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Lecture

Janice Moulton

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Department
Philosophy
Course
PHIL 2170
Professor
Samantha Copeland
Semester
Winter

Description
March 9 , 2011 Janice Moulton I believe that sexual behaviour will not fit any single characterization; that there are at least two sorts of sexual behaviour to characterize. • More than one sexual behaviour – can’t start with a single account of sexual behaviour. Solomon/Nagle only give one account Solomon/Nagle try to define normal sex? Suggests it’s hard to come up with a definition of ‘normal sex’ …I shall argue that most sexual behaviour does not involve flirtation and seduction, and that what characterizes flirtation and seduction is not what characterizes the sexual behaviour of regular partners. • Bad characterization/bad generalization(unlike the other parts) • Show that was characterizes flirtation/seduction doesn’t generalize sexual behaviour – that aspect is unlike other aspects of our sexual behaviour. Need a new account of what’s been left out • Solomon criticizes long-term relationships as less interesting – sets up a stage of ideals. Both focused too much on that first part (:Moulton) • Reflection of conflating sexual anticipation and satisfaction Sexual Anticipation: • Often independent of physical contact • Increases with uncertainty, novelty • Associated with conquest, success Sexual Satisfaction: • Usually includes physical contact • Increases with familiarity, intimacy • Associated with trust, love Anticipate satisfaction, but shouldn’t conflate the two. Brought about in two different ways The trouble with Nagle: • If his account is true, any sex that happens without first generating multi-levels of awareness and arousals is perverse – too broad of a definition • His account requires us to engage as individuals, instead of sharing pleasure – in order for arousal to take place, we have to not engage, not know much about each other etc. Left out a whole category of sexual behaviour – you can’t have that kind of communication; you need arousal. Sharing of pleasure is an important part of the human experience • He describes only some of the perceptions and feelings relevant to sexual behaviour – trying to make us realize sex is also about attitudes, feelings, perceptions. His account only talks about some, not all of those perceptions The trouble with Solomon: • Both sexual behaviour and language communicate more than Solomon allows • He assumes that an orgasm is the only aim of sexual pleasure; his argument shows only that communicative sex is better, not different, than sex for enjoyment only – problem is equating sex with orgasms – lots of ways of enjoying sexual behaviour. Wrong. Get rid of equation principle with the orgasm, only says sex is better, not more natural when we communicate • He does not fully exploit his own analogy: sexual behaviour, if it’s like language, is like a lot of other behaviour too (can apply the same moral and social distinctions) – ex. Sadism can be a bad thing; but those rules don’t apply just to sex. Not given us a distinctly sexual concept of perversion, just what happens when we communicate bad things Feelings and attitudes that can be expressed sexually (Solomon) • Love, tenderness* and trust*, ‘being-with,’ mutual recognition • Hatred, indifference, jealousy, conflict • Shyness, fear, lack of confidence, embarrassment, shame • Domination*, submissiveness, dependence, possessiveness, passivity* *These are ‘best expressed sexually’ according to Solomon Love/tenderness best expressed sexually? What happens to the love between parent and child? Moulton suggests that this is still not everything we can say. It doesn’t mean we can’t say it with other language/body language. Trust? (Moulton:) a joint bank account? Passivity? Best expressed when not having sex Interpretation of ‘best’ Do we want those messages/communication (i.e. Solomon’s feelings/attitudes) to represent our sexual behaviour? Solomon doesn’t fully explore what sexual behaviour can communicate because he focuses to
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