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20 May 2006

the lowest common denominator... sex

emma and i got in a discussion last night that ended up something like "what makes the world go round?". i think it started when we were talking about advertising on blogs and somehow it morphed into searching for the bottom line.

my stand was that sex is the determining factor, and emma's was arguing for money. i can't remember the arguments exactly, but i believe mine was a hybrid of evolutionary biology and maslow's hierarchy of needs (though i couldn't think of the name last night). in the hierarchy, there would have to be subdivisions. in the lowest level there is the physiological needs. those needs in order of importance would be (in my opinion): air, water, food, shelter, ..., and sex (leaving out a few, this isn't a dissertation). procreation is an inherent instinct, to make sure the species doesn't die out, to pass on YOUR genes (this is the evolutionary biology part). this is encompassed in men by their libido. sex and sexual entertainment are rooted in the idea of sex for procreation, though the roots are long and deep so that we don't think of it consciously.

sex IS the oldest profession for this reason. everyone (aside from rare birth defects and the occasional factory accident) can have it in one way or another. it is the lowest common denominator, with, in my mind, money being JUST above it. sex is, afterall, a form of currency, but currency, is not a form of sex.

if you have no money, no food, no shelter... you still have your sex and with that, the ability to trade for the necessities. this is sex as currency. i've recently re-watched the movie 'les miserables', where uma thurman's character, fantine, didn't have money for her room, but she paid in sex for as long as she could. less civilized cultures in the world trade their women for goods. and it's not the women the receiver wants, but her sex. it is a renewable resource whereas money, bread, water, might not be. dolphins have been documented beating female dolphins into submission and then giving them to other dolphins in exchange for food. sex as currency.

besides what i'll deem the trinity, air, water, and food... sex is the deciding factor in one form or another of just about every other decision made. now i know this is one-sided because i can't recall all of emma's arguments. money IS a very strong driving force in the world economy but it is man-made. i don't believe something man-made can be considered a fundamental driving force. it is a physical representation of a driving force that can be traded more easily and MUCH more safely than sex.

we go to school to learn, we learn to get a good job, we get a good job to make money. we use that money to make ourselves look more secure and desirable to the opposite sex, thus a better parent and lover. we want to be parents to pass on our genes and all the non-scientific intangibles to the world when we are gone, and to do that, we need to have sex.

i hope emma has the time to post on her blog (or rebut here) her side of the debate. it was quite fun. so, what do you think on the subject? is there ANOTHER option, maybe. let me know what you think, and if you want, pass this post on to a friend.


Blogger Jules said...

For the right side of this debate, hop on over to Saddle Tramp.

6:57 AM, May 20, 2006  
Anonymous ellen said...

I'll put my two cents in and say that Power is the bottom line. Remember that scene in 2001: A Space Odyssey when the cavemen first figure out how to use that big ol' femur as a deadly weapon? We all want control of something, whether it's the security of having a lot of money or the confidence of knowing you're going to get laid. Both of those situations make a person feel powerful. What good is all the money in the world, if you're locked up in jail, or you still have to bow down to the man? If you're rich, you can usually weasel your way out of it, so it's like buying power with money, so power is the ultimate goal, but you can also gain power through intimidation and manipulation, so money is not always involved. Yeah, so you discussed all these scenarios in which sex was traded for goods or money. If a woman was trading it for something she wanted, wouldn't that be like her letting a man feel powerful (giving him power) for something she ultimately needed to survive? If it were strictly about sex, wouldn't more men just start bartering themselves? Even homosexual sex is sex, right? So then they'd be getting even more sex than if they just bought and sold women, but it isn't just about sex, there's a power heirarchy there, so in traditionally male dominated societies, they trade women instead of themselves. Is this making sense. I mean, I think sex and money are up there too. I'm willing to say that these three things make up the mighty triumverate.

9:29 AM, May 20, 2006  

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