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Why is sex seen as indecent?
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22 / M / Hinamizawa
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Posted 10/17/13 , edited 10/24/13
Remove this if there is a similar topic

Just wondering why society sees sex as something indecent. It is necessary to continue our species. Obviously our parents did it so we could be born. It is a form of intimacy in relationships.

Not many people talk openly about it and are all hush hush about it - nobody's like "I masturbated good last night" or "Me and my husband had sex all night last night". And we don't even use the word 'sex' a lot, we say "we did it" - sex is now "it"

Any idea as to why? If a girl sleeps with lots of guys and even complete strangers, why is it bad? Why is she "dirty"? And why do we call it 'dirty'? Unclean, tainted, corrupted, impure. Sex is supposed to be to bring new life into this world, and it feels amazing. Why is it associated with these words?

I was thinking what society would be like if sex was a casual thing and remembered the book Brave New World where people hook up with each other for the enjoyment of it, and talk openly about it. Kids are taught that it's normal and have "Erotic games" (or something like that) and they have a specified time during the day when they are supposed to get together and have softcore sex.

Granted this is an extreme example, and the society in the book is very messed up and there many things wrong with it

If society was more like that would it be bad? Wouldn't there be a lot less sex crimes if sex was as common as getting a drink with a friend/colleague?

Just some of the things I've been thinking about.

Update:

Been reading some of the comments and a lot of you have good points.

I recently read an article about the sex education in america, and how it could be a lot better, and I agree. You get some education in middle school, and then the majority in health class in highschool. Most kids in public elementary schools begin getting interested in sex and the other gender around 3-5th grade. Lots of middle schoolers are already having sex, and by high school, probably half, if not more, of the students have had sex or some form of sexual activity.

I know that Middle school teachers, and even high school teachers, have a hard time teaching sex ed because all the students are all "Haha, they said penis" and not all the students are at the same level of knowledge.

Currently, the majority of children learn about sex from the internet and porn. This is obviously not 'real' sex, and it distorts their view of it. Because of the way sex is viewed in society, it is hard for most kids to ask their parents, and other adults about it, so they turn to the internet.

I think it would be wise to start sex education at a younger age, and be more comprehensive about it, while also teaching about how to have proper and healthy relationships, and that sex is a part of life.
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22 / M / Manitoba
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Posted 10/17/13 , edited 10/15/14
The way I was told was that if a key can open many locks its considered a good key or called a "master key"
A lock that can be opened by many keys is just called a shitty lock.

But getting on the issue with how sex is viewed in society. I think it may hold so much value as that it is the creation of life and that should be kept to be important because maybe that devaluing sex devalues the human life that is created and thus we are devaluing ourselves as well. Also it could create another social issue is sex is deemed as something causal due to generating unwanted child birth.
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26 / M / Canada
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Posted 10/17/13 , edited 11/7/14
Actually, I think in the last century society has collectively made great headway into making the topic of sex less scandalous and more open. Comedians poke fun at the subject, prime time TV shows talk openly about it, and sexual health talk shows have started to pop up everywhere.

I suppose it depends on where you are in the world, but from my perspective the topic of sex has never been more accessible nor open. You can wonder onto any university/college campus or bar and hear sex being talked about in the open (or people hooking up) without fear of repercussion.

We've come a long way from Victorian society a hundred years ago which deemed a bared leg to be sexually scandalous.
vicda 
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25 / M
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Posted 10/17/13
It changes as you get older. Sex feels less and less indecent and the emotional feeling changes depending on how you treat it.

-If a girl sleeps with lots of guys and even complete strangers, why is it bad?
This is a bit of older logic but it's mostly around the idea that you would get pregnant. And a girl who sleeps around could just suddenly have anyone's kid and the father might be absent, or just generally shitty.
Now with birth control that isn't as big of an issue. But then with the STD/STI scare tactics they use in school you imagine the person who's slept around as having one of those. And some of those are just easier for girls to get compared to guys.

I think the same of guys who sleep around but I don't have to worry about getting something from them since I'm not into guys.
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26 / M / San Diego, CA
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Posted 10/17/13 , edited 10/17/13
I think it's just the older people or the churchies that see sex as indecent if anything. Guess it really just depends who you're around, my friends and I always talk about it. This includes jerking off to blue balls and everything in between, though not usually. Most of the times it's just strategies on how to get it on with a girl in the quickest way possible. So far a date to the local sushi place + Sake bombs= success. Then again there's a couple of older friends and i mean 50 years + this includes a couple older women that always talk to us about their past crazy sexual encounters. Maybe it all depends on where you live and how conservative the people are?
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25 / F / New Jersey, USA
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Posted 10/17/13
Sex was always one of those thing viewed negatively by some people..................................prude people.
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22 / F / USA
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Posted 10/17/13 , edited 10/16/14
I think it gets a bad reputation as being "indecent" because people misuse sex for other, selfish purposes than what is was intended, which is to reproduce and keep our species from going extinct. That's just what I think though ^^" I don't really have a complex opinion on the subject anyways lol
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37 / New York
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Posted 10/17/13
People have always been desperate to control other people's behavior. Taboos are useful in that sense.

Demonizing specific types of activities is just a means to an end.
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24 / M / United States of...
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Posted 10/17/13
I think a lot of people just don't realize the fact that if we don't do it, our species will go extinct. Eventually.

Let's just hope there's no Combine invasion.
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M / San Francisco Bay...
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Posted 10/17/13
Well, I guess you could say sex has always been treated seriously and seen as indecent because until relatively recently birth control wasn't available to most people. As such, people didn't exactly go around "doing it" a whole lot because that was an easy way to get pregnant, which if you weren't prepared could be terrible. Also, Western society is based a lot on Christianity, and the three Abrahamic religions have always seen sex as this almost evil thing that tempts people and makes them make bad choices. On top of that, there's the fact that people tend to want monogamous relationships, and we as a society see those who don't follow this as cheaters who seriously betrayed someone's trust. Imagine if when playing video games(yeah, I know, I couldn't think of a better analogy) you had to play with another person, and if you played with someone other then one specific person it was considered a serious social offense? People would be a bit more hush-hush about it.


Rena-Ryuuguu wrote:

I was thinking what society would be like if sex was a casual thing and remembered the book Brave New World where people hook up with each other for the enjoyment of it, and talk openly about it. Kids are taught that it's normal and have "Erotic games" (or something like that) and they have a specified time during the day when they are supposed to get together and have softcore sex.

Granted this is an extreme example, and the society in the book is very messed up and there many things wrong with it

It's interesting you mention this, since the anime Shin Sekai Yori here on Crunchyroll has a similar thing going on. In their society, kids from a fairly young age are expected to engage in sexual activities with people of the same sex when they feel stressed. The example they gives is that it's similar to real life bonobos. After about 14 or so, they start to have sexual relations with people of the opposite gender.
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31 / M
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Posted 10/17/13
I can't speak for the rest of the world, but in Western civilization I think the view of sex as indecent stems mostly from Judeo-Christian morality and it's attempt to subjugate natural human impulses, in order to subjugate humanity in general. Judeo-Christian morality basically states that most inherent natural human instincts are wrong and in order to create order in society people must repress those instincts. Those who do not repress their instincts, sexual instincts especially, are seen as deviant and thus sex itself is viewed as a taboo. The specter of Judeo-Christian morality is so strong that even in areas where the morality no longer holds as strong a hold, the old taboos created under the morality, still create pressure within society, so even though people don't condemn sexuality and sex as readily as they once did, their is still a feeling that it is indecent.

Another angle that you can look at the problem from, since the issue is complex and there are plenty of factors, is that most cultures are male dominated cultures. Traditionally in male dominated cultures, females are not viewed as equals and are usually viewed as the property of the males. A females value is derived from her sexuality, her virginity and her ability to bear children. Now these are old ideas that most of the world no longer believes in, but even though women are not viewed as property or unequal, their are still taboos left over in societies about woman's sexuality. If you notice in most societies, there is a very distinct double standards between how a sexually active male and a sexually active female are viewed.

As for your question about the sexually free society shown in from the new world, I think there have been attempts at that, Free Love combines from the 60's 70's come to mind. I don't know if it is inherently better for society though and the possibility for exploitation by predators would be high.
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31 / M
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Posted 10/17/13
Actually the I think the anime was based on the book he mentioned, so you guys are talking about the same thing.
Posted 10/17/13 , edited 10/17/13
I personally would rather have sex kept as a private matter. Not because I think it's "dirty" or "Impure" but just because i'm personally embarrassed to hear other people talk about their sex lives. I view it kind of like clothes. The human body is a beautiful and natural thing, but that doesn't mean I want it in my face all the time. That's just awkward... Plus I don't think we have to worry about the race going extinct just yet. If the media is telling me anything, it's that people like having sex lol

As for why it's awkward, well i'd say it's probably culture - which is rapidly changing, I might add. It may be that the world you envision might become a reality someday (for the majority, at least).

I've never had sex - if i'm to speak totally honestly, then I doubt I ever will. I have a strong feeling that I will end up either voluntarily or involuntarily celibate due to my serious view of sexuality. I think it's ok if people who take a casual view of sex express their views (as indeed they already do). Just please try to be a little considerate toward us who are remnants of the old ways. Make it a gradual transition so I don't have to blush my way through life. I'm already blushing enough from movies and "mature" television lol

EDIT: As many people will point out, i'm sure, Christianity as a religion probably plays some part in the apparent sexual "taboo." There are three things I would like to say on the subject for Christians and non-Christians alike. 1). Christian views on sexuality are based on other foundation principles and thus will not make sense to non-Christians in the same way that one can't understand all the nuances and in-jokes of someone else's family unless they are explained. 2). One should be careful in making generalization of anyone else's convictions, be they religious or irreligious, as that is a fast-track to misunderstandings. 3) The sexual taboo may be due to Christian influences in the West, but not exclusively so. I would like to remind people that other cultures have developed around the world (for example Asia) who still treat sexuality with some degree of gravity even despite Christian influences. They may be far more open in such cultures, but the taboo is not exclusively a Christian (or even a religious) trait.
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22 / M / Livingston, Louis...
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Posted 10/17/13 , edited 10/17/13
Because America was founded upon Christian principles I believe, which has no problem with the shedding of blood but has always had a problem with showing skin and sexuality.

Sex is an act of nature. Also worth noting is how homosexuality is treated here. Nowhere in the Bible does it CLEARLY state God has a passionate hate against homosexuality, and considering he created a couple hundred, at least, animals that practice that very act, I should say that he would not be the grand calculator we all think he is if he is indeed against these acts.

Had we been founded on the freedom of religion like what is taught in history books instead of Catholic/Christian Englishmen running from religious prosecution, the America of the 21st century might be a tad less stupid and hypocritical.

If I got any of the history things wrong, feel free to correct me. I wasn't the best in my History courses, but I'm fairly certain I paraphrased everything right. If not, correct me and do NOT proceed to flame me. I meant no harm.

Edit: For those advocating that media and all that is somewhat of a problem, parents don't teach their kids about this shit anymore. Kids are curious as fuck, and will do whatever to find out things. I got busted numerous times for looking at porn because I never got the talk. So I heard about shit from friends, looked it up, and boom, now I know how kids are made. Stop treating kids like innocent tykes, and tell them the fucking truth.

Howard Stern asked his mother for a Playboy magazine when he was 13. His mom signed him up, and two or three magazines later he grew tired of them and never picked one up again.
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17 / F / Hinamizawa
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Posted 10/17/13
Because people have abused our reproductive ways in means of magazines/film/books... and influence. If we were all taught that sex was okay to discuss and such, we wouldn't view it as "dirty". It's because our parents told us that sex is bad. Eventually it will become a much more open subject since it is already becoming one, but I suppose we're stuck in this now because we still haven't broken the link.
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