I have gotten this far without crowding e2 up with two things it has too much of already: people's opinions and talk about sex. However, I had something I wanted to say about the notion of casual sex in general. I don't want to say anything dogmatic about sex, and I certainly don't have ground to stand on and be self-righteous about (especially when words leaks out about those nights down at the freightyard playing strip poker with the hobos ). I just want to bring up a point of view that should be considered.
In America (and I suppose Europe), a doctrine of prescriptive hedonism lays on a metaphysics of isolated individuals running around, trying to fulfill their desires. As long as people are not overtly injured, nothing has happened to them, and they can therefore preceed on to whatever pleasure next strikes their fancy.
I don't even know if this model actually explains people's behavior after drinking a chocolate milk shake, let alone sexual activity. But, of course, we really can't do anything about people's personal activities.
The evidence that I have that perhaps sex is not an act that can be entered into casually and then exited out of with nary a thought is that sex crimes are just about the worst crimes in our, and most, societies. Incest, rape and child molestation are so terrible that even talking about them is difficult. When I ask people who truly do believe in totally casual sex about this, they answer that child molestation is so terrible because it is done to a child, who can not consent to it. This begs the question, however: there are plenty things that children can not consent to that are done to them all the time: getting shots, for example, which is also physically invasive and painful. What about sex is so powerful that when used wrongly, it can be so damaging? Rape is not merely a question of doing something against someone's will, because there are hundreds of things done against people's will. Even compared to a violent physical attack, a non-violent sexual assault is much more tramautic. I have been beaten up until I was bloody and contussed outside of a Greyhound Bus Station, and managed to get on the bus 30 minutes later with no emotional damage. Yet, a sexual assault, even a non-violent one, would have left me truamatized.
I am not, for a minute, saying that all sex is comparable to sex crimes. All I am saying is that there must be something categorically different about sexuality, that means when it is done wrongly, it can hurt people. And I can't believe that something with so much potential to hurt people can be done casually. I think the reason that this is so hard for some people to accept is the refusal by Americans to believe that any activities are categorically different than others, that once entering certain spheres, you are playing a totally different game and can not return to your original state.