Sex is part of life, get over it.
As I have noted in a number of postings, your brain is a neural network, and understanding how your brain works is key to figuring out your own behavior. While the various nodes of our neural network can be modified and adapt to circumstances we are placed into (which is why we are top predator on the planet, thank you) our brains do come "from the factory" so to speak, with some programming built-in.
A lot of this is stuff your brain stem does - make you breathe, pump blood, excrete, and so on. You know, the stuff that keeps you alive.
But there are other things - a lot of things - that your brain does to keep our species alive and more importantly, keep your own tribe, group, family, country or other grouping ahead of all those others out there.
And often these things that are designed to keep our species or tribe going, are directly detrimental to you personally.
For example, your brain is programmed to be patriotic, to obey orders, and to march off to war, when stimulated in the proper manner. You end up getting your ass shot off in some foreign country, which does you no good personally, but arguably enhances the survival of the rest of your tribe back home. Your brain is programmed to make sacrifices for others. Well, some of us have that programming.
Sex is one of those fundamental drives or program routines that comes bundled with your basic Operating System. It is one of those drives that insures survival of the species, even though it really does nothing for you personally, other than provide intermittent pleasure. But survival of the species is important, so the sex act is tied with extreme pleasure, so we will all do it.
People for whom sex was not pleasurable, well, they died off eons ago.
So your brain, once it has enough food, clothing and shelter, either wants to sleep or to have sex. It is a pretty fundamental part of your existence. Yet so few of us really understand it. Most are scared of it, or ashamed of it, or associate it with all sorts of taboos or rituals - usually enforced by various religious beliefs. The latter is not by accident.
People let sex screw up their whole lives. Women get bent out of shape when their husbands have sex with another woman - and act like monogamy is some sort of natural condition. It isn't, of course, as our drive to reproduce (insuring survival and genetic diversity of the species) is a much stronger drive. In biology, we call this the "sneaker male" - the male of the species that slips in and has his way with the doe, while the dominant buck (who was probably gay anyway) postures and poses with his big antlers.
Of course, it is not hard to figure out that sexually transmitted diseases made their appearance in the not-too-distant past. Many scientists and doctors believe that the HIV virus (or one like it) visited mankind eons ago, and that the present epidemic is only a latest iteration.
So it is not hard to see how monogamy and religious proscriptions against promiscuity and certain sex acts got started. Just as eating raw pork is going to kill you (and most religions warn against that as well), screwing everyone in town will also.
But of course, that raises the question: why do humans (and some other animals) practice sex acts that do not result in reproduction? Everything from masturbation to sodomy to the good old Catholic blowjob isn't going to make babies. So why do people do these things?
Well, duh, they feel good. Right? The sex drive is so strong in us, that we will do just about anything to satisfy us. And no, you can't just turn this program "off" on a whim. It has no off switch.
Anne Landers once ran a letter where a lady wrote in saying, "Since I reached menopause, I decided that my husband and I would no longer have sex. But the other day, I caught him masturbating in the shower! I was disgusted! What should I do?"
I am not sure what Ms. Landers suggested, but I would have said, "Don't barge in on him in the shower, lady!" If you are not going to screw your husband, at least let him discretely take care of business. The Internet is rife with listings from married men looking for a little something "on the side" from women - or other men. The frequency would startle you. Yea, that could be your husband - or Dad - or even Grandad (or son or nephew) who has that listing on Craigslist. It happens, get over it. Getting hung up on sex is a sure way to fritter away your life.
But beyond cheating on the wife and perverted sex practices, how does understanding the sex-loop help you understand your brain?
Well, the sex subroutine is also the foundation for a lot of the behavior patterns we follow - at least I believe so. I have had a lot of opportunity to study men in my life, and I believe that sex drives them to do most of what they do in the world - and that is one reason women are considered a threat in mostly male-dominate occupations and pursuits.
Take Engineering, for example. Seems pretty gender-neutral and not very sexy. Or is it? Almost all of mechanical engineering is taken up with penises and vaginas - from nuts and bolts to pistons and cylinders. Take apart anything mechanical, and chances are, it can be viewed in this manner. Even in civil engineering. Doesn't the Hoover dam look like a giant snatch? And don't get me started on tunnels.
Electrical Engineering? No better. Heck, the first telephone call made was a dirty phone call ("Watson! Come here, I need you!")
Computer engineering is the worst, of course. We talk about our hard and floppy discs, which need to be "inserted" or "mounted". And the first thing we did with our dot-matrix LA-36 decwriters was figure out a way to print out playboy centerfolds. Once networking was invented, the second message sent over the internet was an invitation to hook up for sex. And smart phones? It is all about texting - or sexting, as we call it these days - or hooking up on one of a number of "apps".
Thanks to the Internet, you can now find a chat group devoted to whatever particular form of perversion you are into - and realize you aren't alone in liking to wear furry costumes while having sex or in watching clown porn.
Or take sports. So many games involve taking a ball or puck or other object and violating the opposing team's vagina-like goal. And don't get me started on the homerotic experience in the locker room!
The military bears special mention. In the military, it is all about S&M and discipline - as well as uniform fetishes. Yes, a lot of people are "into" these sort of things as a sexual deviation. Or is it a deviation at all? Or are our brains programmed (at some subliminal level) to be assertive or passive (top or bottom) in a manner that allows an organization like the military to function?
The objections to women as a "threat" in the military were often poorly articulated. And a threat they were - as many men could not understand how women (traditionally viewed as passive, penetrated roles) could fit into the sexual hierarchy of the top-down military command. Turns out, women can be tops, too. All you need is a strap-on, ladies!
Even who we define as "sexy" is part of our survival routine. We generally look upon young men and women as being the epitome of sexual prowess and desirability. We also have the urge to nurture the young (which probably drives many teachers). For young women, these are the prime child-bearing years. For young men, perhaps there are other factors involved. Probably because if we didn't find them desirable, at some fundamental level, we would have killed them long ago (as competing for resources). Bromance as we call it today, probably started a long, long time ago. So our race has evolved to protect our young, rather than kill them. The young 20-something male, who would ordinarily be a threat to the head cave-man, is instead, tolerated. And older men - who can still reproduce - are viewed by some as "sexy" - while older women (past menopause) well, not so much. Men age like fine wine, women age like milk.
What we find desirable in our species is directly linked to our sex drives.
Of course, when it comes to marketing, the ad men know that sex sells and unless you have been living under a rock for the last 50 years, you realize this. Cars in the 1950's were given huge breast-like fenders and bumpers. Cars were sold based on sex appeal, with the "muscle cars" having long, penis-like hoods and short scrotum-like trunks. It wasn't very subtle. And it was a styling thing (some European sports cars of the 1940's needed long hoods for their engines, but by the 1960's, this was not necessary - many "muscle cars" just had large blank areas ahead of the engine out front).
Ads for liquor, clothing, perfumes and the like all employ sexual images (Salma Hayek most famously appearing in a Campari ad campaign looking like a drugged Bill Cosby date). The messages are not too subtle. Drink our beer - get laid. Drink our booze - get laid. Wear our aftershave - get laid. The common denominator is get laid.
So what does this all mean? Well, I think it means that if you want to understand your own motivations, desires, and actions, you need to understand how sex underlies most of your motivations in life, and just get over it and not make a fuss about it.
A lot of people, on the other hand, tend to think emotionally, particularly when it comes to sex. "My husband was banging his secretary, so I am going to divorce him! The cheating bastard!" And her girlfriends nod in acquiesce. Of course, of the three girlfriends she is talking to, one has a cheating husband who hasn't been caught (yet, and they all want to be caught), another just doesn't give a damn, and the third belongs to a "swinger's club" with her husband, and was hoping to recruit one of the other three for a four-way. Act shocked. But it is true - a lot of people out there are having sex and enjoying it and not getting hung up over it.
From a logical point of view, divorcing your husband (or wife) over sex is a very costly affair - in terms of financial losses to both of you, as well as damage to your children's upbringing and their future.
In other countries, this is not viewed the same way. In France and Italy, a successful man is expected to have at least one mistress - and the smart wife realizes that divorcing the husband is only giving him more power.
Of course, these are personal things, and some folks, raised on strict beliefs cannot fathom anything else. Even while everyone all around them is "doing it" they still see the world in simple black-and-white terms.
I have to say that when I was younger, I was sort of the same way - naive. I believed that sex was something "other people did" and anything other than "normal" sex was something only one or two perverts in Greenwich Village or San Francisco did. By my teenage estimation, there was maybe 20 perverts in the country and everyone else was "normal."
Little did I know that even the small town I grew up in was rife with wife-swapping, illicit affairs, and all sorts of nooky and goings on - among people of all ages. My kindly old math teacher, who seemed like the most asexual person in the world I could think of, turns out to have been living with another woman. And it wasn't just to split the rent.
Sex is another one of those stories - like the Easter Bunny or Santa - that turns out to be false. And guess who sells us this false story? Bingo - the religions of the world. Why? POWER! When you can get people to feel ashamed about the most basic urge their body has (besides breathing) you can control them to the nth degree.
"Well, Mrs. Jones, it sure would be nice if you could go to heaven, but since you are such a slut, I'm afraid it is the lake of eternal fire for you. Unless of course, you pray every day for forgiveness and tithe 10% of your income to the church! Say, is that your son? Has he thought of becoming an altar boy?"
Oh, don't get me started on that. Religion has a lot to apologize for when it comes to sex and its attitudes toward sex.
Oddly enough, the positions that religious people assume when praying also mimic those when performing some sex acts. Ever notice that Catholics get down on their knees to pray? And Islamics like to bend over? I'll just let you fill in the rest there. Arab men, well they like their sodomy, that's for sure! Of course, none of them practice it, as it is against their religion. Sure. And Catholics don't like blowjobs.
Sex is what it is. Get over it. The sooner you do, the easier your life will be.