The Sex Taboo Represents Infantile Magical Thinking

If we take away the either/or aspect to relationships when it comes to sex, I think we’ll end up with much more stable relationships and happier people, probably.

I would encourage young people, if they want to have kids, if they want to have a family, if they want to go down that road, to understand that it’s like choosing a career.  It’s a long term decision that you don’t make just because you had some great teacher in high school who taught you Spanish and now you’re going to become a Spanish Literature Scholar because of that one experience.  I would encourage them to be much more circumspect and much more practical about that decision.  

I think the problem is that people say, "You know, I can only have sex with one person for the rest of my life, so I’m going to choose the one I really love having sex with." But that’s going to fade in a few years and then you’re left with this person you might not have anything else in common with.  

If a relationship is based on more practical, realistic, real life issues, and sex was something separate from that - it was a negotiable point - then it would take the pressure off.  Then they wouldn’t have to say, “Oh, I don’t have to marry this person that I love having sex with right now because I could actually marry this other person, who I really respect and admire and I’m gonna love just as much when he or she is old."  

I think in western society because we’ve got these huge taboos about sexuality, we have infantile magical thinking related to sex.  You know, all these penis enlargement things that we all get in our inbox.  What’s that all about?  That’s because men actually think that women choose who they want to be with based on the size of the penis?  Really?  I don’t know women who really think that way.  Very few.  

But men are taking their way of thinking about sexuality, transposing it into women’s minds, and then reflecting it back.  That’s not the way it really works.  We think that if someone has sex with someone else, they’ll leave their family and drop everything. But the only reason they do is because it’s an either/or proposition all the time.  If we take away that either/or aspect to it, I think we’ll end up with much more stable relationships and happier people, probably.

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy fo Shutterstock. 

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