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Bedroom Under the sheets (or not) What's the point of sex?
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What's the point of sex?
The question says it all: What's the point of sex?

Yes we all enjoy it (or at least some of us do). Do we want to say it is purely for pleasure? For most of us it is not purely, or at all, for making babies.
What’s the point of sex? OK, it’s not an easy question. Let’s get the ball rolling.

I saw today Abel Gance’s Capitaine Fracasse. A really beautiful film, which perhaps somewhat reminded me of Cocteau’s The Beauty and the Beast in its fairy tale atmosphere. My thoughts are under its effect.

 I want to connect the question of theater – of acting – with sex.

What’s the point of art (or life)? Why is art so connected with eroticism? Much of the reason people go to the theater and to movies is to see pretty women. Yes, they are not going to have sex with them, but they might see them naked at least, which is further than where they get on most dates, and with prettier wo/men. And if for men sex is perhaps more physical, there is so much fantasy and storytelling in women’s relation to (and activity of) sex.

Moreover, to generalize very very crudely: French men seem to care about sex only with regards how they will tell the story later. The pickup, the courting, the undressing, all towards recounting the fable. While for American men, it is simply business. They have to do it, and count the women. At least in the general case, I think there is very little of the other person involved. 
(Note that the story effect is not lacking for Americans too. How many had sex in their car only to say they had sex in a car; had sex with a cheerleader, with a quarterback, etc. All stories, even if the audience is themselves.)

The theater, acting, has so much to do with it. Why then? What’s the relation of sex and storytelling? This was already a bit discussed in the topic of forplay (anticipation).

Sex involves acting and acting sex: acting during sex, acting about sex, and interest in acting – actors and actresses in movies and theater - with regards sex.

 

Sex thus is connected with our will to act in the world. (Acting here wears again its more complete dictionary senses.)

To be continued at some later point, though no promises when.
Films Discussed
Le Capitaine fracasse


In response to Arthur Mont
...you ask about the relation of art and the erotic. I'm reminded of Pound's famous lines in a letter to William Carlos Williams: "I am interested in art and ecstasy, ecstasy which I would define as the sensation of the soul in ascent, art as the expression and sole means of transmuting, of passing on that ecstasy to others."
Do you think sex is more related to storytelling than other things people do? Many adventures are done only so people can talk about them afterwards. This gets in the way of the experience because the person imagines as they are doing it how they will describe it afterwards. I think we can see this for instance with sports. Now that everyone grows up seeing athletes with replays and slow motion surely they "perform" for the camera in a way they did not before. Where sex is concerned, this is really an argument against pornography!

So I think we should distinguish what is particular about sex, from the fact that life in general is related to stories, to performance, to art and so on, Arthur. Not an easy question, but not impossible.
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Latest Post: February 17, 2012 at 3:16 PM
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