A Big Problem about Sex is that it is so Pleasurable

The big problem about sex, the adolescent discovers, is that it is so pleasurable.
Adam Phillips


July 21 Pleasure

Is the pleasure of sexual pleasure not also a problem for adult men and women? Is it not one of the basic dilemmas of all the major religions, is this not why they would direct us how to have sex, with whom, when; advising against masturbation, adultery, harlots? Is the pleasure of sex not a problem for feminists and good girls too as it is for patriarchs and misogynists? That even when we don’t need it we want to be seen as sexual?

It seems to me that one of the absolutes about human beings is to be wanted. A primary need we have is the need to be wanted. We would die rather than be unwanted.

Because the feeling of being wanted derives from the earliest memories of our bodies in contact with our mothers, being wanted is always a bodily experience. Being carried in the uterus, breastfed and cuddled has something to do with the tactility of the need to be wanted, making it more than just a feeling or thought. Our bodies want to be desired, even when they don’t necessarily like to be fucked. Sex became a sin because it is a fundamental human problem. The moment sex is uncoupled from reproduction, which is what makes humans different from the rest of the animal kingdom, it becomes a social question.

Why do we write and teach and act in regard to sex as if it is only about oppressive politics, pain, and antagonisms then? Just because there is such violence related to sexuality in our culture does not mean we have turn away from the pleasure and fun of sex.


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