Perv Part 1 – “We’re All Perverts”

After a little break from any type of serious reading or writing I decided to pick up “Perv: The Sexual Deviant In All Of Us” by Jesse Bering. I am only through the first chapter but I can already tell I am going to enjoy it. Instead of only diving into the quirky physical nature of humans Bering wants us to both be more comfortable with the sexual deviant in each of us, and more understanding of others. He wants a world where people are judged for their actions, and not their thoughts.

Bering sees a problem with a world where we hide our fetishes. When we hide what we feel and crave we are putting on a mask, the same mask as everyone else, but we are pretending the masks are real. Our realities become a lie, a lie that we have all tacitly agreed to honor even though underneath the masks we are suffering. To ignore what you feel, to pretend it isn’t there, to act “normal” all the time bears a significant cost on your mind and can be harmful. And we go to great lengths to keep this sexual facade up, to the point where we work to dehumanize anyone with sexual perversions, we compare them to animals when they are very human.

Bering points out that all too often we fall into the “naturalistic fallacy” when discussing sexual norms. I know that I’m guilty of this in my defense of polyamory. We turn to nature and point out that other animals have open sex, homosexual activities, and multi-partner relationships, therefore it is not unnatural for humans to do this. Unfortunately this puts us in the same category as fundamentalist religious people who make the “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve” comments… basically they say sex is naturally for reproduction therefore if the act doesn’t lead to reproduction then it is unnatural. They are wrong when they resort to nature, and so have I been in the past. It may have strong rhetorical value but, as Bering says, “invokes a moral judgement against those whose sexual orientations are not found in other animals. Furthermore, even if we were indeed the lone queer species in an infinite universe of potentially habitable planets, it’s unclear to me how that would make marriage between two gay adults in love with each other less okay.” When we resort to the nature we spend so much time trying to defend it from an evolutionary point of view and stop asking the important question: is it harmful?

Sexual desires themselves to not cause any harm. They are firing neurons, a mental movie theater, an internal thought. Treating someone poorly or differently based on thoughts and urges that are beyond their control is a gross form of discrimination. We can’t help what we are attracted to. We should only pass judgement when someone acts on urges that cause harm to others, and maybe we should even congratulate the “perverts” who are open about their desires but don’t act on them if they are harmful.

We are all sexual beings. The lady at the grocery store, the old man on the park bench, your parents, grandparents, and siblings… they have all likely pleasured other people into orgasmic bliss. There is a serious danger when you criminalize thoughts or criminalize acts that do not have any proof of harm. Allowing governments to use force as an agent of morality means that someday those moral police may be turned on anyone if public opinion shifts.

 

Advertisements

Interesting Things – Tuesday (11/12/13)

Here is today’s collection of things I found interesting online. I often get Facebook messages from friends and strangers that say they enjoy the variety of things I post so I figured I would share it with the few people who follow me on here as well. As you probably expect it will lean pretty heavily towards science, sex, and anarchy.

Cute: Here is a link to something adorable (http://www.sanger.dk/)

Students For Liberty: This last weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Students For Liberty Southern California Regional Conference. One of the speakers was Conor Friersdorff from The Atlantic. Here is his talk (http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/11/how-to-safeguard-liberty-through-discourse/281376/).

War On Drugs: The War on (Some) Drugs has devastated countless lives through death and incarceration. It has also had an incredibly high economic impact by preventing collection of taxes on the nation’s largest cash crop, marijuana. (http://www.policymic.com/articles/72497/this-is-the-first-map-to-prove-how-valuable-legalizing-marijuana-would-be-for-america)

Social Norms: When you are done with a party to you just jet or do you make it a point to say good-bye to everyone? I am someone who just leaves (or ghosts). I wonder if there is a Myers-Briggs correlation between those who leave and those who hang around to formally say good-bye. (http://www.slate.com/articles/life/a_fine_whine/2013/07/ghosting_the_irish_goodbye_the_french_leave_stop_saying_goodbye_at_parties.html)

LGBT Rights: I don’t think the government should be involved permitting or licensing businesses at all, all that does is prohibit people from freely working and contracting and it disproportionately harms the poorest and least educated in our communities; but, if licensing must happen governments shouldn’t discriminate based on sexual orientation like this town in Mississippi. (http://thoughtsonliberty.com/mississippi-woman-sues-town-for-refusing-to-allow-gay-bar)

PTSD: As a veteran and open user of MDMA I hope people will recognize this as legitimate and effective medicine that has huge potential. Check out this video if you have a chance (http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/healing-trauma-in-veterans-with-mdma-assisted-psychotherapy)

Police Brutality: There have been several high-profile cases lately of police officers forcing anal searches and probes on people without any real justification (thank you Drug War), but as this article points out it is unlikely that any individuals will face any consequences. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/11/anal-probes-and-the-drug-_n_4254600.html)

Best Thing I Read Today: “Rarely has man been more cruel against man than in the condemnation and punishment of those accused of so-called sexual perversions. The penalties have included imprisonment, torture, the loss of life or limb, banishment, blackmail, social ostracism, the loss of social prestige, renunciation by friends and families, the loss of position in a school or business, severe penalties meted out for conviction of men serving in the armed forces, public condemnation by emotionally insecure and vindictive judges on the bench and the torture endured by those who live in fear that their nonconformist sexual behavior will be exposed to public view. These are the penalties which have been imposed on and against persons who have done no damage to the property or physical odies of others, but who have failed to adhere to the mandated custom. Such cruelties have not often been matched, except in religious or racial persecutions.” – Alfred Kinsey

Photo Of My Day:
1395430_564071916219_1901668707_n