I was attempting to try and make the ‘sex as communication’ theory fly by i) removing the prescriptive element, and making it more a definition rather than a line drawn in the sand, ii) treating these communicative instants as Austinian performatives, as is my obsession these days, and iii) introducing greater ‘social fields’ ala Wittgenstein or even Foucault, to account for the apparent inability to account for solo masturbatory acts or their ever looming ‘aid’ porn. Then it dawned on me that Williams, who I must admit I have a kind of soft spot for, as one of those often neglected but progressive for his style of philosophy philosophers (but maybe that’s just one of my hang ups from undergrad shinning through), didn’t comment on masturbation or pornography because he wouldn’t, by the ‘sex as communication’ analogy, consider such acts as sex. Sexual in nature yes, but not sex. So simple yet it eluded me, the greatest genius ever to have lived ever in the history of man which is of course all that is history, and the author of the Philosopher’s Carnival submission on this subject, who postulated that one of the failures of this method of reasoning about sex is that it fails to account for masturbation or pornography.
I give as an example: if someone has a partner, and they masturbate while being monogamous with that partner, have they cheated? The obvious answer is no. This seems to fly in the face of ‘pornography addiction’ which is perceived as one of the ‘plagues’ afflicting social morality bay many commentators far more widely read than myself.
The thing is that otherwise, my endeavour to expand the theory has been somewhat fruit-full as it is kind of stating the obvious, in keeping with our much beloved Bertie: “The point of philosophy is to start with something so simple as not to seem worth stating, and to end with something so paradoxical that no one will believe it.” The over analysis only seems to strengthen its cause.
But isn’t pornography communicative I hear you ask? Yes but not as a conversation. It functions communicatively as any novel, movie, image, etc. It follows the same rules as any aesthetic production, and as such this is a moot point.
Personally I find sex far more interesting than religion (as did Lord Bertrand I might add), so what are your thoughts on the ‘sex as communication’ definition? I might even be arsed writing it up in its expanded form.