sex & epochs

The Atlantic had an interesting feature in their September issue – “Boys on the Side”.
It discussed the proliferation of the so-called “hookup culture”.
Namely that, today, young people are all about hooking up, one-night stands, having fun with no strings attached, and that women, on top of that, do not find this hook-up culture “as socially corrosive and toxic” anymore.
Women, in fact, tend to prefer it.
Because they don’t have time to deal with full-time, committed, long-term relationships.
Because they want to be independent and serious relationships get in the way of women getting there.
Because they want to have fun, too.
And all that jazz.
(And, because, I guess, they don’t have a problem with their biological clocks.)

Last UK Sunday Times, an article, “Lock Up Your Sons”, touched upon a similar subject.
It discussed the trendy phenomenon among thirty-something-hot-on-high-heels “nougars” who love hooking up with much younger than them (at least 10 years younger) boys.
For similar reasons as above.
Because the younger ones are fun and full of sexual energy.
Because they’re uninhibited.
Because they don’t want commitments, marriage, and all that (other) jazz.

Meanwhile…tic-tock, tic-tock…

Recent books also discuss the rising phenomenon of young people procrastinating marriage, child bearing, and deadly boring housework that goes with it.
Because, being free, and unattached, is fun.
No wonder, Atlantic went on with another article on “The Cheapest Generation”, young people don’t bother buying, saving for, or even thinking about getting their own property.
I just wonder how that’ll affect the global markets.
Tic-tock, tic-tock.

This shift in dating and mating habits in today’s culture reminded me of Caligula and the ubiquitous sexual perversions at the time of the Roman decline.
…of the Dark Ages.
…of the transitions from a dark period to a great epoch and downhill again.

So, I asked myself (because there was no one else around me to ask):

Is there a correlation between accepted norms of sexual behaviour in a society and the rise and fall of an important to the development of civilisation epoch?

I’m no historian, but it’ll be curious to trace the sexual behaviour of people from the very beginning of our world – before, during and after each big epoch: from the Fertile Crescent to the fall of Rome, from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, from the Enlightenment to the Industrial Revolution, to contemporary times (from pre-, during, and post-war periods to the mass use of the Internet).
(And to make it a sellable book, spice it all with a bit of humour!)

Does one great period that marks advancement in civilisation begin with the construction of strong values and respected norms (discreet and decent sexual behaviour)?
And, does one great period that marks advancement in civilisation end with the fall of values and respected norms (baring genitalia, promiscuity, and sexual perversion)?
Or, has it always been baring genitalia, promiscuity, and sexual perversion irrelevant of time?

I’m no prudence.
I’m just reasoning the possible cause and effect relationship between variables and wondering if an accurate prediction can be made.

Post-WWII survivors wanted nothing more but peace, food, and security for their families.
But when they got all that, they wanted more.
Like we always do.
So, flower power and the sexual revolution came about.
That lingered on for a decade or so and then quickly subsided, partially because of the rise in teenage pregnancies, but also because of the outburst of the global oil, economic and financial crises of the 70s and 80s.
I wonder what was the cause of what to begin with.

When the going got tough the sexual liberation calmed down.
Or, rather, it put on a tie and behaved more civilly.
It was time to go to work again, meeting the basic needs, again.

And now, with the internet – and the abundant free porn and social sites on it (in some, like ChatRoullette you can actually view people masturbating live from their homes) – this sexual revolution is coming back in full throttle…
…taking on board 12-year-olds, 13-year-olds, 14-year-olds, everyone and their dog.
No wonder, then, young people don’t date anymore, as the Atlantic article went.
They prefer hooking up with no strings attached.
And that’s fine as long as no third parties suffer in any way from that.

But is that sort of new accepted norm a harbinger of something else, something more crucial?

It’s not how naughty or liberated we are in bed that may have an impact on our civilisation or spiritual and intellectual development.
It is the means with which we amplify everyone’s doing that eventually settles as the accepted norm and becomes the breeding environment for either decadence or renaissance.
For instance, that’s the way the internet today amplifies the existence of sexual perversions and various oddities (from suiciders to anorexics and racists) and gives public access to it like never before.
And, if, before (internet) people from the Western world frowned upon extramarital sex, public nudity, and changing gender, today, these are quite accepted.

Will then, sodomy and child pornography become an accepted norm at some point, too?
More importantly, where will the sexual behaviour of our own kids take the world?
To a darker age or a new Renaissance?

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