The Sexualization of Everything
October 10, 2022
Filed In: Philosophy
I have to imagine that there was a time in human history when every human relationship wasn’t sexualized. No doubt, we’ve always had a certain fascination with sex, but not to the point where it must apply to everything. We’ve forgotten that love emits of degrees; rediscovering that simple truth could significantly improve all relationships.
We’ve so intertwined sex and love that the two are inseparable. There’s a basic flaw in that idea. Sex is absolute: it is, necessarily, a complete and total gift of self. It can be abused, perverted, or misused, but it’s integral in and of itself. Love, on the other hand, emits of various degrees. There’s the love of a parent, of a sibling, of a friend, of a neighbor, of a love interest, and of a spouse. Those different degrees have different features, privileges, and benefits. They’re love, but they’re all a different kind of love. The Greeks understood this concept and reflected it in their language. Sadly, the English language never carried it over.
When we consider both sex and love to be absolute, and the two are completely intertwined, we maim those human relationships that are not between spouses. Two friends of the same gender cannot be affectionate or express their love for each other because our societal conception states that relationship must also be sexual. As a result, there may not be a clarity or strength of bond between those friends for fear of being misconstrued.
The confusion doesn’t stop among friends. Uncommitted relationships suffer because there’s the expectation that the relationship must become sexual. Even if neither member of the relationship desires nor intends that end while in an uncommitted state, external influences will begin to inquire, assume, or pressure.
True human connection is authentic, emotional, and comes out of a deep desire for community. Our sexuality is an integral part of who we are, but it’s not a prerequisite for having a meaningful human relationship. Human sexuality is most properly suited for the married state. If we unwind the notion of sex and love being mutually exclusive, and if we recognize that love emits of degrees while sex does not, we can enjoy a new era of human relationships. Unbound by this foolish notion, people can be free to love each other appropriately, to express appropriate compassion and empathy, and ensure that all know that they are loved.
Sex is always love, but love is not always sex. This essential truth must be acknowledged if we wish to forge the depth of relationship that our ancestors once enjoyed.