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Youth and (lack of) sex

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Um, and? That's like saying "those who argue for atheism simply haven't tried the other side! the people on the other side would argue that God *can* and *does* exist!" And, so what? Lots of people can argue lots of things; doesn't make them right just because they can.

It's not like that at all, actually. The religious have no validity to their argument - easily provable - whereas those who argue sex can also "properly" involve values which aren't a person's "highest" do have validity to their arguments. I don't see you even attempting to prove otherwise; you, like everyone else, are just making assertions.

I say, "Look at all the people clearly enjoying themselves on varying levels while having sex with each other. Clearly, sex involves not only 'high' values, but varying values." You say, "They aren't enjoying themselves. Sex is only proper when it involves highest values." What is highest, what is your standard for proper? If it includes enjoyment, how are you to go about deciding who is and isn't having this or that level of enjoyment? Then, how will you determine a person's value "highness" for him?

Really, your type of argument makes no sense to me. The way I see it, this argument is just ignoring blatant evidence.

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This would be the base of all disagreements between Objectivists about sex. You're just making an assertion here. Since you haven't yet had any sex yourself, I'm not sure how you're drawing this sweep

Of course you will be disappointed if you are looking for more out of the experience than is to be expected. A person who you are having sex with is still a person, who you will connect with (or n

Um, and? That's like saying "those who argue for atheism simply haven't tried the other side! the people on the other side would argue that God *can* and *does* exist!" And, so what? Lots of people can argue lots of things; doesn't make them right just because they can.

I don't think your analogy fits because the poster you're responding to did not seem opposed to a single lifelong spouse (theist IS the opposite of atheist though). The argument is that sex with someone you value is a value - whether or not your relationship is serious. Sometimes a serious relationship isn't in the cards because it would put careers or lives on hold. Similarly, once you've had sex with one person you're not morally glued to that person (recall Dagny in A.S.).

Edited by Q.E.D.
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People are different. For some, one special sexual partner would be the thing. For others, a variety of partners might be preferable. There's no one-size-fits-all answer. People aren't clones. They will, legitimately, act differently from each other.

We need to accept that instead of dwelling too heavily on right and wrong.

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We need to accept that instead of dwelling too heavily on right and wrong.

I would instead say that we need to accept differences while focusing on right and wrong, trying to figure out where those intersect.
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They don't always intersect. We have so many choices (lucky us). Yes, obviously, there are times when right and wrong plays a large factor (to rob that bank or not ...) but so much of the time, it's a matter of preference, that's all. I remember dating a dolt who tried to say that my preference for vegetables was wrong and his liking of meat and taters was right. No right or wrong here (let's not get into a dietary discussion here). We had different preferences in food and both of us were healthy.

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I am twenty years old and each day that passes makes me more and more depressed about my current situation. I'm a college student at a major university, entering my senior year. I have a good social life, a good amount of friends, an active schedule, and am in pretty decent physical shape. My friends tell me I have a good eye for fashion and always look presentable. There's just one problem that I am quite embarrassed about - to this day, I am still a virgin.

I have no difficulty talking with girls, and am even good friends with a few. It confuses me to no end that I have still not been able to have sex, even though my "standards" for who I choose to pursue have only gotten lower as time goes on. There is little else I want more than to lose my virginity, as my mind and body are unmistakably telling me that "it's time." I see sex all around me at college, and both my roommates are sexually active in relationships, which doesn't help matters. It's gotten to the point where I am not even concerned about having a relationship - I just want the sex so that I can rid this concern from my mind.

Don't ever lower your standards or your self worth by having a sexual relation for the sake of it. Big deal if all your friends have had this experience, that's no reason for you to jump into it.

I'm 22 and still a virgin. It is something I would like to experience, however with the right person. And by that I mean with someone whom I value and can trust. Being gay doesn't help either since most guys (my age) that I've come across are bitchy/superficial/promiscuous. One of my friends once implied that I'm being picky, however I say that I have standards and I'm not going to lower them. I don't understand why 'losing your virginity' is such a big deal these days. Don't you think it's far better to meet someone whom you really like, value and respect enough so as to feel comfortable to reveal that side of you during your first sexual experience?

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Thank you! Amazing that none of other heterosexual posters agree. You should never have sex just to have sex. It cheapens the experience. And you're not going to learn anything from emotionless sex. I don't want to hear this crap about how sexual experience is a virtue. No it isn't. It isn't a moral issue. It only becomes one if you have a lover and you are unwilling to learn how to pleasure them. There's a problem there. But otherwise, no, and you can learn how to pleasure a man or a woman (depending on your sex) through experience *with your one true lover.*

Have sex only with someone you love, don't settle for any less because it isn't worth it. The emotional rewards alone of meaningful sex with someone you love deeply are enough...should be enough...to drive any rational person who respects sex to wait to find a true lover: someone who shares emotions, values, interests, and everything with you.

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^^Nicely said, 'cheapens the experience'. Yes you will gain the experience by having emotionless sex, but that's it. You won't learn how to actually be intimately involved with the other person. Even though I've never had sex, I know for a fact that having a sexual relation with someone whom I genuinely like (or love, but that's a different topic), value, respect and trust far outweighs the opposite scenario.

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^^Nicely said, 'cheapens the experience'. Yes you will gain the experience by having emotionless sex, but that's it. You won't learn how to actually be intimately involved with the other person. Even though I've never had sex, I know for a fact that having a sexual relation with someone whom I genuinely like (or love, but that's a different topic), value, respect and trust far outweighs the opposite scenario.

Not sure how you've come to know any of this if you have never had a single related experience.

Krattle: You say those things but you don't provide reasons or explanations to try to back them up.

Edited by JASKN
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Interesting, I thought that this being an Objectivist forum the reasons would be understood. Well, here they are:

"Sex is a physical capacity, but its exercise is determined by man’s mind—by his choice of values, held consciously or subconsciously. To a rational man, sex is an expression of self-esteem—a celebration of himself and of existence. To the man who lacks self-esteem, sex is an attempt to fake it, to acquire its momentary illusion.

Romantic love, in the full sense of the term, is an emotion possible only to the man (or woman) of unbreached self-esteem: it is his response to his own highest values in the person of another—an integrated response of mind and body, of love and sexual desire. Such a man (or woman) is incapable of experiencing a sexual desire divorced from spiritual values." --“Of Living Death,”

The Voice of Reason, 54

"Sex is one of the most important aspects of man’s life and, therefore, must never be approached lightly or casually. A sexual relationship is proper only on the ground of the highest values one can find in a human being. Sex must not be anything other than a response to values. And that is why I consider promiscuity immoral. Not because sex is evil, but because sex is too good and too important . . . .

[sex should] involve . . . a very serious relationship. Whether that relationship should or should not become a marriage is a question which depends on the circumstances and the context of the two persons’ lives. I consider marriage a very important institution, but it is important when and if two people have found the person with whom they wish to spend the rest of their lives—a question of which no man or woman can be automatically certain. When one is certain that one’s choice is final, then marriage is, of course, a desirable state. But this does not mean that any relationship based on less than total certainty is improper. I think the question of an affair or a marriage depends on the knowledge and the position of the two persons involved and should be left up to them. Either is moral, provided only that both parties take the relationship seriously and that it is based on values."

“Playboy’s Interview with Ayn Rand,” March 1964.

Additionally, from my own experience in relationships the most fulfilling have been those based on huge numbers of shared values, always the most important - same political views for the same reasons, same view of religion (i.e. atheist), same basic understanding of morality, metaphysics, epistemology, same sense of romance and spontaneity, same appreciation of classical music and the same or at least similar interests (in my case Japanese, philosophy, music, etc.), and most of all shared respect, trust, and admiration. The physical aspect of such relationships, and I've only had one that deep (and am currently still in it), has been extraordinarily satisfying. Far more so than a "one-night stand" could ever be (I've never done such a thing and never will) or a so-called casual relationship/friends with benefits.

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Not sure how you've come to know any of this if you have never had a single related experience.

I consider the two scenarios in a rational and emotionally driven light. Rational being that I invest in a relationship and then proceed to the sexual part of it, emotionally driven is where I would have a flimsy/random sexual encounter with someone.

The way I understand it is (and I've entertained the thought of having sex purely for the sake of it), if I were to engage in a sexual act with someone whom I don't know well (whether or not I'm in a relationship with them), then I'm acting purely on my emotions to attain that momentary pleasure. What's left after that? I'd leave with the memory and probably feel empty or unfulfilled.

However, if I were to actually invest in a relationship with someone whom I know is worth it (and who also felt the same about me), to know them as a person, to trust, respect and for them to know that they can trust me, then wouldn't it be far more meaningful to have sexual relations with them? To have that 'connection' during sex is what would make the whole experience far more enjoyable than with some random.

Krattle summed it up nicely with the following quote by Ayn Rand:

"Sex is one of the most important aspects of man’s life and, therefore, must never be approached lightly or casually. A sexual relationship is proper only on the ground of the highest values one can find in a human being. Sex must not be anything other than a response to values. And that is why I consider promiscuity immoral. Not because sex is evil, but because sex is too good and too important
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What's left after that? I'd leave with the memory and probably feel empty or unfulfilled.

[...]

To have that 'connection' during sex is what would make the whole experience far more enjoyable than with some random.

Of course you will be disappointed if you are looking for more out of the experience than is to be expected.

A person who you are having sex with is still a person, who you will connect with (or not) in one way or another. Almost no (sane) person wants to have sex with total strangers. It would be almost like having sex with nothing. You have to either know something about the person, or project in some way (the latter not being recommended since it is likely a fib), since sex is between two people with minds each. This also shows that no sex is meaningless, for good or bad, and it also implies that one has to judge the other person in some way. But it does not indicate what judgements are going to lead to (morally) good sex (and good sex itself).

The falsehood here is the dichotomy: the most meaningful sex imaginable between two lifelong lovers (who have presumably spent a very long time together already in order to achieve this kind of sexual fulfillment), or the worst, most deplorable sexual encounter, such as vengeance-sex with someone you already hold in contempt as a way to destroy a third party (or one's self). There is many-a-kind of sex, and the "only proper sex" is not just the former scenario.

To Krattle: Quoting Rand is not an argument. How do you explain the countless positive sexual encounters people have with those who are not, or do not turn out to be, "highest value" lifelong mates?

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Oh for Christ's sake, there's no false dichotomy here. Did I ever put those two options out on the table? No, you did. The "dichotomy" is most meaningful sex ever vs. all other lesser forms of sex.

No, quoting Rand is not an argument. But there's the whole philosophy of Objectivism behind those quotes.

Also, I don't deny that you can have an enjoyable sexual experience that is not with a life-long mate. Did I ever say that? Again, no, but *you* seem to think I did. I just said that I don't think it's worth my time. I'd much rather seek out the life-long mate because the happiness derived from that kind of relationship is far too great to pass up, and nothing can be an adequate substitute. Sex deserves nothing less. You deserve nothing less.

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You called the opposing views to yours (mine) "cynical and disgusting." That doesn't leave in-between room, and strongly implies the dichotomy I articulated. You don't have to literally type words to internet for something to be communicated clearly. Cynical and disgusting is also not "enjoyable."

A "whole philosophy" still doesn't replace your own thinking.

Edited by JASKN
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A person who you are having sex with is still a person, who you will connect with (or not) in one way or another. Almost no (sane) person wants to have sex with total strangers. It would be almost like having sex with nothing. You have to either know something about the person, or project in some way (the latter not being recommended since it is likely a fib), since sex is between two people with minds each.

Yes, and I would like the connection to have already been established in a relationship, so that by the time we come to having a sexual relation, it will be worth it.

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Not Another Objectivist Sex Thread!

Cripes, we just can't ever seem to put this topic to bed (pun completely intended). While I don't agree with JASKN, I do respect that he is doing more than just quoting Rand and saying that stands alone. Other guys here, I may agree with you but we've all read Rand here and I think it's best to use your own thoughts and words when possible, or at least formulate the ideas your own way.

I'm gonna take a crack at it. I really think the two sides are talking past each other here. What I'm going to do, to ease this confusion, is start by saying explicitly what position I am defending. I believe in being selective about a sex partner, but not just selective for its own sake. The goal is not to acontextually reduce the lifetime number of sex partners to some magic number asymptotically approaching 1. But I do think that sex should be reserved for either a) a love relationship (that may or may not become a lifetime partnership), or B) a relationship that you are seriously open to the possibility of it being a love relationship and would like to take it in that direction (this is particularly for young folks finding their way in the world of sex and romance). You should care deeply for the other person and value who they are (which involves you KNOWING who they are!!!), not just on a purely physical or erotic level either.

I do NOT believe that it is somehow specially virtuous to have only one sexual partner over a lifetime (which is interesting because that is precisely my situation, one serious, long-term romantic relationship which is pretty much a marriage at this point). For most people, that is just not realistic. I do not think that it is appropriate to paralyze yourself into never having sex because this person may not be "the one". Sometimes in order to KNOW that you need to "take the plunge" (again, pun intended). But having a short-term relationship because you had strong feelings but realized it wouldn't work out and parted before serious problems arise is WORLDS apart from having a short-term relationship/casual fling knowing that is only what it will ever be from the start.

Similarly, there is nothing intrinsically wrong (because it is intrincisism that is most harmful to the "selectivity is good" position) with sleeping with somebody one time, but it all comes down to CONTEXT. Say you are overseas and have fallen desperately in love with someone and are just about to go home, and you know due to practical matters you will never see this person again but you love them with all your heart. I do not see anything wrong with sleeping with them as an affirmation of that love and then leaving, because you "mean it", so to speak.

We all (hopefully) agree that sex is good here, and that it should not be an object of guilt or shame. But that does not then mean that ALL sex is good devoid of context. So what the proper topic of discussion ought to be here is the context in which sex is good and why that context holds (I think this is the burden of proof JASKN is asking for, and it is a wholly appropriate question). I realize now that I am down to 5 minutes at my internet cafe, so a fleshing-out of this concept might have to wait, but the thrust of my argument (these puns are getting ridiculous now) is that you CAN separate higher values from sex, but you SHOULDN'T for various reasons I shall have to elaborate later. And I will chime in and say that from personal experience, sex done from love of the deepest kind is amazing on all levels, especially the physical, because of the supreme amount of trust and confidence you can have in that situation. I'm not sure if one is still capable of having sex on that level after a string of casual partners, especially if one retains the view of sex (psychologically) that allows you to HAVE a casual partner in the first place.

Out of time for now, apologies, more later perhaps. Darn intertubes!

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I'm 22 and still a virgin. It is something I would like to experience, however with the right person. And by that I mean with someone whom I value and can trust. Being gay doesn't help either since most guys (my age) that I've come across are bitchy/superficial/promiscuous. One of my friends once implied that I'm being picky, however I say that I have standards and I'm not going to lower them. I don't understand why 'losing your virginity' is such a big deal these days. Don't you think it's far better to meet someone whom you really like, value and respect enough so as to feel comfortable to reveal that side of you during your first sexual experience?

Good luck dude. Other gay male friends of mine have reported similar concerns. I'm sure you can find someone out there who's not a player or a head case.

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I'm 22 and still a virgin. It is something I would like to experience, however with the right person. And by that I mean with someone whom I value and can trust. Being gay doesn't help either since most guys (my age) that I've come across are bitchy/superficial/promiscuous. One of my friends once implied that I'm being picky, however I say that I have standards and I'm not going to lower them. I don't understand why 'losing your virginity' is such a big deal these days. Don't you think it's far better to meet someone whom you really like, value and respect enough so as to feel comfortable to reveal that side of you during your first sexual experience?

I agree 100%

Never lower your standards. It would be a betrayal to yourself and your values

Although, I do think people are missing the point talking about virginity really. It seems to me that virginity is the consequence/result of a lack of valuable partners rather than being some end in itself.

To need to have casual sex can only come from two causes:

A lack of valuable partners

OR

A lack of rational, hierarchical values

I think you are all smart enough to understand the full implications of the separate subjects of that dichotomy. Don't prove this assumption about your intelligence wrong if you can help it. It is in your interests after all

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And I will chime in and say that from personal experience, sex done from love of the deepest kind is amazing on all levels, especially the physical, because of the supreme amount of trust and confidence you can have in that situation.

That's what I'm hoping the user who started the topic can take away from this discussion.

Good luck dude. Other gay male friends of mine have reported similar concerns. I'm sure you can find someone out there who's not a player or a head case.

Thanks :) I'm certain that they exist, just have to sift through the 'rubble' so to say.

A lack of valuable partners

OR

A lack of rational, hierarchical values

I think you are all smart enough to understand the full implications of the separate subjects of that dichotomy. Don't prove this assumption about your intelligence wrong if you can help it. It is in your interests after all

That's it. And these days it seems to be a combination of the two, lack of valuable partners and rational values.

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I think you are all smart enough to understand the full implications of the separate subjects of that dichotomy. Don't prove this assumption about your intelligence wrong if you can help it. It is in your interests after all

Just for the record, this last remark was actually meant as joke/flippancy. :thumbsup:

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  • 1 month later...

This thread is very interesting. I can relate to the guy who started this thread. I was called a 'super stud' by all my college mates and they never knew I was a virgin and the first sex I had was after my marriage :)

One advice- Don't go into sex with someone just for the sake of losing virginity.

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As others have said: sex seems like a much bigger deal than it is until you do it.

I don't want to minimize romance, but the perspective I'm discussing is critical.

Imagine if you had never eaten a delicious sweet. And everyone else had. They all say, "Oh man, this is so great!" You think, "I wish I knew what they meant." One day, you finally have a sweet for the first time. You realize, that yes, it is very good. And that's all it is. Very good. Maybe excellent. But in not having one ever, there was no 'hidden knowledge' you were missing out on.

That's how I felt about sex while a virgin: that there was something everybody else knew that I didn't. I felt epistemologically, even metaphysically inferior to everyone else. I don't know why this is.

If a friend had travelled the world, survived death countless times, was brought so low that he discovered his true nature and the extent of his integrity, and all I had done was gone to college, I might feel metaphysically inferior in a sense. But sex, this is no big deal.

One day, you'll no longer be a virgin, and you'll observe a group of young people discussing the issue obsessively. You'll hear music on the radio, and observe suggestive imagery on TV. And all you'll have to say, is, (sarcastically) "Really, sex is great? Thanks. Thanks for making that clear. For a while, I thought you might be the only, or at least, the first ones to have ever made this discovery."

Generally, knowledge of, experience with sex is part of adulthood. So it's easy to not feel quite an adult without it. But that's false thinking.

How many millions of non-virgins have never raised a child? Never owned a home? Never lost a loved one? Never made a single deliberate, rational, decision in their life?

How many ridiculous 13 year olds have already lost their virginity, and yet only barely have the biological capacity to do so? And is there something really special about a 13-year-old awkwardly, you know?

Because of alcoholism in my family, I've never drank. I'm almost old enough now that I just might never do it. I've never done drugs. Twice, I've had Nitrous Oxide at the dentist. I drink coffee.

Am I missing out? Plenty would tell me yes. Alcohol is so central to the 'fun' and 'social' and 'relaxing' and 'good-feeling' needs of so many people I know, that at times I find it very very difficult to even feel like I'm of the same species as them. I don't even have a clue what being drunk or even buzzed would feel like (nor am I advocating against it). But it doesn't even matter. I love my life.

Have you ever been buzzed? Was life beforehand miserable? Pointless? Without compare? I doubt it.

Sex is just what it is, and most of the people who do it, because they're most people - probably couldn't begin to appreciate what they're doing up the level of rational satisfaction that you might have picking your toenails.

(Wouldn't it be ironic if poster comes back tomorrow with: "I'm not a virgin anymore!")

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  • 3 weeks later...
(Wouldn't it be ironic if poster comes back tomorrow with: "I'm not a virgin anymore!")

I wish that this is what I could report. Instead, I'm up typing this right now as both of my roommates have sex in their respective rooms.

Perhaps sex is one of those things that can be looked at in a lighter manner after you've had it, but not being able to experience what I consider one of the most important aspects of living an adult life is destroying me mentally. I have a natural, testosterone-driven urge to have sex, and despite my efforts, I am disappointed time and time again.

I have less than a year until my college experience is over, and I dread the possibility that I may graduate and never experience the sex-fest that college is to so many.

What confuses me so much is what I see when I look around; when I look at those who are having sex, I wonder how, of all people, I'm the one that can't get any. I'm fit, not creepy, and go to parties and socialize like a normal college kid. Meanwhile, mentally-disturbed slobs are getting laid all around me.

I'm considering seeking psychiatric help over this issue, because it simply consumes more and more of my thoughts each day. I suppose my biggest concern is that I can't understand what I'm doing wrong, and what so many others are doing right. You can't just ask your friends these things. In fact, my friends assume I'm sexually-active. =/

Thanks to all those who bothered to respond.

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