In a recent article of mine I discussed “sexual freedom”, and there we covered not only what sexual freedom was but also discussed different argument for and against it. However, it is very obvious that my post was very pro sexual liberalism.
To recap quickly, in that post we described sexual liberalism as a position that allows individuals to engage in, without any judgement from others, their desired sexual practices. Most Western countries for instance do not legally restrict all that many sexual practices between two consenting adults.
Yet we agreed that sexual freedom should have some limits. For example, we would all agree here that we should not be allowed to rape anyone (I really hope you all agree!) nor cause any severe long-lasting harm to our sexual partners – like most of us would find it noxious that someone went around spreading HIV on purpose.
In other words, we want consensual sex and to minimize the possible harms of certain sexual practices. But pretty much these limitations of sexual freedom serve one and only one purpose: maximize and protect the sexual freedom of each individual. Think about it: how much sexual freedom does a rape victim have when she is being raped?
But what about other restrictions? What about sleeping with other people’s partners? What about women “slutting around” or men “perving around”? And finally, what about monogamy and the conservative family?
Distribution of Sex
A commentator on my previous article named “uForia” made some really interesting remarks that pretty much inspired me to write this whole post. He pointed out a very good counterargument to the whole notion of “sexual freedom”. Inspired by theories of economics, he saw coherence between sexual liberalism and neo-liberalist theories of economics.
To make it simple: in a neo-liberalist society, some get a lot more wealth than the rest of the population. Some say that the US for example has become such a society. Whether or not that is true, or whether or not it is a good and beneficial distribution or wealth, will not be the topic of this post.
In a totally sexually free society, the distribution of sex partners will be similar to the distribution of wealth in a neo-liberalist society. It is very easy to see how a sexually liberated society will benefit the men at the top of the pyramid (lovers) – a very small minority of the men out there. These men will end up getting all the women, but what about the rest of the males lower down on the desirability chain?
Well, in the most extreme version of this kind of society, they will pursue the role of the provider, but won’t really be able to reproduce, or even have any casual sex (or, if they are able to, only rarely). Prostitution will become their only option – that might help, but many won’t find such an option very satisfying.
Not only will there be what many would claim to be an “unjust” distribution of wealth (we can really see the parallel between economics and dating) but it actually might lead to chaos. I am European and as a rather politically neutral person, I would like to point out that communism was a result of very unfair distribution of wealth during the industrial revolutions where workers owned nothing other than their own hands, and they were practically owned by the capitalists (not to be mixed up with capitalist ideology). The industrial workers had barely enough to eat and worked up to 20 hours a day.
The former explains why many theorists and thinkers were very concerned about the commons, with the purpose of increasing the overall wealth in a society – like Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill inventing utilitarian theories (where the premise for judging an action is based on how much wealth it promotes).
But another school of thought started developing: namely Marxism (socialism, if you prefer). According to Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, a just society would be one where private property and the means of production were all communalized – communism, as we all know. In this system, the authorities could redistribute all the wealth equally to each citizen.
Now you might ask yourself, what does that have to do with the topic of “sexual liberalism”? Well I will now point out how this is relevant.
Let us now think of a “state of nature” that is in philosophy used to describe the lives of humans prior to entering any societies – where there are no governments to organize the communities, and no authorities to enforce laws (social contracts between individuals), and barely any moral codes (if any at all) – call it total anarchy if you prefer.
In such a society a lot of violence and anything we would refer to as “crimes” would take place, because each individual would be free to do as he wishes without any limits. This means that they will also be totally sexually free and have sex with whomever they want without major limits. Besides resulting in a lot of rapes and abuses, another effect that would most likely take place is that the majority of the women would end up only with a minority of the male population – the most desirable males (or what I also have referred to as ”lovers”).
Fact is, this might totally sound like a twisted thought experiment to you, but it is not – it’s pretty close to what we believe was the case during the era of the “cavemen”. Research in evolutionary biology often refer to cavemen when referring to how sexual selection and mating took place in the past in order to get a grasp on how we humans biologically truly are without the interference of any sort of socialization.
So, as only the minority of attractive males managed to get all the women, the remaining majority would demand justice. We can easily postulate that that was how monogamy was introduced. The reason why monogamy was introduced was to make the distribution of sex partners “just”, by securing each man a sex partner. Simple as that; once a male has secured his share, his “property” (which is what humans truly become in monogamous relationships) will remain (ideally eternally) his, and no other men (especially not desirables) would be allowed to “steal her” from him.
Well the next step would maybe have been a communalization of wives? This was actually not a joke, Plato actually vouched for it in his book called “The Republic” (really good read!).
Either way, we can see how distributive justice takes place with monogamy. But can this last?
Feminism vs. Monogamy
Though Marxism and socialism have had a huge impact on modern feminism, it should be pointed out that Marx never really wrote about topics concerning women. However, his colleague, Friedrich Engels, did, in a book about the family called The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State (which I also recommend you check out, as it covers topics like the birth of monogamy and so on).
According to Engels, being free to choose one’s partners for marriage is more or less a right. In reality, this right barely applies in the real world. As long as the economic aspects persist, people will be its submissive slaves, as they will be led and controlled by it. For, as long as the capitalist system lives, the mating system will remain unequal between the sexes, making women the submissive victims of abuse. Women will remain subordinate to men, since men within the capitalist system will remain women’s feeding hand. Thus making the female sex dependent on males and giving the male the authority that opens up the possibility of abuse.
Women will be submissive to men because turning their back to their feeding hand can lead to lots of serious consequences. In other words, a choice a female might take (for example leaving her husband through a divorce) would lead to dramatic consequences, therefore limiting her possibilities to really be free to dispose over her own body. As pointed out earlier, such a situation limits the value of the freedom, not the right in and of itself. Women could still object to the males’ commands, but that would probably lead to consequences, making such actions not worth it.
You’ve probably already guessed what Engel’s solution is… if not, here is the spoiler: full communalization of property (communism!). The idea behind that is that it will remove the means of control men had at their disposition, thus liberating women. According to Engels, relationships based on true love and passion would thus occur (and he is totally right on this instance – no more gold-diggers!).
Now, I personally am not a socialist, so I do not vouch for the communalization of property, and I doubt Chase would appreciate giving away his site to the public sector. Nor is full communalization of property necessary in order to liberate women from the low desirability males’ monogamous prison.
Fact is, nowadays, women have pretty much similar incomes as males (at least in the Western world). Many women are working full-time, making them no longer economically dependent on men. As a result, men have lost their status as the “feeding hand”. A consequence of this is that monogamous low desirability providers have lost the little power they had, as they no longer have the means to keep a woman, who now instead can run around freely practicing her sexuality as she wishes without facing any economic (and far fewer social, as well) consequences.
I used Engels as an example because, though I’m not a Marxist, I find his theories interesting and I agree with him on a lot of things. But a feminist philosopher like Harriet Taylor Mill (you guessed right, she was the lady of John Stuart Mill), one of the founders of liberal feminism, was also concerned about giving more power to women (especially through giving women the right to vote) in order to reduce the power men had over them.
Times Have Changed
The fact is, the times have changed. Monogamy, the old school way, cannot work anymore because it first of all doesn’t benefit women (serial monogamy benefits them) and it surely doesn’t benefit high desirability males (who have more or less polyamorous tendencies). As a result of feminists, women are politically, economically, and legally freer than they used to be, and they can now allow themselves to live their life according to their own desires – and monogamous relationships are not what they typically want.
Yes, women talk about big marriages and honeymoons – but these marriages don’t last long. In fact, the divorce rates are really high. Women are serially monogamous by nature – period. Without any social and economic incentives to make them behave differently, that is how they will behave. And honestly, I find nothing wrong with it.
Fact is, I like that women are socially, legally, and economically free. Why is that? Well, it makes me freer too. I don’t have to take economic care of her. Women are now also more willing to have more casual sex rather than being all about marrying the right guy. As a seducer it really makes my life easier.
But again, as has been pointed out by our commentator, sexual freedom only benefits those who are successful on the meat market.
However, I still believe that controlling someone, making them into your belonging (which is what monogamous relationships truly are), is really noxious. Why do you need women to marry you? If she loves you, she truly does…but she probably won’t forever, which in such a case I must ask – what is the point of still being with her after she’s ceased to?
Sexual freedom benefits women and “high desirability males”, which leads us to the unanswered problem: what about all the other males? I will be honest, I have no real solution. I did share one suggestion in my post on the “secret society” though, so check it out.
However, I believe that old school monogamy is an even worse solution, because we indirectly enslave half the human population (the females). I believe that no matter what the circumstances are, it is simply not okay to violate the freedom of anyone. Hence, I find the concept of monogamy (as marrying and belonging to someone) contradictory to my values.
Honestly, I think it is important to admit that most of us are led by our own self-interest, and so am I. I benefit from a sexually free society and so do you if you keep up the good work. The better you are with women, the more sexual freedom will benefit you. You might not be born really handsome and you might be introverted, and yes it might become difficult for you to become good with women, but it is not impossible! I know people that look terrible and still get laid! It is all about hard work! You will only become better in the end anyway!
If we see reality as it is, monogamy as it used to be has disappeared. Society has become more sexually free. There is not much you can do about it. However, you can look forward and make the best out of it, and honestly, I believe that becoming a sexually free man will only benefit you, especially when it comes to getting laid (and maybe even relationships). More on this next week.