Galen and I have been having a friendly little back-and-forth in his recent blog post about some guy with a posse of married fubus. A back-and-forth that has leaked over into the Comments Section of someone else's blog , where the author asked:
"May meaning pa rin ba ang sex na walang love?"
Since I have started a conscious effort not to hog someone else's Comments Section with my lengthy opinions, I thought it might be best to just put it up here on my own little corner of the web.
So many of us often mistake Lust for Love. These are two very different four-letter words. But because of the similar effects they have on us - giddiness, excitement, the anticipation of pleasure - it's an easy mistake.
Offhand, I find that it's a mistake often made by the young. Back in the day, I, too, mistook the temporary intimacy of sex to mean something more. Because even the most hurried and anonymous of sexual encounters remains an act of intimacy, no matter how fleeting or shallow.
It takes the school of hard knocks to teach us that this thing may look like that thing, but they are not the same thing at all. To paraphrase the great Woody Allen: "Lust relieves tension. Love causes it."
Sex is sex. Love is love. When the 'twain meet, 'tis truly a special thing. But that's what lovers - in the true sense of the word - are for. Someone who stimulates your heart, as well as your loins.
To seek a deeper meaning in something that is essentially superficial and shallow as a one-night stand is to seek disappointment and even heartbreak. It's a fool's errand, a Quixotic quest. You could sooner find decency and morality in Malacanang.
Tina Turner sang it best: "You must understand/ Though the touch of your hand/Makes my pulse react/ It's physical/Only logical/You must try to ignore/ That it means more than that."
What's love got to do with it, indeed?
But how can you tell the difference? Like wrinkles, I just assume it gets easier with age. Or maybe the wrinkles were there all along and, ironically, one's failing vision leads one to discern them more acutely.
I have few things against ONS apart from people cheating on their lovers and the increased potential to transmit, catch, and spread disease. They serve their purpose: the release of sexual tensions, a primal need satisfied. I'll allow that sex for sex' sake can leave one feeling empty and used , but I imagine it's akin to having a hangover after one beer too many. You feel horrible, you feel drained, you feel sorry. Or like the inevitable crash after a party drug high - after the thrills come the chills.
All excesses are bad for us. An excess of piety leads to religious fanaticism. An excess of critical thinking leads to nihilism. Playing musical beds is a lot of fun, but even the most energetic among us will eventually get exhausted - both physically and emotionally - from all that hopping in the sack.
Also, while having sex on tap sounds like a fantastic idea, we soon find that it gets really boring, really fast. As Robert Browning wrote, some things we reach for were meant to exceed our grasp, else what's a heaven for?
I can only suppose that's why you find sex without love so meaningless, dear Galen. But meanings are relative constructs, not universal truths. Perhaps "empty" is the word we're looking for, because shallow as ONS are, beneath the surface, they actually do have meaning. They might even have many meanings that can overlap. A married man getting his dick vaccuumed by another man can mean that his wife doesn't like giving head - or that he actually prefers a man to give him head, or that his marriage is in trouble and he is seeking intimacy elsewhere. Or the meaning could be something as simple and mundane as "You're the only mammal with a pulse who was available tonight to suck my cock."
I'm happy that you try to seek meaning in the things you do and the things others do to you, or with you. It's one of the things that separate us from brutes: the ability, nay, the need to make sense of things around us. In your original post, you opined that "It must be a very sad life." whenever PLUs look at other PLUs only as potential sex partners. I'll agree that anyone who reduces everyone else to mere sexual objects to be conquered, used, then discarded is sad in very many ways, but then again, that's just our opinion. The meanings he attaches to his interactions with the world may be worlds apart from ours. I've met enough sociopaths in my life to know that some people are truly bereft of conscience, empathy, or regret - that's what makes the world a fascinating and dangerous place.
We do seemingly meaningless things all the time, Galen. If I flick my cigarette butt onto the sidewalk instead of bothering to find an ashtray to stub it out on, the act might seem meaningless. A casual toss, the physics of an object hurtling through space, inevitably subject to the non-negotiable rules of gravity to fall to the ground and lie there until acted upon by another force. But the meanings are many, if we bother to think about them. It could mean I wasn't raised well enough to be mindful of the cleanliness of my surroundings. It could mean I was raised right, except now I don't give a damn. It could mean a moment's flippancy, a temporary lack of judgment. Meanings can be many and can vary.
So if casual sexual encounters are so sad and meaningless, why do we indulge in them anyway? I don't believe we actually seek out pain and heartache, emo or no emo. So they must mean something. But what they mean depends on the meaning you give them.
To go back to your original post, I maintain that ONS do have a meaning. But that meaning varies. What means something to me may not mean anything at all to you. And even if we both agree that something has meaning, that meaning can be totally different for you and me. While there are things that possess intrinsic meaning outside of our personal perceptions, others - like the things we do with ourselves and others - derive their meaning from us. We give them meaning - or none at all.
And as for sex without love, let me leave you with this little number from All Saints. For all of us, who are no saints.
Bootie Call : To call someone to invite them over JUST for sex. http://www.urbandictionary.com