the positive aspects of sex negativity

I thought this passage of Theo Hobson’s was awesome.

What’s wrong with celebrating the pleasure of sex, the excitement of it? Such celebration shares in the dishonesty of pornography. It lacks proper context. It forgets to say that this activity is as serious as life itself. By isolating it from the rest of life, it fetishises it, it falsifies it. And it forgets to say that sex is full of darkness too, that it is tied to selfishness, pride, fear, demonic destructiveness. Sex is not something to celebrate. It is something to be deeply equivocal, and cautious, about. Its power is something to be feared.

There is an idea that we have done well to get rid of the shame in sex. It’s a dangerous half-truth. In reality one ought to be ashamed of certain forms of sexual desire. One ought to be wary of one’s “natural” impulses. They might be natural, but that doesn’t make them good. We ought to be honest about the inevitability of shame in sex. Such realism will help teenagers to feel more at ease with themselves. At present we let them believe a harmful lie: if you are healthy and normal, sex is about fun: enjoy! It messes a lot of them up, this “liberated” lie.

We have a deeply dishonest sexual culture. Sex is a matter of giggly fun, we say, and if it has a dark side that’s the fault of a few bad people. In truth the shadow side of sex falls across us all.

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