Sex is not a natural fact, but a cultural one

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Robert Maurer

Sex is not a natural fact, but a cultural one

Last update: 15 September, 2022

How many times have we heard of "natural sex" and "unnatural sex"? Definitions elaborated on the basis of prejudices that have persecuted us for years. In an era further away from the present one, it was thought that sexual relations had only a reproductive purpose. Over time, the idea has spread and sustained that it is natural for human beings to practice sex for mere pleasure.

However, the "naturalness" of sex is not as we perceive it. We believe this concept implies freedom, but in reality it doesn't. Do you think you are free when you have sex? Do you think you have no limits? Nothing further from reality. Culture has an important weight.

Sex isn't natural, it's normal

When we say that sex is natural, we are actually saying that it is not seen as a strange thing, but it is a totally normal, valid and acceptable act. The word "natural", however, refers to nature, as claimed by Valérie Tasso, writer and sexologist, in several conferences in which she participated.

Sex is natural in animals. They are not influenced by culture, they are not educated according to certain beliefs or principles. Human beings, on the other hand, yes. Our conception of relationships with others or our worldview would not be what it is if we were born in a different country. For this reason, we believe it is important to report some aspects of Valérie Tasso's theory:

  • Sex is a value for us, something more than animals, it makes us human: let's think about how much we have reflected on the "first time". We have principles or values ​​in mind that affect us.
  • Morality is not universal, if that were the case, we would all follow the same sexual practices: Japanese, Arab, American. Everyone is different when it comes to sex because the customs and rules are not the same all over the world.

On the other hand, we think that sex makes us more animal. Therefore prejudices arise, people repress and worry about what is right or wrong, allowed or forbidden, "natural" or not. Who determines all this? Without doubt the culture.

Sex in culture

Sex is a cultural act, like going to a museum exhibit. Everyone tries it when they are young. Isn't it true that you don't have sex in the park in broad daylight just because you don't feel like it? What do you reserve moments of pleasure for intimacy? This is because they taught you how to have sex.

This is, however, a problem. Think about when you visit a foreign country and so-called culture shocks occur. It also applies to sex. The history of each country is different, so its people are too. In some places, for example in Japan, men are said to be very cold. Instead, Latin men are described as passionate. There are big differences based on the culture of each country. In other words, what enriches us as human beings.

Undoubtedly, everything about sex is strongly linked to religious beliefs. Whether you consider yourself an atheist or an agnostic, the place where you were born has a Judaeo-Christian, Sintoist or other tradition. This tradition is that what is imbued with the culture that conditions us. The one that determines the way we see and experience relationships.

Did you believe that sexuality was natural? Did you think you would see and experience it in a free and unconditional way? In the end, sex is like going to the theater. Once you go there with one person, then with another and the third time with two people. Go see a musical or a play. Everything that is represented in the interior is influenced by what is outside.

Images courtesy of Tatyana Ilieva.

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