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Philosophy Of Sex Essay, Research Paper

Philosophy of SexDescription of this essay : Philosophy of Sex In the book Smut, Erotic Reality/ Obscene Ideology , by Murray Davis (1983), the author expresses the idea that the best source for studying human sexuality objectively is softPhilosophy of SexIn the book Smut, Erotic Reality/ Obscene Ideology , by Murray Davis (1983), the author expresses the idea that the best source for studying human sexuality objectivelyis soft core , rather than hard core pornography. (Davis p. xix). The purpose of thispaper is to critique Davis s claim and to study what understanding of human sexualitysomeone might have if they used some other resource that is available today, in this casethe Internet.Davis argues that , hard core pornography is usually more abstract and lessexplicit than soft-core pornography . (Davis, p. xix, 1983). Davis doesn t go on toexplain how hard-core pornography can be less explicit than soft-core. However he doesexplain that hard-core pornography is more abstract in that, it depicts the sex act only andnot the emotional or personal characteristics of the people involved in the act. (Davis, p. xx) He believes soft-core pornography is describing a sexual experience , whichconveys characteristics of the participants that are not described by hard-corepornography. Hard-core pornography describes sexual behaviour which involves moreof the act of sex rather than the characteristics and feelings involved with sex. (Davis, p.xix) Although Davis admits that the vocabulary of sex is changing (Davis, p. xxv), he alsostates that hard-core pornography uses considerably more vulgar terms that are associatedwith lower-class activity, such as, prick, fuck, and suck (Davis, p. xxiii). Davis believesthat hard-core pornography, induces imaginative behaviours by using these lower-class,four-letter words. The stories use phrases such as First we sucked, then wefucked. (Davis p. xix, 1983), to allow the reader the tools to imagine the scene actuallytaking place. The reader is lead by the author through the story by using words that maybe more understood or common in the readers everyday life. He also accuses hard-corefilms of being behavioristic and abstract because they often fail to fully inform theaudience about the characters personality types and social categories. (Davis, p. xx, 1983) Soft-core pornography, on the other hand, often depicts the subtle phenomenologicaleffects that result when a character s sexual behaviour clashes with his or her personal andsocial characteristics. (Davis, p. xx, 1983). In short, he study s literature or films thatinvolve characters with personalities that are developed and conveyed to the audience. Inthese stories the characters will have sex, but the sex may or may not be the main focus ofthe story, but rather something that is bound to happen when personal and socialcharacteristics clash.I believe that Davis is somewhat correct in assuming that soft-core is a moreobjectively reliable source for studying human sexuality. When I hear the words soft-corepornography, I tend to think of Playboy, or films and movies that depict a story about aperson or group of people, and within that story the characters engage in sexual activity.This sexual activity is shown or described to the reader/viewer but is not done in a graphicnature. That is, the actual sexual penetration is not shown or shown very minimally. Hard-core, on the other hand, is shown or described more graphically. Thedialogue usually includes, as Davis states, four-letter words. The story seems to have lessof a plot and less character development. The main purpose of the work is to show ordescribe sex. So it is in this sense that I agree with Davis. However, I firmly believe that there is not one single resource that is the bestmethod of studying human sexuality. There are many sources which are helpful whenstudying sex and human sexuality. They can range from textbooks, entertainmentmagazines, television programs, to movies and novels. In my opinion the most reliableand important resource for studying human sexuality is personal experience. The actualhands on, if you will, of sex. All the texts, magazines and movies can show what happensand maybe guide your learning process, but the only real way to learn is to experience foroneself. I feel that if a variety of resources are used when studying human sexuality, anindividual will understand and learn all aspects of sexuality in greater detail. Havinglearned all aspects of sexuality a person may develop a sense of confidence in their ownsexuality. This may allow for the person to have more respect for sexual orientations orpractices that the individual may not take part in. For example, a person educated inhuman sexuality at a university level may realise that homosexuality is normal and shouldnot be shunned. Whereas, a person not as highly educated in this field may thinkhomosexuals are not right, or confused. If an individual uses a mixture of hard-corepornography, soft-core pornography, educational texts, and any other source of

information that is available, the base for their knowledge will be broadened. With this broadened knowledge base an individual can draw their own lines forlimits in their sexual practises. A person may indulge in sex in similar manner to hard-corepornography. That is, they may enjoy watching the penetration and using four-letterwords during sex. Or an individual may enjoy sex in more of a soft-core manner. For example they may like the lights off and be more romantic in their sexual escapades. I feel that a combination of the two, or even a mixture of many different resources can bemore beneficial to the individuals sexual experience. That way the individual could use the hit and miss method to explore human sexuality. Which means they could try differentthings until they find something that they are comfortable with. I believe that soft-core pornography when used alone is much too vague whenstudying human sexuality. All aspects of human sexuality are not dealt with. Theindividual would not learn the plumbing aspect of sexuality , other than what is seen ordescribed in soft-core. (i.e. breasts and penis). If an individual only used hard-core pornography to study human sexuality theymay believe that sex and sexuality are all about the act of sex. They may not learn theidea of love or the responsibilities associated with sex and sexual activity. The use of onlyone resource in studying anything, including human sexuality, limits the quality ofknowledge gained about the particular subject.One example of a restricted or limited view would be if a person was only using aresource such as the Internet to study human sexuality. The Internet, or the net, as we allknow, is a vast source of knowledge for virtually every topic imaginable. I believe that aperson would have a very limited view if using the Internet for information on humansexuality. This would especially ring true if the person did not know how to conductadvanced studies on the Internet. That is, the person would simply type humansexuality into one of the many search engines on the net. The resulting hits or sites (places to find information) would be a wide range of topics. They would likely rangefrom journal articles about human sexuality to adult oriented articles, which would likelybe hard-core. Another type of hit the surfer (a person who browses the Internet) mayfind is the adult oriented commercial sites. These sites advertise free sex pictures or livephone sex. The problem with using the Internet and only the Internet as a resource for study isthat the information found can be so vast that one may not know where to start. The moreattractive and marketed sites may get more attention. The key words in the description ofthe site may draw one s attention to that site and the less attractive sites may be by-passed. The problem is that the less attractive sites are usually those from universities with anabundance of credible information. The other sites are basically selling sex not the idea ofthe total package of human sexuality. Another problem is deciding which search engine to use. A search engine is a toolthat one can use to find specific topics on the Internet. Different engines have differentspecialities and a different number of sites that are explored. If a person only used onesearch engine when looking for sites dealing with human sexuality, an important site that iscatalogued in another search engine may be missed. With any topic as broad as human sexuality the Internet can be moreoverwhelming than it is helpful. As with human sexuality itself , I believe that the bestway to learn how to search the net is by trial and error. By learning how to narrow downtopics that are being searched the individual may be able to find a few sites that fit thecharacteristics they are seeking. Now, the problem is, which characteristics should one look for when learningabout human sexuality? This is another decision that if not made properly could lead tosomeone having a limited view of human sexuality. In order to narrow down a search onemust know a little bit about what they are searching for. For example if an alien came hereand tried to research human sexuality, it may not know any aspect of our sexuality to addto the search. For example, love plays a role in our sexuality. If someone did not know thisthey would enter human sexuality into the search engine and again may be distracted byflashy, hard-core, sex-sites and may not find anything on love. The over-all understandingof human sexuality would be limited according to which sites were looked at.Although I agree somewhat with Advisee s claim that soft-core , rather thanhard-core pornography, may be a better resource for studying human sexuality. I feel thatusing only one resource for information can limit the view and even sometimes distort anindividuals ideas of human sexuality. When using a resource such as the Internet, one maybe overwhelmed with information and marketing tactics may win the attention ofinformation seekers and take away from the sites that actually offer factual informationregarding human sexuality.Therefore, I believe that an individual should use all resources available to themwhen studying any topic, especially a topic as complex as human sexuality.


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