This post is about sex.

Specifically, a concept called activation.

(This is a dry post.  Not a titillating post.  But use judgment if the post is not for you.)

The flesh has its hormones and its natural drive for sex, sure.  But its a mistake to think that sexual desire is just some kind of purely natural phenomenon.  Instead, sexual desire is often activated.

Activation means that thinking about sex, seeing reminders of sex, being exposed to pre-sexual activity or to stimulants, make you feel more sexual desire.

To an extent, sexual desire is like static electricity.  The charge comes from somewhere.

Activation is a neutral concept.

In its virtuous form, lets call it marital activation.  There it is those little interactions between husband and wife that keep them thinking sexually and romantically about each other.  Many couples neglect marital activation at their peril.

The virtue of marital activation is perverted into the vices of pornography and so on.   A sexualized and immodest society, even without pornography sensu strictu, can be a problem.  Even lewd jokes could activate at a low level.  (Note: in my opinion, low level activation is not immediate and direct but instead just means that one will generally be thinking about sex more and feeling desire more).



This virtue chart forces us to think in a way we do not normally think, so comments welcome.

The lower blue virtue is definitely something we don’t have a name for.  It’s not sublimation, because sublimation says the sexual drive is still there, just being distorted.  I think the virtue we are trying to discover here is probably something more like the body’s desires being at rest.  It seems that part of the union between body and spirit is a rhythm bertween bodily and spiritual modes of being.

And just as fasting is not the same as hunger, I don’t think this virtue just consists of trying not to think about sex.  I see it as something positive towards which you are directed.

I am tempted to call this virtue contemplation.


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