16 November 2005

The meaning of meaning

There was an interesting post on mamalicious about meaningless sex. Can women have meaningless sex? It really got me thinking.

First I thought, I have had meaningless sex. But on further thought I wonder.

Gigi seems to think that sex is meaningful (most of the time) for women but not so for men. (This is very bad paraphrasing, and not quite what she said. To see that, go read her blog. Go on, it's a good one.) I don't quite agree with her. I think sex is probably meaningful to both, in the ways she mentioned. We have sex to express many things, be it lust, love, power, insecurity, curiosity, affection, fear, whatever. So the meaning of sex is something to do with self-expression. It also makes us feel good and connects us to each other (pun intended). The purpose of sex may be to make babies. But I think men would find they give meanings to sex as much as us women do. Men and women aren't that different.

I create meaning out of everything. I don't believe there is an external meaning or purpose for the world. I make my own meanings. So, generally, I found meaning in every encounter I have had. Sometimes I had to look for the meaning afterwards; sometimes it was more that I looked for something to learn from the experience. Sometimes I just enjoyed it. Sometimes I just didn't.

I don't know what life means, or sex. The purpose I have created for myself is to learn as much as I can, to experience as much as I can, to love, to communicate and to enjoy my life. Part of that is sex. So perhaps I've never really had meaningless sex.

What do you think? Is sex ever really meaningless? Any men, women or intersex people out there with an opinion? (Oh God, please let it be intersex. I want some different perspectives on this males vs. females debate.)


figleaf said...

Hey Hasarder,

I really like this post. I just wrote a long reply to your first comment on Mammalicious's blog but I wanted to come over and say how much I appreciated it. It was an extra treat to find you'd also posted in more depth about the same thing here. Thanks.

By the way, I agree that it's probably more accurate to say that men and women both seek meaning in sex but that the meanings they seek don't overlap completely. (They do overlap but we usually disregard where we overlap because it's uncontested.)

Take care,


Mama Duck said...

My first time here...

I'm thinking that women have a more emotional meaning attached to sex while for men it's more about fulfilling a physical need (not to mention an ego boost in many cases).

TKW :)

hasarder said...

Figleaf - Thanks for the feedback!
I read your comment over at mamalicious. You raised some good points. I think it's very unusual for women to for meaningless relationships too; I did once and boy, was it filled with meaning by the end. Meaning found by him first, much to our suprise since we expected the stereotype to ring true.

I also liked your comment about the way men have to woo women to become attrative to them. That's something I'll be posting about soon, because it's been on my mind too. (And thanks for the link to aroused girl - very thought provoking!)

Mama Duck - and thank you for commenting too! I really believe there is more variation within the sexes than between them. However, there are strong evolutionary reasons why men and women attach different meaning to sex. So you may be right that it appears there is a difference in the meaning we associate with sex today. However, I think the lines are blurring more and more, and I can find more exceptions than the rule these days.

But what is meaningful sex? Is it a combination of the physical and mental, but in varying degrees within each individual and each circumstance? The boy or girl who seeks casual or meaningless sex today may want fulfilling love tomorrow. And vice versa.