Happy Mortal

This life, well-lived.

Sex and Predicate

SP009 So, I’m stuck. After our recent conversation I feel the need to assign a predicate to sex. Trouble is I’m not sure I can. It’s simply not satisfying to say “sex is construct.” Nor, is it wholly accurate to say “sex is biology.” Sure, I can say “sex is complicated,” but that does nothing more than describe my quandary. The fact that a predicate for sex is as slippery as it is makes me wonder, just “who” is having sex?

Am I a capitalist in the bedroom? Consuming a product? Becoming a product? In which case, is my intercourse cascading into the simulacrum of the pornographic? Or, am I the triune layity of ego, superego, and id? Am I a kid playing playing games? An adult creating? A creature? An American? A caucasian male?

I know that these abstactions functions to estrange us from sex, but that’s just the symptom of a larger problem. One that can’t be solved without parsing the lack of a clear predicate.

And maybe that’s the problem. I don’t have sex any more. They do. Maybe it’s the fragmenting of the subject that makes the predicate so difficult. Maybe when my predicate flows easier (I am…), other predicates follow suit.

Does unity (or, perhaps better said, a lack of fracture) within the subject save us from estrangment?


  1. I will share my predicate: Sex is with an Other.

    Does unity mean wholeness and fracture mean brokenness?

  2. Who has sex? Whoever wants to. Sex is anything you want it to be. Self sex, sex with an other, sex with many others. With or without condoms or birth control, with or without the ability or necessity of making a baby, with or without orgasm (hopefully with). The minute we try to figure something out is the moment we lose it completely. If sex isn’t being had it’s because people aren’t defining it correctly. And they aren’t defining it correctly because they are trying to define it.

  3. Who is having sex? The obvious answer is, your cells, your DNA. The procreative drive is primal in all senses of the word (ancient, primary, etc.). And because it’s driven at the cellular level, your conscious mind, while it can come along for the ride, doesn’t really get to drive.

  4. I think that procreating is the western worlds way of trying to make sex okay. I don’t think that our cells or dna think that way. Why then would homosexuals have the desire to have sex? Or people who are reproductively challenged? Women on birth control, women who are pregnant, men who have had vasectomies? Why self-pleasure? The need for babies has little to do with dna/cells and more to do with society. For example: during times of economic hardship mens sperm count drops, making it less likely to have children. But I’m sure they are still having sex.

  5. I think the distinction between masturbation and sex with someone else is useful.

  6. We can’t reduce sex to either the social or the biological realms. It operates in both insofar as we can recognize the physical components (like pheromones and survival benefits) and the social norms and taboos, which can’t always be easily explained from biology (like the skinny model aesthetic, foot fetishes, and penis-shaped cakes).

    Also, sex is a sign mediated in language and as such is subject to the indeterminacy of meaning. This thread is a discourse in which we all play the game of pretending to know what we mean when we type/read “sex.” And as the thread unravels we find that some of us are thinking grammar, some economics, some cells, others fetishes and insecurities. It maybe all of these, or not quite any.

    And what about these precise words we use? How would it change the game to write of intercourse, making love, fucking, knowing each other, making babies, bumping uglies, experiencing little death, giving it up/away/out, copulating, mutual masturbation, or just doing it (and doing it, and doing it well)?

    This is not to say that we shouldn’t “have it out with sex.” Coming out can be important. One end of the thread that I find intriguing is the difference between certain biological accounts of sex and certain psychoanalytic accounts. The salient difference (in my picture) being that the one describes sex as productive while the other describes sex as an attempt to fill an un-fillable lack.

    So which is it people!?! We need some definite answers.

  7. Isn’t producing still an attempt to fill an un-fillable lack? The need to live eternally, the need to love and be loved, the need to create something, to shape something in your image?

    However, no definite answers here. I definitely don’t believe in those. :)

  8. why categorize? sex is different for every person, every time. sex with different people has different motivations, results, etc. pairing a predicate to the concept of sex is not only impossible, it is pointless. even if you could simplify the implications of it in one sentence, all you would have is a slogan. you would still sleep on half of an empty bed

  9. And that’s the point I think. It’s not so much that there’s a problem with the predicate: it’s that our subject isn’t really up to the task.

  10. Right. Desire and drive both imply that something is missing, something which needs to be attained. But I think too often we emphasize the lack, the void, when in fact there is much more to be said concerning the surplus, the productive force.

    It can seem like common sense that you have a void that needs filling. But who told us that was the case? Lots of powerful entities stand to benefit from such a belief, from churches to malls.