Friday, May 8, 2009

Kilroy Café #3: "Sex Fraud"

Here is a reprint of an old Kilroy Café philosophy essay. (It was published 5/30/08 as a PDF but this is its first appearance as text.) You can click on the image above for a larger version or print it out on a single page via the pdf file. The full text is also below. Also see other Kilroy Café newsletters and the KilroyCafe Twitter feed.



WARNING: This issue may not be suitable for young readers. Or old ones. Conservatives may consider it inappropriate. Liberals, too! Come to think of it, just about anyone with gonads is bound to be offended by what I'm about to say.


There, are you offended yet?

No? Then maybe I need to expand that statement.

Sex is meaningless.

In fact, it's one of the greatest frauds ever perpetrated on humanity. Sexual attraction is responsible, on the whole, for far more suffering than pleasure. If the whole thing went away, we'd all be better off.

I'm not saying sex can't be pleasurable, especially if it's been denied to you for a while. I'm also not arguing for its public suppression. On the contrary, I think people should have sex whenever & wherever they want, because as soon as they have unlimited access its meaninglessness becomes obvious.

Sex is like chocolate cake. It sure can be enticing from afar and when you take your first bite. As soon as you eat your fill, however, it quickly loses its appeal. If you're surrounded by chocolate cake and can eat as much as you want, it soon becomes as routine and uninteresting as cornflakes, and your hungers move elsewhere.

The human sex drive is certainly a powerful force—when denied—but the promises it makes are illusory and unfulfillable. Sex seems to be telling us, "Follow me and I'll give you eternal bliss." Unfortunately, such a state can't really be achieved.

The most you can reasonably expect out of sex is a temporary release from the drive. If you scratch the itch, it will go away for a while. When any hunger is relieved, it is usually pleasurable, especially when accompanied by a drug-like high, but such happiness can't last long and tends to decrease in intensity with every repetition.

Just because an itch goes away doesn't mean your life has meaning. The next question, after intercourse, is, "What do we do now?" and sex by itself doesn't provide any answers.

More than just procreation, sex is a human bonding activity, like mutual grooming. It certainly plays a role in drawing people together and encouraging intimacy, but it isn't intimacy itself. That's something much more complicated and difficult to sustain, requiring entirely different skills.

How do two people get along when they get so close they can clearly see each other's flaws? The answer in many cases is that they can't and shouldn't, but sex draws them together anyway.

The real tragedy of sex is how it is used to sell people things they don't need. It's such a powerful drive that if you censor it and ration it out in tantalizing little bits, there's no end to the stupid dog tricks you can get people to perform.

Think of the sexy girl in a car dealership ad. How does her presence have anything to do with the performance of the vehicle? Yet she wouldn't appear in the ad if the pitch wasn't successful—if guys weren't being duped into buying inappropriate cars by her smile and cleavage.

People are suckered by sex into a vast array of inappropriate and ineffectual purchases. Those include not just cars and consumer products but also destructive relationships and bad lifetime investments.

Instead of being the euphoric bliss it is promoted as, sex more often lands people in prison—and not just the kind with bars on the windows.

—G .C.

©2008, Glenn Campbell, PO Box 30303, Las Vegas, NV 89173. See my other philosophy newsletters at
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