to zero, and so are the chances for venereal diseases (or, at least, for venereal diseases that are not easily cured by antibiotics). I doubt that engaging in occasional casual sex is significantly more life threatening than owning a swimming pool.

B) Casual sex destroys sex, since sex is a manifestation of deeply shared values.

Sex is (or can be) a manifestation of deeply shared values, but this alone is not an argument against casual sex. It is an argument against casual sex only if one can show that having casual sex makes it harder to have romantic sex with one’s partner. It is not obvious, however, that this is the case. To emphasize this, I often draw a parallel to eating. When a romantic couple dines at a lovely gourmet restaurant, their eating might very well carry deep meaning for both parties. What is, on the one hand, a biological need, is then given deep significance because of the social and psychological setting in which it is placed (Peikoff uses this example in OPAR). It is not clear, however, that one degrades eating as such and destroys one’s capacity for appreciating deeply meaningful gourmet meals if one earlier has engaged in “casual eating” or has been “eating around”. Indeed, it seems absurd that one has destroyed eating if one has eaten a cheap McDonald’s burger on the run. Therefore, engaging casually in an action that has the potential of deep meaning must not necessarily imply destroying this action’s potential on other occasions. If one believes the case is different with regard to sex, one will need to present a (non-question begging) argument for that, not merely appeal to the fact that sex can be a manifestation of deeply shared values.

C) Casual sex is an indication of low self-esteem

Even if it might be true that people with low self-esteem engage the most in casual sex (though I seriously doubt it), this would not provide suffucient grounds for concluding that casual sex leads to low self-esteem. That is reversing the causal order. If one wants to argue that casual sex positively leads to low self-esteem, and one does not want to be an emotionalist, one needs to show that there is something independently harmful to casual sex; something that makes having casual sex a bad choice that only those with low self-esteem would make.

Until or unless more such arguments are advanced, I believe it is rational to conclude that casual sex is perfectly permissible.

Edited by Ole Martin Moen
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3) It can give you valuable practice for great sex later on with a romantic partner

All else aside, I take issue with this point. I've heard it before and I'm not buying it. I never had an extensive history before I became intimate with my partner (unless you count all the hours I spent alone in my room, but I assume we're not going to factor that in :) ) yet we did not have an initial period of awkwardness or fumbling or anything like that. It worked, and worked well, because we love each other and were willing to pick up on each other's cues and ask about things. He didn't have much more experience than I did and he certainly hadn't had experience with me, which is another thing to consider since people are very different.

If casual sex and romantic sex are substantially different as you claim then how can the former really be practice for the latter? It sort of brings up a "Madonna/whore" dichotomy in my mind where you have "practice girls" so you can really please your wife some day. But seriously, what woman of self-esteem would ever consent to being a "practice girl"??? A good friend of mine was dating a guy of this mindset and once he figured out they weren't moving towards something serious, he began to treat her completely differently, just getting every bizarre kinky thing out of her he could for "practice" (since he was not experienced prior to dating her). My friend found this incredibly hurtful and resents the guy for it to this day, and I don't blame her (although I think she should have cut him loose sooner). In contrast, a friend of mine recently entered the relationship waters and it sounds to me like her partner has no complaints about her acumen (quite the opposite in fact).

The feelings you have for someone allow you to tune into them and figure out what they need - more importantly it puts you in a place where you can tune into yourself and get what YOU need (we are egoists here after all). You don't need to have a bunch of meaningless "practice".

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I think the main question in Lasse's post is about why one should see the detriments I've mentioned as big enough to not make casual sex worth it anymore. I' a little busy at the moment and still kind of sleepy, so I think I'll get back to answering your post a little later. For now I'll address the other two posts since I last posted.

whYNOT, enthusiasm appreciated and generally I agree with your conclusions, but I think if you expanded a bit more on the steps for how you came to the conclusions aside from just that you found out bad things from personal experiences it would help, since I think there may be some differences in your experiences and his that are making it hard for him to believe your conclusions would apply to his situation. You talk about doing a lot of stuff faking like you have a deeper appreciation for a girl's values and character and having some romantic care and that type of faking slowly eating away at a person, but he doesn't seem to bother going that far even to try to pretend there is much of any appreciation for values in the girls beyond appreciation of a girl who wouldn't try to get pregnant and stick him with child support, so if you could address why it is still a problem even without faking romantic attraction like telling people false praise and that sort of thing, then you might make a little more progress in getting your argument across perhaps.

I think there can be several good reasons to engage in casual sex (i.e. in sex without romantic feelings involved):

1) It is pleasurable <--short term, so are lots of things that may be bad for you though and also, you can get that kind of physical pleasure from masturbation too, which though it may be a bit less pleasure than when there's another body involved, is still something you can have in lieu of poisoned interactions. (Though I'm sure you'd object you aren't convinced they're poisoned interactions. Sure, you can object that for now, but the point is more that just casual sex does not have to be accepted no matter what just because of pleasure. If there is something wrong with it, it isn't as if you'd have no other means to pleasure in your life even.) Also, in spite of built in physical responses to certain things, it isn't just automatically pleasurable anyway any time somebody has sex. If somebody doesn't believe the sex is something good going on, it won't be something they'd find pleasurable. For example, I'm quite certain many rape victims could tell you they did not feel good being stimulated by a rapist. Also, you know, I just find the idea highly unappealing enough that I think if I ever even tried to do stuff like Lasse talks about, I wouldn't enjoy it at all. So this pleasure you speak of is not really just a given, it is dependent upon already having the idea that what you are doing is indeed a fine thing to do. So the pleasure argument here may be similar to begging the question or circular reasoning, "I already concluded it was good therefore it gives me pleasure therefore it is good."

2) It is physically healthy <-- so would be masturbation for largely the same reasons, and if maybe there's any loss in perhaps a cardio aspect of the stimulation, there's plenty of stuff like running you can do to make up for that easily.

3) It can give you valuable practice for great sex later on with a romantic partner <-- OR rather than try to use that as an excuse, since everybody has different preferences also anyway, you could just wait and learn with your romantic partner. Really, if somebody is that impatient that if you aren't great at it right away they'd kick you to the curb rather than hold on and help you figure things out some, you probably have somebody who the relationship wouldn't last well with for long anyway I'd suspect, they don't seem to care all that much about you as a person anyway.

4) It can be a thrilling and adventurous experience <-- So I've heard of shoplifting too, but we don't talk about balancing minor breaches in rationality against the thrill one may get from shoplifting. Besides, there's lots of thrills and adventures out there in the mean time that are fine and one can wait patiently for that of sex. Also, I don't think you'd find it as thrilling if you didn't believe what you were doing was fine. Again, I don't think I'd feel thrilled trying to shop lift when I believed it was wrong, so your thrilled feeling depends on belief already of it being ok to go around having sex with strangers.

5) Sex and sexual intimacy is a basic human need just as much for singles as for those in romantic relationships <-- for sexual stimulation, there's the option of masturbation. There's also plenty of people who don't go having casual sex between romantic relationships, sometimes even for years, and they're not going nuts for it. They may miss having a good relationship, but not be tempted to just go screw somebody for the sake of screwing somebody. Heck, some people may go through periods like this and not even masturbate in the mean time. Nobody is about to die or go nuts from deciding not to have sex with just any old person while waiting to find a good relationship, so calling it a "need" to have sex even when there are no good romantic partners around which can be satisfied by sex with whoever happens to be around is really stretching it.

If we grant that these reasons count in favor of casual sex, it seems that if we are to rationally conclude that engaging in casual sex is harmful, we will need to point to a strong overriding reason why that is so. Let us consider three candidates that are presented in this thread.

:confused: Casual sex destroys sex, since sex is a manifestation of deeply shared values.

Sex is (or can be) a manifestation of deeply shared values, but this alone is not an argument against casual sex. <-- No, only if it merely "can be" is it not just an open and shut case. If it just IS a manifestation of deeply shared values, then casual sex clearly is not about that and would be flat out wrong. So since we've already got it accepted here that sex can be about that kind of romantic expression, what needs to be defended is that it can be something else without significantly fucking up that really high value (because if you get only a little bit of a plus in exchange for giving up something really big, that's a sacrifice and therefore not good and should not be done.) So, as I was saying earlier, just that you do have some positive feelings about casual sex isn't argument all on its own, since those feelings depend on prior conclusions. And the other stuff you mentioned like physical health and practice could easily be solved in other ways. So what else do you have to argue in favor of casual sex that we have other stuff we should accept using it for, even at the cost of degrading our overall capacity to make our sexual experiences even with loved ones as meaningful?

(you again here:) It is an argument against casual sex only if one can show that having casual sex makes it harder to have romantic sex with one’s partner. It is not obvious, however, that this is the case. To emphasize this, I often draw a parallel to eating. When a romantic couple dines at a lovely gourmet restaurant, their eating might very well carry deep meaning for both parties. What is, on the one hand, a biological need, is then given deep significance because of the social and psychological setting in which it is placed (Peikoff uses this example in OPAR). It is not clear, however, that one degrades eating as such and destroys one’s capacity for appreciating deeply meaningful gourmet meals if one earlier has engaged in “casual eating” or has been “eating around”. Indeed, it seems absurd that one has destroyed eating if one has eaten a cheap McDonald’s burger on the run. Therefore, engaging casually in an action that has the potential of deep meaning must not necessarily imply destroying this action’s potential on other occasions. If one believes the case is different with regard to sex, one will need to present a (non-question begging) argument for that, not merely appeal to the fact that sex can be a manifestation of deeply shared values. <-- eating though is something we really do need to do regularly. Physically need it. There's no debating our need of nutrients in some form. If we don't do it frequently enough, even when the best foods aren't really an option for us, we will die. That isn't the case with holding off on having sex with other people for a little while. A little better comparison might be art than food as you don't need that to survive, but notice also there are plenty of cases where people just aren't willing to settle for bad art when what they really are looking for to satisfy their desire is something really grand. Also, it's ok if not every meal or art work you deal with is quite so special as we have plenty of forms of similar expression for that kind of thing with the meals and you can't tell very well often how good art will be until you've already experienced it totally for one thing, whereas with sex you can get to know a person very thoroughly before having sex with them, and also whereas with sex as compared to food, it is THE thing we have for what we could want to express there. There aren't really other things that just equally get the job done if that capacity isn't there.

C) Casual sex is an indication of low self-esteem

Even if it might be true that people with low self-esteem engage the most in casual sex (though I seriously doubt it), this would not provide suffucient grounds for concluding that casual sex leads to low self-esteem. That is reversing the causal order. If one wants to argue that casual sex positively leads to low self-esteem, and one does not want to be an emotionalist, one needs to show that there is something independently harmful to casual sex; something that makes having casual sex a bad choice that only those with low self-esteem would make.

<-- Yeah, the low self-esteem thing I think is more of a derivative conclusion. It is only a person of low self-esteem who would engage in letting themself be treated as just a piece o' meat if there was indeed something bad about sex when it isn't treated as being about who you really are as an entire person. This depends on prior conclusions about if sex is only proper as a treatment of a person for the whole of who they are, and a very positive one at that.

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All else aside, I take issue with this point. I've heard it before and I'm not buying it. ...

You don't need to have a bunch of meaningless "practice".

Well, I guess you don't have to buy it, but I happen to agree with the poster who brought up the practice issue. Not only does it provide for better sex, but it also would help with the transition to that point in the relationship. I don't know of anything that won't get better with practice. Even social relationships in general, for example, are affected by how you've engaged in them in the past (practice). Of course, yes, it is very possible to have sex with an inexperienced person and temporarily ignore their noticeable actions from their inexperience, but that's not to say that they couldn't have been a better partner if they would have had more experience.

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Yeah, the low self-esteem thing I think is more of a derivative conclusion. It is only a person of low self-esteem who would engage in letting themself be treated as just a piece o' meat if there was indeed something bad about sex when it isn't treated as being about who you really are as an entire person. This depends on prior conclusions about if sex is only proper as a treatment of a person for the whole of who they are, and a very positive one at that.

Has anyone even satisfactorily defined "casual sex"? To me, it means "sex with an individual you don't know that well". That could mean someone you only met at a party that day. If I define it that way, there is nothing about casual sex that makes it always bad. It does not have to mean treating people as objects. It could just be a matter of "I'm attracted to you", which absolutely is a reaction to your own values. But it would always mean you aren't worried about making sure you find "the one" first. It would almost be masochistic to say you should avoid sex until you find know more about the person. Sometimes a way of speaking and moving is enough to know if the person in question is of high value to you. Waiting a month won't change much.

Edited by Eiuol
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Umm, what does it matter how experienced you are at sex? If two people love each other, they won't care. You'll look past something as minor as "inexperience" in the bedroom. If you aren't willing to look past that, then you aren't in love with this person and you don't deserve to be in a serious relationship.

To say that "gaining more experience" is a good reason to have casual sex is nothing more than a rationalization to fuck more people. Get your brain out of your dick/vagina.

Here's a pretty good definition from wikipedia of "casual sex":

Casual sex refers to certain types of sexual activity outside the context of a romantic relationship. The term is not always used consistently: some use it to refer to any extramarital sex, some use it to refer to sex in a casual relationship, whereas others reserve its use for one-time encounters, promiscuity, or to refer to sex in the absence of emotional attachment or love.[1][2]

Sex before marriage is fine, sex with another person while you're married is wrong. With extramarital sex out of the question, let's look at the other types of "casual sex." One-time encounters, promiscuity, sex in the absence of emotional attachment or love. Well, one-time encounters? Maybe not the worst thing you could do, but how is it fun to fuck someone and never see them again? Please explain. Promiscuity: this is just wrong. Sex in the absence of emotional attachment or love: is this even true sex? It's just physical, you might as well be reading a textbook about how to conduct foreplay while you're doing it.

Let's deal with "Casual sex destroys sex, since sex is a manifestation of deeply shared values." You said how eating a crappy fast-food hamburger doesn't destroy your sense of gourmet food just because you eat it once. We're not talking about a fucking hamburger!>!.!>!>!>! There is no comparison between sex and food whatsoever. You will die without food, you will not die without sex. I believe someone earlier said that your mind will be damaged if you don't have sex. How old are you? Fucking 12 years old? You're not going to "lose your mind" just because you don't fuck every single second of your existence.

Edited by Krattle
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