Picture this scenario. You and your girlfriend (swap genders for yourself, it really doesn't matter to the story) just started dating. From the moment you met, there'd always been this sexual tension between the two of you. You've made out, cuddled, fondled, on one drunk and frustrating night, a little 3rd base. However, say, she'd just been through a difficult break up and is feeling a little emotionally raw, or just for whatever reason, the other's not ready to introduce that aspect into the relationship yet.
Then they fly away on work, or something family-related. You miss them terribly, and the both of you are sending each other e-mails and phonecalls back and forth constantly, you know now that this is the real deal. But then, one day you experimentally say something naughty in a letter. She responds back playfully in kind with some of her own. And then it begins picks up speed, escalates, letters get dirtier and dirtier, and then it's phonesex so nasty I couldn't bring you guys back that part of the story, it's really intense, this stuff. And yeah, these guys are burning for each other, just waiting for the chance to be back in the same place again...
One day, at last you get the phonecall. "I just arrived. I'm in the airport right now. I should be done with luggage check in about 30 minutes. Come pick me up!"
Here is the moment you've been waiting for. You've wanted her for weeks, and now she's finally here, there will be no delay. Skipping the romantic dinner and night out thing, you decided to just go straight from the airport to your place. In fact, neither of you could wait, and you told the taxi driver to make the stop at the nearest 4 star hotel on the way, swipe swipe, credit card, room card, you're inside and finally alone, you experimentally tried tantric sex, you know, just to be funny, see if it was 'in theory' still possible, nah, fuck that, now the pages of the kama sutra are flying loose, you've tried 4, 5, 6... oh, many many different positions, and with your head on a pillow you're now staring up close-up into the Inca tattoo on the side of her neck, enormous and slightly out of focus at this distance, radiating its own heat, then it all goes black, you're squeezing your eyes shut - this is going to be the BIGGEST orgasm of your life ever - you've just reached the top of the magic mountain roller-coaster ride, paused on the brink so you can look down and see the depths, they took a picture of you at that moment (i.e. just before, your mind's going, "oh yes, dear god, this is going to be big!"). And you're starting to go over, you begin the almighty descent...
Ok, we've hopefully established this is the biggest orgasm of your life.
Now assuming, some bored god showed up, clipped off that moment and said, "Ay! You there. You see that orgasm? I'll buy it from you for 14 million dollars."
and you say, "Huh? Wait... How on earth did you do that?! Where are we?"
he replies, "You never mind that. Back to why I'm here - I want to buy off that orgasm off of you. 14 million quid."
"Hey, go off and fuck yourself, buddy!" you yell. "I was moments away for one of the best moments in my life! Now you've done fucked it all up!!!"
Dude says, "Hey, relax, don't worry. If you say no, you wouldn't know the difference. Everything will be as it was, alright? I wouldn't pay for damaged goods. $14 million. Like I said. Instant payment. Your bank balance will grow by $14 million by the morning, no one will ask any questions."
Hmm. You think it over. "$14 million..." You take a look back at your squeezed-shut eyes and your open mouth on the edge of an obscenity. "And the best orgasm of your life..."
Which would you choose?
This is a hypothetical thought experiment me and my roommate were arguing about. It started when I quoted some dude who said "Sex. There are some things better than it, and some things worse than it. But there's nothing quite like." (Can anyone msg me with who said that?)
Anyway, he was agog. What could possibly be better than sex?!
Interesting question. Well, if you believe that guy in Trainspotting, a hit of heroin is 1000x more powerful than the best orgasm you've ever felt. But I've never had heroin, so...
But I have been in the center of a moment of musical ecstasy. And sorry, it's better. I kid you not. How, you ask?
Well, several reasons, but I guess it's a matter of taste, perhaps. In my weird, subjective way, I'm going to try and describe the difference between an orgasm, and an eargasm. An orgasm's the pinnacle of the sexual act/thoughts. It's like you take the pleasant sensation of the erotic feeling, and you ramp it up to it's maximum and smash it through the skylight. Well, being in the middle of a magic moment when playing music's the same way, but it's this time any emotion you like. You could be in the middle of something happy, and then inspiration takes hold of you, you follow it, and you take yourself into the center of the source of all human happiness. And for a few seconds, as long as you keep the notes flowing, you'll be there, in that place. The same applies to anger, sadness, disorientation, triumph, others English couldn't name. Sex too! Scriabin was famously concerned with expressing erotic thoughts and sensations in music. And yes, not while playing it myself, I've had a Scriabin eargasm. It's not bad! By Jove, he definitely gets the right idea! I'd rather be having sex though.
But it depends. If the bargain was, all thing being equal, continue this orgasm, or I can place you in yourself, sitting behind the piano at the LA Disney Concert Hall playing with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, right at the edge of the cadence of Ravel's Piano Concerto in G major... *winces...* I'm such a nerd, but god save my soul, I think I'll take my chances with Karajan. Hey, no one said who was conducting, and whether they still had to be alive...
I didn't get to go through such an elaborate argument, but I sort of got the idea through. My roommate sniffed. "I wouldn't know anything about that," he tuts. He's not the artsy type. "Well, what else is there then?" he asks.
How about $14 million?
And now we're back full circle.
I said, yeah, I'd take it. And he thought a bit and said, no, some times, you'd just want to say, "ah, fuck it. let me finish." and I'd said, huh. And he said, maybe you've never had the passionate sex I've had before, and then the conversation turned really quite childish...
All I'm saying is that being the intellectual I am, I don't think it's possible to flag any experience as the greatest thing evar, un-tradable under any circumstance. Mostly on bigger principles, beyond the scope of this w/u. But how about this argument. If Bored God was to pay you in gradations. $100,000 for taking the intensity down a shade. What then, would you take the $100G? If the answer is yes, then my point is proven. You don't have a perfectly inelastic demand curve. So some sort of indifference curve can be set, as long as you have an infinite supply of money. There's some sort of price you can pin on it.
It's been a while since I've done economics, so feel free to correct me if I'm wrong about the theory. But I'm sure it a good starting point that contributes something to the discussion.