Why not make love?

“What truth and joy is there in love that can be redone?” asks this girl from WW2 in the anime Natsu no Arashi. Your mileage may vary.  Some would ask “why not make love as much as possible in a world so lacking in love?”

I think that is a reasonable question, when you see life from a higher perspective. After all, the vast majority of adults have a fairly strong mating instinct. This is an intelligent design indeed because otherwise we would not have been born in the first place: There are so many other interesting things to do, that taking on the long and arduous process of raising a new generation would probably not find many volunteers if there was not an enticement to get started. So there is.

Now we know that fulfilling other people’s needs is generally considered a good thing by the world’s religions and philosophies.  Surely then when a man and a woman – or a sadist and a masochist, I guess – can give each other enormous amounts of pleasure by using their minds and bodies, few if any expenses required, it would be bordering on cruelty to not do it, right?  Certainly it should be considered a good deed, like feeding the hungry or giving the weary a bed to rest on, or visiting the lonely, or restoring dignity to the downtrodden.

And yet, when you read for instance Jesus’ list of good deeds that were done to him through doing them to other people (this is a really important point in its own right, but I have to skip it today, but let us say that this does not just apply to Jesus but to any Enlightened person, not that I’m saying Jesus was just some guy or anything) – Jesus goes “I was hungry and you fed me, I was naked and you clothed me” and so on, but there is a conspicuous absence of one phrase: “I was horny and you made love to me.” Why is this excluded?

The Catholic answer is probably that Jesus was never horny, so it would make no sense to include that in the list. But it is not just Jesus. All the great lights of history, the ones who created the world’s civilization, seem to have taken a dim view of fornication.

Scientists will tell you that marriage came into being so men could know which babies were theirs, and not throw them out with the bathwater. So the societies that did not have a system of exclusive mating rights would see rather few children survive, and be overrun by those who had such a system. Evolution in action, baby!  Of course, by “scientists” in this case I mean tenured nerds seeking to explain why they could not recognize a happy home if they saw one, much less create one.  To all right-thinking people there is a more obvious answer.

In mentally healthy people, making love creates an emotional bond. In fact, even the thought of making love to someone creates a one-sided emotional attachment, a fact that makes for hilarious anime but somewhat disturbing real-life headlines. Obviously then, if you make love to a random number of people who have very little else in common, you will experience a kind of emotional fragmentation. You will be pulled in different directions by the bonds (attachments) you have created.  This is going to be painful for all involved, but especially if you are the one true love of someone who is just one of a baker’s dozen to you.  This opens the gates of Hell, and I don’t necessarily mean only in the afterlife. There are also smaller infractions.

In light of  this, there are some who decide to live free of attachment, or attached only to the Lord or to Dharma or to Tao perhaps. Even if this means denying themselves and another some of the joys of earthly life, they believe it is worth it in order to maintain a joyful freedom to live a spiritual life here in this world. I respect that.

I am not one of them, though. I just happen to be moderately misshapen in body and soul, so that attempting to make love would not be a particularly pleasant experience for anyone involved.  I also happen to be particularly well suited for living alone: I enjoy solitude and can take pretty good care of myself.  So my opinions on this matter are not very intense.  Maybe they can still be of interest to some, though.

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