Sex is a very interesting subject to discuss. If this is the first journal entry of mine that you are reading—you’ve just helped to prove what I mean by “interesting”! Well, it is interesting to us, because it is a part of our lives that seems to have, shall we say, a certain level of “fascination” about it? Sex “features” some particular parts of our bodies, that when stimulated, we experience as pleasurable—which is precisely why we find it so interesting, so desirable, because when we engage in it, we experience much pleasure….and so want to repeat the experience, because we find it pleasurable….get the point? Ok, but what exactly IS Sex? That’s what we’re here today to take a look at, but first……
Before I proceed, please be informed that for the purpose of this discussion I am narrowing the focus of this topic to fundamental concepts so that visitors of all ages can read and enjoy this entry. Adults who are visiting can feel free to “read between the lines”!
The “facts” I am about to present are not in any way novel. In other words, they are not simply my opinion. Rather, they are based on science—particularly Zoology and Biology.
Ok, I think that most people would agree that “Sex” is “something that two people do together that involves close physical contact and which usually ends up in their ‘making love’… in one way… or another.” Car bumper stickers and T-shirts have colloquially called sex, “Doing it”. However IT is described, or however IT is done, most people find “doing it” to be a very pleasurable and enjoyable experience and like to do it quite often. It is certainly safe and accurate to say that for millennia, it has been a most pleasurable and wonderful thing to do, enjoyed to this day, to some degree, by most everyone.
Since “Doing it” is such a popular thing to do, let’s take a look at what “It” really is. A Zoologist or a Biologist (people who study this sort of thing) might say that what we are really doing is very simple; we are just acting instinctually—just like all the rest of the animals here on planet earth, we are acting upon our instinctual impulses to reproduce—to make babies—in order to continue our survival as a species. That’s a pretty clinical explanation! Hardly glamorous, or romantic. In fact, it suggests that we are mere ANIMALS! Lot’s of people might object to this basic fact—but it is just that, a very basic, scientific fact!
Most people think of animals being things like horses, pig’s and cows, and scarcely consider the thought that we humans might be, could be, or are, animals! The FACT is, however, according to scientists, that we are. As far as animals go, however, humans are certainly a lot more complex than simple pigs and cows, but the biological fact remains that we—yes—like the pigs and cows, are classified by scientists as “Animals”. Our behavior may be unique and complex by comparison, thank goodness—but that’s where our uniqueness ends! The scientific fact is, we are animals!
Let’s dig into these facts a little further. Humans—”Homo Sapiens-Sapiens”—(hold on to your seat) are only one single “species” of animal on Earth, on our planet, that is inhabited by as many as EIGHTY MILLION other animals! Well, the scientists do call eighty million a “high” estimate, but say is, nevertheless, quite possibly accurate. Their “low” estimate of total “Animals” on the earth is FOUR MILLION, which is still a staggering figure. Alright, well, this figure does include Insects, which I know most of us think we can HARDLY be similar to in any way. So, to make all of us feel a little more significant, let’s discount the insect family—which, amazingly, accounts for TWO-THIRDS of the animal life on earth!
Ok, after removing the insects from the animal definition/total must make us feel a little better about ourselves, right? In defense of the insects, however, please don’t forget that you are as much an animal as they are! They’re only a lot smaller than we are, and of course are certainly less intelligent….
After eliminating the insects then (which many of us would truly like to do), our position on the animal “social-ladder” moves up quite a bit. As “Homo Sapiens”, we form part of the elite animal group known as “Vertebrates”, which are those animals with backbones. That now makes us one out of FORTY-ONE THOUSAND other animals who share our planet. Still hardly makes us “unique” according to the numbers, does it?!
Well, we can climb further up our animal social status ladder a bit by weeding out the Birds, Reptiles and Fish, which leaves us members of the most exclusive, “Mammals” Club. As Mammals, we can stand tall and proud to be counted as one out of only FOUR THOUSAND other mammals! In fairness to the other mammals, however, I’m sorry to say that that’s as far as we can “properly” narrow our animal cocktail social-standing. That’s because mammals, with whom we share the same likenesses, our friend’s the Biologists and Zoologists define as chiefly characterized by—hold onto your seat again—the females having “Mammary Glands”—breasts—that are used for “suckling the offspring”, which they use for “breastfeeding” the babies.
That means there are at least THREE THOUSAND NINE HUNDRED NINETY-NINE other types of mammals—animals, like us—whose females, like our females, have breasts, which are used for the very same thing as we use ours!
So, when it comes to “making love” , it also turns out that most mammals “Do it” in pretty much the same way as we humans do, although at least we can boast to having what is unique to our species; our imagination to “Do it” in unique and interesting ways, and, in defense of we “Homo-Sapiens”, to “Do it” with a tremendous and totally unique form of love, care, romance and devotion. That, along with our superior intelligence, is what truly separates us from the rest of the “Animal” kingdom!
In the past when I have discussed the above facts and figures, some people have been quite offended at my suggestion that we humans are “simply animals”. Facts often offend people like that. Well, certainly our cultural influences, like our religions and various philosophies, have historically tended to glamorize, even ignore, these hard and cold facts. It does sound very lovely to say that “sex is an expression of love between two people”, but we’ve done that in order to explain something that, for most of our known history as a species, we haven’t been able to understand—to understand its purpose or function as part of our “cultural backdrop”. It’s certainly been a nice explanation, but modern science has since enabled us to see sexuality very differently, by scientifically equating and comparing ourselves to the 80 million other animals with whom we share this earth, who, like us, ALL “Do it” in one fashion or another!
On the other hand, in defense of the religious and philosophical glamourizor’s, my own experience, as I’m sure yours has been also, has clearly shown that sex can be, and of course is, a very wonderful way to be emotionally close to and intimate with one’s partner, which can, and does, enhance and grace one’s relationship, and that does make it something much other than the cold scientific fact of life that I’ve presented here. What does all that mean? That’s a topic for another essay!
It’s only been in the last hundred years or so that science has been able to study and understand the physical reasons behind human behavior, and not surprisingly, sexuality and reproduction has been one of the most widely studied subjects of all time. We now know that we engage in sexual behavior because we are responding to an instinctual urge, or drive, that comes from deep within our genetic heritage, and which is a drive that we share with every other animal on this earth. In a very real sense, we don’t “Do it” only because we like it, or simply because we find it a “beautiful expression of love” between us! Rather, we do it because we have been genetically programmed to like it, which ensures we will do it, and do it a lot, for one simple reason; so that our species can continue to survive. The uniqueness of the human mind and imagination, however, is that we “Do it” with a purpose far different than the rest of the millions of other “Animals”. Why? An excellent question! I welcome your comments!