Eric LeaseSex, Love, and MarriageOctober 7th, 2017Lisa KingQuestion #2 – Is there such a thing as perverted sex? If so,what is it? If not, why not? Consider Kant, Freud, and either Nagel or Moultonin your answer.
Today’s culture isfilled with many controversial topics and ideas that do not have clear- cutanswers; one of those topics including sex and whether certain types of sex canbe considered perverse. Looking at different angles on the concept and from theideas of various people throughout history, certain conclusions can be made.Many factors go into deciding if a sex is perverted but there are some specificcharacteristics of a variety of sexualities that can render them perverse. Sexcan be considered perverted when it is used in a way that objectifies anotherperson or when consent is absent.Although, sex issaid to be an urge that controls the human body, it is important to note thatif sex between individuals is meant purely for the purposes of alleviating anintense appetite, it is perverse. This is because according to Kant’s view, itis objectifying the other person because they are just a means to satisfy onesurges. I agree with Kant in that sex can be sought out due to the fact thatsomeone is hot and bothered and having and receiving sex would satisfy theoverwhelming desire. With saying this, I do think sex is an appetite or carnaldesire but it doesn’t mean, or justify using someone just as a means to solelyto satisfy these urges.
People have reasoning abilities and are capable offully consenting in ways that animals are not able to and, therefore, would beable to resist the urge of “needing” sex in the same way you need food tosurvive. For animals, sex is mostly for reproductive purposes and this is hardwired into their brains without being taught to engage these sorts ofactivities, it is similar to an instinct of survival. When humans take sex tothe level, by “needing” it for their survival and treating it as an appetitethat must be quenched, I believe that is okay to want sex like that.
However,when you use that as your reasoning for having sex, that is when the otherperson becomes objectified and when sex becomes perverse. I think it isperverted due to the fact that people have the intellect to decide when, where,and why they are having sex unlike animals in which sex is more like an urgeand not easily controlled. Another extremely common theme among sex talk is theidea of consent of the sex happening or having the potential to occur. Whenthose aspects are missing from the picture, the sex is and has become perverse.This is because consent gives respect to the other person. Freud does a great job of describing some ofthe abnormal sexualities out there including inverts and their perversions ofsexual objects and sexual aim. Before diving into the different perversions, itis important to note Freud believed that if one or more of the stages of desirewere not fully completed or were hindered as a child, the person may developthese perverted sexual desires and practices. He mentions that perversions ofsexual objects can include sexualities like pedophilia and bestiality and thatthese two types of sexualities are abnormal and perverted by means that thereis no mutual reciprocation.
Children may be coerced into having relations withan older adult and even if the child expresses agreement to the relations, atthat age and stage of development, children are unable to make that kind ofdecision for themselves, thus not being to reciprocate pleasure. In the case ofbestiality, animals are unable to indicate consent due to inability tocommunicate with humans. In this case and the case of pedophilia, there is onlyone consenting adult or person and this alludes to perverted sex. When talkingabout sexual aim, Freud thinks that the acts performed during sex are pervertedif they are outside the limits of normal intercourse. I can agree with this inthe extreme situations including sadomasochists but I, also, think that sex canconsist of positions and relations other than standard missionary. Thealternatives I am referring to do not include violence, pain, and torture.
WhenFreud makes mention to these types of extreme sexualities, as I understand it,the theme is that consent is and may not be fully given in these circumstancesas well. For sadomasochists, I cannot imagine giving full consent to beingtortured and put through pain for someone else’s pleasure. I would feeldehumanized and broken and I cannot fathom the idea of anyone truly givingconsent in this situation, leaving me to think it is very perverse.In conclusion, sexcan be perverted in many ways including the way it is used, whether someone isable to fully consent, and if someone is unaware of being used as a sexual arousaloutlet. Sex is a tricky subject and many people have different ideas of what”normal” non- perverted sex is, hence all the different types of sexualitiesout there. I think this topic is up for much debate and will always be a widelydebated topic, especially among those who feel strongly about the subject andthose who happen to participate in the determined perverse sexualities.