Why we need a new philosophy of sex
A number of years ago, I found myself at a public sex beach in southern France for research purposes. Unsurprisingly, I experienced some ethical dilemmas. Because I was researching the ethics of sexuality, my research involved potentially having sex with men and women at the beach.
The question of whether I “should” or “could” do so was complicated by a number of factors. I am a woman. I am queer. I am an academic. At the time, I was also in an (increasingly) difficult relationship with a man who was a philosopher. Given all of these complex factors, I desperately needed ethical assistance supported by philosophy (that I read and revered) that did not judge, and was aligned to my sexuality. But this philosophy – whichever way I turned to find it – doesn’t exist.
Engineers have, over the past few thousand years, gone from struggling over how to put the olive press together to landing men on the Moon. Philosophers are still stuck in this sort of navel gazing. Which has added more to human utility?
OK, add in that the engineers have also worked out how to clothe, feed, entertain and house us and stuff too.
Also, has the word changed meaning while I wasn’t looking? A queer woman in a relationship with a bloke? Eh?