Progression of Sexual Attitudes

  • Thread starter Zantra
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  • #1
Zantra
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Based on historical trends, it would seem that society becomes more and more open about sexuality, and espouses new ideas each generation. Based on this progressionist attitude, can we assume that eventually we'll all be basically just walking about nude like so many nudist colonies, and practicing intimacies right out in the open? I'm looking for futuristic insights into what our society's eventuality will be in relation to human sexuality. I see the possibility over time of 2 person marriages possibly giving way to multi-person marriages, or maybe even complete lack of marriage at all.

What do you guys think?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Andy
69
11
I don't know about that, maybe in several thousands of years when Men are no more.
 
  • #3
Gale
676
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i can definately see a lack of marriage in the future. the idea of marriage itself seems outdated today. with divorce rates and casual sex and all that marriage just isn't the institution is was.

i think it might be possible to walk down the street completely naked one day and see people making love in the streets, sure. but i think if the world came to that it'd just mean we were doing other things in private that we would consider intimate and personal.

also, whenever i condisder the future of mankind's sex live's i tend to think of Orwell's 1984. how the government completely altered society's view of sex, actually making it unenjoyable. so, always in the back of my mind is the idea that one day people might actually not like sex. i don't think that day'll ever arrive, but who knows.
 
  • #4
Zantra
781
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Or maybe someone will just make those helmets you mentioned:wink:
 
  • #5
Many tribes in the Amazon live exactly like "the future of sex" as described on this thread, with people walking naked all the time and children who don't know who their fathers are. It would be quite a shame if we forget our sophisticated morals in favour of primitive forms of hedonism, although that is what many people seem to want at this point.

I believe our ancestors knew something about sex we seem to be forgetting: as with everything, if there's too much of it then it has no value. If nature doesn't make sex special, then we must do it ourselves. Without the rituals, without romance, without passion and desire, sex becomes just another ordinary human activity like eating, drinking, or sleeping. Enjoyable but hardly the source of much happiness.
 
  • #6
Zantra
781
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You have to admit, it would certainly make the dating ritual much more direct and to the point if everyone were nude

Scenario:

Man: would you like to go out to dinner sometime?
Woman(glancing down)umm.. no

of course this always takes rejection to a whole new level as well;)
 
  • #7
Kerrie
Staff Emeritus
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not so sure about marriage being outdated, as there are many benefits to being legally married...

this progression of sexual attitudes is nothing new to the rest of the world, it is america that has the big hangups about it and makes the biggest deal of it...
 
  • #8
Zantra
781
3
Originally posted by Kerrie
not so sure about marriage being outdated, as there are many benefits to being legally married...

this progression of sexual attitudes is nothing new to the rest of the world, it is america that has the big hangups about it and makes the biggest deal of it...

I disagree. The sexual attitudes in the rest of the world are much more conservative in many ways. Especially in eastern countries from what I've seen. And I'm speaking of course in the context of dating and male/female relationships. It takes on mauch more a religious tone than in the US.
 
  • #9
zoobyshoe
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We are behind the European Countries somewhat but way ahead
is Muslim and Asian countries.

I think the ideal society as far
as sex goes was Tahiti when the
Europeans first discovered it.
As soon as they did, it all started to go downhill, but
at the time we discovered it, things were very nice there.

I don't think nudity will ever
become a norm for the reason that
it's not practical. You always
have to put more on in the winter,
even here in Ca., and there are
just too many things I wouldn't
want to be doing without some
shorts on, at least.
 
  • #10
drag
Science Advisor
1,100
1
Originally posted by Andy
I don't know about that, maybe in several thousands of
years when Men are no more.
I think the opposite is more likely. :wink:
 
  • #11
selfAdjoint
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Consider Sweden, where I understand all government benefits are payed directly to individuals and take no account of marital status. Since this includes medicine, there is no practical reason to be married, and indeed the illegitimacy rate is much higher than other countries. It seems to work for them.
 
  • #12
Kerrie
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yes selfadjoint, and that is what socialism does for individuals...in america as a married person, you have the benefit of (for example) making decisions for your spouse should they be in a coma...you get a bigger tax break now that they have changed the laws, and a few others...

think about this situation: you and your significant other have been together for 4 years but decide not to marry...something horrible happens to your sig. other, and there are decisions to be made for them...you feel you are the closest one to them, and know them the best and know what they want...guess who gets to LEGALLY make that decision for them? their next of kin, which could be their mother/father whom you don't get along with and they do not know your significant other like you do either...and would you believe that i still advocate marriage (provided it is one based only on love for another) after a horrific divorce myself? the problem lies with people not marrying for the right reasons...

The sexual attitudes in the rest of the world are much more conservative in many ways. Especially in eastern countries from what I've seen. And I'm speaking of course in the context of dating and male/female relationships. It takes on mauch more a religious tone than in the US.

this is absolutely true, but i believe it is the sexual taboos americans put on sex in general that make it such a big deal...and besides, americans have come a long way since the 60's...but we do need to be careful with sexual progression as the irresponsible people will be the ones spreading STD's...
 
  • #13
LURCH
Science Advisor
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I don't think we can project the future by simply extending the current trends. Human societal attitudes towards sex (among other things) have never progressed in a "strait line" like that. Look at the Greek or Roman empires, and you will no longer see us as the end of a continuous relaxing of sexual morays. Looking from there to the Victorian age, it would have appeared that humanity was becoming progressively more repressed.

Or, look at the "free love" movements in the 60's and 70's and the devastating STD outbreaks imediately afterward. Turned out to be neither "love" nor "free". I suppose we cuold have renamed it "cheap sex", but we're now discovering it wasn't even all that cheap; it's going to end up costing us plenty before it's through. But compared to that time period, today's society is quite conservative.

Besides all of that, or perhaps the cause for all that, is the bilogical imparitive. I don't know that humans can "progress" away from the exclusive pair bond any more than storks or penquins can. As Desmond Morris says, it is the state for which we are designed, the condition in which we are healthiest, live the longest, and are happiest. We'll undopubtedly continue to move away from it for a few more years, then we'll swing back the other way for a while. It's the nature of the beast.
 
  • #14
zoobyshoe
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Desmond Morris said the state for
which we are designed was exclu-
ive pair bonding?
 
  • #15
LURCH
Science Advisor
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Originally posted by zoobyshoe
Desmond Morris said the state for
which we are designed was exclu-
ive pair bonding?

Yes (or words to that effect), in his television series, The Human Animal. I believe he also mentions it in the book, The Naked Ape.
 
  • #16
zoobyshoe
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I read The Naked Ape a long
time ago, and I guess I don't re-
member anything about it. Hearing
you report now that he said that
about pair bonding, makes me wor-
ry that he was really just refle-
cting the prevalent societal be-
liefs at the time it was written.

I don't see how anyone can maintain we were designed to be
pair-bonding. If we were there
wouldn't be any need for the
institution of marriage. I don't
see any innate design at all in
the way humans bond, now or his-
torically.
 
  • #17
LURCH
Science Advisor
2,557
118
Mind you, I only said "I think" he said it in The Naked Apes, what I myself observed was on the TV series.

But as to this;
Hearing
you report now that he said that
about pair bonding, makes me wor-
ry that he was really just refle-
cting the prevalent societal be-
liefs at the time it was written.

I really don't think so. Morris was never much of a "cave into peer pressure" type of guy. I think he was just making a scientific annalysis of the data available. For example, you mentioned the institution of marriage, that it wouldn't exist. To the contrary, I suggest that marriage would not exist if it were not in our nature to mate for life. That is to say, "If the idea of marriage did not come out of human nature, where did it come from?".
 
  • #18
Originally posted by LURCH
Mind you, I only said "I think" he said it in The Naked Apes, what I myself observed was on the TV series.

But as to this;


I really don't think so. Morris was never much of a "cave into peer pressure" type of guy. I think he was just making a scientific annalysis of the data available. For example, you mentioned the institution of marriage, that it wouldn't exist. To the contrary, I suggest that marriage would not exist if it were not in our nature to mate for life. That is to say, "If the idea of marriage did not come out of human nature, where did it come from?".
I think the idea of marriage comes less from mating, and more from ownership. Men want to own women, you know.
 
  • #19
Zantra
781
3
Originally posted by Zero
I think the idea of marriage comes less from mating, and more from ownership. Men want to own women, you know.

But it's also recipricol. Women want to be cared for, deep down. Liberalist movement aside, it's genetic that women want men to take care of them. In a sense there is ownership from the woman's point of view. "this is my man, my provider, my caretaker" or whatnot. Evolution has ensure that men will also be the the providers while women will always be the caretaker. Obviously with technological and societal advancement that is changing, but intrapersonal dynamics have not. It's stil a general truth that men must "win over" the women, and prove themselves. Women still have the advantage of making the choice when it comes to pairing. There are of course exceptions to this rule. There are liberalist independent feminists who will decry this philosophy, but it's difficult to change our base instincts overall. We still live in a patriarchal society where the man is still the head of the household, and thus responsible ultimately for the family unit. This will not change drastically in the near future.
 
  • #20
Kerrie
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
841
15
Originally posted by Zantra
But it's also recipricol. Women want to be cared for, deep down. Liberalist movement aside, it's genetic that women want men to take care of them. In a sense there is ownership from the woman's point of view. "this is my man, my provider, my caretaker" or whatnot. Evolution has ensure that men will also be the the providers while women will always be the caretaker. Obviously with technological and societal advancement that is changing, but intrapersonal dynamics have not. It's stil a general truth that men must "win over" the women, and prove themselves. Women still have the advantage of making the choice when it comes to pairing. There are of course exceptions to this rule. There are liberalist independent feminists who will decry this philosophy, but it's difficult to change our base instincts overall. We still live in a patriarchal society where the man is still the head of the household, and thus responsible ultimately for the family unit. This will not change drastically in the near future.

zantra, i absolutely agree...but i have heard that monogamy is more of a society thing rather a biological need?
 
  • #21
Zantra
781
3
Originally posted by Kerrie
zantra, i absolutely agree...but i have heard that monogamy is more of a society thing rather a biological need?

Monagamy is indeed a societal thing. But monagamy is an intrinsic part of society. Human instincts such as jealousy prevent sharing of mates, and if our society were to accept that as a norm, it would devalue the family unit immensely, not to mention intamacy in general. I have to agree that if a community family were to become the norm, then things like intamacy would loose their value.

If you've ever read anything on nudist colonies, as I have, they will tell you that the idea of males walking around and becoming aroused in the prescence of nude females is a myth. Once you become accustomed to seeing the human form nude on a regular basis, it looses it's aesthetic value.

What would be the ultimate consequence of a completely uninhibited society? Assuming that people were still respected, and terms such as "consensual" still applied, I don't think it would change things all that much. As someone pointed out, you would still have to wear clothing to adjust for weather. If people were to move towards the communal sex, or polyarchist philosophy, I think that it would increase the birth rate as a side effect. The entire dynamic of relationships would change of course. Perhaps better attempts would be made at "Getting along" if you and and the other person realized that you could easily move on without consequence. Also, I believe it would bring society closer, as peope no doubt would be making love at the drop of a hat. Things like pornography would become rare and obsolete as another side effect. I also think sexual crimes would decrease as well. It would be a more open society, and people would not longer have the pent of frustrations felt by some sex offenders.
 
Last edited:
  • #22
zoobyshoe
6,551
1,287
Zantra,

In the first paragraph of your last post you made an abrupt
and unexplained transition from
discussing monogamy to the subject
of nudism. I can't tell if you
are trying to say that a breakdown
in monogamy will lead to nudism
or what.
 
  • #23
Zantra
781
3
Originally posted by zoobyshoe
Zantra,

In the first paragraph of your last post you made an abrupt
and unexplained transition from
discussing monogamy to the subject
of nudism. I can't tell if you
are trying to say that a breakdown
in monogamy will lead to nudism
or what.

Sorry I was distracted and I rushed through it without breaking them apart where they should have been. It was more of using nudism as an example of how society would adjust to more sexual freedom. I'll fix it up.
 
  • #24
radagast
484
1
Originally posted by Kerrie
zantra, i absolutely agree...but i have heard that monogamy is more of a society thing rather a biological need?

I would have to disagree. Monogamy, or at least pair bonding, comes out of the evolutionary trail humans have come. Specifically that human young take much more care than most other young, so that without added help, offspring survival is much diminished. Anything that effects offspring survival will eventually make it's way into a species genetic makeup.
 
  • #25
zoobyshoe
6,551
1,287
Monogamy and pair bonding are not
the least bit the result of evo-
lution. Polygamy thrived for ages
and still exists in pockets that
have remained unaffected by Western Civilization.

I don't believe human beings as
a whole have a genetic leaning
one way or another. I think indiv-
idual humans have their leanings
but it's very hard to say if this
is genetic or learned.

There are species of birds who
mate for life. This is there
genetic leaning. Once they mate
with another bird, they stick with
that bird.

Humans, many of them, divorce quite often and look for new
partners. This is hell on child-
ren, and it's kind of hard to
make sense of, if you suppose that
things get better with evolution.

I don't have any answers here, I
am just pointing out that people
who suppose pair-bonding and
monogamy are non-societal in orig-
in aren't taking a thorough look
at history.
 
  • #26
Galatea
35
0
Originally posted by Kerrie
yes selfadjoint, and that is what socialism does for individuals...in america as a married person, you have the benefit of (for example) making decisions for your spouse should they be in a coma...you get a bigger tax break now that they have changed the laws, and a few others...

think about this situation: you and your significant other have been together for 4 years but decide not to marry...something horrible happens to your sig. other, and there are decisions to be made for them...you feel you are the closest one to them, and know them the best and know what they want...guess who gets to LEGALLY make that decision for them? their next of kin, which could be their mother/father whom you don't get along with and they do not know your significant other like you do either..

A side benefit of marriage, is that, yes, you are the default person as the spouse to make medical decisions.

However, you can go anywhere and have a living will and power of attorney written up to designate who you want to take care of matters should you become incapacitated or unable to do so.

There are legal ways around things like that. The main benefit I see to marriage is financial (objectively that is - subjectively I tend to agree with you Kerrie) .
 
  • #27
Galatea
35
0
Originally posted by Zantra
If people were to move towards the communal sex, or polyarchist philosophy, I think that it would increase the birth rate as a side effect.

The thing about this is that there are already a ton of people involving themselves in things like this. If not communal sex, certainly casual sex. I don't think the birth rate would rise solely because people started having sex with multiple amounts of people. Horny people are horny people and they will get sex whether it's from the same person or many people separately. Irresponsibility is not necessarily a trait of those with a high libido.

Also, you are not factoring in the advances in birth control being made. In a future society, I don't doubt that those who choose to have communal sex will also have the option of "shutting down" their reproductive system until further notice. At the moment, women can postpone ovulation indefinitely with the right combination of birth control pills or using other methods (i.e. Depo-Provera, Norplant.)

Also, I believe it would bring society closer, as peope no doubt would be making love at the drop of a hat. Things like pornography would become rare and obsolete as another side effect. I also think sexual crimes would decrease as well. It would be a more open society, and people would not longer have the pent of frustrations felt by some sex offenders.

I beg to differ. You are completely discounting fetishes. I highly doubt that just because Joe Schmo is able to have sex with several beautiful vixens at once, he will now forget about his desire for little boys. Pornography as well as rape and other sexual offenses are often not about sex, but instead about degradation and/or power.

However, I agree that the overall acceptance of sexuality as a whole is encouraging. I don't think that marriage as an institution will fall apart, nor do I think that nudity (or what have you) will become the accepted norm - I think that people will, instead, be encouraged to do whatever is right for them without a fear of being ostracized for their preferences. Lesbian, bi, gay, transgender, polyamorous, monagamist and whatever else you can imagine in the realm of adult sexuality will, ideally, all be allowed to live happily ever after. :smile:
 
  • #28
Zantra
781
3
Originally posted by Galatea
I beg to differ. You are completely discounting fetishes. I highly doubt that just because Joe Schmo is able to have sex with several beautiful vixens at once, he will now forget about his desire for little boys. Pornography as well as rape and other sexual offenses are often not about sex, but instead about degradation and/or power.

However, I agree that the overall acceptance of sexuality as a whole is encouraging. I don't think that marriage as an institution will fall apart, nor do I think that nudity (or what have you) will become the accepted norm - I think that people will, instead, be encouraged to do whatever is right for them without a fear of being ostracized for their preferences. Lesbian, bi, gay, transgender, polyamorous, monagamist and whatever else you can imagine in the realm of adult sexuality will, ideally, all be allowed to live happily ever after. :smile: [/B]


Note that I refrain from making any all encompassing statements. There are no absolutes. Yes sex crimes would still exist, but a more open society may lead to a decrease in these types of crimes because of the free expression it would encourage.

Let's hope we can all have a happy ending:smile:
 
  • #29
Pirwzwhomper
12
0
Seeing that sex is a personal matter, and everyone has their own unique opinions of it, it would seem that everything has been tried before. If someone thinks of sex as just another human activity like eating or sleeping, then that's their opinion. If someone thinks that its their responsibility to remove their daughter's clitoris painfully and forcibly so as to diminish sexual pleasure in the hope that she will not commit adultery, that's their opinion as well. Its always going to be a matter of opinion. I do not see any single idea of sexuality as becoming so mainstream that others fall from favor entirely.

As far as marriage, its only another ceremony created by people to give order to their lives. Whether or not people want that structure in their lives is up to them, and no one can say that they are wrong or right.
 
  • #30
Zantra
781
3
Marriage I believe, has a deeper psychological meaning aside from the ceremony. It really comes down to a trust issue. By marrying someone you're actually saying "yes I trust you not to leave me or stray, but by marrying me we're cementing that" I've known couples who were together for many years without being married. They acted like a married couple, and there was never an issue of trust, they just didn't feel the need to marry. Some people end up marrying soley for the tax, insurance, and other benefits, but I don't think that you need marriage in order to make a commitment to someone. It's just as you said, to add order to people's lives.
 

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