Edinburgh, Bus Queue on Princes Street

I’ve got all the sex stuff off my chest for now – see here for post list – and readers may be either relieved or disappointed, depending on their proclivities, to learn that (with the probable exception of continued rants on the subject of our nation’s pathetic handling of sex crime) my foray into the World of Sex has been completed.

Expect a return to my former prudish ways, in which my basic position on the subject of sex is that frankly I’d rather not talk it to death, thanks.

Because, essentially, the only reason anyone is so interested in sex – who is doing what to whom, and what it all means – is because the world is all about sex rules: who is or isn’t in the sex class; what behaviour is or isn’t “sexual”; what sexual behaviour is or isn’t allowed.

Yet, if people were expected merely to behave decently towards one another and to treat one another as human beings deserving of basic respect, these rules would fall away.

What would it matter if you were or weren’t in the sex class, if you were entitled to expect decency and humanity regardless? And if it didn’t matter whether you were in the sex class or not, then the very existence of a sex class would fall away.

What would it matter whether behaviour was sexual or not, as long as one was entitled to expect that everyone’s behaviour towards each other would be decent and respectful regardless of whether it was also “sexual”? And, again, if it didn’t matter whether behaviour was sexual or not, the very distinction itself would fall away except perhaps as a medical or anthropological term to describe copulation and its associated rituals.

And if all that you demand of a person’s behaviour is that it should merely be respectful and decent in all things, why should anyone lay out detailed rules for specifically what behaviour is “allowed” in the sexual arena? It wouldn’t matter. The very rules would give way to basic principles of decency and would remain, if at all, only as a quaint system of correct conduct, akin to table manners or queuing etiquette.

If all these divisions and rules and taboos fell away, if sexual morals became no more meaningful or important than the question whether it is quite elegant for a person to eat with a fork in her right hand instead of her left, where then would be the fascination in talking endlessly about sex and sexual manners? It would be as interesting to talk for hours about how properly to offer your assistance to a person who is struggling to board the number 16 bus, somewhere in Princes St, Edinburgh.

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