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You are here: Home > Forum > A Place of Safety > General Talk > Why is sex reserved for those 'old enough'?
icon5.gif Why is sex reserved for those 'old enough'?  [message #71808] Mon, 22 August 2016 22:37 Go to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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Seriously, why?



Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
Re: Why is sex reserved for those 'old enough'?  [message #71810 is a reply to message #71808] Tue, 23 August 2016 03:19 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mark   United States

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I think that originally sex was reserved for having a baby, and you had to be old enough to take care of any babies you had as a result of the sex.
Re: Why is sex reserved for those 'old enough'?  [message #71811 is a reply to message #71810] Tue, 23 August 2016 05:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Pedro   United Kingdom

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The participants also need to be physiologically mature enough not to be physically damaged by the act or its consequences - pregnancy and childbirth.
This leaves aside any psychological effects that should be considered. Others may wish to comment.
Re: Why is sex reserved for those 'old enough'?  [message #71813 is a reply to message #71808] Tue, 23 August 2016 09:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
NW is currently offline  NW   United Kingdom

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For me, it's about capacity for "informed consent". Sex that lacks it is rape, however much some people try to pretty it up.

The Emperor Tiberius famously took a suckling baby from its mother's breast, and gave it his dick to suck instead. Most find that pretty inappropriate, and consent on the part of the baby was certainly lacking.

Two five year olds exploring each others bodies, and stimulating each other, is in my view OK, because they are broadly capable of understanding the effect they are having on each other (in a way that would not be the case if one of the participants was five and the other fifty). Some might call that "sex play" rather than "sex". However, I see it as "age-appropriate sex": to do otherwise is to belittle their experience, (and smacks depressingly of the heteronormative view that sex must always be penetrative).

Sadly, as a society, we fail to recognise that prepubescent sexuality exists (although it is different in nature to, and less genitally-focussed than, adult sexuality). That means that although well-meaning, laws that ban consenting activities between those who are at roughly the same stage in life, but below some arbitrary age, are in my view wrong.

All of which is roughly to answer the question "why is sex reserved for those old enough?" with the answer "because society has a fucked-up view of childhood, with many individuals projecting a fantasy of innocence back into their own childhood, seeing it as a golden age". For anyone who remembers accurately, childhood is as full of problems, doubts, grief, joy, enthusiasm, love, curiosity, and failed experiments as adult life is, and perhaps these are felt even more keenly as they are not balanced by the weight of experience.



"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. ... Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night devoid of stars." Martin Luther King
icon5.gif Who is 'old enough'?  [message #71814 is a reply to message #71808] Tue, 23 August 2016 11:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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Again, with precision, who is 'old enough'?

Why do you say that?



Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
Re: Why is sex reserved for those 'old enough'?  [message #71815 is a reply to message #71810] Tue, 23 August 2016 11:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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"Mark wrote on Tue, 23 August 2016 04:19"
I think that originally sex was reserved for having a baby, and you had to be old enough to take care of any babies you had as a result of the sex.

--
Not sure it was 'reserved'. People fucked when they wanted to. So do Bonobos. Babies tended to happen after male/female penetrative sex, but by no means every time.

Who reserved it?



Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
Re: Why is sex reserved for those 'old enough'?  [message #71818 is a reply to message #71815] Thu, 25 August 2016 05:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
dgt224 is currently offline  dgt224   United States

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"timmy wrote on Tue, 23 August 2016 07:39"

"Mark wrote on Tue, 23 August 2016 04:19"
I think that originally sex was reserved for having a baby, and you had to be old enough to take care of any babies you had as a result of the sex.

--
Not sure it was 'reserved'. People fucked when they wanted to. So do Bonobos. Babies tended to happen after male/female penetrative sex, but by no means every time.

Who reserved it?

--
Assuming we're talking about Western civilization, mostly old men in charge of religions, I think, and old men heavily influenced by the first group of old men. (And I suspect that's broadly true, but I'm most familiar with Western civilization.)
Re: Why is sex reserved for those 'old enough'?  [message #71819 is a reply to message #71818] Thu, 25 August 2016 05:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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Quote:
dgt224 wrote on Thu, 25 August 2016 06:14
Quote:
timmy wrote on Tue, 23 August 2016 07:39
"Mark wrote on Tue, 23 August 2016 04:19"
I think that originally sex was reserved for having a baby, and you had to be old enough to take care of any babies you had as a result of the sex.

--
Not sure it was 'reserved'. People fucked when they wanted to. So do Bonobos. Babies tended to happen after male/female penetrative sex, but by no means every time.

Who reserved it?

--
Assuming we're talking about Western civilization, mostly old men in charge of religions, I think, and old men heavily influenced by the first group of old men. (And I suspect that's broadly true, but I'm most familiar with Western civilization.)

--
The irony, then, that we have a rash of old men, often in charge of religions in their areas, being prosecuted for kiddie fiddling ought to be lost on no-one.



Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
Re: Why is sex reserved for those 'old enough'?  [message #71824 is a reply to message #71818] Fri, 26 August 2016 11:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mark   United States

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Location: Earth
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Messages: 630



"Quote:"
dgt224 wrote on Wed, 24 August 2016 23:14
"Quote:"
timmy wrote on Tue, 23 August 2016 07:39
"Mark wrote on Tue, 23 August 2016 04:19"
I think that originally sex was reserved for having a baby, and you had to be old enough to take care of any babies you had as a result of the sex.

--
Not sure it was 'reserved'. People fucked when they wanted to. So do Bonobos. Babies tended to happen after male/female penetrative sex, but by no means every time.

Who reserved it?

--
Assuming we're talking about Western civilization, mostly old men in charge of religions, I think, and old men heavily influenced by the first group of old men. (And I suspect that's broadly true, but I'm most familiar with Western civilization.)

--

Yes. And even from a strictly secular viewpoint, there are reasons that society would view sex as something that should be limited to a certain minimum age (or at least age range).  Besides needing to be mentally mature enough to handle the responsibilities of a child if pregnancy should occur, there's also (as Pedro mentioned) a certain amount of need for the female to be able to physically handle the rigors and stress of pregnancy and childbirth (I've heard that the reason that adult men who have sex with underage girls are given harsher sentences in the court systems than women who have sex with underage boys is because of who would/could get pregnant in such relationships - adult woman vs. non-adult girl).  I don't think that it's a coincidence that the age of consent in most "civilized" nations today currently falls right around age 18, the point by which most humans are generally considered to have largely finished up with puberty and the physical changes it brings.

Sex in general, I think, tends to get a blanket ban in most regards, which is why I'd imagine that, to a certain extent, even things like gay sex tends to get included in age of consent situations, even though pregnancy is obviously not something that's going to happen (as well as why some people tend to react negatively to the idea of two 5-year-olds "playing doctor" with each other, even though, for the most part, pregnancy isn't exactly something that's going to occur there), although there could be some argument made here that there could be some basis for a minimum amount of physical size necessary for certain things (i.e. anal intercourse - I'm sure that it's probably not very safe for an adult penis to be put into the rectum of someone who is, say, age 5).

(And yes, Timmy, I do tend to agree that there's a certain irony that some of those who preach that sex should only occur between heterosexual people married to each other - and who themselves are often members of religions that demand celibacy from their clergy - often seem to have trouble keeping their hands to themselves.)

[Updated on: Fri, 26 August 2016 11:53]

Re: Why is sex reserved for those 'old enough'?  [message #72907 is a reply to message #71808] Fri, 19 May 2017 23:13 Go to previous message
leobell is currently offline  leobell   United States

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Matters of consent (in the way it's viewed today) and maturity haven't played much of a role until relatively recent times. It also mattered which station you held in society - a noble could easily have sex with any 12 year old or the 40 year old wife of a lesser noble with little to no consequences, whereas the latter (particularly) would be impossible for an average person. Much of our laws regarding sex harken back to the time when girls were considered the property of their father, and wives their husbands'. So it was up to them to decide when the time was "right" because they were, basically, selling off their daughters (what passed for marriage back then). Boys could largely do whatever they wanted to so long as a scandal didn't erupt - and intergenerational acts were also fine so long as there was consent. And the laws were/are geared towards "protecting" females because they can't think or act for themselves and are only to be used by men (they have no sexuality of their own) ---- at least that's the underpinning reality.

A puritanical streak started growing, perhaps by the 17-18th centuries, and has expressed itself in different ways in different countries over time. However, I feel there was a real shift at the turn of the 20th century, and that shift has continued to the point where 'moral panic' breaks out at the mere idea of a kid being sexually curious (heaven forbid they act on it). It's no longer just "my daughter belongs to me" but now "my kids belong to me", that sexist (and one might say, inhuman) mindset morphed into what many view as "caring parenting". So if the parent is extremely conservative, they place that on their kids, too. And thus society becomes more conservative; to the detriment of natural development. You also end up with completely arbitrary age limits and insane laws.

Simply looking at what's going on with Anthony Weiner today can testify to that. A possibility of 10 years in prison for sending a nude pic and sexting with a teenager? There is a difference between conversation (however inappropriate people may see it) and physical activity. Or even charging minors with child porn because they took of pictures of themselves! The system also precludes any potentially innocent (read not trying to harm) and genuine intergenerational relationships (the student & teacher who really falls in love, for example). I remember being a kid and thinking to myself how nice it would be to have an older man in that way. That doesn't mean such things are common, but it does mean they happen. We end up hurting everyone in an attempt to protect. It's like the war on terror in my view. Trying to stop a relatively few number of terrorists (or people who lurk in allies looking to rape & kill a kid), so we spy on the entire planet and blow up weddings.

None of this is to say it's OK or wrong (there hasn't been much in the way of honest and apolitical research into the matter), but to try and explain why/how we got here.
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