M C Raj
Let the world celebrate sex! 29 June, 2015
Sex is eternal and universal. To some it is also cosmic. The idea of marriage is going through a swift transformation globally. The recent judgment of the Supreme Court in the US, the pronouncements by Pope Francis on gay marriage are manifestations of a rapid change that is taking place in institutional sex.
‘Upholders of morality’ seem to have thrown their archaic morals to the wind to take a bold and forthright stand on same sex marriages. Moral custodians have never succeeded to stop sex among members of the same sex at any time in the history of world.
Occasionally, we read of eminent rulers and nobility having had sex with members of the same sex or even with animals. Many philosophers have been seriously concerned about sex and human relations. One of them who has written extensively is Michel Foucault.
What fascinates me in his writings is the way he explains the role of the State vis-a-vis sex. The State takes control of the sexual behaviour of human beings. He calls it bio-power. It refers to the control of the State over the body of human beings. It is however, time to go beyond the human, as the State stealthily and blatantly has established also its power over the body of many living beings.
Evidences of the philosophical explorations of Foucault can be witnessed in everyday life. The way bodies of young children are compulsively acclimatized to the shift system of the industrial sector is a case in focus. Young children are made to wake up at 6 in the morning and get ready to go to school. A little more grown up children go to school a little later and still further grown up children go to school in the afternoon.
Whatever may be the individual freedom that the modern world speaks of, the bodies of all human beings are designed and re-designed to serve the production machinery to the maximum. To maximize industrial production and profit, the State would also take control of the sexual behaviour of adults. The industry also promotes entertainment sex and holiday sex in order to equip the body and mind of the workers for better production.
Much before the State took control of human bodies, religions played an effective instrumental role by taking moral control of human bodies, especially their sexual behaviour. All religions abound in myths and stories centred round sex. They also have laws to control and ordain the sexual behaviour of the ‘faithful’. Thus many church institutions are still trying hard to establish that sex is only for procreation.
Couples can have sex only for the purpose of procreating. If they have sex otherwise it is considered as sin. Thus masturbation is a sin, premarital sex is sin, sex outside marriage is adultery, sex workers are sinners etc.
Generally both religion and State ‘allow’ sex within the boundary of marriage. This is the crux of the problem as free sex can spell a doom for the industry. If men and women are busily engaged in sex, how will they spend their time in industrial production work?
The double standards of religions and State in professing welfare of human beings and establishing their control over their behaviour has led to a double standard among the followers and citizens. They too have developed a double standard to sex, of professing a sexual morality and doing just the opposite in personal lives.
As a strong measure of controlling sexual behaviour, both religion and State have bound men and women in marriage and also introduced monogamy. Humanity has found this an easy excuse to control in turn their neighbourhood.
Legal systems have greatly encouraged and supported the control of some over the others by adding its own versions of sanctity to monogamy and dominantly ordained sex. Even ‘imagined’ sex provokes strong moral custodians among fascist groups.
Marriage is an instrument of control of the natural inclinations of human beings. There is no stereotype in this inclination. Some human beings do have the strong need to be dependent on another emotionally all their life. However, such dependence on one person often is temporary for most human beings. As in other organic beings humans too have the tendency to shift from person to person and from time to time.
Modern world has thus made marriage a contract. There are also many in the world who develop polygamy within and without the ambit of legal systems. Sex should liberate human freedom and not stifle it. There is a beauty in free sex that cannot be chained by laws and discourses of dominantly designed morals.
Sex is a personal need. This needs no evidence. The assertion of this need has many faces and phases. It is not the same throughout one’s life and it is not universal. Sex can be free in its nature and sex can be compulsive too. A person cannot be judged negatively even when it is compulsive. It is the choice of the individual to work on oneself either with external help or not to remove the compulsive dimension of sex.
Compulsive or free, sex is one of the most beautiful things in human relationship. It is a travesty of freedom of any living beings to set up artificial boundaries for sexual behaviour. Even dominantly designed sex is quite compulsive in its nature. Rules and regulations to control sex are compulsions on the freedom of human beings. Any compulsive sex either by religion or by State is detrimental to a healthy society.
The recent judgment of the US Supreme Court is symbolic of the aspirations of human beings to set themselves free from external compulsions of the State and religion. It is an irony that a State Institution has become the symbol of this freedom. It is highly laudable that gay sex has been given such a huge recognition. However, humanity has also the biggest challenge on its hand.
The underlying meaning of the judgment has to be carefully noted that marriage is not anymore for procreation and that traditional concept of marriage will soon go through a radical transformation. Marriage is for two loving beings living together and not exclusively for having sex.
Gay sex, lesbian sex and all sex have to be enjoyed for sex without any compulsive factor such as marriage. Sex is neither holy nor unholy, neither spiritual nor sinful, neither legitimate nor illegitimate. Sex is the sublime truth on which human beings relate themselves to one another.
It is high time that humanity learned to celebrate sex for what it is worth, gay, lesbian or hetero.