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mirithepuppy

The History of Romance?

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So I'm always really confused about what the hell romance even is, so I decided to try to find out the history behind it.

 

And the thing is, romantic love didn’t even exist as a concept for most of history?

 

Ancient Greeks defined seven different types of love, none of which were romantic: eros (sexual love), philia (friendship), storge (familial love), agape (universal love aka altruism or charity), ludus (casual love, flirtation and no-strings-attached), pragma (practical love, like arranged marriages), and philautia (self-love). (x)

 

The concept of romance was first introduced only 900 years ago (x), which is pretty recent, considering marriage had been around for about 3500 years before that. (x)

 

Obviously, by Shakespeare’s time, romance was a widely accepted concept. However, marrying “for love” like Shakespeare shows wasn’t very common until the late eighteenth century. Before the late 1700′s, love was seen as something that happens after the marriage, not before it. But as the first romance novel was written by Samuel Richardson in 1740(x), and Jane Austen normalized romance novels from 1795 to 1817 (x), romance quickly became a prerequisite for marriage by the mid-1800s.

 

And when romance was necessary for marriage, it was suddenly deemed necessary for life. The need for romance overpowered the needs for all other types of love as more books about romance were published, and then songs about romance, and then movies about romance.

 

I think romance became an "essential" thing as life got easier, the same way plumbing and indoor heating are now "essential." But, the thing is, it's not actually necessary, and, in my opinion, sometimes life is a lot simpler without it.

 

What are your thoughts about this? Do you think romantic attraction has always been around, or is it a new thing? Do you think life is simpler without romance? Is romantic attraction even a real thing, or is it just a manmade concept?

 

Disclaimer: I am white, and I’m not a historian or anything, and I only really know Western history and the Bible and whatever some quick Google searches will tell me. A lot of this is just my personal informed opinion. Please let me know if I’ve gotten anything wrong, and add any non-Western viewpoints!!

 

tl;dr: the concept of romance didn’t exist until 900 years ago, and after people in the mid- to late 1700s started writing about it, people thought it was necessary in order to get married, and then it was "necessary" for just life in general, and it complicated things.

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Well, I think the concept of romance is an exaggerated form of ludus. In my opinion, it became popularized and, as it became universally accepted, people started to view it as a requirement for life and for humanity.

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I've been wondering some of the same things lately, and posted some of my thoughts about it here, after reading demiandproud's Trying to Define Romantic post

 

The short version is...

 

I think the concept of "romantic attraction" is a lot newer than the concept of romance, and I'm not convinced it refers to one single thing. I think it's probably a bundle of different emotions and desires.

 

And since I don't have those emotions/desires... well, I'm reminded of Sciatrix's Invisible Elephant metaphor. How can I define something I don't experience?

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On 4/16/2019 at 7:44 AM, mirithepuppy said:

So I'm always really confused about what the hell romance even is, so I decided to try to find out the history behind it.

 

And the thing is, romantic love didn’t even exist as a concept for most of history?

 

Ancient Greeks defined seven different types of love, none of which were romantic: eros (sexual love), philia (friendship), storge (familial love), agape (universal love aka altruism or charity), ludus (casual love, flirtation and no-strings-attached), pragma (practical love, like arranged marriages), and philautia (self-love). (x)

The Classical Greeks also considered mania (μανία) to be a type of love. (obsessive love).
ludus is actually a Latin term. With meanings along the lines of play, game, sport, training. It's also the term for a Roman "Primary School". paízō (παίζω) meaning play might be a better term.

 The word "pragma" in English does derive from prâgma (πρᾶγμα) meaning “a thing done, a fact”. A more common translation in the love context is "long lasting".
It's also important to consider that often "arranged marriages" have not been "forced marriages". Whilst parents, other relatives or a "match marker" within a community/village might pick suitors mutual interest and consent would, typically, be required for a marriage to happen.
 

On 4/16/2019 at 7:44 AM, mirithepuppy said:

The concept of romance was first introduced only 900 years ago (x), which is pretty recent, considering marriage had been around for about 3500 years before that. (x)

The notion which seems to have been around in medieval times seems to be that of "Courtly Love". Confined to a small portion of the population and not especially linked to sex.
 

On 4/16/2019 at 7:44 AM, mirithepuppy said:

Obviously, by Shakespeare’s time, romance was a widely accepted concept. However, marrying “for love” like Shakespeare shows wasn’t very common until the late eighteenth century. Before the late 1700′s, love was seen as something that happens after the marriage, not before it. But as the first romance novel was written by Samuel Richardson in 1740(x), and Jane Austen normalized romance novels from 1795 to 1817 (x), romance quickly became a prerequisite for marriage by the mid-1800s.

Shakespeare was an active playwright between 1585 and 1613 roughly two centuries before Austen. With it being unclear how widely accepted a concept romance actually was.
Nor is it clear that the love that was expected to develop in a post martital period was "romantic".
Whilst the late 19th century does appear to be the start of amantonormativity it's still taken over a century to spread globally and hasn't reached everywhere. With that spreading still being ongoing in the 21st century.

 

On 4/16/2019 at 7:44 AM, mirithepuppy said:

And when romance was necessary for marriage, it was suddenly deemed necessary for life. The need for romance overpowered the needs for all other types of love as more books about romance were published, and then songs about romance, and then movies about romance.

This wasn't (and isn't) an instant process. I think what's significant is when romantic sub plots started to appear in other genres of fiction. Especially where they obviously make no sense. That being said romantic movies (and sub plots) do date from fairly on in movie history. Though that's less than 130 years ago.
 

On 4/16/2019 at 7:44 AM, mirithepuppy said:

I think romance became an "essential" thing as life got easier, the same way plumbing and indoor heating are now "essential." But, the thing is, it's not actually necessary, and, in my opinion, sometimes life is a lot simpler without it.

I think what's happened is that society has changed in order to make it so. In the same way that being a religious believer in a theocratic state might be "essential". Indeed belief in amantonormativity can be just as extreme as that shown by religious fanatics.

 

On 4/16/2019 at 7:44 AM, mirithepuppy said:

What are your thoughts about this? Do you think romantic attraction has always been around, or is it a new thing?

It's new, though there are many attempts to retcon it into history. 
It's possible that a few people might have experienced it in the past. However before about a couple of centuries ago it would have been seem as a rare mental illness.

 

On 4/16/2019 at 7:44 AM, mirithepuppy said:

tl;dr: the concept of romance didn’t exist until 900 years ago, and after people in the mid- to late 1700s started writing about it, people thought it was necessary in order to get married, and then it was "necessary" for just life in general, and it complicated things.

I'd suggest that it's closer to 500 than 900 :)
 

On 4/17/2019 at 12:48 AM, The Angel of Eternity said:

Well, I think the concept of romance is an exaggerated form of ludus. In my opinion, it became popularized and, as it became universally accepted, people started to view it as a requirement for life and for humanity.

Whilst in may partly involve ludus and have appropriated a lot of erotic iconography I'd suggest that it's major ingredient is mania

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On 4/16/2019 at 8:44 AM, mirithepuppy said:

Do you think romantic attraction has always been around, or is it a new thing? Do you think life is simpler without romance? Is romantic attraction even a real thing, or is it just a manmade concept?

I think it always has been around, tho it was not treated as an universal phenomenon (and sometimes may have been undesirable if it got in the way of an arranged marriage for example). Right now it's treated as something that is universal and that's what's Not Cool about it. I also think it's a manmade concept in the way that certain feelings in our society are interpreted as romantic and we're taught to think about them that way. Anddd as for if it's more simple or no - idk, it just is different 

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@bydontost Thank you so much for clarifying some things!! I'm glad you actually know about this. I just did some brief google searches lol.

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surely romantic attraction's been around--can you manufacture a feeling?--but it wasn't a big thing.  like these days the feeling exists but the hype/amatonormativity is what makes it such a big deal.  like people are thinking about it and actively looking to date or find their soulmate or whatever, so there are more chances for romantic attraction to occur, i guess.  back then they had the feeling but not the hype.  although it is interesting that there's an ancient greek myth (mentioned in plato's symposium) which basically says we were all born as these creatures with 4 legs and stuff and those split apart into two people, and the other person is your soulmate (literal other half).  that was not a pro explanation but i believe that's the gist.

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On 4/17/2019 at 6:51 PM, aro_elise said:

can you manufacture a feeling?

 

lol, according to the Foucauldians, yes.

 

Anyway, for charting a history of "romantic," I think it's worth noting that "romantic" (as a word) previously used to mean/has sometimes still meant something different than it does now -- more generally the sense of being dramatized, imaginary, highly symbolic, idealized, etc. and not just specifically about... kissy couple behavior, for lack of a better term.

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On 4/17/2019 at 9:55 PM, bydontost said:

I think it always has been around, tho it was not treated as an universal phenomenon (and sometimes may have been undesirable if it got in the way of an arranged marriage for example).

I suspect that for the latter to happen it would need to involve high status people. The likes of Helen of Troy or Romeo and Juliet. 
 

On 4/17/2019 at 9:55 PM, bydontost said:

Right now it's treated as something that is universal and that's what's Not Cool about it.

Something really odd is that only about a third of single people are desperate to be in a romantic relationship. Even though amantonormative dogma assumes that it would be all of them.
Indeed something like 20% are not interested. Which is about an order of magnitude greater than the proportion of aromantic people.
 

9 hours ago, Coyote said:

Anyway, for charting a history of "romantic," I think it's worth noting that "romantic" (as a word) previously used to mean/has sometimes still meant something different than it does now -- more generally the sense of being dramatized, imaginary, highly symbolic, idealized, etc. and not just specifically about... kissy couple behavior, for lack of a better term.

Whereas romantic coded behaviours, appear throughout history. Including kissing.

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6 hours ago, Mark said:

Whereas romantic coded behaviours, appear throughout history. Including kissing.

 

Oh, and that reminds me -- ideas about what behaviors are romantic-coded are, themselves, culturally variable. It's hard to find a source on this that's not racist though (to say nothing of how a lot of people writing on this subject seem to treat romance and sexuality as interchangeable) -- even this article, one of the relatively better I found, makes reference to categorizing some societies as more "complex" than others...

 

A relevant quote, though:

 

"But clearly not everyone kisses. In fact, in our recent study, published in July 2015, less than half of the cultures we sampled engage in the romantic kiss. We looked at 168 cultures and found couples kissing in only 46 percent of them."

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1 hour ago, Coyote said:

 

Oh, and that reminds me -- ideas about what behaviors are romantic-coded are, themselves, culturally variable. It's hard to find a source on this that's not racist though (to say nothing of how a lot of people writing on this subject seem to treat romance and sexuality as interchangeable) -- even this article, one of the relatively better I found, makes reference to categorizing some societies as more "complex" than others...

 

A relevant quote, though:

 

"But clearly not everyone kisses. In fact, in our recent study, published in July 2015, less than half of the cultures we sampled engage in the romantic kiss. We looked at 168 cultures and found couples kissing in only 46 percent of them."

I see a lot of conflation between romance, affection and sex in these articles.
it's also unclear if it was kissing or kissing in public which offended the Thonga.

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On 4/18/2019 at 12:51 AM, aro_elise said:

although it is interesting that there's an ancient greek myth (mentioned in plato's symposium) which basically says we were all born as these creatures with 4 legs and stuff and those split apart into two people, and the other person is your soulmate (literal other half).  that was not a pro explanation but i believe that's the gist.

Oh yes, the Symposium again, it's like mandatory reading for aros … too bad that Plato is so difficult.

 

That four-legged humans story though wasn't a real myth, though, but is rather regarded as a satire of Greek creation myths.

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On 4/16/2019 at 7:44 AM, mirithepuppy said:

What are your thoughts about this? Do you think romantic attraction has always been around, or is it a new thing?

I'd say that what people call "romantic attraction" is part physiological phenomena, part subjective conscious experience of physiology, and part social framing of subjective conscious experience.

 

There are hormonal changes that are correlated with "romantic attraction" - these have been studied and observed. They fundamentally mimic obsession/addiction states: Low serotonin, high dopamine, oxytocin as well. These are physiological changes that can be triggered or influenced by a variety of stimuli or circumstances. 

 

Then there's our subjective conscious experience of what our hormones are doing. It's been studied and observed that subjective experiences of similar physiological states vary from person to person: The same cocktail of hormones might result in significantly different feelings or experiences in different people. 

 

On top of all that is social context. We're all raised by societies that give us certain frameworks within which to understand and interpret our subjective experiences. Society, for example, may tell us that "love" is a thing that can be categorised into qualitatively different types, leading us to look for ways to categorise any love we feel according to society's framework. 

 

So in terms of whether "romantic attraction" has always been around, I'd say that the addiction-like rush of hormones almost certainly has. And that some people have probably always experienced that hormone cocktail as a deep, emotional desire to permanently bond with another person. 

 

 

Framing that desire as "romantic attraction" may be new, and whether or not society as a whole recognises and values emotional desire for a permanent bond varies. But it's highly unlikely that humans have changed so much in <200 generations that the ancient Egyptians never felt a deep emotional desire to pair-bond. 

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On 4/20/2019 at 11:12 AM, eatingcroutons said:

So in terms of whether "romantic attraction" has always been around, I'd say that the addiction-like rush of hormones almost certainly has. And that some people have probably always experienced that hormone cocktail as a deep, emotional desire to permanently bond with another person. 

 

 

Framing that desire as "romantic attraction" may be new, and whether or not society as a whole recognises and values emotional desire for a permanent bond varies. But it's highly unlikely that humans have changed so much in <200 generations that the ancient Egyptians never felt a deep emotional desire to pair-bond. 

That's how I see it. Romantic attraction  (in that sense of a biological/chimical reaction) has always been there, but the sense and value people attached to it changed. For some reason, at some point in history, people began to see this type of attraction as essential  (probably because it was seen as purer than sexual or sensual attraction , I don't know).

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1 hour ago, nonmerci said:

That's how I see it. Romantic attraction  (in that sense of a biological/chimical reaction) has always been there, but the sense and value people attached to it changed. For some reason, at some point in history, people began to see this type of attraction as essential 

This appears to have happened quite recently. It's surprising that there isn't good documentation on how this came about.
 

1 hour ago, nonmerci said:

(probably because it was seen as purer than sexual or sensual attraction , I don't know).

This seems odd considering the way in which romance has wound up so intertwined and conflated with the sexual and sensual.

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6 hours ago, Mark said:

This seems odd considering the way in which romance has wound up so intertwined and conflated with the sexual and sensual.

True, but I think it was a way to make the other attractions acceptable? For some strange reason, people demonized sex. But pairing it with a concept of "pure" love turns it in a good thing or Something like that.

But this is just conjectures. I have not capacity to make studies about it. I don't know if this is really strange that nobody did it : people consider love like an universal and natural thing, so the thought that people didn't always look for it may not even cross their mind.

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20 hours ago, nonmerci said:

For some strange reason, people demonized sex.

 

Oh I'd hardly say that. I can think of some things that you might be describing, but I don't think it makes sense to describe them that way.

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On 4/21/2019 at 3:43 PM, nonmerci said:

That's how I see it. Romantic attraction  (in that sense of a biological/chimical reaction) has always been there, but the sense and value people attached to it changed.

I regard the pair bonding of certain animals a very strong argument that romantic attraction in humans isn't cultural but a biological reaction.

 

This, of course, could theoretically be wrong. Like it would be wrong to extrapolate from the “states” of eusocial animals as ants, bees, naked mole-rats etc. that humans have a similar instinct to form states.

On 4/21/2019 at 11:09 PM, nonmerci said:

True, but I think it was a way to make the other attractions acceptable? For some strange reason, people demonized sex.

Well, it was probably regarded as an animalistic drive, but we don't have the “excuse” that it is for the survival of the individual like hunger. Also it is directed towards other humans, not towards things, which has a lot of strange implications.

 

How much uptight people are regarding to sexual attraction obviously depends strongly on culture but it seems to me that nearly everywhere there is some element of shame or reservation involved.

 

Even now in 95% of cases when people speak about sexual attraction it is in one of those variants (or a mixture of them):

  1. with a lot of “euphemisms” and shrouded in off-topic themes like romance
  2. in a ridiculous boasting/comedic fashion
  3. in a scientifically detached way
  4. with aggression and/or contempt [can we at least stop that one?]

 

It is very rare that people talk about their sexual attraction in a “normal” manner.

 

If we would talk in a similar convoluted way about our appetite to food… it would be like:

  1. “I went to this beautiful restaurant with my friends which had an enchanting courtyard and we decided to have something in the garden. It had a very lovely atmosphere and … well … I can't say I disliked what was on the plates, too.”
  2. “This new gigantic quadruple whopper you can't believe it… oh man, it is simply HUGE but I just gorged one of them down with three bites!”
  3. “Each allele codes for a bitter taste receptor protein with a slightly different shape, …”
  4. “I never enjoyed a tuna sandwich as much as when I ate one in front of starving children in Bangladesh!”

 

But maybe there is some intelligent species in the universe which would be extremely disturbed that we humans simply can talk about food like “I especially like pizza topped with mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and green basil.”.xD

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6 minutes ago, DeltaV said:

I regard the pair bonding of certain animals a very strong argument that romantic attraction in humans isn't cultural but a biological reaction.

 

huh? ....Wait, are you saying that you think pair bonding is inherently romantic? Or that romantic attraction is inherently paired (i.e. "monogamous")? Or that pair bonding and romantic attraction are interchangeable, or...? What?

 

7 minutes ago, DeltaV said:
On 4/21/2019 at 5:09 PM, nonmerci said:

True, but I think it was a way to make the other attractions acceptable? For some strange reason, people demonized sex.

Well, it was probably regarded as an animalistic drive,

 

...As I said above, no, it is inaccurate to start from the point-blank premise of "people demonized sex." When you say "it was probably regarded as an animalistic drive" -- who? When? In what places? You've gotta be more specific in order to make any sense with that.

 

If you're interested in a history of sexuality, the classic place to start is Foucault's The History of Sexuality, Vol. I, but it hardly conforms to this narrative being put forth here.

 

13 minutes ago, DeltaV said:

It is very rare that people talk about their sexual attraction in a normal manner.

 

If normal is rare, I'm very interested in how you're defining normal.

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14 hours ago, Coyote said:

huh? ....Wait, are you saying that you think pair bonding is inherently romantic? Or that romantic attraction is inherently paired (i.e. "monogamous")? Or that pair bonding and romantic attraction are interchangeable, or...? What?

I’d regard romance as paradigmatically being about pair bonding with exclusivity. It doesn’t have to be, of course, but it very often is. Pair bonding with exclusivity is also something you don’t really observe in non-romantic bonding.

14 hours ago, Coyote said:

...As I said above, no, it is inaccurate to start from the point-blank premise of "people demonized sex." When you say "it was probably regarded as an animalistic drive" -- who? When? In what places? You've gotta be more specific in order to make any sense with that.

Demonization is a pretty strong word. That’s only true in certain cultures, like those influenced by the Abrahamic religions.

14 hours ago, Coyote said:

If you're interested in a history of sexuality, the classic place to start is Foucault's The History of Sexuality, Vol. I, but it hardly conforms to this narrative being put forth here.

You could give an example of a culture without any inhibitions regarding sex. I don’t know one.

14 hours ago, Coyote said:

If normal is rare, I'm very interested in how you're defining normal.

I put the normal in scare quotes before you posted your reply. Here it means: what is normal in most other contexts.

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5 hours ago, DeltaV said:

Pair bonding with exclusivity is also something you don’t really observe in non-romantic bonding.

 

Hmm. Are you sure? I wouldn't be confident in making the same statement. I'm wondering, for instance, if you meant "this doesn't really happen" or "this happens, but much more rarely," which are two different messages -- because for one of them, a counterexample in the form of (for instance) a nonromantic two-person personal partnership would contradict it, and for the second one, that wouldn't be a counterexample.

 

5 hours ago, DeltaV said:

Demonization is a pretty strong word. That’s only true in certain cultures, like those influenced by the Abrahamic religions.

 

More specific than that, I think. "Abrahamic religions" includes a lot. In a good chunk of Islam, you don't really see the anti-sex attitude you're talking about. Judaism I'm less sure about, but Jewish people really aren't renowned for anti-sex preaching so I'm gonna tentatively say I don't see why Judaism is being included. And -- fun fact -- even the Puritans believed that a woman had the right to divorce her husband if he wasn't satisfying her in bed. So I wouldn't categorize even the Puritians as anti-sex. Here's a compilation of links to people talking about their experiences re: sexuality in a few different religions, Abrahamic religions included.

 

5 hours ago, DeltaV said:

You could give an example of a culture without any inhibitions regarding sex. I don’t know one.

 

This sounds like an inverted claim to universalizing, am I reading that correct? In any case, I just suggested a book that goes into this. I'll pull some quotes, if you like.

 

5 hours ago, DeltaV said:

Here it means: what is normal in most other contexts.

 

And so then what is "normal in most other contexts"? I mean -- you gave the example of talking about food and then drew a contrast. But we can draw a completely different contrast if we pick a different example. For instance, I could compare how people talk about having sex to how people talk about pooping, and then I could draw some very different conclusions. What I'm getting at though is that I don't think there's just some generic "normal way of talking" regardless of topic or context. It sounds like a part of what you may be getting at -- a part that I'd agree with -- is that sex is sometimes treated as somehow weighty or special, possibly something to have some degree of inhibitions about. Which, frankly, I don't think is inherently a bad thing, depending on how you're defining "inhibitions." To me, the word "inhibitions" is very broad and just means not being completely impulsive -- which I think is good, because I do want people to at the very least have enough inhibitions around sex in order to do some determining of consent. But maybe I'm getting off topic here. What did you intend to get at? 

 

 

 

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41 minutes ago, Coyote said:

Hmm. Are you sure? I wouldn't be confident in making the same statement. I'm wondering, for instance, if you meant "this doesn't really happen" or "this happens, but much more rarely," which are two different messages -- because for one of them, a counterexample in the form of (for instance) a nonromantic two-person personal partnership would contradict it, and for the second one, that wouldn't be a counterexample. 

You should try to interpret me more generously because we’re talking about very slippery concepts here. You can’t expect that much rigorous argumentation, otherwise everything comes to a standstill.

 

Pair bonding with a claim to exclusivity (as strong as commonly observed in the case of a romantic relationship) presumably does happen in friendships, but I know this only from strange fictional characters, never witnessed it in real life. Therefore I wrote “this doesn’t really happen” = “it happens but only in odd cases”.

49 minutes ago, Coyote said:

More specific than that, I think. "Abrahamic religions" includes a lot. In a good chunk of Islam, you don't really see the anti-sex attitude you're talking about. Judaism I'm less sure about, but Jewish people really aren't renowned for anti-sex preaching so I'm gonna tentatively say I don't see why Judaism is being included. And -- fun fact -- even the Puritans believed that a woman had the right to divorce her husband if he wasn't satisfying her in bed. So I wouldn't categorize even the Puritians as anti-sex. Here's a compilation of links to people talking about their experiences re: sexuality in a few different religions, Abrahamic religions included. 

If we apply such a level of rigor here, I would have to write a book about this. Let‘s keep it at feuilleton style, ok?

 

All Abrahamic religions place a lot of restriction on sex – very roughly they traditionally declared sexual relations outside of heterosexual marriage as sinful. Therefore the sexual drive, or lust, is regarded as a strong source for temptation to sinning. That’s pretty anti-sex in my view.

1 hour ago, Coyote said:

This sounds like an inverted claim to universalizing, am I reading that correct? In any case, I just suggested a book that goes into this. I'll pull some quotes, if you like. 

Well you can do this. Still, this work is quite controversial, so I’m skeptical.

1 hour ago, Coyote said:

And so then what is "normal in most other contexts"? I mean -- you gave the example of talking about food and then drew a contrast. But we can draw a completely different contrast if we pick a different example. For instance, I could compare how people talk about having sex to how people talk about pooping, and then I could draw some very different conclusions.

Of course! It does not apply to any context. But there is an extremely wide variety of topics from food, art, travel, work, etc. where how you talk to your closest friend is not necessarily that much different to what you can say at the State Banquet in Buckingham Palace.

 

E. g. I don’t know a social setting in which a sentence like “My favorite place in India is Kullu Manali.” would appear inappropriate.

1 hour ago, Coyote said:

To me, the word "inhibitions" is very broad and just means not being completely impulsive -- which I think is good, because I do want people to at the very least have enough inhibitions around sex in order to do some determining of consent. But maybe I'm getting off topic here. What did you intend to get at?  

Sure, but my post was about speech, not acts. Still, simply speaking too frankly about sex can – depending on the social setting – be even regarded as sexual harassment. But we can also observe those inhibitions in the written word where anyone can simply put down the book if it makes them uncomfortable and there is no possible threat. This can only be explained by feelings like shame or vulnerability on part of the writer.

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23 hours ago, DeltaV said:

we’re talking about very slippery concepts here.

 

I can sure agree with you there.

 

23 hours ago, DeltaV said:

If we apply such a level of rigor here, I would have to write a book about this. Let‘s keep it at feuilleton style, ok?

 

Is it too rigorous to reply to "All Abrahamic religions place a lot of restriction on sex" with "source?"

 

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On 4/27/2019 at 3:12 PM, DeltaV said:

I’d regard romance as paradigmatically being about pair bonding with exclusivity. It doesn’t have to be, of course, but it very often is. Pair bonding with exclusivity is also something you don’t really observe in non-romantic bonding.

I think this is a result of romance developing within Europe, where monogamous marriage was normative.

 

On 4/27/2019 at 9:11 PM, Coyote said:

Hmm. Are you sure? I wouldn't be confident in making the same statement. I'm wondering, for instance, if you meant "this doesn't really happen" or "this happens, but much more rarely," which are two different messages -- because for one of them, a counterexample in the form of (for instance) a nonromantic two-person personal partnership would contradict it, and for the second one, that wouldn't be a counterexample.

There's a social assumption that romantic relationships be exclusive. Thus it's very much the exception when these are not.
There is no such expectation of other such relationships being exclusive. With that happening being an unusual situation.

 

On 4/27/2019 at 9:11 PM, Coyote said:

More specific than that, I think. "Abrahamic religions" includes a lot. In a good chunk of Islam, you don't really see the anti-sex attitude you're talking about. Judaism I'm less sure about, but Jewish people really aren't renowned for anti-sex preaching so I'm gonna tentatively say I don't see why Judaism is being included.

There isn't that much in the actual religious texts which is, unambiguously, anti sex. Since they don't actually say that much about sex, or marriage. I found this website indicating how The Bible is anti pre-marital sex. This references a grand total of nine verses. Four of which dosn't even mention marriage. Most of the New Testament verses refer to "sexual immorality". The term in question is πορνείας(porneias), which would be best translated as "any form of sex which is against the law".

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On 4/28/2019 at 11:31 PM, Coyote said:

Is it too rigorous to reply to "All Abrahamic religions place a lot of restriction on sex" with "source?"

Read Deuteronomy chapter 22, Quran 24:5–14 and 1 Corinthians 7:1–7.

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