Our Preoccupation with SEX! SEX! SEX!
By Duane Hewitt
Are we, as a species, obsessed with sex? Why?
Current world population has us at 7.5 billion. But just 20 years ago, in 1997, it was a mere 5.9 billion. Back in 1950 it was a paltry 2.56 billion. We’re breeding very quickly and it can’t be just from having nothing better to do. If we do have a preoccupation with sex, there must be reasons. Our fascination and interest in sex derives from a number of reasons, any of which can be unique to the individual. But there has to be more to it – right?
For starters, we’re programmed to breed. Breeding means sex. So it’s about the proliferation of the species. Whether you make the event last seconds or hours is your business. Some keep the procedure short. Others revel in the pleasures attached to the doing. That pleasure can be pleasantly intoxicating and even addictive. This particularly holds true when two people are a good match physically and emotionally. Sex is, in a big way, a pleasurable experience.
The pleasure derived from the sexual experience typically involves all senses – what we see, hear, touch, smell, and taste. Thus, as with other pleasant experiences involving all the senses, sex has a long-lasting and powerful effect on us. The whole process of attraction, desire, excitement, and fulfillment involves all parts of the mind and body. Very real physical responses occur. The senses are pleasantly stimulated and fulfilled.
And yet there is so much more: If we pay attention to our thinking and make an honest appraisal of how we think when we are focused on sex, we may realize that any of the following are the reason for the “fixation” …
- We are programmed to procreate. We do this through sex. It is a positive urge to continue our species. Through this programming come things like satisfaction and pleasure and so on.
- Sex is life affirming: Sex allows us to embrace life in a unique way with another person. We choose to live. We embrace that desire first for our own life-affirming sake, but when we do it with another person it further affirms that we are indeed alive and will continue to be so. We choose life. After the horrors of 9/11, there was apparently a lot of “end of the world sex” going on; evidently because it is life affirming.
- We want to leave a part of ourselves to continue in the world. Even if we’ve produced great works of art or literature, that’s nothing quite like having a part of ourselves to last into future generations. We have lived in this world and now a portion of us will live on.
- It is stress relieving in a way like nothing else. Sex fills our thoughts, emotions, and physical being. It gives us satisfaction and fulfillment in all these areas on a scale that can be “off the charts.” Say hello to stress-relieving sex.
- It is uniquely pleasurable. Nothing else quite compares with good sex; not even soccer. This becomes especially true if one is able to find and stay with a partner where the sexual sharing is, shall we say, “out of this world.”
- Our hormones (estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone) dictate it: Whether we feel our hormones spike in the middle of the night, the early morning, or all day long, the hormonal itch is very much responsible for initiating our sexual wanting.
- We require physical release (a biological factor) which comes through sex. For men, seminal fluid (sperm/spermatozoa) builds and needs release. The urge is very much directly wired to the brain, calling out for release (go ahead; make a joke about “the male brain”).
- It serves as a replacement for anger, anxiety, and depression and more; Sex gives us feelings of fulfillment and addresses our emotional needs – real or imagined.
- It makes us feel powerful. Sex makes us feel strong, virile, fertile, and in control. It’s the stuff of boardrooms and offices (especially law offices). Power plays and more are made during the hunting, having, and conquering phases, and onto exploiting and so on.
- Sex, when good, can be addictive. Most would agree.
- We need the practice. That’s very true for some.
- It’s a good substitute for boredom and preferred to murder. If you’ve ever been snowed in with someone in an isolated outpost in the far cold reaches of Alaska with nothing better to do than love or kill… enough said.
This article is not a recommendation for conducting fieldwork, though such research will never be criticized here provided it’s “consensual.” So, the excuses have been laid out before you: A requirement to proliferate and keep the population strong, to keep yourself in the gene pool, because you’re a slave to your hormones, as a response to anxiety and depression, to fulfill your senses (after all, you wouldn’t want to suffer “sensory deprivation”), because you’re legitimately attracted to someone (hey, you might even be in love), for sheer want, and to fulfill dreams and desire.
And, who’s to say, writing might just be the ultimate substitute for sex, too.
Copyright 2017 Duane Hewitt. All rights reserved.