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

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mke
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OK, I'm going to deal with these arguments that casual sex is good.

1) It is pleasurable

Wait, so now we're so low we do anything just because it's "pleasurable"? Is this even an Objectivist forum? Have you forgotten that the standard of morality is not "well, it feels good so I do it"? It's pleasurable to drink a fuck ton of liquor, but it's terrible for your mind, your physical health, and you feel like shit afterward.

2) It is physically healthy

?????????? Get on a fucking treadmill?

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

Again, if you love someone, experience is IRRELEVANT.

4) It can be a thrilling and adventurous experience

? Thrilling? This is an emotion. Not a reason. Seek adventure somewhere else. Go climb a goddamn mountain.

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

NO IT IS NOT. Sex in and of itself is NOT A FUCKING NEED. You will not drop dead just because your dick isn't inside a vagina every single second you're awake. It's not going to "hurt your psychological health" to *not fuck*. It WILL hurt your psychological health if you fuck women you don't care about all the time. You need to find someone you LOVE, then have sex with THEM, as much as you want. That's the only time sex can be called a need - in a romantic relationship.

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And one more thing: orgasms.

Most of the physical pleasure of sex comes from two thing: stimulation during foreplay and the orgasm at the end. You can get both stimulation and orgasm from masturbation.

There is no difference between an orgasm caused by auto-stimulation and one caused by stimulation during sexual intercourse. The only difference is who is doing the stimulation.

I AM NOT SAYING THAT MASTURBATION IS EXACTLY THE SAME AS SEX.

I'm not a fucking idiot. Sex involves a great deal more than masturbation, but an orgasm is exactly the same whether it happens during masturbation or sex. Just go to wikipedia and read IN DETAIL the anatomy of an orgasm. It's nothing more than a physical response to stimulation. IT DOESN'T MATTER HOW YOU DO THE STIMULATING, THE EFFECT IS THE SAME.

So, you can gain: 1) physical pleasure, 2) physical health, and 3) experience just by masturbating. Yes, you gain experience because you learn how *you* get stimulated and what does it most. 4) there is a certain thrill even to autoeroticism.

So, oh, wait, you can get 4 of the 5 things you get from casual sex also from masturbation? If you really want, you can even watch porn while you masturbate so you can see the sex act.

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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.

Yeah, "casual sex" hasn't been exactly defined here, but I figure it isn't too important as I'm sort of working step by step to establish why sex should be one thing and why it is a problem in a number of other cases. "Casual sex" could maybe mean anything from random hook ups at bars with hopefully-not-too-drunk-to-legitimately-consent people you just met an hour ago to sex with "friends with benefits" who you know well and like a lot about them, but you know it's just still not enough to justify romantic pursuit, to sex with somebody you are only a little romantically attracted to with no expectations you'll become more attracted to them for any reason, to sex with a really good romantic partner while the people involved don't really see the act as much of anything special, like it's really no different had they been screwing each other or a stranger. Almost any definition though that I could imagine for "casual sex" though goes against what I'd contend is good on the subject. Sex itself is just not something which can be done well casually, as casual means rather relaxed while sex is a rather fervent act. So instead what it has to refer to is a rather casual treatment of an act that is by its nature not casual.

As for your comment about attraction in casual sex, yes, *romantic* attraction at least is based on values, but just how solid do you think the claim is that it's really about value affinity between you and this other person when you know practically nothing about them and intentionally seek not to find out too much first? If you really are attracted to somebody, you see values in them, don't you generally gain an interest in learning more about them, not trying to hurry up and act before you can hear more? I'm not saying I think everybody needs to be sure they've got a life partner on their hands before trying to have sex with the person, that I think is asking too much to be imposed on all people, yes, but that's not what I'm trying to support for people in general anyway. All I'm aiming at right now is support for getting a decent amount of knowledge about a person and based on finding a pretty good deal of romantic compatibility from that so far (and perhaps the promise of more compatibility being found or made over time and further knowledge and interaction in that knowledge you've already got) then going ahead and having sex if all involved parties think it sounds like a good idea. Just don't intentionally skirt around issues you think might reveal they aren't really so good after all. You could probably get that done in a week of close interaction I suspect. So what's masochistic about taking just a little extra time to make fairly sure that the values you supposedly perceive in this person to attract you to them (as you said is the case, I'm picking at your argument specifically here, Lasse seems to not even claim any values involved at all except a common value for easy sex whenever you feel like it) are real? After all, the speaking and moving thing may speak a fair deal to appeal to your sense of life, but don't forget that sense of life is rather subconscious and far from flawless at identifying things correctly and some people may even intentionally put on some airs just to try to trick people to think they're something else to get them in bed under false pretenses when the real person isn't so appealing. The old quote I've seen so many times from Rand about love comes to mind, speaking of "Many errors and tragic disillusionments are possible in this process of emotional recognition, since a sense of life, by itself, is not a reliable cognitive guide." ("Philosophy and Sense of Life,” The Romantic Manifesto, 32.)

EDIT: Whoa, lot of posts were added while I was typing this one up. Added quote to clarify who I was addressing.

Edited by bluecherry
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Krattle, your awfully distasteful hyperbole makes me wonder whether you have any respect for sex at all. I don't know this of course, but I'd politely suggest you take a more civil and respectable tone.

I'd like to summarise and clear up my position.

Casual sex: I define this as any sex that occurs outside of a romantic relationship. Including sex between friends, strangers, single people and couples (naturally, with each others consent).

I maintain that it can be good, and a rational value -- but like all values, it is only good in certain contexts.

For example: You have not found a romantic partner - but you have a friend, and you are both attracted to each other. You have no reason to suspect they have any sort of infection, and you both know the purpose and extent of the sexual relationship.

That is just one scenario, there could be plenty of other good ones.

There are also bad ones. For example: Somebody approaches you at a bar, you quickly get the impression that they aren't worth knowing, they have bad personality traits and obviously hold some very bad central ideas. You have no way of judging if they are likely to have some sort of STD and you do not have any contraception.

Those are examples of very good, and very bad scenarios in which to engage in casual sex. Of course, you can find bad scenarios even in a romantic relationship: Your partner is diagnosed with HIV, for example.

Obviously, just like with every other potential value, it requires both good context and good judgment.

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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.

That's why I said this:

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.

My post was very short, so I don't know how you glossed over this.

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.

No, that's you rationalizing the position. I contemplated adding some qualifier to my post in the hopes of preventing such rationalizations, but I figured it went without saying and determined it a waste of time. Which, I guess I was right; no qualifying statement is likely to prevent misunderstandings in those who take away from the statement "multiple sexual encounters are good for your current and future sex life (and relationships)" that "gaining experience is a rationalization to have sex with more people."

Edited by RussK
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OK, I'm going to deal with these arguments that casual sex is good.

1) It is pleasurable

Wait, so now we're so low we do anything just because it's "pleasurable"? Is this even an Objectivist forum? Have you forgotten that the standard of morality is not "well, it feels good so I do it"? It's pleasurable to drink a fuck ton of liquor, but it's terrible for your mind, your physical health, and you feel like shit afterward.

Pleasure itself is always a good thing. The part that matters if the bad outweighs the bad. I know that sounds utilitarian, but I'm not suggesting that the fact that if the good outweighs the bad is the *reason* for doing something. It seems you're suggesting pleasure isn't a good thing. Almost to the extent that "it feels good, so therefore it's bad". If your pleasure necessarily results in the destruction of your mind (i.e. certain drugs), then that form of pleasure should be avoided if you value reason. I don't think he's suggesting that feeling good is *why* casual sex is good, but that pleasure is one of the good things about it. If you want to evaluate any "badness" about something, you should consider the good and the bad. Your other counterpoints were just stating a different way to achieve a similar end. All of the things you responded to are validly good things. You'd have to demonstrate some things about casual sex that are validly bad. I think the only times it is bad is when you explicitly use the person for their body while ignoring any values they represent to you. Also, you should be more explicit in what you mean by casual sex.

All I'm suggesting is that getting to know a person a little bit more is not always going to change much. Maybe for one person a couple hours is enough. Maybe for another only a month is sufficient. I think a distinction between "casual" and "non-casual" is pretty arbitrary. What matters is *why* you're having sex with *that* person.

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

NO IT IS NOT. Sex in and of itself is NOT A FUCKING NEED. You will not drop dead just because your dick isn't inside a vagina every single second you're awake. It's not going to "hurt your psychological health" to *not fuck*. It WILL hurt your psychological health if you fuck women you don't care about all the time. You need to find someone you LOVE, then have sex with THEM, as much as you want. That's the only time sex can be called a need - in a romantic relationship.

Is this post supposed to be serious? I agree with Tito about questioning your respect or understanding of sex, even as it's represented by Ayn Rand. Myriad works by Rand illustrate how uplifting the sexual experience and relationship can be, implicitly highlighting the psychological benefits. Of course, this isn't a need, but I think you read too much into whoever posted that to begin with; however, it is a very big ingredient in the sum of one's happiness or esteem. As for the harm of not having sex, I think I already alluded to that in giving support to the prior poster who said that practice was good: it's a good way to increase one's social ability, which does effect the 'psychology'. Additionally, in the actual fields of psychology and sociology, theories exist about the negative effects of being prudish, if that's the right word--sorry, I can't give any sources first hand right now. Personally, I believe in these effects, from cases such as the Puritans to the modern day Islamist.

Edited by RussK
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I think you're misinterpreting the role of sex in relation to self-esteem. Just having sex doesn't create self-esteem; that's what promiscuous people are trying to do. They don't have any self-esteem to begin with so they try to conquer as many people as possible through sex in an *attempt* to fill the void, but you can't do that. Sex is an expression of whatever self-esteem you already have, not a means of creating it. What did Rand say? You can't say "I love you" without first saying the "I."

Now, if you already value yourself and then you have sex as an expression of that, then your self-esteem will be bolstered, but you aren't creating new self-esteem.

This is why sex is not a need per-se. People with low self-esteem do *not* need to have sex, it will only make things worse and they may become playboys as a result.

I'm sorry, I uh, just don't see the importance of increasing one's "social ability" whatever that's supposed to mean. Having sex for the first time, with someone you love, will only be awkward because you haven't had sex before, but it has an incredibly natural feeling to it because you love your partner. Truly, if you love someone all inexperience can easily, easily be "forgiven." It's not a vice to be inexperienced at sex, and so I don't consider it a virtue to be experienced at it.

Edited by Krattle
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Pleasure itself is always a good thing. The part that matters if the bad outweighs the bad. I know that sounds utilitarian, but I'm not suggesting that the fact that if the good outweighs the bad is the *reason* for doing something. It seems you're suggesting pleasure isn't a good thing. Almost to the extent that "it feels good, so therefore it's bad". If your pleasure necessarily results in the destruction of your mind (i.e. certain drugs), then that form of pleasure should be avoided if you value reason. I don't think he's suggesting that feeling good is *why* casual sex is good, but that pleasure is one of the good things about it. If you want to evaluate any "badness" about something, you should consider the good and the bad. Your other counterpoints were just stating a different way to achieve a similar end. All of the things you responded to are validly good things. You'd have to demonstrate some things about casual sex that are validly bad. I think the only times it is bad is when you explicitly use the person for their body while ignoring any values they represent to you. Also, you should be more explicit in what you mean by casual sex.

All I'm suggesting is that getting to know a person a little bit more is not always going to change much. Maybe for one person a couple hours is enough. Maybe for another only a month is sufficient. I think a distinction between "casual" and "non-casual" is pretty arbitrary. What matters is *why* you're having sex with *that* person.

I was actually *very* explicit about my definition of casual sex, and the distinction is far from arbitrary. In fact, you just gave the reason for the distinction. Casual sex differs from. non-casual, or serious sex, because of *why* you're having it. Casual sex means sex just for the physical pleasure. Sex for the sake of sex. Serious sex is sex for the purpose of expressing your self-esteem and your love of the values someone else embodies.

It sounds like many people think it's OK to have sex with someone if you know only vague abstractions about their values. You can't really know what someone actually values until you see them actually valuing those things. Anyone can say, "Oh, I love such-and-such" but that means *nothing* if they don't act to gain and or keep that value. That's why it takes more than a one-night stand to know someone's values.

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I was actually *very* explicit about my definition of casual sex, and the distinction is far from arbitrary. In fact, you just gave the reason for the distinction. Casual sex differs from. non-casual, or serious sex, because of *why* you're having it. Casual sex means sex just for the physical pleasure. Sex for the sake of sex. Serious sex is sex for the purpose of expressing your self-esteem and your love of the values someone else embodies.

Why bother to add the qualifier "casual"? I think the term "casual" only brings further confusion to this discussion. Only the distinction between proper and improper really matters.

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From Krattle's earlier post: "I think you're misinterpreting the role of sex in relation to self-esteem. Just having sex doesn't create self-esteem; that's what promiscuous people are trying to do. They don't have any self-esteem to begin with so they try to conquer as many people as possible through sex in an *attempt* to fill the void, but you can't do that. Sex is an expression of whatever self-esteem you already have, not a means of creating it."

Do you think anybody here has so far tried to claim that? If so, could you quote the relevant sections please to make it more obvious what in this discussion you are trying to rebut? So far, I don’t recall anybody making that claim. What I have seen people trying to claim is that they already had good self-esteem and do not think any of their casual sexual encounters should be a source of further self-esteem and instead they are trying to do it just because they think it feels particularly good and the whole thing they think leaves them unaffected basically as far as their self-esteem goes. So, attacking the idea that one can get self-esteem by just any old other people deeming them fit to have sex with seems beside the point.

"What did Rand say? You can't say "I love you" without first saying the "I."

Nobody here has been trying to claim they’re in love every time they screw random people though. Hell, even I think setting the bar at needing to be already in love with somebody before having sex with them may be a little excessively high to demand of everybody before any sexual encounter at all. I already explained earlier though in my previous post where I think would be a sufficient starting point and criteria to apply pretty generally to people for when you’ve got enough to go on for sex. If you see even where I've set the bar as being too low and that only when you are already in love is it proper, then could you perhaps explain more please why only at that point is it finally sufficient?

I had a thought, while I was reading a post by somebody else, which may clarify a little stuff on this issue perhaps. themadkat spoke of how somebody looks to treat the idea as some girls are just “practice girls” and others the “real thing” kind of and *like the sex comes in two totally different varieties, yet they want to believe you could use one as practice for the other* -- that can’t be. Either they’re different and therefore one doesn’t apply to the other or they’re the same and they do apply at least somewhat. I think it is pretty plain to see here that the basic nature of what is going on in both cases - the actual act, because sex IS an act - is indeed the same. So then what is going on? Well, you’ve just got general low standards for sex. Why is this a big deal to have low standards for sex? You’re treating pretty lowly and lightly something which can be one of the most serious and elevating experiences in life. Overall, you’re treating sex like junk -- and your treating it like junk while doing so in the name of saying how much you care about it, how important it is to you. This looks like a contradiction methinks. :o You either don’t care about and think that much of it and therefore don’t care if you miss it all that much (not something I think is probably so good to believe, but it isn’t self-contradictory at least) or else you take it as important and serious and therefore won’t have low standards and let any stray tramp in.

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I'm sorry, I uh, just don't see the importance of increasing one's "social ability" whatever that's supposed to mean. Having sex for the first time, with someone you love, will only be awkward because you haven't had sex before, but it has an incredibly natural feeling to it because you love your partner. Truly, if you love someone all inexperience can easily, easily be "forgiven." It's not a vice to be inexperienced at sex, and so I don't consider it a virtue to be experienced at it.

Social ability is essential for connecting and interacting with people, and for getting romantic relationships to work. You don't have to be experienced at sex, but it sure helps to know how to take a relationship in that direction when you want to.

Experience is neither a vice nor a virtue. There can be good or bad resons for your experience. I also don't think experience for the sake of experience is a good idea. A better way to approach it is to pursue ones values, and let experience be a by-product of that.

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One -off, occasional, casual sex, let's say a few times a year is not my worry here. Which is why we should have settled on an explanation earlier for what the term means. My strong objection is not from prudery concerning sex itself - far, far from it - it comes from becoming a person whose outlet, and pastime , is seeking out casual sex regularly.

I will invoke Rand on the matter, as some have done here, but in this case will profer the word "hedonism", which we all know she could be most scathing about; the 'serial lover' who I am concerned about, is on his way to being a hedonist.

Whether he began with high self-esteem,( which I doubt, in my own experience and observation,) the result must become damaging to his self esteem somewhere down the line. Cause or effect, the outcome stays the same. As I've tried to emphasise, a man can cross a line in life, that only impacts on him much later.

"Self esteem is the reputation one gains with oneself." And there is no fooling that Self.

It's unfortunate but predictable that the division that has risen on this thread seems to be between those who are getting a lot of casual sex, and those who aren't - FOR WHATEVER THE REASONS, volitional, virtuous, or plain circumstantial. Which in turn can and does lead to self-rationalization, from both 'sides', but primarily from the "why not?it's healthy and enjoyable" brigade.

Whatever; for all those who demand nothing but honesty from themselves, as all O'ists in fact do, this debate is a good opportunity to check our own premises.

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Social ability is essential for connecting and interacting with people, and for getting romantic relationships to work. You don't have to be experienced at sex, but it sure helps to know how to take a relationship in that direction when you want to.

Experience is neither a vice nor a virtue. There can be good or bad resons for your experience. I also don't think experience for the sake of experience is a good idea. A better way to approach it is to pursue ones values, and let experience be a by-product of that.

Your second paragraph is exactly what I said. As for your first paragraph, obviously having social skills is a good thing, but I'm just talking about sex. I don't know how many times I have to say it, but if two people love each other and know each other very intimately and are totally honest about everything, then there's no "secret method" for driving the relationship toward sex. You can just ask, which is what I've done, and it works. It's really not that hard.

Yes, like whyNOT, I'm also talking about seeking out casual sex regularly as some sort of pastime. When you do that, that's when you start to rationalize and fool yourself into thinking it's OK to do what you're doing. I don't care how enjoyable, healthy, pleasurable, WHATEVER sex is...it's infinitely more all of those things when you do it with someone you love. So why would you even bother having casual sex in the first place?

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Your second paragraph is exactly what I said. As for your first paragraph, obviously having social skills is a good thing, but I'm just talking about sex. I don't know how many times I have to say it, but if two people love each other and know each other very intimately and are totally honest about everything, then there's no "secret method" for driving the relationship toward sex. You can just ask, which is what I've done, and it works. It's really not that hard.

Yes, I just wanted to add a little to what you said.

If you're just talking sex then I agree it doesn't matter that much. But I don't think "social ability" was initially mentioned only in that context.

When you're talking about "if two people love each other", that's quite an enormous qualifier. In reality it's alot more complex, and you have to get there first. It's like, if you want to do the dance of romance it's good to learn the steps. While it certainly helps to be good dancer that part is not necessary, however tripping and falling on your face can make you blow your chances. And just to be clear, i'm not just talking about sex here. This is what I mean by leading things where you want them.

Love does not necessarily change anything either. There also has to be sexual attraction. Love without attraction is friendship. That's what the "secret method", which is neither a method nor a secret, is all about - leading things on without killing the attraction.

However, you can't look at this from a perspective where n=1. For most guys, myself included, it's a case of falling on their faces over and over again - often not even realizing they've fallen on their faces, or why. Heck, alot of guys are even oblivious about all the invitations to dance that they get. That's why a little experience and social ability can be very valuable. It helps alot in finding someone to fall in love with and the whole happily ever after.

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Hey Alfa, in all seriousness do you think the same kind of “skills” one would need to pick up a slightly drunk stranger in a bar to convince them to go have sex with you right away and then probably never see you again are the same sort of skills one would need to get a romantic partner? I think that drunk stranger and a potential romantic interest are looking for *very* different things. Also, if your talking about just learning about how to socialize and deal with new people in general, you can do that without it involving trying to get them in bed. It is indeed possible even to flirt with other people for practice without intending to take it farther than that.

Second, do you seriously believe the only difference between a whether you want somebody as a friend or a lover is how you rate them physically? :/ I don’t believe that in the slightest. There is a very different quality to friendship versus romance and different purposes to them first off. Romance is more about a strong overall sense of life affinity between people whereas friendship deals with much more specific and delimited common values. You may have a higher number of specific commonalities of interests with somebody than another person, yet that first person if they do not have as much of an overall sense of life commonality with you would still be just a good friend while the latter might be more likely romantically compatible with you. Also, for whatever anecdotes of personal experience are worth in this discussion, I’ve before been physically attracted, as a consequent part of romantic attraction, to somebody before I had any clue what they looked like and also I’ve been physically attracted to somebody as part of romantic attraction to them from the time I met them but then as I learned more about their character and had some expectations of them disappointed, without how they looked changing at all, I’ve ceased to find them physically attractive anymore.

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Hey Alfa, in all seriousness do you think the same kind of “skills” one would need to pick up a slightly drunk stranger in a bar to convince them to go have sex with you right away and then probably never see you again are the same sort of skills one would need to get a romantic partner? I think that drunk stranger and a potential romantic interest are looking for *very* different things.

No, of course they are entierly different things. That's why I think experience is most valuable when it comes from a pursuit of rational values.

Also, if your talking about just learning about how to socialize and deal with new people in general, you can do that without it involving trying to get them in bed. It is indeed possible even to flirt with other people for practice without intending to take it farther than that.

Sure, though by flirting alone you will not learn the same things. However, i'm not advocating practice per se. I'm advocating "go out there and get what you want", learn from the process and use that knowledge. I suppose though that practice can have it's uses. Like if you have difficulty approaching girls, then go talk to a few hundred at random.

Second, do you seriously believe the only difference between a whether you want somebody as a friend or a lover is how you rate them physically? :/ I don’t believe that in the slightest. There is a very different quality to friendship versus romance and different purposes to them first off. Romance is more about a strong overall sense of life affinity between people whereas friendship deals with much more specific and delimited common values. You may have a higher number of specific commonalities of interests with somebody than another person, yet that first person if they do not have as much of an overall sense of life commonality with you would still be just a good friend while the latter might be more likely romantically compatible with you. Also, for whatever anecdotes of personal experience are worth in this discussion, I’ve before been physically attracted, as a consequent part of romantic attraction, to somebody before I had any clue what they looked like and also I’ve been physically attracted to somebody as part of romantic attraction to them from the time I met them but then as I learned more about their character and had some expectations of them disappointed, without how they looked changing at all, I’ve ceased to find them physically attractive anymore.

Nope, I said sexual attraction - not physical beauty. Sexual attraction is a much wider concept where physical characteristics are only a part of it. What i'm saying is that love without sexual attraction is not romantic love.

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Mmm, I was more aiming to rebut the idea that having casual sex is somehow a special advantage to honing the kinds of social skills one would need to get serious romantic partners. You can get all the social practice without the sex, the sex adds nothing to the social skills and any inexperience sexually isn't really a big deal for somebody who loves you once you got them with whatever social skills you may have used to get acquainted with them. Doing together with your serious romantic partner what you need to gain better knowledge of how to make the sex work better with them I doubt would be something they just wouldn't feel like doing. :P If you hold that it is best to get experience in the context of pursuing serious relationships then though, I don't really have objections to that notion.

"Nope, I said sexual attraction - not physical beauty. Sexual attraction is a much wider concept where physical characteristics are only a part of it. What i'm saying is that love without sexual attraction is not romantic love."

Hmm, perhaps the confusion here arose from different uses of the term "love." I assumed you meant "love" as basically the same feeling as romantic love and so it looked like you meant just the only thing that seemed to differentiate who you want to be friends with and who you want to have a romantic relationship with is based on some physical assessment of them, since in either case you thought the feeling, the sort of love, was the same. It sounded like you thought what maybe did any change in feeling from somebody being suitable for just a friend to suitable for romance was stemmed from adding in a particularly favorable assessment of how they look as opposed to, what I hold is more the case, where the feeling of romantic love exists first and then this can lead to a more favorable assessment of the desirability of their body. So, instead what you meant is you hold the kind of feeling of romantic love can't not lead to sexual attraction and therefore any variant of love devoid of sexual attraction must just be a variant of love aside from romantic love in particular?

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Mmm, I was more aiming to rebut the idea that having casual sex is somehow a special advantage to honing the kinds of social skills one would need to get serious romantic partners. You can get all the social practice without the sex, the sex adds nothing to the social skills and any inexperience sexually isn't really a big deal for somebody who loves you once you got them with whatever social skills you may have used to get acquainted with them. Doing together with your serious romantic partner what you need to gain better knowledge of how to make the sex work better with them I doubt would be something they just wouldn't feel like doing. :P If you hold that it is best to get experience in the context of pursuing serious relationships then though, I don't really have objections to that notion.

Leading a relationship on towards sex is something you can learn alot from. It's not the same thing as socializing or flirting.

I don't think the context necessarily has to be about pursuing a serious relationship. I think a serious relationship is a good long-term goal, where there can be other interesting and perfectly valid values along the way. It can be participating in activities, meeting new people, meeting women, and there may be those you find attractive and interesting who you'd want to have sex with - not knowing how serious you'd want to get with them. I think they can all be rational values that are worth experiencing, and at the same time it increases the chances of finding someone special who you'd want to keep.

I'm not talking about one-nighters though. I don't think there's any value in pursuing them. Sure, they can happen by accident, but one-nighters by their very definition is sex with someone you don't really care about at all. Otherwise you'd want to see them again. So it's not a valuable pursuit, and with time it can be damaging - when something great like sex gets subconciously asociated with these women. I mean, if sex becomes something you do with loose sluts, how will you then respond to good women?

"Nope, I said sexual attraction - not physical beauty. Sexual attraction is a much wider concept where physical characteristics are only a part of it. What i'm saying is that love without sexual attraction is not romantic love."

Hmm, perhaps the confusion here arose from different uses of the term "love." I assumed you meant "love" as basically the same feeling as romantic love and so it looked like you meant just the only thing that seemed to differentiate who you want to be friends with and who you want to have a romantic relationship with is based on some physical assessment of them, since in either case you thought the feeling, the sort of love, was the same. It sounded like you thought what maybe did any change in feeling from somebody being suitable for just a friend to suitable for romance was stemmed from adding in a particularly favorable assessment of how they look as opposed to, what I hold is more the case, where the feeling of romantic love exists first and then this can lead to a more favorable assessment of the desirability of their body. So, instead what you meant is you hold the kind of feeling of romantic love can't not lead to sexual attraction and therefore any variant of love devoid of sexual attraction must just be a variant of love aside from romantic love in particular?

Perhaps the love in itself is different. I can't tell as I cannot look at romantic love separately from sexual attraction. The sexual attraction has to be there, that's why I can't feel romantically for another man - though I can love them very dearly as friends.

When you say that romantic love can exist first and then lead to sexual desire, I regard that as a persons character being vital to the sexual attraction.

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On 12/1/2009 at 12:38 PM, whYNOT said:

So you like going to bars and 'socializing' with women, and sometimes you get lucky.

OK, I did that for 20 plus years, and I will insist one more time that it is not good for anyone. Somewhere between the 6th time and the 36th time, you will lose sight of what you're doing it for; you will be able to call up 'pretend' affection and interest in the girl, without raising a sweat; you will have become a serial lover; and you will have become an accomplished faker.

Why? Because that type of girl you meet, generally wants the illusion of love, to go through with it(and maybe you will too.)

You have an interesting theory there. Are you saying that "serial lovers" become "accomplished fakers" because that's what women who go to bars want? They want men to lie to them?

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