Jul 312011

Let us defend the things that stop the interests of our genes and serve ours. Contraception. Sterilization. Abortion. The cultivation of non-procreative sexual practices. The renunciation of the pursuit of status, especially when it conflicts with the relief of suffering or the realization of pleasure.

Should antinatalists get kinky?  Sure!

One should start with the realization that pleasure is good, but that there are a lot of people who now exist who suffer from its deprivation.  The existence of this suffering is one of the good reasons for being an antinatalist, after all.  (I concede that it might not be the most important one and that it is dominated by more active forms of suffering, but it still matters.)  Sex is an important source of pleasure, perhaps the most important one.  But there are good reasons to believe that standard-issue partnered sexuality isn’t going to work very well for many people, and indeed, might actually generate more suffering than pleasure.

A creative kinkster helps out here, because she’s in the business of generating forms of sexual pleasure centered on new modes of activity and new ideas, and many of them will be opportunities to step out of the traditional roles and expectations of two-person partnered sexuality (whether through multiple partners or just that useful standby of going solo).  In thinking up and promoting new ways of experiencing sexual pleasure, the kinkster is adding pleasure to the world.  And new ideas, freely spread, are by their very nature nonexclusive — my enjoying some new kink doesn’t interfere with your enjoying it, any more than my enjoying a new story means that it is “used up” and no good for you to read.

At a higher level of abstraction, enjoying kinky sexual activities reinforces the wholesome notion — one antinatalists should have little trouble getting behind —  that sex is for fun, rather than for making babies.

And getting kinky takes a whack at a pronatalist culture, because many forms of kink are forms of mockery and satire aimed at right at that culture.  (One thinks, perhaps, of M. Christian’s terrific story “Guernica” in the collection The Bachelor Machine, in which BDSM enthusiasts recreate and mock the oppressive morality of their culture in hidden clubs.)   Example: the institutional Roman Catholic Church may wield vast political power in favor of a pro-natalist agenda.  Dressing up and playing naughty nun isn’t just fun, it encourages us to laugh at the Church.  And laughter drives out fear.

And what is more, making sex as much as possible an act of the imagination stimulates the imagination.  And imagination is the inveterate enemy of the status quo.  In daring to imagine things that might be, we undermine complacent acceptance of the way things are.  ”The way things are” is a species of technological ape making endless copies of itself.  That needs to stop.

Need I add, by the way, that having interesting kinks raises the opportunity cost of having children?  Let us recall fondly blogger Holly Pervocracy’s deliberations on whether or not to have children, which included this point on the con side “Difficult to explain poly/BDSM to six-year-old. Impossible to explain to thirteen-year-old.”   (I believe she came down against, eventually.)

So if you want to get out there and be kinky or be pervy, the by all means do so and feel good about yourself.  You’re not just having fun. You’re making the world better.

 Posted by at 08:06

  6 Responses to “Embrace that fetish!”

  1. Have you by any chance read Thomas Nagel’s paper “Sexual Perversion”? It’s old – pre-Stonewall – but argues that homosexuality is not a perversion, based on Nagel’s fascinating definition of non-perversion as a sort of other-interested recursive cognitive pattern. Nagel’s “perversion” actually seems in line with my own idea that mono-sex-for-reproduction is the least cognitive, least interesting, least human (as opposed to animal) form of sexuality – in that it concedes everything to our animal drives and limitations (like jealousy) and fails to take advantage of sex as an idea playground.

    So says this slutty poly . . .

    • I don’t think I have read this paper, although it seems familiar somehow. I shall go a-hunting…thanks!

      Clearly, it’s the brain that’s the real sex organ.

  2. Sexual Perversion, by Thomas Nagel (January 1969!)

    • Got it. Shall read. Thanks!

    • Read through it more quickly than it deserved and found it interesting, though I found myself better enjoying Thomas Hobbes, who made a more succinct point three centuries before.

      The appetite which men call LUST…is a sensual pleasure, but not only that; there is in it also a delight of the mind: for it consisteth of two appetites together, to please, and to be pleased; and the delight men take in delighting, is not sensual, but a delight or joy of the mind, consisting in the imagination they have so much power to please.

      Which is from the Elements of Law, quoted in Simon Blackburn’s fun little book Lust, which quotes from Nagel’s rather similar paper one page later (which I guess is why Nagel seemed familiar somehow to me).

  3. Basically agree with everything, but I wish to add that it’s problematic to induce desire without fulfilling it. I’d rather go to a bar full of homely people than to a bar full of attractive teases.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.