Thursday, August 11, 2011


In the classic episode of Star Trek "Amok Time," Spock becomes affected with Pon Farr, the periodic mating urge that Vulcans go through. In the throes of Pon Farr, Vulcans must either mate, fight, or die. In Spock's case:

The worst time for that "bros before hos" speech.

Spock nearly picks dying though, as he conceals his condition from the crew until the very last minute and almost dies as a result. The reserved, cool Vulcans consider the Pon Farr to be an embarrassment, and Spock almost dies rather than let the rest of the crew know he wanted to get it on.

I guess no one mentioned to him "Want to get it on" is the default on the Enterprise.

Strangely though, there's a Voyager episode that handles the issue a bit better. Well, until Torres tries to bang Paris. In it, a Vulcan junior officer becomes afflicted, causing a number of problems due to the surprising lack of women on Voyager who want to have sex with space Elves. Tuvok, who has a good century of experience under his belt, the responsibilities of a senior officer, and Vulcan children back home, declines to speak with the younger man about it and in any way mitigate either the inevitable rape, violence, or death that follows.

Say what you want about Vulcans, but they keep it real... their pants.

Rather than to betray their pretense of dispassionate civilization, the Vulcans pretend that the most fundamental aspect of their existence just doesn't happen. As much as I'm not a part of the "reproduction" game, the wholistic nature of procreation is something I understand more as I get older.

It seems that most of my culture lionizes having children, which is a horrific, draining experience, while it stigmatizes the sex which makes that possible, an act which--if it's like anything that I've experienced--is just dandy.

I qualify just what type of sex because of cultural attitudes that make no sense. Skipping right past how sex is a status symbol for men while being a detriment for women, there is reproductive vs sex for intimacy vs casual sex vs safe sex. That's not even broaching sex as divine comedy:
Okay, wait for it...wait for it...right after this...waaaaaaaait for it...

Of course, like every game, some people have to be losers for others to become winners. In the hot potato game of sex, the losers are called "perverts." While I'm grasping to define what distinguishes a sexual deviant instead of someone who actually performs sexual acts of a criminal nature--separating legitimate perverts from actual criminals from those who merely have atypical sexual mores. 

Consider the fact that those vague delineations are putting an American behind the bars of a Canadian prison for allegedly trafficking child pornography because of the manga he had on his laptop. And while no one likes furries, they are ultimately not harmful. What's always made the like the phrase "pervert" the least is the fact that it doesn't mean much of anything.

Alan Moore's Lost Girls, which is admittedly a high-quality pornographic work with acclaimed artistic value, forces a lot of questions to be asked before it's imported much of anywhere, for fear of making its readers into criminals (which they might not know until they're arrested). 
Robert Crumb draws sexually explicit comics which, according to Comics Alliance, "have featured scenes of bestiality and rape." I'm not familiar with his work, but he describes his work as "crazy cartoons." That's rather vague, but it gives me the opportunity to imagine comics which fall either on the side of something vulgar and legitimately offensive to me or something whimsical that disregards or utilizes social conventions on sexual imagery for an absurd laugh.

Maybe both. I haven't researched it because it forces me to imagine where that line can blur. What kind of work could dally around that particular line and what type of people would react to that?

It baffles me when you have governors who act like denying a primal urge fundamental to all life is a strategy to keep young people from getting pregnant. But then, I'm impressed that some of my friends use condoms every time. I mean, having sex for me is an event. There are fucking tie-in issues, and guys doing fill-ins whenever I get tired (ha), there's so much work involved. All that, and I still don't always use a condom (and I should).

There have been at least a half-dozen times where I'm on a date and said to myself, "nope, no sex tonight," only to later realized, "sex is SEX; I forgot about that." I'm a grown-ass man with a marked disdain for just about anyone I bang. I possess no small amount of responsibility and self-control and I still have sex. It's almost like my biology thinks that's my only reason for living.

The narrative is that sex is something that people won't do; the imposition of rational, civilized expectations onto biologically driven human beings. One might argue that as a civilized society, we should be able to overcome those urges, but the nature of evolution says that those most capable and least willing to resist the urge to have sex will be the ones to have the most children. I, however, would counter that any civilization that would stigmatize and ultimately refuse more than a begrudging acceptance the cornerstone of its perpetuation. Civilization is not the rejection of these base desires, but an acknowledgement of the truths that influence us, however unpleasant some people may find them.

For example, if you don't want kids, it's better not to have sex. Abstinence is the most effective way to avoid having a kid. Bar none. However, most people will have sex. Whether or not they use birth control is determined by how much they know, how responsible they are, and how easy it is for them to get birth control. The second one is personal, but all three are cultural. By culturally educating people, promoting personal responsibility, and making birth control available to people of lower income--who probably don't have the resources to care for a child--unwanted pregnancies, abortions, and child abuse all decline.

Maybe women will have more sex if they aren't worried about getting pregnant. Is that so terrible? Is that even a thing? I mean, all of those lower class women who aren't having sex because they don't want to get pregnant will suddenly...just start banging? I don't know if there's a floodgate of women who want to have sex, but don't because they're afraid of having kids. Maybe. 

I'm trying to see the other side here, but all I can really concede is the possibility of a rise on STD transmission because of people forgetting they need a condom too.

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