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Monday, October 23, 2006

Sorry To Bring This Up

posted by on October 23 at 15:27 PM

In the comments to my wildly unpopular post on pregnancy and sex, Diana asks, in response to my claim that making love with a pregnant woman is in essence dishonest, if making love to a man who uses viagra is in essence dishonest. My answer stands on harder ground than before: such a person is dishonest to the bone. They have reached the very peak of pity. They are not even making love with the man but with the medicine. Where is there any honesty in that? How can the man feel proud? How can his partner not feel that the definition of what they are doing is charity? How can this not end badly?

My point is not whether this or that kind of sex is right (all sex done within the circle of legal consent is right); what I want to know and expose is the motive for the sex. Why is he or she really doing it. Is it for money? is it for favors? is it, worst of all, for pity.

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0 for 2, Charles.

Posted by Royal Wulf | October 23, 2006 4:04 PM

You have a oddly absolutist perspective on sex. You're entitled to it yourself, but don't assume people share it. Sex is this really fun game people play together, and sometimes it contributes to relationship bonds. Viagra lets some people who physically can't play that game get do so again, and lets others recreationally bone each other with delicious abandon for hours on end.

It's impossible for something to be dishonest if it adheres to the rules of the relationship/arrangement/rendezvous, and fortunately for all of us, you don't set those rules.

Posted by lauren | October 23, 2006 4:07 PM

Charles, just admit you have hangups that have nothing to do with "making love".

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 23, 2006 4:12 PM

Charles, you are the Stan Lippmann of sexual politics.

Posted by CA | October 23, 2006 4:16 PM

I suppose Charles is right. In fact, I would say that any kind of artifice in the act of love would be dishonest. Like, lets say, antidepressants that balance your mood sufficiently to engage in sex, or acyclovir that keeps your herpes under control. Even more to the point, I would think that sex with anyone who is in any way less than physically perfect would simply be a dishonest mercy fuck. Thank god the Stranger staff has each other to screw - I'm not sure anyone else in town stacks up.

Posted by Rob | October 23, 2006 4:17 PM

Well, as a diabetic who requires viagra, let me just say..

Fuck you.

And to echo Will...

If all 'making love' is to you is a cock in a vagina/ass, then I feel sorry for any woman/man who is sorry enough for you to have sex with you.

Posted by John | October 23, 2006 4:21 PM

Charles, you should do a new column in the Stranger: the German Philosopher’s Sex Corner.

It’s taken us nearly 100 years to get over Freud. Then it’ll take us another 100 years to get over Charles.

Posted by BC | October 23, 2006 4:25 PM

Who among us has not had a dishonest fuck. Yea, verily; who among us has not accepted a pity fuck and been grateful for it.

Posted by Rain Monkey | October 23, 2006 4:30 PM

If your partner's life was ever saved by modern medical science, fucking them is the ethical equivelent of necrophilia. Sex at night isn't good, when one can't see your partner and therefore might fantasize dishonest fantasies, but sex during the day isn't good either, because then a third person might see, destroying the inherent duality of sex. (Only sex during the 30 minutes of civil twilight is just and honest.) During menstration is out, since blood represents death and that contradicts the honest lifeforce of sex. You can't continue to have sex if the phone rings, because you'd normally answer it and changing who you are just to acquire sex is obviously dishonest.

...I'm beginning to suspect that, in the interested of brevity, Mudede Morality should be prescriptive instead of proscriptive.

Posted by gfish | October 23, 2006 4:31 PM

absolutely, rain monkey. absolutely.

Posted by charles mudede | October 23, 2006 4:31 PM

Geez... I never thought of Bob Dole (former Viagra pitchman) as dishonest. Or any republican for that matter.

Now I do.

Posted by Josef Canseco | October 23, 2006 4:32 PM

End badly? Excuse me? Have you ever been in a fulfilling sexual relationship? Hell, have you ever had sex that involved anything other than the standard 2-5 minutes of getting off?

First, there's a lot more to sex than just penetration. Second, if the use of Viagra, for medical reasons or otherwise, enhances pleasure, what's your big prejudice against it? I pity you if you ever develop ED. After all, you'd never have sex again.

I'd post more, but John and Rob pretty much echoed everything else I was going to say.

Posted by Jane | October 23, 2006 4:39 PM

There's a reason Charles doesn't write our sex column—and that's all I'm going to say about his semi-irregular posts on sex.

Posted by Dan Savage | October 23, 2006 4:52 PM

I assume, Charles, that you exclude "love" from your list of possible motives for sex because, as every studious liberal arts graduate can tell you, romantic "love" is an historical figment, a fanciful creation of French troubadours.

But what of these other motivations you and others posit? Is America's notion of "mercy" seperable from America's christianity? Does our notion of "duty" predate the advent of the nation-state? Do you refer to a Platonic ideal when you invoke "honesty," or is your conception thereof subordinate to a loyalty to post-enlightenment empiricism, or perhaps to some particular political theory? In the context of sex, what does "money" mean, and where does that meaning come from?

And finally, Charles, as good little deconstructors, we have to take apart your inquiry as well. Whose interests are served when you reject "good" motives for sex in preference to "base" motives? Why demand abstract motives for sex at all? Does doing so not privilege the philosopher over the mere practitioner of sex?

In short, is this inquiry of yours "honest?"

Posted by robotslave | October 23, 2006 4:56 PM

begin quote>
what I want to know and expose is the motive for the sex. Why is he or she really doing it. Is it for money? is it for favors? is it, worst of all, for pity.

Why would someone fuck a horny pregnant woman? Why would someone fuck a dude with a raging Viagra hard-on?

Why does anyone have sex??? This latest post is even more ridiculous than the last. These questions posed do not seem to take in reality. Not every woman looks like a supermodel. Not every man can get it up. But nevertheless, lots of people are fucking. Right now, even! We desire. We crave. We don't overanalyze every fucking situation. It ain't pity; we just want to get off, and maybe please someone else at the same time!

I'm glad that John, the diabetic who requires Viagra, put CM in his place. This discussion is stupid. But I might like to hear Dan Savage's take on it.

Posted by Jamey | October 23, 2006 5:00 PM

Charles' odd posts are just dying to be mocked by a parody.

"When a person spreads low-fat cream cheese on their bagel, they are being dishonest with themselves and the bagel."

Posted by hee | October 23, 2006 5:07 PM

Furthermore, wouldn't having sex with a woman on birth control constitute dishonest sex? After all, the female body is made to reproduce, and to have non-procreative heterosexual sex is to be dishonest to the evolution of the human race. Or, for that matter, what about drunk sex? (A topic with which I'm sure you're all too familiar) If consuming alcohol inevitably impairs your judgment, then aren’t all parties involved in the drunkin’ sex having just a big sloppy pile of dishonest?

Seriously, Charles, what makes you think that there is any general "motive for... sex"? People hump for lots of different reasons. Your opinion on the matter doesn’t make it an ultimate truth.

Posted by nietzsche li'l sister. | October 23, 2006 5:18 PM

Never ever knock pity sex. We've all received pity sex once in a while, and dammit, it's been life saving.

Posted by Gitai | October 23, 2006 5:24 PM

So, what's your stance on having sex using "marital aids"? Is riding the Rabbit inherently dishonest? If a guy is tired, is he permitted to use his hands instead, or does that not pass your sexual ideology purity test? If a woman is tired and has sex without climax, should the couple break up immediately?

The world awaits your next pearl of sexual wisdom with bated breath and a hand down its pants.

Posted by I Love My BOB | October 23, 2006 5:43 PM

The motive for the sex...why is she doing it?

Great answers everyone, but may I just add something else: because women like to have sex. Women have the right to pleasure and sex. Men do too.
Let's be honest about THAT.

Posted by Sofia | October 23, 2006 6:14 PM

Ignorant. Idiotic. Irrelevant.

Posted by Sean | October 23, 2006 6:56 PM

What about a man using viagra to have sex with his pregnant wife? And what if she's using a pocket rocket, too? Ooh ooh! What if two swinger couples are having sex... one woman is pregnant, the other has breast implants and has had a bit of lipo, BOTH guys are using viagra, and there are cock rings and vibrators all around? Hell, let's throw in some strap-ons for the girls while we're at it.

Then clearly no one is having a good time... It's all just pity sex.

Posted by L | October 23, 2006 7:50 PM

Good god... I just realized that I bet Charles thinks USING LUBE is an inherently dishonest ploy! If the woman isn't wet and slippery enough all on her own, then CLEARLY she's not turned on and is just fucking the guy out of pity...

A woman who uses lube can't possibly be enjoying sex...

Okay, that's enough from me.

Posted by L | October 23, 2006 7:53 PM

Please, please get back to the philosophical deconstruction of tall buildings, Charles. I hear they've got some nice big ones in Asia now ... you could even throw in some Freudian analysis if it makes you feel better. Those posts seem to be "wildly unpopular" mostly with readers who don't quite get it- here, we all get it. And I wish we didn't.

Posted by Whomsoever | October 23, 2006 8:03 PM

This guy is seriously damanged, but frankly his normal posts are just as stupid and masturbatory as these sex ones. except they are just babel and nobody knows what the fuck he is talking about. at least readers can understand what these sex posts are about. he's finally getting some real response from his readers -- so i say keep 'em comin', man!

Posted by cite | October 23, 2006 9:06 PM

I actually agree with Charles completely. You are cheating yourself and the genetics of your children if you fuck a limp-dick who can only get it up when he takes a pill. I don't care if the limp-dick's your husband. You chose wrong.

Your sons can thank you in 25 years when THEY discover they can't keep it up.

Posted by Gomez | October 23, 2006 9:26 PM

And I bet the reason for the backlash on this post is because Seattle's full of white men who can't get it up.

Posted by Gomez | October 23, 2006 9:27 PM

Okay, you know what, that second comment was just flat out harsh and I've got to take that back.

And while I can see some incidences where Viagra can have a noble benefit (giving an old man the chance to get it on with his old wife, for example), I see far too many incidences where it can un-level the playing field, especially with regards to very old rich men stealing young women from the young male's dating pool, among many other instances.

Posted by Gomez | October 23, 2006 10:11 PM

Again Gomez with the most sensible post (28) and even managing to find some possible hidden reason in the craziness of our dearest Chas.

Posted by LH | October 23, 2006 10:23 PM

Idealism will always reveal its own idiocy. :-)

Posted by Timothy | October 23, 2006 11:33 PM

LOL... an aside: I can usually let my commentary stand, but I had to actually get out of bed last night to retract that 2nd comment. That's how badly I felt about it. Sometimes I hit Post a bit too quickly.

Posted by Gomez | October 24, 2006 7:38 AM

"what I want to know and expose is the motive for the sex. Why is he or she really doing it. Is it for money? is it for favors? is it, worst of all, for pity."

Yes motives for sex are varied. But aren't you a grown man and can't you figure out this stuff without posting online. Seems to me you just want get some attention with your posts. Go ask "Dan Savage" about motives for sex he is right there (or is he running away from you?)
Yes it is for money and Yes it is for favors and yes it is for pity and yes it is sometimes for love and companionship. All of it.

Posted by brian | October 24, 2006 10:28 AM

Sorry to bring this up... But in your pregnancy post, you posited that a preggo woman "loses the flower of her body."

Your bio says you're from Zimbabwe... a country where INFIBULATION is practiced by at least one ethnic group. Might I propose that if there's a problem with the "flower" in your mind, pregnancy MIGHT not be the reason for that?

Posted by Lauren | October 24, 2006 10:33 AM

I don't really think these two issues follow each other since one is a natural state and the other drug-induced, but whatever.

What Charles is missing is that people have the ability to find their partners attractive despite circumstances. Just because your partner gets pregnant or has ED doesn't necessarily mean that you suddenly find them less attractive. It doesn't mean you still have to find them attractive either, as I'm sure there are people who find these two conditions a turn off. The point, which many have made, is that deciding that "this is the way it is" for everyone is foolish.

I'll tell you what, Charles, I will respect your opinions on pregnancy and viagra if you pledge to NEVER engage in any kind of sexual activity should you ever knock someone up or need a little bit of help getting it up. That means no kind of sex for 9 mo or the rest of your life if you develop ED.

Is your sexuality something you're willing to part with there comes a day that it doesn't fit your current definition of what's acceptable?

Posted by Brie | October 24, 2006 11:28 AM

Doctors will tell you lots of things because they've got pills to sell, but ED is largely a product of one's lifestyle, or lack thereof.

Posted by Gomez | October 24, 2006 12:11 PM

Viagra is a drug, of course, unlike, say, papaya or chocolate, or any other aphrodisiac with maybe some small drug or caffeine values. A virile man requires papaya. He requires red wine and salad, a well-cut steak. So it not the matter of need that makes Viagra seem so shameful, but its negative relation to food and invigorating beverages, the fact that it substracts nutrition and the higher virility of the body, rather than increase it.

It appears then that the higher function of sex is not merely a hard-on, but something more sensual and lusty, such as honesty, perhaps.

Posted by Cue | October 24, 2006 12:14 PM

Since Mr. Mudede is willing to answer my previously rhetorical question about viagra, and then take the subsequent friction for it, I think I'd like to take an unpopular shot at the initial question he posed, the thrust of which remains yet unanswered, "And if a woman’s pregnancy is far along the way, having sex with her must mean having sex with the baby. Is this acceptable?"

No, no it's not acceptable. Here's why: if one would not allow a male to have sex near and then ejaculate upon a newborn baby's head, why would one want a male to ejaculate onto a mucous plug in an area adjacent to a close-term fetus which is presumed to both recognize its mother's voice, as well as understand classical music?

And if one agrees that having heterosexual sex while carrying a late-term fetus is gross, would this also apply to lesbian sex? Would a female masturbating alone while still attached to the fetus pose a moral problem? What if it caused the womb to flutter? Lastly, should one also be avoiding defecating next to the fetus? Perhaps we should be thinking about moving towards sterile incubation jars, as a society.

Posted by Diana | October 24, 2006 1:38 PM

It's better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth (or, in Charles' case - post absurd psychobabble on a blog) and prove it.

Posted by Mr. X | October 24, 2006 2:18 PM

pregos are hot thats why we bone them

Posted by Vooodooo84 | October 24, 2006 10:37 PM

L, I just have to say, between your comment here and on the previous post, you're really starting to get me hot and bothered.

Just sayin'.

Posted by Auguste | October 25, 2006 10:07 AM

The first stage of a 150m investment in regional museums is praised for boosting visitor numbers...

Posted by Junior Higgs | November 12, 2006 12:43 PM

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