Purpose?

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AuthorTopic: Purpose?
Lifecrafter
Member # 3320
Profile #0
I got into a little argument with someone on this topic and I hope it won't be offensive, but what the person said boggled my mind. It may be a controversial topic for the younger people here, but most of them have hit puberty after all and I would like to hear their two cents about it as well. Here is the debate topic.

In your opinion, what is the purpose of sex in life? Is it just for procreation, or is there much more to it?

Please don't close this for a while. I am very interested in what other people have to say. The person I was talking to thought that the only purpose of sex is to increase the population.

I happen to believe that sex is not made just for procreation, but goes deeper into human psychology. We may be animals, but we possess a faculty for love and pleasure. I believe that sex is a union between two souls that love each other deeply. Sex is a way to show your undying love for the other person and have that love reciprocated.

I am sorry, but if it were just for procreation, than we would be like animals during mating season, which is ridiculous.

So, what does everyone else here think about it?

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Mrs. Peacock: "Everything all right?"
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Posts: 935 | Registered: Friday, August 8 2003 07:00
Infiltrator
Member # 3220
Profile #1
If the purpose of sex was only for procreation, then only one very specific type of sexual activity would happen. It doesn't. Sex is a way to create a bond, to cement a bond, to release tension, to express emotions, and sometimes just to while away some time between tv shows.

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But I have never known or heard of anyone in real life who has said, "Yes! My goal in life is to be a brainless follower of obnoxious people!"
Posts: 437 | Registered: Sunday, July 13 2003 07:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #2
Frankly, I suspect the no-sex-before-marriage crowd is motivated by a mixture of moral panic and disgust at difference. If they were sincere about believing sex to be only for procreation, they'd sermonise against sex between a man and his pregnant wife as well. I don't think I've heard anybody speak out against that particular form of sexual activity, even though it obviously can't lead to pregnancy.
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Post Navel Trauma ^_^
Member # 67
Profile Homepage #3
I think the original "purpose" (in quote marks because it wasn't planned and there was no intelligence deciding it) was procreation, but it turned out to be multifunctional and good for anything from a lasting loving relationship to cheap thrills.

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Posts: 1798 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
Infiltrator
Member # 737
Profile #4
If sex is just for procreation, we wouldn't have any hands.

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Who was trained not to spit in the fan
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Who was fitted with collar and chain
Who was given a pat on the back
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Who was dragged down by the stone
Posts: 595 | Registered: Tuesday, March 12 2002 08:00
This Side Towards Enemy
Member # 3098
Profile #5
Procreation might be the intended purpose of it, but the intended purpose is not necessarily the only one and it certainly is not the only reason.

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I'm loose at the seams,
I've broken my dreams
And my hand it shakes the pen
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Posts: 961 | Registered: Thursday, June 12 2003 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #6
Biologically, sex is for procreation. As thinking beings, or at least beings with the delusion of thought, we attach all kinds of significance to it that is all in our minds. The point of eating is to obtain materials for maintaining our bodies and energy to let if function, but people eat for many more reasons than that.

Basically, sex is whatever you make of it.

—Alorael, who only has to present different cultures' views to show that there is no natural human view of sex.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire!
Member # 919
Profile #7
quote:
Originally written by Sherlock Holmes:

...just for procreation... the only purpose of sex is to increase the population...

That's not what I said, you're getting as bad as ADoS. I said that procreation is the main purpose, and that the pleasure is more of a side effect. A very nice, very large side effect, but still a side effect.

quote:
Originally written by Distantly Bemused:

Procreation might be the intended purpose of it, but the intended purpose is not necessarily the only one and it certainly is not the only reason.

Yes, I believe that procreation is the intended purpose of sex. I also believe that it is not the only purpose or the only reason; Thuryl's thing about a man and his pregnant wife is a good example of that.

quote:
Originally written by Alorael:

Biologically, sex is for procreation. As thinking beings, or at least beings with the delusion of thought, we attach all kinds of significance to it that is all in our minds. The point of eating is to obtain materials for maintaining our bodies and energy to let if function, but people eat for many more reasons than that.

A very good point. Eating is for nutrition, sex is for procreation. That doesn't mean that procreation is the only reason for sex, any more than nutrition is the only reason for eating. Really, MSW, could you at least attempt to quote me correctly?

EDIT: Quote problems...

[ Saturday, February 28, 2004 08:01: Message edited by: Sir David ]

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Posts: 3351 | Registered: Saturday, April 6 2002 08:00
Guardian
Member # 3521
Profile #8
Well, of course the desire to mate in a human is a biological imperative of unbelievable power and pervasiveness. Sex is physically pleasurable for us humans because, in evolutionary terms, the development of highly sensitized sex organs raised reproductive fitness in those that possessed this trait. I'm of the belief that the symptom of romantic love experienced by so many is a bit of subconscious conditioning, the result of a very human desire to be "above" such a primitive impulse as sexual desire.

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Posts: 1798 | Registered: Sunday, October 5 2003 07:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 2300
Profile #9
Interesting.... I'd never really considered that before.

My opinion is that sex is solely, at the base of it all, a means to procreation. The positive associations we make with sex are merely a subconscious biological means of encouraging reproduction... I suppose what I'm saying is that physically sex is solely a means of procreation, whereas mentally it can be anything and everything.

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Beware of pretty girls in dance halls and parks who may be spies, as well as bicycles, revolvers, uniforms, arms, dead horses, and men lying on roads -- they are not there accidentally." - Soviet infantry manual, 1930's
Posts: 267 | Registered: Wednesday, November 27 2002 08:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 3320
Profile #10
quote:
Really, MSW, could you at least attempt to quote me correctly?
If I remember correctly, I never actually used your name. Therefore, you just incriminated yourself. I did not intend to let people know whom I was arguing with. Too late now that you gave it away.

Anyway, if sex was just for procreation, then where does oral sex and anal sex factor in? They are certainly not used for procreation. And both straight people and gay people do those. Then again, many people don't consider oral sex to actually be sex. I think it most definitely is.

Times have changed and the definition of sex has changed. These days, if you tell your lover that you want to have sex to procreate only, I am very sure they won't take it very nicely. Sex is an expression of love, and is no longer just for procreation in our overpopulated world.

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Mrs. Peacock: "Everything all right?"
Colonel Mustard: "Yep. Two Corpses. Everything's fine."

"Keep your wits about you, the game is afoot!!" - Sherlock Holmes
Posts: 935 | Registered: Friday, August 8 2003 07:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 4000
Profile Homepage #11
You know, there is a thing called boredom. And then there is a thing called sex, which is the exact opposite of boredom.

I won't say any more.

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-TEH BOOGEYMAN STRIKES AGAIN

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And then there's always a Chance nearby...
Posts: 245 | Registered: Tuesday, February 17 2004 08:00
Warrior
Member # 2155
Profile #12
Sex, whoo... complicated subject, and no, I am not speaking in the voice of a health teacher.

Obviously there is the matter of procreation, but I think that idea is a little outdated. When confronted with the idea of “Haven’t you heard of “go forth and be fruitful?” birth control activist Margaret Sanger replied, “Yes, we’ve already done that.” All and all, this purpose has in this day and age likely become one of the most dangerous of all sexual drawbacks as overpopulation threatens countless countries, especially in Asia. There is no threat that our species will go extinct, so this is obviously one of the least important reasons why we have sex.

Culturally it is one of two stars that often (some would say all too) make up the center of our social solar system, the other being monetary greed. Therein lies one of the purposes of sex – money. No, I’m not talking about the poor souls forced out of an abusive home and onto the streets who have no option but to stoop to prostitution. I mean the eighty quintillion and a half sexual references and innuendos you can fine strewn across the media and the rest of pop culture.

Then of course is one I think we can all agree on: pleasure. You can easily get some half-baked fascist scientist to tell you that the only real way to feel pleasure is through food and sex, and while this is a very shallow and limiting view, there is no question that consensual sex does result in pleasure. Unfortunately this purpose can easily override the others and the ideas of responsibility, as any single mother can tell you, or most the people of the AIDS choked African continent.

Finally, stepping beyond the ideas of the concrete, there is the idea of “love.” Biologically this is something that doesn’t exist – love is merely the result of hormonal and chemical reactions in the brain and body generating the desire to mate for means of procreation and self preservation. While there is a selective group of extremely hard-core atheists who believe this, I would like to think that love, regardless of one’s specific belief system, means something more than that.

Sex is a means of proving one’s love to another, and regardless of ones sexual orientation, is in my opinion the best, and purest reason for sex. Compare it to a nation’s flag in war. On one hand its practical, concrete reason is signify who or where belongs to what side. On the other hand, it provides inspiration and a sense of glory to the side it belongs to, a symbol of what they’re fighting for. The later is by far the more powerful use for the flag, and the symbolic act of sex is the most powerful purpose behind it.

However, much like the flag, the symbolism and sanctity of sex is all too often forgotten in this day and age.

---Your long-winded maniac, Necris Omega

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Sanity is a relative concept. And like most my relatives, I rarely see it.
"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." ~ Albert Einstein
Posts: 168 | Registered: Saturday, October 26 2002 07:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 3801
Profile Homepage #13
In my opinion, the meaning of sex is different for everyone, depending on who you are and what you believe, viewpoints, etc.. Some people see it as just fun, some people think of it as a deep spiritual experience. I think the meaning is found within how it is used as well as who is using it. People think differently, but I don't think there is a standard black and white answer. It is really a question of who and what and when.

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Posts: 323 | Registered: Thursday, December 18 2003 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #14
Romance, particularly when it leads leads to a more or less permanent link between a man and a woman, exists for sound biological reasons. You'll notice that many animals form "families" with mated pairs. One can provide for the other, both can care for children, and so on.

That doesn't make romance an illusion. On the contrary, the ability to pair with a mate permanently may well have been a trait that gave an evolutionary advantage. If so, our ideas of romance are the culmination of millions of years of biological programming and are one of the strongest facets of our emotional makeup.

—Alorael, who would call romantic attachment almost as important as love of children to creating a successful family unit and raising babies who will survive to have more babies.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 3980
Profile Homepage #15
At first sight, I agreed with Alorael's and Syntyrael's answer "It is what you make of it." -even if this is no answer at all, as they do not write what they make of it in their lives.
However, having read the other posts - sex appears to me as the easy part of MSW's original question.

I keep wondering about the idea of a purpose of sex at all - not to mention thepurpose of sex.
Look at what different meanings we are attaching to "purpose":

Religious imperialistic:
Some unique destiny, i.e. an intention of a creator, that can be discovered and that applies to all of mankind so that it can be proclaimed with that feeling "I am right - everybody else is a poor/ignorant/evil/stupid/infidel (whatever you choose)."

Scientific evolutionary ("biologic"):
A mechanism of physical differentiation in two phenotypes that allows to find new combinations of genetic material and allow species to adapt and evolve.

Pragamatic:
What can we make of it?
One might count Boeing's post here - even if its lgic appears to be directed at the purpose of the hands rather than of sex.

Intellectually:
A collection of allour our associations we have when we think of it.

Reason:
A kind of transcendent explanation/camouflage for our common desire to be close to someone else or to even imagine to be close (the desire to control/subdue/possess that partner may be seen as an escalation following deprivation.)
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Maybe the question about a purpose is too advanced for me. Let me answer instead the easier question:
What role does sex play in my life?

It is a way how I make sure that I live and do not dream - the ultimate form of communication.
I experience a similar feeling when I discuss with an open-minded partner or even when I sense the triumph of success of one of my better explanations - when I have been understood before the victim of my explanation has lost interest or - even worse - escaped.
What about this lustful moment right now?
Do you understand what I mean?

Sure, there are other aspects of sex like
identifying a potential mate and working hard for acceptance and one's own physical climax.
But that maybe taboo here anyway...

[ Saturday, February 28, 2004 16:08: Message edited by: yet another procrastinator ]

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Wisdom grows from trying to find structure in our experience - looking backwards in time - while living goes forward.
Theories are expectations that help us live forward - like possible ways to put the mosaic together. If they are worth the effort to remember, they should predict something and in case the prediction does not work out with time they should autodestruct.
And then there is something that we cannot test - something we have inherited in form of customs, attitudes, culture and the spirit of stories told and retold - that is like our individual SQUARE ONE.
This runs deeper than we can know.
Posts: 311 | Registered: Friday, February 13 2004 08:00
Senile Reptile
Member # 547
Profile #16
Thuryl, please don't generalize the "sex after marriage crowd." I beleive sex before marriage greatly diminishes the whole emotional aspect of the act, but that's just how I view it. I don't care what other people do in their bedrooms (or offices, or vans, or broom closets, or whatever), and it's none of my business anyway.

Sex is indeed what you make of it, but isn't everything else?

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Polaris
Posts: 1614 | Registered: Wednesday, January 23 2002 08:00
Guardian
Member # 2476
Profile #17
quote:
I beleive sex before marriage greatly diminishes the whole emotional aspect of the act
What about those who, though perfectly willing to mate, prefer not to marry?
And, if there is no deep emotion before marriage, where does it come from afterwards?
Also, though this is a rather pragmatic view, there are people who, no matter how much they like each other, sexually do not suit. They may try, but it won't work out. They can be friends, but they should never marry.

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Polaris
Posts: 1828 | Registered: Saturday, January 11 2003 08:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #18
quote:
Originally written by Sir Motrax of Exile:

Thuryl, please don't generalize the "sex after marriage crowd." I beleive sex before marriage greatly diminishes the whole emotional aspect of the act, but that's just how I view it. I don't care what other people do in their bedrooms (or offices, or vans, or broom closets, or whatever), and it's none of my business anyway.
No need to get defensive. I often find myself in agreement with you when I'm in one of my more prudish moods. I was speaking more of those who want to ban various forms of extramarital sex, or failing that make social outcasts of those who use it. I have no reason to change the opinions of people who aren't planning to use their opinions for anything anyway.

So far as I know, though, neither of us have ever married, so I'm not sure we're qualified to give an opinion. All I can really add is that most of the married people I know (of both sexes) pretty soon started to view sex as an obligation rather than a pleasure.

Anyway, even if sex after marriage is better, is less sex in exchange for possible better sex really a good tradeoff? How far do you want to go with that? If you knew you could only have sex once in your entire life, that one time would certainly be an emotional experience, but that doesn't mean you wouldn't rather have sex more than once.

[ Saturday, February 28, 2004 19:13: Message edited by: Thuryl ]
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 2300
Profile #19
quote:
Originally written by ef:

There are people who, no matter how much they like each other, sexually do not suit. They may try, but it won't work out. They can be friends, but they should never marry.
I'm slightly confused as to what you're saying here. Is it that you believe sex is mandatory to a loving relationship, or marriage, or whatever?

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Beware of pretty girls in dance halls and parks who may be spies, as well as bicycles, revolvers, uniforms, arms, dead horses, and men lying on roads -- they are not there accidentally." - Soviet infantry manual, 1930's
Posts: 267 | Registered: Wednesday, November 27 2002 08:00
Shaper
Member # 22
Profile #20
He's saying that if someone's crap in bed, you shouldn't marry them.

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KazeArctica: "Imagine...wangs everywhere...and tentacles. Nothing but wangs and tentacles! And no pants!"
Posts: 2862 | Registered: Tuesday, October 2 2001 07:00
Guardian
Member # 2476
Profile #21
quote:

quote ef:
There are people who, no matter how much they like each other, sexually do not suit. They may try, but it won't work out. They can be friends, but they should never marry.

quote Daedalus:
I'm slightly confused as to what you're saying here. Is it that you believe sex is mandatory to a loving relationship, or marriage, or whatever?
A loving relationship can be anything, parents' love, friendship, mating.

Though there are exceptions sex is usually an integral part of adult mating, within or without marriage. You certainly need more than good 'chemistry' between both partners to make a relationship work, but without such 'chemistry' a longterm partnership can become difficult and/or frustrating for both.

The more so, as romantic love (and how many people marry because of it) is often blissfully unaware of who the other really is. Instead projects whatever quality or beauty you would like to meet. It can develop into love or end with the realization that you've been in love with your own mental image of what you want the other one to be. Then you start to quarrel and nag, trying to force your partner to change and become what you want him/her to be.
Though sexual attraction does not solve that problem, it may soften you enough to try better ways of communication.

Love, to me, is more a state of being than an emotion. 'Beauty is in the eye that sees', meaning the ability to value, enjoy and express the other's inner and outer qualities more than all the flaws that are also part of the bargain and that you are clearly aware of. Love is very realistic.

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Polaris
Posts: 1828 | Registered: Saturday, January 11 2003 08:00
Apprentice
Member # 1695
Profile #22
Dolphins do it for fun... why couldn't we!
I mean we must be at least as good as them no?
Posts: 42 | Registered: Thursday, August 8 2002 07:00
This Side Towards Enemy
Member # 3098
Profile #23
So do it with a dolphin. Nobody's stopping you.

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Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned
I'll tell you my story, man
Though I wish I'd never been born
I'm loose at the seams,
I've broken my dreams
And my hand it shakes the pen
Come on, come on now baby,
Let the good times roll again
Posts: 961 | Registered: Thursday, June 12 2003 07:00
Warrior
Member # 1351
Profile #24
is sex is merely for procreation, then why was birth control invented?

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Spend your lazy, endless crazy days inside my head.
Posts: 137 | Registered: Monday, June 24 2002 07:00

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