Monday, April 18, 2005

Sex for None

Apparently, there's a group at Princeton promoting chastity. Except get this quote:
Jennifer Mickel, a 19-year-old sophomore from Monroe, La., brought up abstinence at a women's forum at Ivy Council, an inter-campus student group in the Ivy League.

"The discussion was very sex-focused, like about having rape kits in medical centers and condoms and the morning-after pill," Ms. Mickel said. "And I asked, 'What do your schools have for women who are not having sex?' And the room fell silent. These delegates are appointed by their schools to be experts on these subjects, and no one had anything to say about abstinence."
Okay, Ms. Mickel, those rape kits, and the morning-after pill? Those can be used for women who are abstinent but who get raped. Because abstinence won't protect you from rape. So maybe the room fell silent because the other people there wondered why you hadn't figured that out.

The other comment that annoyed me:
"Our mission is not ideological," [David Schaengold] said. "We are trying to remove this discussion from a setting that would make people uncomfortable - from a religious setting, for example - and make it available to everyone."

He went on: "We don't believe that human beings should be used as instruments or objects. We think the proper relationship between humans should be one of respect and love, and we think promiscuity and random hook-ups are completely destructive to respect and love. Dignity itself is a moral standard."
I have to disagree that promiscuity (whatever he thinks that might mean) and "random hook-ups" are necessarily at odds with or destructive to respect and love. (The reverse is also true: just because you're abstinent now, waiting for that loving, respectful relationship, in the context of which you're willing to have sex, does not guarantee that that relationship will remain loving or respectful.) There are all kinds of reasons for people to have sex (or not), but I think, in general, the healthiest reason is that you want to, and so does the other person/people. As long as everyone is clear about what's going on--and what's not going on--what's the harm in it? And there can be a great deal of genuine pleasure. If you have a different view of sex, or if you want to restrict your sexual activities, hey, great--that's your choice. But really--as long as everyone is following the golden rule, what's destructive about that?

That is, despite his claims to the contrary, that IS an ideological mission. He believes that sex under conditions other than the ones he deems appropriate is destructive to respect and love. I would argue that the number of partners one has, or the length of time a given relationship lasts, are not necessarily connected at all to the respect or love inherent in the relationship. How the parties treat each other, whether the relationship lasts 50 years or overnight, is of far more importance. You can, if you want, make an argument about the choice-making abilities of the people involved, e.g., what ability they have to say yes or no, but that's not the argument he's making. He's arguing that many partners or short-term connections are inherently destructive.

He--and the rest of the abstinent crew--can believe, and, more importantly, act, however they damned well please. But enough already with the disingenuous responses, okay? You're passing judgment, whether you claim you are doing so or not.

7 Comments:

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Night of Passion : Intimacy and passion in relationships is not only important but also healthy.

Cuddle Time : When couples first start dating, cuddling is usually a part of their everyday existence.

Make the Women Feel Good : Just like men, woman love feeling good about themselves.

Showing Love : Although hearing the words, I love you is special and important.

Realistic Expectations : No matter how wonderful and flawless your mate seems, no one is perfect.

Go on a Date : Especially for married couples, but even for some dating couples, start dating.

Control Your Anger : Every relationship has difficulties, and sometimes, there can be some intense arguments.

I Forgive You : If something has happened in your relationship causing the trust to waiver, you will have many things to work through.

Day at the Movies : Have a movie marathon some rainy or cold Saturday.

Dinner by the Fire : Order in some of your favorite food, open a bottle of fine wine, light some candles.

A Day at the Spa : Show your appreciation for the hard work that takes.

Keep in Touch : It is important that you keep in touch with each other often.

Motivate Each Other : Find a mutual incentive that will motivate both of you.

Adore your Mate : Appreciate and love them for the person they are.

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Lighten Up : Often when couples have gone through or are going through some bumpy spots in their relationship, things tend to get serious.

Night of Passion : Intimacy and passion in relationships is not only important but also healthy.

Cuddle Time : When couples first start dating, cuddling is usually a part of their everyday existence.

Make the Women Feel Good : Just like men, woman love feeling good about themselves.

Showing Love : Although hearing the words, I love you is special and important.

Realistic Expectations : No matter how wonderful and flawless your mate seems, no one is perfect.

Go on a Date : Especially for married couples, but even for some dating couples, start dating.

Control Your Anger : Every relationship has difficulties, and sometimes, there can be some intense arguments.

I Forgive You : If something has happened in your relationship causing the trust to waiver, you will have many things to work through.

Day at the Movies : Have a movie marathon some rainy or cold Saturday.

Dinner by the Fire : Order in some of your favorite food, open a bottle of fine wine, light some candles.

A Day at the Spa : Show your appreciation for the hard work that takes.

Keep in Touch : It is important that you keep in touch with each other often.

Motivate Each Other : Find a mutual incentive that will motivate both of you.

Adore your Mate : Appreciate and love them for the person they are.

Make Eye Contact : Think back to the first time you saw your now mate.

Respect Privacy : When two people come together in a relationship, each person has their own set of history.

Be Flexible : There will be times when your mate is right and times when you are right.

Encourage Friendships : Men, unlike women, have a more difficult time in developing close friendships with other men.

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