Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Few Distinctions

I hold these truths to be self-evident, that the nude state is not intrinsically lewd, that embracing a sexual aesthetic is not equivalent to committing the sex act, and that incidental arousal may not, necessarily, be accompanied by intentional stimulation.

I hold, also, that each of these cases ought to be dealt with as is, and that each one of them should not be criticized indiscriminately just for having a relation to that most horrible of concepts: human sexuality.

Allow me to elucidate these few points, briefly, as the lines between these distinctions are far too often blurred.

As the nudists always say,

nude =/= lewd

Nude is a state of being.
Lewd is a form of behavior.

As long as you are not behaving in a lewd manner, the state of simply being nude should not be interpreted as something perverted or indecent. This goes a long way in explaining how a resort filled with naked people can be utterly lacking in any sexual atmosphere.

In the same vein,

sex =/= sexy

Sex is an act.
Sexy is an aesthetic.

Yes, they are intricately related, but they are not equivalent. Therefore, if a girl wears a miniskirt, and flirts with you, she may look sexy, and she may be acting sexy, but this is not to be construed as an invitation to stick your penis inside of her. Similarly, a person's fashion choices should not be confused with sexual promiscuity.

Following that line of thought,

arousal =/= stimulation

Arousal is an involuntary response.
Stimulation is an intentional act.

Arousal may result from intentional stimulation, but it also may result from an unexpected trigger (just as a sneeze may arise unexpectedly, or from the direct application of pepper to one's nose). A person should be held responsible for the conscious decisions they make (e.g., holding pepper to one's nose), but not the involuntary responses of their body (e.g., a sneeze unbidden).

If something (say, a performance or exhibition) incites sexual feelings in its audience, this is not, strictly speaking, a sex act, and is not on the same level as sexual contact. To follow, a man caught in a pleasant daydream is engaged in a very different sort of act than the man who is deliberately stroking himself.

Thank you for taking the time to consider these truths, and please try to keep them in mind the next time one of these issues comes up on the news or in your daily life.

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