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PHL243H1 (26)

Goldman - Plain Sex.docx

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Ronniede Sousa

- The ends or purposes of sexual acts aren’t central to understanding sexuality - Sexual desire is simply the desire for certain pleasures produced by bodily contact and sexual activity is activity that tends to fulfill this desire for pleasurable contact - Means-end analysis = there is a specific purpose of sexuality, whether it’s reproduction, expressing love, communicating, etc. - So sex which doesn’t fulfil this function is deviant and incomplete - The alternative, simpler analysis is that sexual desire is desire for another person’s body and for the pleasure that such contact produces and sexual activity is activity which tends to fulfill this desire - Although Aristotle and Butler assert that pleasure is a byproduct rather than the goal of a purposeful action, in the case of sex this is not so clear - The desire for another’s body is naturally the desire for the pleasure that physical contact brings - However, it isn’t the desire for a specific sensation that may be brought about in other ways - Without the desire for physical contact for its own sake, activities cannot be thought of as predominantly sexual - When there is a desire for physical contact in itself, ex. a baby wanting to be cuddled, this is still sexual, except if the baby wants to be cuddled to feel secure, warm, etc. - It is not a person’s personality (his or her thoughts) that are attractive, but the way he or she embodies those traits, and if one is attracted to this person, he or she will naturally desire sexual contact (really? Why?) - Voyeurism or pornography is sexual, but only as an imaginative substitution for the real thing, as is masturbation - The invention of contraception renders the connection between reproduction and sex weak, and even if nature’s purpose of sex is reproduction, it doesn’t logically follow that it should be ours - It is obvious that the desire for sex is not necessarily a desire to reproduce, analogous with the appetite for food becoming more of a love for fine dining or such - The means-end analysis is inconsistent because homosexual sex is condemned while kissing, which is equally unlikely to lead to fertilization, is not (except if those acts are mere foreplay or serve other purposes for reproduction, ex. strengthening a marriage) - Another common position views sex as an expression of love or affection between partners - But there are other types of love and affection, ex for parents or friends, where sex would be inappropriate and romantic love itself can be expressed in other ways - Sex can also be used to communicate things other than love or to communicate nothing in particular - Sexual desire naturally seeks variety, while love does not – there is no such thing as casual love, just casual sex - To analy
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