The sexual ethics of humanity is undergoing a rethink, one that started in the 1960s with the free love movement and the Hippies, and has thus far culminated in equal rights for LGBT people including marriage rights. However boundaries are still being pushed, as rightly they should be, and within the next few decades, ideally sooner, we will see equality being gained for polycules and consangs.
So, what exactly are modern sexual ethics?
I think it boils down to a very basic principal governing what is defined as acceptable and unacceptable sexual behaviour:
ACCEPTABLE behaviour is that which does not cause harm.
UNACCEPTABLE behaviour is that which harms.
Clearly, acceptable behaviours need not be governed at all, it’s none of anyones business except the participants. Unacceptable behaviours need to be criminalized simply because of the harm that they cause.
How is harm defined?
Very easily, anything which causes unwanted physical or psychological distress. For example, harm is caused by crimes like rape, child molestation, animal rape and necrophilia. Harm is caused when somebody is violated against their will, and when meaningful affirmative consent cannot be given.
Some people might want to argue ‘grey area’ but in reality it is almost always cut and dry. Say for instance a guy and his girlfriend go on a date, and they both get drunk. Say they’ve had a brilliant night out and they’ve enjoyed themselves, and it seemed extremely likely that they would have sex at the end of the night. Now imagine they went back to his place in a taxi, and that they have a bit more wine at his place, and then they go to bed, except that now she has fallen asleep, or more like passed out because of the alcohol. If he were to have sex with her as she was unconcious then that is clearly unacceptable, because she was not awake and aware and did not give her consent, even though she was flirting earlier in the day. Even if this couple had been having regular sex for a while, she still did not consent on this particular evening. Consent is never once for all time, it is something that is renewed for each sexual encounter, even within a marriage. If sex is taken from somebody in a manner such as described above, it is still rape even if force is not used, because sex wiwas taken thout consent.
This exact form of logic applies in all circumstances: If somebody is too young to give meaningful consent because they don’t even know the full ramifications of what they’re consenting too, then any sex with that underage individual is rape (however sex between similarly aged minors is ill advised but not rape in the sense that neither have power over the other and have the same level of understanding). Likewise animals cannot give consent to sex with humans, so anyone who has sex with their dog and believes that their pet is fine with it is still a rapist.
Any form of rape, that is, taking sex without consent, is actually a form of theft. and it is a form that goes way beyond when somebody shoplifts or nicks what you left lying on the table in the pub, it goes beyond even when somebody burgles your house and ransacks all your stuff. It is a theft not of property, but of the most personal of personal spaces. It is a theft of dignity and trust, and this is why it is rightly punished by law enforcement.
So, what can be added to the acceptable list then?
Any behaviour which does not lead to unwanted physical or psychological harm. Anything which is sexuality expressed between consenting adults.
Obviously, it goes without saying that the gay and straight communities pass this with flying colours, and this is now widely understood, So what about others?
BDSM people are often marginalized because people say things like ‘well they harm each other’… well, the key is ‘unwanted harm’ versus ‘consensual’. There is a world of difference between two consenting adults role playing and perhaps engaging in a bit of bondange and spanking, compared to some nutter who abducts somebody at random, ties them up and beats the crap out of them and rapes them for sexual kicks. We have to be sensible and see that one is absolutely okay (although not everyones cup of tea), and the other is abduction, sexual assault and actual bodily harm.
Poly people pass too, because everyone involved in consenting adults, no cheating is involved as everyone should know exactly who is involved with who and consent to it before it happens. This lifestyle leaves little room for sexual jealously as usually experienced by mono people, and so if you’re the type likely to get such jealously then being with a poly person probably isn’t right for you… but that doesn’t make it wrong, it makes it just different that’s all. I’m mono, but I support poly.
Consang people pass as well, because, you guessed it, we’re all consenting adults. Again, this isn’t for everyone, but it’s for some of us, and society should respect that. As soon as we dispel these ignoranced based myths surrounding us and show that we’re a valid part of relationship diversities, and that we are not to be feared, we can get the acceptance we need and deserve as human beings.
Some unnecessary fears
Some people fear the direction in which modern sexual ethics is taking society, sometimes they come from a religious perspective, and sometimes from a secular one, but what they have in common is a belief in the slippery slope fallacy and a deep rooted ignorance of what these ethics actually stand for. They fear things like people being able to marry their cats and dogs, amongst other even more ridiculous and outrageous beliefs. They do not know how wrong they are.
Where all this actually leads
The progress, which is still in the process of happening and will continue for many years to come, is in the direction of people being allowed to conduct their romantic and sexual lives in the way that they see fit providing that this does not violate the rights of their partner(s). In other words, rape, pedophilia and beastiality will all remain illegal, where polyamory and consanguinamory will be recognised as valid at long last. It means that TRUE diversity will be accepted and shown in the world. A lot of ‘progressives’ aren’t actually progressive, they accept the progress made so far but they cannot see the progress yet to be made. Being tolerant of what you’re told to be tolerant of, and intolerant of what you’re told to be intolerant of is not progressive, it’s regressive, and it’s hypocritical, in the way that such people do not actually hold true to the values they claim to uphold. For instance, a faux progressive will be very pro-LGBT, and then come up with slurs against consang people. I’ve seen it happen many times in debates in response to articles.
At the end of the day, people are either REALLY progressive, or they’re faking it to look good (which means that they will defend the status quo). Now, I will speak out against these fake progressives because they are hypocrites, they deny us our rights just as readily as the most conservative of conservatives. They claim that consenting adults means consenting adults, but then they deny that consent can occur between relatives when that statement is demonstrably false. They sometimes hide this by pretending that all incest is child molesting, which again is demonstrably false. I run circles around these guys in debate, and they always end up reducing the debate to ad-hominem style attacks. When I see an ad-hominem, I know I have won.
If you’re a conservative reading this, please do not think I am trying to slate you, I honestly am not. I am trying to point out merely where the liberals have a valid point if, and only if it is continued to it’s logical and moral conclusion.
If you believe that ALL consenting adults, regardless of their orientation have the right to conduct their own private life in peace and without any interference from the law, or from fellow citizens, then you’re a REAL progressive. Such a person is in accordance with modern sexual ethics, and such a person should therefore by an ally of consanguinamory.
These issues can, and should be divorced from the usual left/right mantra, and given over to the basic human rights to which we all claim to subscribe, the rights to a private life and freedom of choice for instance. The left offer progressivism and all the positives that brings (it has it’s downsides too but that is beyond the scope of my blog), and the right brings libertarianism, where the rights of the individual are seen as inviolable. Both ideas arrive at the exact same conclusion! Consanguinamory ought be legalized, and the sooner the better.