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Is there such a thing as a depraved sex act?

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Leaving aside rape, prostitution, and promiscuity, is there such a thing as a depraved sex act, or does anything go as long as the participants value each other rationally? For example, some people enjoy urinating and defecating on each other during sex—I find such acts repulsive, but is there anything wrong with the people who feel differently?

Edited by happiness
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Going with your two examples, urine is sterile and more or less harmless, whereas feces has many health risks in addition to the smell. Risk doesn't necessarily rule something out, though. I suppose a short answer would be, "Do what you like if there's no reason not to. If there is a reason not to, weigh the benefits against the risks and make a decision."

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The analysis here may have been turned on its head.

 

Instead of asking about whether any sex act as such is depraved, ask whether any act's depravity can suddenly be dispelled by being associated with a sex act.

 

 

Sex per se, or as such, is just that, sex.  Naked individuals touching each other and themselves in various places in various ways to stimulate each other into feeling sexual sensations.  That is core sex.

 

Now for something completely different:

 

Imagine a person who, due to some psychological defect, subconsciously feels he is disgusting, and specifically, for some odd reason the disgust is imagined in a very specific way, in the form of fish guts, his self image is a bucket of it.  By some quirk of his lack of self esteem, he fantasizes about putting fish guts on a woman's head and face, which will simultaneously bring her down to a level of disgust he has for himself, while marking her as his, by virtue of covering her literally with what he thinks of himself.  This is a fantasy of self debasement while at the same time allowing him to direct his self-hatred outward.

 

Now suppose he acts on this complex psychological inner world (due to hatred and a lack of self-esteem) by finding a woman with the same psychological problems... they engage in placing fish guts on each others heads and yelling at each other with revulsion.  They revel in the depravity, hatred, and self loathing.

 

 

Now suppose, because of the intensity of sex, they get the idea and agree to smear, eat, and insert fish guts during the act of sex to "amp up", if you will, the "fish guts ritual" pay back.  Of course if anyone asks them what they think of each other they would likely not tell the truth (they would likely even lie about their own self image). " I value myself [i really hate myself, I am like fish guts]. and I value my partner [she's as disgusting as me]" Truth here is [in brackets]

 

 

The question now is:

 

Has the association of a Sexual act with the clearly depraved psychologically "flawed and damaged" fish guts ritual, suddenly absolved the ritual and the actors of the depravity upon which the ritual is based?  Is sex, because it is so "spiritual" "glorious" "intimate" "noble" "profound" "joyous" etc. like a mystical absolution by the Pope... possessing magic able to dispel any psychological or spiritual taint to the affair?  "With my blessing this depraved fish guts ritual shall become primarily merely "Sex"".

 

 

Sex as such is not depraved, associating it with depraved activity does not change the nature of the depraved activity, it only ADDS sex to it. 

Edited by StrictlyLogical
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Good point StrictlyLogical. However, I'd question the tendency to put any complex psychological underpinnings to a desire for a certain set of actions. Things like that get messy quickly, and I'm quite happy to assume that, no matter how disgusting the act, one can like something "just because". 

 

Makes it easier to live with my own depraved fantasies, at least.  B)

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My point is and was "depravity" is independent of sex, and that "sex" does not change the presence or magnitude of "depravity".  I am not expounding upon what depravity is and by what standard one is to determine it, although in principle I have no reason not to believe it can be so analysed.

 

There are depraved acts (again I make no specific claim as to what they are... except perhaps my fish guts self-loathing projection of hatred example)  outside of sex, adding sex to those acts do not magically dispel the depravity.  

 

 

If you can think of an example of an act, which when ONLY sex is removed, is depraved, but when you reintroduce the sex it is no longer depraved, please let feel free to describe it for me and I will stand corrected.

Edited by StrictlyLogical
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If this audience disapproves of self-sacrifice, some kinds of sexual acts come to mind that we would condemn.  One would be giving sex to a partner because he pays the bills and this is easier than getting a job (though this may come under prostitution, which #0 has already ruled out).  A similar case would be putting out because he'll beat you up otherwise and you don't have the self-esteem to leave him.  Most acts of cheating on a (legally or otherwise) committed partner would qualify, too.

 

The point in #3 - that the depravity is already there and not primarily because these are sexual acts - applies to all of these.

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If you can think of an example of an act, which when ONLY sex is removed, is depraved, but when you reintroduce the sex it is no longer depraved, please let feel free to describe it for me and I will stand corrected.

 

There are a few possible examples. For instance, we would say that if two people sign a contract under which one will be a "slave" to the other, be whipped daily, and be forced to obey the other out of fear of punishment, without knowing any context, we would probably say that this is immoral. But I do not believe that even extreme forms of BDSM are immoral if both consent out of a desire to experience rational values.

 

Same with the fish guts example. Two people might like sodomizing each other with fish guts because they hate both themselves and each other, in which case it would clearly be immoral. But it's equally likely that two people might genuinely have a fetish for fish guts, and wish to engage in that activity out of self-love.

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There are a few possible examples. For instance, we would say that if two people sign a contract under which one will be a "slave" to the other, be whipped daily, and be forced to obey the other out of fear of punishment, without knowing any context, we would probably say that this is immoral. But I do not believe that even extreme forms of BDSM are immoral if both consent out of a desire to experience rational values.

 

Same with the fish guts example. Two people might like sodomizing each other with fish guts because they hate both themselves and each other, in which case it would clearly be immoral. But it's equally likely that two people might genuinely have a fetish for fish guts, and wish to engage in that activity out of self-love.

 

 

Stating something is a "fetish" is not enough, like waving a wand, to make everything ok.  That was my point.

 

If the two people saw "fish guts" as a symbol of life, as a great achievement, whose smell was noble, whose texture was luxurious, and which health risks were a sign of bravery, they may be wont to smear themselves in it, mark close frinds and family with it, or even their prized possessions.  They may have piles of it freshly laid out in bowls everyday as a symbol of love and life.  For these two people, if they decide to introduce the "fish guts" into sex, it would not be depraved precisely because use of "fish guts" as makeup, for greeting, or as decoration, is not offensive to them... i.e. it is not depraved.

 

If however fish guts outside of sex disgusts them, is a negative symbol in any way, any degradation associated with placing it on their own person or someone else, i.e. the depravity, does not somehow vanish when they have sex.

 

Depraved "fetishes" exist, the sex does not make the depravity disappear, e.g. rape, necrophilia, murder while having sex, etc.

 

 

Try to analyse your fetish outside of sex... if it is not depraved you have nothing to worry about.

Edited by StrictlyLogical
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  • 3 weeks later...

 

 One would be giving sex to a partner because he pays the bills and this is easier than getting a job

This could be seen as a way to avoid prostitution laws. Also why does the op place prostitution in the same category as rape. Its consensual and it does not seem that much different from other professions that involve entertainment.

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#1 expressly ruled out cases of prostitution, and in #6 I expressly acknowledged this. Thus #9 does not raise problems for what I said in #6. Being voluntary is a necessary, not sufficient, condition of an act's being right. Come to think of it, an act would have to be voluntary in order to be depraved, as the latter concept applies only to voluntary acts. Pointing out that some course of action is voluntary does not justify it.

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