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sex and love

By iamtoni Nov 05, 2014 2356 Words

NAME: Latoya Campbell
Course: philosophy of sex and love
Course code: Phil 3510
ID number: 620035263
Stream: Tuesday 6-7
Lecturer:
Tutor: Dr.Kutach
Questions: 1.Formulate a definition that will best reflect the concept of a sexual activity, and with the use of two (2) examples, illustrate/justify your definition.

Introduction
What is sex? Why are we as human being so obsessed with this activity? Do we need to know what a sexual activity is? What importance does this hold to us as human beings? We know what sex is (or we assume), but what is hard to know for sure is when are we engage in a sexual activity and what exactly is a sexual activity? From philosophers to psychologist they have spent decade trying to give us a clear understanding of what a sexual activity is but without any avail. It seems to gets more and more complicated to pin point what should are can be said to be a sexual activity after looking at all the definitions available to us. What are the necessary and sufficient factors that will inform an individual that they are indeed engaged in a sexual activity? We will first look on what a sexual activity is said to be by various philosophers which hopeful will help us to formulate a definition of our own. To understand the complexity of the subject matter we have to look on a number of definitions which should allow our research to come to a reasonable or justified conclusion to what a sexual activity can be.

Definition of sex Before we can look on what a sexual activity we first have to look on what sex is.This should help us get a better understanding of what can be classified as a sexual activity. Sex is sometimes defined as a physical activity in which people touch each other's bodies, kiss each other, etc. : physical activity that is related to and often includes sexual intercourse.Bertocci argued that sex can be the “means of communicating ones concern of the wider range of value “such as love ,marriage and family”. To him sex is not just penetration of the penis into the vagina but encompasses a much more complex activity .however Alan Goldman denies that sex is essentially a means of communication, he is not denying that sex can take on heightened value and meaning when it becomes a vehicle for the expression of feeling of love or tenderness”. He like many other think that we are too limited in your definition of sex and what a sexual activity. Based on all the definitions that have been given on what is sex and when it has occur it safe to say we might not have a concrete definition. But philosophy seeks not only to solve problems but at least attempts to answer them, since there is no harm in trying ones best as deemed fit, that been said lets us look on the different definitions given as to what a sexual activity is and is not in order to form a justified conclusion.
ARGUMENTS FOR WHAT IS A SEXUAL ACTIVITY
What is a sexual activity you may ask? To a lot of individual a sexual activity only occur when penal penetration has taken place but philosophers have shown that this concept that we have been taught is quiet limited. Robert Gray is one such philosopher who has taken up this line of ordinary thought and has argued that "sexual activity" should be analyzed in terms of the production of sexual pleasure. He asserts that "any activity might become a sexual activity" if sexual pleasure is derived from it, and "no activity is a sexual activity unless sexual pleasure is derived from it".Grey’s definition tell us only one thing and that’s anything that produces pleasure can be a sexual activity, so simple eating our favorite chocolate can become sexual since it produced pleasure to that individual. To Grey to have pleasure is a sufficient criteria in knowing when someone is engage in a sexual activity. This means if one has no pleasure then a sexual activity has not taken place. If someone has in fact engaged in an activity that is sexual in nature but has fail to attain or provide pleasure in such a case it would not be implausible to say that this individual did not undergo a sexual experience and so did not engage in a sexual act.Grey’s theory showed support for a sex worker who provide pleasure for a client but has no pleasure in doing so even though they were in fact taking part in a activity that is sexual in nature. However this theory of grey’s create great discrepancies for individuals who has been rape or sexual acts that are labeled as perverted(unnatural) in nature. The idea of having an orgasm or feeling arousal during rape or molestation is a confusing and difficult one for many people, both survivors and secondary-survivors (friends/family). Many do not believe it's possible for a woman or man to achieve orgasm during rape or other kinds of sexual assault. Some believe having an orgasm under these circumstances means that it wasn't a "real" rape or the woman/man "wanted" it.Studies have shown that one of the complex aspects of rape is that most women experience intense orgasm during this cruel and gruesome act , which is very upsetting and confusing. The fact that this person had an orgasm (which indicate a level of sexual pleasure) during this terrible experience according to greys line of argument they would have been a subject of a sexual activity; but if they had no feeling of pleasure (even though they had an orgasm during the rape) they are excluded from being in a sexual activity. Critics have had one major problem with grey theory about sexual activity which has yet to be answered; what activities should we classify as sexual and non- sexual? With pleasure being the only evidence that a sexual activity has taken place how can we difference other sexual act that doesn’t produce pleasure? If we should accept grey’s analysis of what a sexual activity is our whole sex life would have be called into question. For many of us who have never had a pleasurable sexually encounter it would mean that we have never been involved in a sexual activity. What happens to desire and all other component that necessary and sufficient for asexual activity to take place? To accept this theory it would mean that a lot of us have never engaged in a sexual activity and that is very hard to comprehend that we can take part in a sexual act but yet did not engage in sexual activity and not derive any or much pleasure from it, but that fact should not give us reason for refusing to call these unsatisfactory events "sexual”. It is not enough to have pleasure for a sexual activity to occur one has to have desire has stated by Alan Goldman. Goldman argues that sexual desire is “desire for contact with another person's body and for the pleasure that such contract produces; sexual activity is activity that tends to fulfill such desire of the agent”. He also discusses how it has become so culturally ingrained in our morals that it is hard to think of sex in the simplest of terms. For Goldman sex is just merely that, he doesn’t see it fitting for us to apply any other meaning to it than what it is.These definitions are meant to capture the central facts of human sexuality, rather than express some ideal superimposed on it. When somebody has a desire for something other than contact with another person's body -- say, for merely looking at another's body, or at other people engaging in sex, or for contact with another person's clothes rather than body -- and the satisfaction of such desire produces the kind of pleasure the overwhelming majority of human beings achieve through contact with others' bodies, the desire and the relevant activity are statistically abnormal and perverted. For Goldman though we are putting too much emphasis were it not needed. He argues that other accounts miss one of the crucial facts about sex – it is a highly pleasurable activity. He wishes to give an account of sexual desire that is based simply on sex itself. Sexual desire aims at pleasure so the best sex is the kind which affords it participants the most physical enjoyment. He went further say a prostitute performing oral sex would not be involved in a sexual activity. The prostitute is only involved in “earing”, not a desire for physical contact. He does believe that not all physical contact, touching etc, are sexual in nature .without the desire for physical contact in and of itself, but for other reasons, that these activities are predominantly nonsexual .therefore if the desire that leads to the act is not sexual, neither is the act. This statement will make one wonder what kind of activity would an individual who is masturbating be a part of? Is masturbation not a sexual activity that one has desire for a body? Why can’t a person desire their own body since sex is merely that? Critiques against Goldman and grey’s theory of sexual activity With all this restriction, any of us, if any, will still look on a sexual activity has two individuals engaged in some form of penetration of the vagina and penis. But with all this disagreements about the definition of sexual activity, we find that even the definition that we have come to learn is very problematic.it is the view of Alan Goldman and Robert grey that one does not need the so call “sexual body part” to be involved for a sexual activity to take place.do we even know which of our body is sexual? Thomas Aquinas the catholic theologian stated that “god designed each of the body parts of human body to carry out specific functions”. He believed that ejaculation elsewhere than inside a human female vagina is un-natural.it violates god’s sagacious design. While philosophers such as grey and Goldman would see masturbation as a sexual activity because it produces pleasure and desire, Aquinas argue that when someone engages in the act of masturbation this individual as gone against what is natural and as of such the act has become sexually perverse .Sexual activity to Aquinas should only take place in the confined of marriage for procreative reasons. Kant like Aquinas also thinks that the act of sexual activity is bad because they are used as a means to an end rather than as an ends to a means. According to Kant (1977):”Sexuality is not an inclination which one human being has for another as such, but is an inclination for the sex of another. . . . Only her sex is the object of his desires”. (p. 62). They see desire and pleasure has the only means to how sexual activity can take place but to Aquinas and Kant this is the main purpose for sexual activity to occur. On the other hand, Metaphysical optimists like Plato and Irving Singer doesn’t t see anything bad or good in relation to any sexual activity, because a sexual activity is important for a strong relationship between a man and woman which is aimed for the purpose of procreation. What they have in common with Metaphysical pessimist (Kant and Aquinas) is that both believe sexual activity is more than merely having desire or pleasure. According to Singer(1996), “sexual activity is seen as a sexual interest which resembles an appetite in some respects, it differs from hunger or thirst in being an interpersonal sensitivity, one that enables us to delight in the mind and character of other persons as well as in their flesh” (vol 2: p.20) . A definition of a sexual activity may be defined if we consider the act as non-morally good or bad – or morally good or bad, it actually depends on the way it is performed or it’s after effects, be it positive or negative. Sometimes we derive little or no pleasure from a sexual act, (say) we are primarily giving pleasure to another person, or we are even selling it to the other person, and we think that even though the other person had a sexual experience, he or she didn’t. He didn’t see a sexual activity as only pleasure or desire but something that is very important to human being. Robert Solomon also disagree with Goldman and grey that asexual activity a is merely pleasure or desire; he stated that “sexual activity consist in speaking what we might call “body language”.it has its own grammar, delineated by the body and its own the body and its own phonics of touch and movement”. For a sexual activity to take place there has to be more to it that what means the eye. However huge wilder argued that like language, has many different functions, but no particular function is itself essential”.
Conclusion I this essay I have examined what is sex to give a better explainatation of what a sexual activity is.I gave two arguments along with numerous critiques of the what should or can constitute as a sexual activity. The question asked us to defined what a sexual activity is and justify my definition but has you can see it was a hard task. Sexual activity vary depend on the person ethical, moral ,social background and as of such become problematic in justify without heavy criticism will however say one definition came close for me where Janice Moulton states that “sexual behavior differ from other behavior by virtue of its unique feelings and emotions and its unique ability to create shared intimacy”.my understanding of this statement IS that a sexual activity is beyond our outdated definition and it’s something that will have problem in defining and as of such will always be something that needs us to be open in our thinking.
Bibliography
ontact with others' bodies, the desire and the relevant activity are statistically abnormal and perverted. ++------,,,,,,,mmmm…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

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