I have a question, and I didn't find answers for it on the net.

'Are there rational reasons why most of people confine themselves to the monotonic, monogamic marital sex?'

Sex can be taxonomized under the category of bodily pleasures, and in this regard, it might become something like eating or sleeping, etc., but more compulsive.

Lot's of people free themselves from limitations so that they can enjoy more in their lives. People eat fast food, drink alchohole, sleep late in bed, and enjoy their physical senses more. However, lot's of them usually don't go beyond having sexual relationship with their wives or husbands.

Once I heard the beautiful phrase "morality over sexuality" which was describing that the limitations are based on subjective moral principals, not objective rules.

I want to ask weather philosophy has anything to offer in this regard or not.

Are these types of questions in scope in this site?

  • 1
    Regardless of whether it's on-topic or not, I don't think philosophy will offer you any profound insights here. What you are asking is answered by historical precedent ("cultural norms" and how they came to be), psychological tendencies ("family-seeking", the psychological need for intimacy), as well as evolutionary biology (the underpinning of the psychology, why we are this way from an evolutionary perspective, how does this behavior/tradition benefit us in terms of Natural Selection [survival of offspring/childrearing, etc]). I've never heard of such discussion in philosophy.
    – stoicfury
    Aug 24 '12 at 15:47
  • Nor can I see how philosophy could help. Asking merely for "rational reasons" why people stick to monogamy doesn't make it a philosophy question, unless you are specifically asking about the logical validity of the existing reasons (i.e., not the content, but the form). So I'm inclined to lean towards no, but maybe someone else has read some philosophy on this topic that I am unaware of. :)
    – stoicfury
    Aug 24 '12 at 15:52
  • So, I guess your answer is no @stoicfury. Can you please find a place where this question might be asked? I mean, where do these types of questions belong on StackExchange? Aug 24 '12 at 15:58
  • 1
    Well I don't know everything about philosophy, so maybe someone else has read stuff about what you are asking in philosophy. That said, I think you could get an answer right away on 3 different SE sites that I mentioned above, each from a different angle. Frame your question from a historical context, from a psychological context, and from an evolutionary biology context, and you should get answers from each of those sites.
    – stoicfury
    Aug 24 '12 at 16:50
  • Just in passing: Foucault might be one place to go -- the multi-volume History of Sexuality would not be the worst text to start with. (Also, you may be interested in this Area 51 proposal: area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/40921/human-sexuality)
    – Joseph Weissman Mod
    Aug 24 '12 at 18:04
  • So @stoicfury, based on your argument "frame your question from a X context, and ask it in site X", I might frame it in philosophy and ask it here. Aug 25 '12 at 3:28
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    Yes, I'm just not sure such a context really exists.
    – stoicfury
    Aug 25 '12 at 18:37

I would argue that philosophical questions about sex are perfectly on topic. However, your question

Are there rational reasons why most of people confine themselves to the monotonic, monogamic marital sex?

asks more about an explanation about a social phenomenon. (In this case I am not really sure that the underlying stated fact - i.e. that most of people do confine themselves to the monotonic, monogamic marital sex - is actually true. Maybe you wanted to ask why the norm of monogamic marital sex is so ubiquitous in western societies?)

In any case, rephrasing your question as

Which (rational) reasons have been proposed to justify the norm that one should confine oneself to monogamic marital sex?

seems to me a perfectly well-formed question. Some relevant material can be found here: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/marriage/#RatMarLaw

To ♦ users : A somewhat informal guide to find a consensus about whether a specific topic is relevant here could be a SEP-test: Is there a SEP-entry discussing the topic? For sure, only positive results would be of relevance: The absence of a SEP-topic is no indication that the topic is not philosophically relevant, the existence of a SEP-topic would be an indication that it is. Would you agree?

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