Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Who decides

I am reading Men and Intimacy by Franklin Abbot at the moment.

I have come across an interesting quote.

If a man enjoys being tied to a post and then teased and tickled until he achieves orgasms, does society have a right to declare him "sick"? And what if the pleasure another seeks includes scarring and bloodletting, or the use of urine or faeces during sexual encounters? Who draws the line? When does deviance slip into madness? And who has the right to say when consenting "adults" have gone "too far"?

I am a vanilla girl,and have no experience of what he has mentioned, but I think he raises some good points.

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Anybody has the right to say anything they want about someone else's sexual practices. Personally I think anal sex is gross. So there! Many people would think that cunnilingus is gross, but personally I have no problem at all with it.

However, defining it as insanity or making it illegal are different matters. Societies can and do permit or disallow various sexual practices according to local law and customs. There are many places in the world where adulterous women are still stoned to death or executed, event though personally I happen to think this is going a bit far. Still members of those societies (especially men) apparently believe that such practices are necessary for the survival of society.

As far as sanity goes, in a civil the context the usual criteria for compulsory admission to a mental hospital are danger to self and others, and I have never heard of anyone being committed simply on the grounds of fetishism.

In a legal context I don't think any sexual practice would help a defendant establish insanity in the view of a court. The fact that you could only get an orgasm by whipping a woman would not make a very good defense for whipping a woman to death.

The other reason why people sometimes claim a mental disorder is so that they can obtain treatment. A medication cannot be prescribed without an appropriate diagnosis, and someone might possibly offer up their sexual behaviors as symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder, but this is far-fetched.

At the risk of sounding incredibly pompous, my definition of sanity includes the ability to acquaint oneself with the laws in operation in the jurisdiction in which you find yourself, and making a decision either to respect the laws, even if you think they are stupid, or to break them at your own risk being prepared to face the penalties.

Thank you for your comments. This reminds me of a story I heard a number of years ago.

It was some S&M stuff, and the Dominant partner, took part in dismembering the submissive's body parts. All this was consensual,and a turn on.

I think you can guess what my reaction to this story was.
As long as no-one is being hurt against their will, then I have no problem with anyone doing anything if it turns them on. It is all cerebral anyway.

The human body is a sex organ - the whole of it, but the biggest sex organ of all is the brain.

Thank you for your comments. I hold the same views.
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I think where one draws the line is in relation to consent.

Otherwise if both parners are gaining some kind of erotic pleasure or fulfillment from the practice then perhaps it is not for the rest of us to criticise, however disgusting or abhorrent we may find it personally.

However the consent aspect is not always as clear cut as it might seem. Can some people be encouraged to "consent" through the power, influence or affluence of another?

If someone, desperate for money, agrees to take part in activities they find abhorrent for payment - is this true consent?

What about people who have been abused as a child and have come to associate abuse and violence with love and affection. Is their taking part in violent acts during erotic play in adult life truly consensual?

But where the acts are between two stable, mature people with equal power and influence I'm not sure it is for others to judge - especially if no lasting physical, psychological or emotional harm takes place.

Have fun ... !

B xx

Thank you for your comments. You raise some interesting questions. I wonder what the solutions are,lol.
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