Important Note (September, 2012) - I have submitted an essay to a competition on the foundations of physical reality. It explains how matter and fields are just two different ways that space vibrates. It is very simple and obvious once understood, has profound consequences for humanity, our sense of self in the universe knowing that we vibrate with everything around us. Please read it, rate it, and I will reply to all comments. Thanks, Geoff haselhurst (11th Sept. 2012)

Site Introduction (2012): Despite several thousand years of failure to correctly understand physical reality (hence the current postmodern view that this is impossible) there is an obvious solution.
Simply unite Science (Occam's Razor / Simplicity) with Metaphysics (Dynamic Unity of Reality) and describe reality from only one substance existing, as Leibniz wrote;
'Reality cannot be found except in One single source, because of the interconnection of all things with one another'.
Given we all experience many minds and many material things, but always in one common Space, we are thus required to describe physical reality in terms of Space. We then find there is only one solution, a Wave Structure of Matter (WSM) where the electron is a spherical standing wave. See Wave Diagrams.
In hindsight the error was obvious, to try and describe an interconnected reality with discrete 'particles', which then required forces / fields to connect them in space and time. This was always just a mathematical solution which never explained how matter was connected across the universe.

I realise that there are a lot of 'crackpot' theories about truth and reality on the internet, but it is easy to show that the Wave Structure of Matter is the correct solution as it deduces the laws of Nature (the fundamentals of Physics & Philosophy) perfectly (there are no opinions). While the Wave Structure of Matter is obvious once known, to begin it will seem strange simply because it takes time for our minds to adjust to new knowledge.

For those who are religious / spiritual, I think Albert Einstein expresses the enlightened view of God. He writes 'I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings.' This harmony arises from a Wave Structure of Matter in Space (we are all interconnected in this space that we all commonly experience). This unity of reality (God, Brahman, Tao, Spirit, Energy, Light, Vibration) is central to all major world religions, thus their common moral foundation of 'Do unto others as to thyself' as the other is part of the self.

Please help our world (human society / life on earth) by sharing this knowledge.
Clearly our world is in great trouble due to human overpopulation and the resultant destruction of Nature, climate change and the pollution of air, land and water. The best solution to these problems is to found our societies on truth and reality rather than past myths and customs (which invariably cause harm).
We are listed as one of the Top Philosophy Websites on the Internet with around 600,000 page views each week, and rank in the top 20 in Google for many academic search terms - so we just need a bit of help to get in the top five. Given the Censorship in Physics / Philosophy of Science Journals (founded on the standard model / particle physics) the internet is clearly the best way to get new knowledge visible to the world.
A world now in great need of wisdom from truth and reality.
Sincerely,
Geoff Haselhurst - Karene Howie - Full Introduction - Email - Nice Letters - Share this Knowledge

In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. (George Orwell)
You must be the change you wish to see in the world. (Mohandas Gandhi)
All that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing. (Edmund Burke)
Hell is Truth Seen Too Late. (Thomas Hobbes)

Philosophy of Love, Sex, Orgasm

Philosophy of Love Sex Orgasm Philosophy of Love Sex Orgasm Philosophy of Love Sex Orgasm Philosophy of Love Sex OrgasmPhilosophy of Love Sex OrgasmPhilosophy of Love Sex OrgasmPhilosophy of Love Sex Orgasm

On the Evolutionary Foundations of Love, Sex and Orgasm: Sex as Reproduction, Couple Bonding, Evolution of Immune System, Hormone Function, Mental Health

Truth and love are the only things worth living for and the only things worth dying for.
(Rebecca Ann Talcott)

All human beings are sexual creatures and there are few, if any, for whom the whole area of sexuality and relationships is not of interest and concern. (Peter Vardy)

Analyse any human emotion, no matter how far it may be removed from the sphere of sex, and you are sure to discover somewhere the primal impulse, to which life owes its perpetuation.
The primitive stages can always be re-established; the primitive mind is, in the fullest meaning of the word, imperishable. (Sigmund Freud, 1915)

If insemination were the sole biological function of sex, it could be achieved far more economically in a few seconds of mounting and insertion. Indeed, the least social of mammals mate with scarcely more ceremony. The species that have evolved long-term bonds are also, by and large, the ones that rely on elaborate courtship rituals. . . . Love and sex do indeed go together.
(Edward O. Wilson, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press (1978). On Human Nature)



Introduction - Love is a Drug - Sex Quotes - Symposium / Plato - Peter Vardy Puzzle of Sex / Quotations - Function and Freedom of Sexuality - Mystery and Taboo - Sexual Ethics - Links / Love Sex Orgasm - Top of Page

Philosophy of Love Sex Orgasm Philosophy of Love, Sex & Orgasm

In one sense it is strange how little philosophers have written on Love, Sex and Orgasm, as it is clear from Evolution that Sex and Survival are the two most fundamental forces driving our continued existence. What it does show is how our culture, our religious beliefs, and our emotions have prevented us from writing honestly on this most profound subject. I would venture to say that it is almost impossible for a human to be completely happy or healthy if they are devoid of a meaningful sexual relationship. Further, evidence suggests that where sex is actively prohibited, as within certain religions, then the sexual urge, being so strong, tends to manifest in abusive ways that cause great harm to human society. (The sexual abuse of children by priests is an obvious example of this.)

As an evolutionary philosopher, I felt that it was important to construct a web page that discussed the subjects of Love, Sex and Orgasm sensibly, without the constraints of customs or religious belief, and from good scientific foundations. And I must admit that I find these subjects very interesting, and a welcome relief from most of my work which is in the area of Philosophy, Physics and Metaphysics. I hasten to add though, that these other subjects are very important to sex, as they ultimately must provide the metaphysical foundations of our existence (what we actually are as 'humans' existing in this Space of our universe) and thus providing the moral foundations for our sexuality and human interactions. (Please see links on the side of the page.)
Cheers,
Geoff Haselhurst

Note - Karene has been working very hard for the past 6 months building a comprehensive section on the Evolutionary Philosophy of Human Sexuality. They are beautiful pages and have a great collection of latest research on our sexual evolution which is very interesting (and useful!). So you are welcome to browse this page but the new sexuality pages are substantially better.


Introduction - Love is a Drug - Sex Quotes - Symposium / Plato - Peter Vardy Puzzle of Sex / Quotations - Function and Freedom of Sexuality - Mystery and Taboo - Sexual Ethics - Links / Love Sex Orgasm - Top of Page

Love Is A Drug, Scientists Say

Being in love is physically similar to the buzz of taking drugs and also has withdrawal symptoms, an expert on addiction has said. Dr John Marsden says dopamine - the drug released by the brain when it is aroused - has similar effects on the body and mind as cocaine or speed. "Attraction and lust really is like a drug. It leaves you wanting more," the National Addiction Centre head said. His findings will appear in a BBC programme to be broadcast next month.

Pounding heart

"Being attracted to someone sparks the same incredible feelings no matter who you are. Love really does know no boundaries," he said.
According to Dr Marsden - a chartered psychologist - the brain which processes emotions becomes "fired up" when talking to someone it finds attractive. The heart pounds three times faster than normal and causes blood to be diverted to the cheeks and sexual organs, which causes the feeling of butterflies in the stomach, he says. However, as with cocaine and speed, the "hit" is only temporary, though it can last between three and seven years, he added.

Perfect partner

Dr Marsden's research for the BBC's Body Hits series suggests people look for similar features to themselves in a partner as they are searching for characteristics in their mother and father, who have already successfully raised a child. "It might look like we are all after the perfect partner to wine and dine but underneath, our animal instincts are seeking out an ideal mate to share our genes with."
"We tend to go for the smell of somebody who has a very different immune system and that stops you fancying your family.
"Our biology drives us to find a perfect compromise between sameness and difference and we strike that balance all the time when it comes to choosing faces and smells," he said.

Sex trap

The research also suggests sex is booby-trapped to make partners bond.
"Your body has evolved over millions of years with one aim - to go forth and multiply, so while having kids may not be on the agenda just yet your body has a few tricks up its sleeve to drag you in that direction," he said.
According to the research the more two people have sex together, the more likely they are to bond.
"We all know you can have sex without falling in love but if you have enough sex with the same person there's a good chance you will hit the body's booby-trap which is there to tip you head over heels into love," said Dr Marsden.
"So your body goes all out to make you bond with your partner and that makes love highly addictive and the withdrawal sucks."

(BBC News)


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Philosophy of Love Sex Orgasm Sex Quotes

We can construct, deconstruct and reconstruct our sexuality any way we want: it is our privilege as thinking creatures. However, human sexuality has a specific nature, regardless of what we believe or say about it. We are more likely to be satisfied with the outcome, if we work with our biology rather than against it. We will be happier if we face reality on its own terms.
( Jennifer Roback Morse, Author of Love and Economics: Why the Laissez-Faire Family Doesn't Work.)

According to Montaigne, it was the oppressive notion that we had complete mental control over our bodies, and the horror of departing from this portrait of normality, that had left the man unable to perform sexually. (Alain de Botton, The Consolations of Philosophy, New York: Vintage Press, 2000.)

 

To be completed ...


Introduction - Love is a Drug - Sex Quotes - Symposium / Plato - Peter Vardy Puzzle of Sex / Quotations - Function and Freedom of Sexuality - Mystery and Taboo - Sexual Ethics - Links / Love Sex Orgasm - Top of Page

Quotations from Plato's Symposium, 380B.C.

Well then, gentlemen, the earthly Aphrodite’s Love is a very earthly Love indeed, and does his work entirely at random. It is he that governs the passions of the vulgar; for, first, they are as much attracted by women as by young men; next, whoever they may love, their desires are of the body rather than of the soul; and, finally, they make a point of courting the shallowest people they can find, looking forward to the mere act of fruition and careless whether it be a worthy or unworthy consummation. And hence they take their pleasures where they find them, good and bad alike; for this is the Love of the younger Aphrodite, whose nature partakes of both male and female.
But the heavenly Love springs from a goodness whose attributes have nothing of the female, but are altogether male; and who is also the elder of the two, and innocent of any hint of lewdness. And so those who are inspired by this other Love turn rather to the male, preferring the more vigorous and intellectual bent. One can always tell- even among the lovers of young men - the man who is wholly governed by this elder Love; for no young man can please him until he has shown the first growth of beard. And it seems to me that the man who falls in love with a youth of such an age will be prepared to spend all his time with him, to share his whole life with him, in fact; nor will he be likely to take advantage of the lad’s youth and credulity by seducing him and then turning with a laugh to some newer love. (Plato, Symposium. 380BC. p28)

..the moral value of the act is not what one might call a constant. We agreed that Love itself, as such, was neither good nor bad, but only in so far as it led to good or bad behaviour. It is base to indulge a vicious lover viciously, but noble to gratify a virtuous lover virtuously. Now the vicious lover is the follower of the earthly Love who desires the body rather than the soul; his heart is set on what is mutable and must therefore be inconstant. And as soon as the body he loves begins to pass the first flower of its beauty, he ‘spreads his wings and flies away’, giving the lie to all his pretty speeches and dishonouring his vows: whereas the lover whose heart is touched by moral beauties is constant all his life, for he has become one with what will never fade. (Plato, Symposium)


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Peter Vardy - Quotations from The Puzzle of Sex

Socrates in the Phaedrus distinguishes between a blind, unreasonable eros and an eros which is guided by reason. The first arises when the attraction is to a beautiful body and where the desire is for momentary physical possession. Here, beauty is a means of enkindling sexual passion and satisfying it. The reasonable eros is similarly passionate, but is directed more by reason and passes through three stages:
1. At the lowest level, the love of beauty in one body leads one to recognise that beauty is not to be found in one thing but that beauty is found in many different guises,
2. At the second level, it is the beauty of the other person’s mind which attracts. A person finds that this has an improving influence on them and may challenge and develop them.
At the third stage, it is the beauty of science or ideas in general that are found to be most attractive of all. This leads onto the search for pure beauty, or the perfect Form of beauty which, in Christian terms, is expressed most deeply in God.
(Vardy, The Puzzle of Sex, 1997)

Introduction

All human beings are sexual creatures and there are few, if any, for whom the whole area of sexuality and relationships is not of interest and concern. This book starts by taking seriously theological reflections about sex from the perspective of the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament. Immediately some will ask, ‘Why bother with this? I am not a Christian, so this is of no relevance to my thinking on sexual ethics.’ This is an understandable position, but Western ideas have emerged from a Judeo-Christian culture and if one is to understand current views on sex one has to trace their origins. Unless we understand where existing ideas have come from, we will not be able to develop a rational way forward.

It will be suggested in this book that the time has come for a reappraisal of traditional views on sexual ethics. Such a reappraisal will, of course, be resisted as every other reappraisal has been resisted, but counter arguments then need to be presented taking account of the known evidence including that gleaned from genetics, psychology and the physical sciences. Some hold that sexual morality is set in stone and can never alter but, as this book will make clear, this is far from the case.
To claim that the time has come for a change in traditional sexual ethics is to suggest that we have reached a turning point and that to continue with old understandings is to fail to be truthful. There have been many such turning points in the history of thinking about human beings in relation to God and the whole moral order:

St Augustine of Hippo (500AD)
writing at the time when the Roman Empire had just become Christian, reflecting on Jesus’ teaching that one should forgive one’s enemies and never do harm to those who harmed you, came to the realisation that warfare was permissible to Christians provided the cause was just. Up to his time, most Christians had been pacifists yet Augustine claimed this understanding was inadequate and this has changed the whole subsequent way war was regarded. (Vardy, ix)

“It must be admitted that sexual intercourse in marriage is not sinful, provided the intention is to beget offspring. Yet even in marriage a virtuous man will wish that he could manage without lust. Even in marriage, as the desire for privacy shows, people are ashamed of sexual intercourse, because ‘this lawful act of nature is (from our first parents) accompanied with our penal shame.”
“The need for lust in sexual intercourse is a punishment of Adam’s sin, but for which sex might have been divorced from pleasure.” (Russell, p 357 (St Augustine)

St Thomas Aquinas
supported the feudal system in society including the ideas of slaves. Slavery was accepted by the Church and it took Christians like Wilberforce to overturn the conventional wisdom and to reach a new and higher level of understanding of the essential brother and sisterhood of all human beings. (Vardy, ix)

Luther
after being himself a monk, reflected on the state of the Christian Church and came to reject significant parts of the commonly accepted practices in the Church- particularly concerning the practice of “selling indulgences”. He was condemned and persecuted but he arrived at new insights and, in time, different Churches came to see the merit of many of his views. (x)

The conquistadors of Spain brought disease, slavery, torture and degradation to millions in South America in the name of Christianity and in their greed for gold. The British empire built part of its prosperity on the slave trade and the denial of the humanity of ‘blacks’. The Calvinism of the Afrikaners built their security on apartheid and the subjugation of non-white South Africans. It took the pioneering work of Oscar Romero, Martin Luther-King, Trevor Huddlestone, Nelson Mandela and many others to maintain the fundamental equality of all human beings, often in opposition to established Churches.

The Reformation
overturned a long Western Church tradition and Protestant Churches allowed married clergy- as the Orthodox Church has always done. The Roman Catholic Church has yet to follow the same path ... (x)

The Inquisition
handed over to the secular authorities thousands of people to be burnt in order to maintain ‘true belief’, convinced that the flames of the pyres would remain people of hell and cause them to repent- most people (although not all) have learnt that freedom of conscience must be respected. (x)

..lending money at interest is now considered acceptable by all Churches even though this is specifically condemned in the Bible. (xi)

The literal accounts of creation put forward in Genesis were, up to a hundred and fifty years ago, considered an essential article of faith by most Christians, yet Darwin’s work on evolution and Lyell’s work on geology showed that the creation stories could no longer be taken literally. Most mainstream Christian Churches now accept this and see these stories as depicting the dependence of the universe on God rather than a specific accounts of events.

In spite of the clear evidence that there have been many significant turning points in ethical and theological debate in the past, some may still say that there is no ‘Puzzle of Sex’. Moral teaching is straightforward:
· Sex before marriage is wrong
· Homosexual behaviour is wicked
· Adultery is against the law of God
· Masturbation is a grave sin
· The main purpose of sex is for procreation
· Sex is only acceptable within the marriage of one man and one woman.
· A woman has a duty to provide sexual access to a man if she is married to him
· Sex is to be treated with suspicion and as a temptation
· Celibacy is a higher ideal than married life.

This book will argue that none of the above statements are straightforward and that the ethical problems are more complicated and less clear than many assume. (xii)

Given such a divergence of starting points it would be difficult to integrate an Islamic perspective with a developing understanding which appeals to reason and not solely to revelation. (The Holy Qur’an was dictated to Muhammad by Allah. If this is true, then the teachings of the Qur’an regarding sex, marriage, divorce and the position of women in society cannot be seriously questioned.) (xii)

The Idea of Development
Biblical criticism has shown to the extent to which the stories of the Bible are radically conditioned by the culture within which they are written- they are stories written by human beings of their own understanding of God’s work in history and of what forms of human behaviour are appropriate. Understandings of moral and religious ideas found in the Bible develop over time- as one would expect of any account written by human beings. Scientific knowledge of the universe develops with the passage of the years due to new discoveries, so, in a similar way, theological and moral reflections develop over the centuries. (xii)

The continuity provided by the Bible stories lies in the developing understanding about God and how human beings should live together.
The idea of development has not always been accepted. For instance the Roman Catholic Church resisted it- in the First Vatican Council of 1870 there was no sign of any doctrine of development at all, indeed it was specifically rejected in that Council’s document entitled ‘Constitution on the Catholic Faith’. However, within less than a hundred years, the mood in the Catholic Church had changed, and by the time of the Second Vatican in 1965 the idea of development was accepted in the ‘Constitution on Divine Revelation’, which states:
The tradition which comes from the Apostles develops in the Church with the help of the Holy Spirit. For there is growth in the understanding of the realities and the words which have been handed down. (xiii)

Generally such developments are gradual and does not reject what went before. However, there have been times in the Church’s history when the teaching has been quite simply, wrong, and it is at least possible that this may be not the case in the sexual realm.
Today, there is a greater appreciation of the sophistication of the biblical texts than ever in the past. Our knowledge of philosophy has increased enormously, as has our understanding of human biology and psychology. Even for those who believe in God, it would be surprising if, in the face of this increase in knowledge, our ideas of what constitutes appropriate sexual behaviour remain unchanged- yet all too often this is assumed to be the case. As has been shown, there have been many significant moments when religious and moral ideas have altered and past understandings rejected. This same, it will be argued, now applies in the arena of sexual ethics. (xiv)
How we got to where we are

A misogynist and patriarchal prejudice has pervaded the Church’s moral thought down the ages, based on the incident of Eve as the temptress in Genesis, and confirmed by the Stoic rhetoric in which the early Christian thinkers were trained… Churchmen from Tertullian and Cyprian in the third century to Jerome and John Chrysostom in the fifth, delighted in denigrating womanhood as the source of the human race’s downfall.
As we shall see, the story of Eve’s temptation of Adam was one of the foundation stones on which Christian theologians and leaders have built their understanding of sexuality and God’s will for the relationship between men and women, and, in particular, the subservient position of women. It is a position which can no longer be justified. (p10)

The Ten Commandments

Nothing in these commandments prohibits sex before marriage, sex foreplay, contraception, masturbation, homosexuality (whether male or female) or, indeed, a vast range of other actions which some would today regard as wrong, such as insider share dealing, pollution of the environment, torture, hard core pornography, etc. (p13)
Psychological Perspectives

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) considered that a human being’s personality is primarily determined by two basic instincts- sexuality and aggression- and the key issue is how the individual comes to terms with these. (Vardy, 1997.p103)

“Popular opinion has quite definite ideas about the nature and characteristics of the sexual instinct. It is generally understood to be absent in childhood, to set in at the time of puberty in connection with the process of coming into maturity and to be revealed in the manifestation of an irresistible attraction exercised by one sex upon the other, while its aim is presumed to be sexual union, or at all events action leading in that direction. We have every reason to believe, however, that these views give a very false picture of the true situation. If we look into them more closely we shall find that they contain a number of errors, inaccuracies and hasty conclusions.”
(Freud, Three Essays of the Theory of Sexuality)(Vardy, p103)

In Civilisation and its Discontents Freud argues that the less violence is involved in sexuality, the more sexuality comes close to its real meaning. Sexual relationships can be seen as extending from a mutual, loving relationship to rape at the other extreme. Rape is the violent subjugation of one party to the demands and wishes of another without her or his consent. This, clearly, is morally evil and a denial of the autonomy of the other party- yet it is distressingly frequent. Rape in prison, in conditions of slavery, on the streets of large cities or even within marriage is far too common and all too often sex involves the exercise of power. Any ethical understanding of sexual behaviour has to take a firm stand on rejecting this and showing its devastating effect both on the victim and, in human terms, the perpetrator.
(Vardy, 1997.p107)

Freud’s greatest discovery is that the great cause of much psychological illness is the fear of knowledge of oneself- of one’s emotions, impulses, memories, capacities, potentialities and one’s destiny. (As Freud said) “To be completely honest with oneself is the very best effort a human being can make”.
(Vardy, 1997. p108)

The impact of parents and a warm, stable, loving home environment is important to psychological well-being. If these are absent, distortions are likely to result which may not be resolvable without help later in life. The negative view of human sexual nature deriving from the Christian tradition needs to be rejected and a positive approach taken to the wholeness of human experience in giving and receiving love. (p116)


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Function and Freedom of Sexuality
Peter Vardy, The Puzzle of Sex

The reason why lust is described as a deadly sin is that it sees another person as a means to the end of our pleasure- it fails to value the human person and simply sees the function they can perform for us. (Vardy, p127)

One should never, as a minimum, engage in sexual activity with another where this does not reflect and represent a very real commitment to the personal identity and individuality of the other. In the absence of this, we are not really engaged with another human being but rather with a human being whom we are degrading to the level of an object.
The more a person becomes promiscuous and is controlled by instinct or the desire for personal pleasure, the more he or she cease to be able to see the humanity of their partner and instead see them in terms of their function, as a means to temporarily satiating their desire. The person who sleeps with any woman (or man) who is available, the young man who is desperately anxious to ‘score’, or the lonely young woman who seeks love and consolation by making herself freely available are all on paths which can and often will lead to serious personal disintegration. (p132)

Socrates in the Phaedrus distinguishes between a blind, unreasonable eros and an eros which is guided by reason. The first arises when the attraction is to a beautiful body and where the desire is for momentary physical possession. Here, beauty is a means of enkindling sexual passion and satisfying it. The reasonable eros is similarly passionate, but is directed more by reason and passes through three stages:

1. At the lowest level, the love of beauty in one body leads one to recognise that beauty is not to be found in one thing but that beauty is found in many different guises.

2. At the second level, it is the beauty of the other person’s mind which attracts. A person finds that this has an improving influence on them and may challenge and develop them.

3. At the third stage, it is the beauty of science or ideas in general that are found to be most attractive of all. This leads onto the search for pure beauty, or the perfect Form of beauty which, in Christian terms, is expressed most deeply in God. (p133)

The second stage analysed by Socrates is important- true love will only develop when what is loved in the other is not the bodily ‘packaging.’ This may, it is true, be the initial attraction, but if this is all there is it will quickly fade. Genuine, deep love will only develop where the love is of the deeper self, the real person behind the exterior, and it will take time, care and trouble to discover this deeper person. (p133-4)

It is only if what is valued is the deeper humanity of the individual that real love can occur and only then is there any possibility of this love enduring through all the ‘changes and chances of this fleeting world’.
Real lovemaking will seek not the pleasure of the self but the joy and development of the other. It is an expression of passion, love and commitment which should not have a selfish aim but which should be directed towards thinking of the other person. Paradoxically, it will be in giving joy and pleasure that joy and pleasure will be found- but as a by-product, never as an end in itself. Real love can be costly as it may mean not holding on to someone but freeing them to move to a new stage in life. This is why possessiveness or jealousy are such destructive emotions, as they come from a selfish wish to be made happy oneself rather than the ensure the happiness of the beloved. (p134)


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Mystery and Taboo

In Victorian times, there was a considerable measure of prudery about sex. Sex was almost never discussed in polite society and young women often had no idea what was going to happen to them on wedding night, except for dire hints that may have been given by their mothers- which often were of the ‘Lie back and think of England’ variety. Piano legs were often covered up because they were often covered up because they were too suggestive and, at a dinner party, guests would ask for ‘white meat’ rather than breast of chicken. Today this prudery is alien- countless films, videos and popular songs, TV shows and teenage and adult magazines deal with sex in great detail. Articles are written on how to achieve multiple orgasms and ‘performance’, both for the man and the woman, becomes an objective which is discussed more or less openly. Teenage magazines make sexual facts available to young people in a way that has never happened before in history. (Vardy, 1997. p136)
(Karene - You can’t hide sex, nor should you want to. But you can make sure that you educate your children to the truth and beauty about sex.)

In the last twenty years there has been a considerable improvement in sex education in schools. Most young people today have been provided with books, have been shown films and have been given the chance to discuss all aspects of the biology of sex. They are, by about 13 or 14, familiar with the human reproductive system, periods, erections, ‘wet dreams’, contraception and the like. The detailed knowledge provided to them is at a level to which their parents would never have been exposed. Also, there is a frankness and openness which avoids at least some of the embarrassment of talking about sex and the great deal of information means that teenage pregnancies are rare in spite of the high rate of sexual activity by many young people.

However, this increased information is often given out of context- it is entirely factual and value-free and, at best (or rather at worst), it strips away from sexuality any idea of mystery. The ecstatic meeting of two people in acts of tender, caring, committed ‘lovemaking’ is reduced to a physical process little different from the animals in the farmyard. One can ‘let light in on magic’ and, by so doing, destroy everything that is precious and worthwhile, destroy the real meaning of what is taking place.

I am reminded of the story of an old, clever but mentally ill man who used to pick flowers and then pluck off every part, naming them as he went. He could identify the anther, stamen, petal, sepal, etc., with great precision- but had no feeling for the unity of the flower, no comprehension of its beauty or its deeper meaning in the overall scheme of things. He analysed away all that was important and became obsessed with trivia. All too often, the same happens in the sexual field. (Vardy, 1997. p137)
(Educate to beauty of body and mind, of Sexuality.)

Sex is, or should be, a mystery in which two people who love each other and who recognise each other’s full humanity can express and deepen their love. There is, indeed, something ‘religious’ and ‘holy’ about the union of two people. However, the mystery, the sacredness of the sexual bond can easily be trivialised and destroyed by crude emphasis on function. In fact, this is what most modern language about sex sets out to do- it tears away the mystery, it seeks to look inside the holy of holies and, when it finds nothing therein, concludes that there is nothing there. This, however, is an impoverished understanding of reality or of the role of mystery in our lives. (p138)

The example of a loving, committed and sexually relaxed mother and father will be the best way of communicating this subjective knowledge. By contrast, a child who has been sexually abused by a parent or who sees parents who are manipulative or who ‘use’ each other will find it very difficult to reach an understanding of the true meaning of human sexuality. (Vardy. 1997. p140)

How should I tell my child?
This question is usually uttered with a sigh, which indicated that giving this information is painful and embarrassing to the parents. At the same time the same embarrassment and reserve in the attitude of young people toward their parents manifests itself as soon as questions of sex are raised- even in situations where there is otherwise a good relationship of trust between them and their parents .. the child or teenager is given a pamphlet, or the instruction is left to the school ... What attitude towards sexual knowledge betrays itself in this tendency to give sexual enlightenment from a safe distance?.. The inhibition is caused by something the parents remember: they know from their own past that a young person is not yet capable of understanding the sex act as the ‘expression’ of ultimate human communication, and that therefore at his first acquaintance with it he will think of it as something indecent, something of which he would never imagine his parents capable .. This crisis of mutual confidence as well as the shame of being connected with an act which their children would not think them capable of, causes the parents to shy away from taking the initiative in giving instruction.
Consequently, the sexual act, which is the very thing the youngster wants to get in the clear about, can be conceived of only as something animal which- for some puzzling reason- the parents engage in despite the fact that they are loved and respected human beings.’ (Helmut Thielicke, The Ethics of Sex, pp70-1) (Vardy, p140-1)

T.S. Elliot says that one can ‘have the experience and miss the meaning’. More factual information about sex does not contribute to any greater degree of understanding of the meaning involved- ‘information’ and ‘understanding’ inhabit different dimensions. (p141)


Introduction - Love is a Drug - Sex Quotes - Symposium / Plato - Peter Vardy Puzzle of Sex / Quotations - Function and Freedom of Sexuality - Mystery and Taboo - Sexual Ethics - Links / Love Sex Orgasm - Top of Page

Sexual Ethics
The Four Principles of the New Approach to Sexual Ethics

1. Psychology has made clear the intimate link between sexuality, personality and human development as well as the need for human integration. Sexuality is an essential part of human nature and each person has to come to wholeness by being able to accept and balance the different aspects of their nature. Sexuality and spirituality may be seen to be connected. The ability to love and to accept love, to form relationships and to enter into mature, adult sexual bonds depends to a larger extent on the experiences one has as a young child. Early experiences can destroy the development process and can cause adults to be psychologically immature. The impact of parents and a warm, stable loving home environment is important to psychological well-being. If this is absent, distortions are likely to result which may not be resolvable without help later in life. The negative view of human sexual nature deriving from the Christian tradition needs to be rejected and a positive approach taken to the wholeness of human experience in giving and receiving love.

2. Any approach to sexual ethics must consider the whole human person and an attempt be made to seek a truthful understanding of what it is to be fully human. Aristotle and Aquinas tried to do this and today the same attempt must be made, but taking account of our modern knowledge of physiology, psychology and the complexity of human relationships. If this is done, one can remain faithful to the past methodology whilst recognising that the findings of psychology and of science must inform theological and philosophical debate.

3. Sexual relationships should always recognise the role of the other person involved as a free, autonomous human being and no human being may be use another as a means to the end of his or her sexual gratification. Sex should always be a free act, a gift of intimacy, commitment and trust by one person to another. It should never be coerced, whether mentally or physically and should always express the depth of the relationship rather than being a means to try to develop a relationship. The pleasure involved should come as a by-product of the gift of love and tenderness, never as an end in itself.

4. Lovemaking between two people is something ‘deep’ and mysterious- it, like birth and death, is one of the great mysteries of life and concentration on the mechanics of the act without an appreciation of its role in the wider relationship misses its true significance. No philosophic analysis will be adequate to capture the full mystery of love nor will any set of rules meet all the complexities of human relationships. (p143-4)

If sexual ethics is to continue to be engaged in a search for truth rather than just accepting what previous generations have handed down, then it must take into account not just modern understandings of science but also knowledge of human bodies, psychology and the emotional and affective side of human being. (p160)


Introduction - Love is a Drug - Sex Quotes - Symposium / Plato - Peter Vardy Puzzle of Sex / Quotations - Function and Freedom of Sexuality - Mystery and Taboo - Sexual Ethics - Links / Love Sex Orgasm - Top of Page

Philosophy of Love, Sex, Orgasm Links / Philosophy of Love, Sex, Orgasm


Evolutionary Philosophy of Human Sexuality - Karene has been working very hard for 6 months building a comprehensive section on Human Sexuality. They now have a great collection of latest research on our sexual evolution which is very interesting (and useful!).

Philosophy: Feminism - To live life as a True Woman requires understanding what a Woman is. i.e. How a Woman Exists as Matter in Space and thus understanding their Intimate Connection to Man, Child, Sexuality, Nature, Society, and Cosmos. On Feminist Philosophy, Feminist Theory and Criticism and the Feminism Movement (Australia) by Karene Howie, Geoff Haselhurst.

Philosophy: Erotica vs Pornography: Gallery Erotic Art - Adult Only - On the Beauty of Women. Enjoying our Evolution for Lust, Passion and Eroticism. Free Gallery of Erotic Art: Quotes and Pictures on Sex, Eroticism, Vintage Eroticism, Lesbian Sexuality, Masturbation, Orgasm. Short Erotic 'Smut' Story and Video. Links to Free Galleries of Erotic Art and 'Feminist' Philosophy of Eroticism.

Eastern Philosophy: Kama Sutra - 'Praised be the three aims of life, virtue (dharma), prosperity (artha), and love (kama), which are the subject of this work.' Kama Sutra (Kamasutra, Karma Sutra, Kama Shastra). Discussion and Quotes / Quotations, Pictures, Positions from Famous Indian Sexual Philosophy of the Kama Sutra.

Eastern Philosophy: Tantra Tantric Sex - 'Tantra' meaning to weave, web. Discussion of the Tantric belief that All is One and interconnected, Sex is a sacred and divine experience.

http://www.ipce.info/ipceweb/Library/history_of_sexuality.htm - Academic essay on The History of Sexuality - About Foucault.
http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~sousa/sexphil.html - Philosophy, Sex and Feminism. Academic essay by Ronald B. de Sousa and Kathryn Pauly Morgan from the Department of Philosophy, University of Toronto.
http://www.loveenergy.com/sexual/ - Sex is Life Energy. Releasing blocked sexual energy can contribute to personal happiness, health, and well being. Realizing the potential of life energy means getting in touch with your body, feeling your feelings, and breathing the breath of life. It means loving yourself and giving yourself the gift of joy and pleasure. List of Sacred Sex Resources Online, Sexual Educators, Erotic Spiritual Organisations, Sexual Health, Videos, Erotic Art, Sexual Comix, Sexual Magazines and Sexual Supplies.





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