A prominent English dictionary describes Perversion as ‘aberrant sexual practice or interest.’ It then defines Aberrant as either ‘deviating from the usual or natural type’ or ‘straying from the right or normal way.’ This makes Perversion something unusual, unnatural, wrong or abnormal.
Another prominent world collection circumscribes Perversion as ‘sexual behavior that is considered strange and unpleasant by most people’ and ‘the changing of something so that it is not what it was or should be.’ That makes Perversion come out as only normal and pleasant by a minority of people and as something not what it was or should be.
We see here an emphasis on what is normative, correct, unadulterated (pun not intended), regular, popular, and wrong. However, it seems that in psychological literature, perverse is any sexuality that could never lead to pregnancy for people who should procreate. So, any fetish would be perverse and so would be homosexuality. But also a young man only sexually interested in older women who cannot conceive anymore. A heterosexual couple having anal sex would also be perverse.
This is all very antiquated. First of all, not all sex should be for having children. Second of all, a heterosexual couple having sex using birth control would not be called to engage in a perversion. We see that now, perversion is used as not-heterosexual in real-time. That would include solo-sex (with or without pornography) but not such sex with infertile partners. It became a way to condemn sex that the Hebrew Bible forbids.
We are at a junction now. One could do away with the word perversion. All sex is equal as long as no one is forced. Or one could (how politically incorrect) make a functional, non-moralistic distinction between sex that leads to a deep bonding between the partners and sex that is for entertainment. And then we see meaningful distinctions that could clarify a lot in the confusing playing field (pun not intended) of sexuality.
Bonding sexuality: a heterosexual man with a heterosexual woman. Two homosexual men or women. A bisexual with a partner who can bond with him/her. And this versus all other combinations or solo sex, including a homosexual man with a woman, a lesbian with a man, a heterosexual man with a man, and a heterosexual woman with a woman.
The latter combinations don’t lead to deep bonding and thus don’t work as an antidote against existential loneliness. On top of that, they easily become an addiction whereby sex becomes more important than any relationship with fun that only lasts until the hangover and loneliness hit.
Because of the importance of sexual union, I would propose to call all other combinations and settings of sex pseudo-sex. You can disagree.
There are recreational eating and drinking and I don’t think that anyone wants to outlaw that. Recreational sex should also not be outlawed. But it should also not be expected to be something that satisfies and sustains us.
Bonding sexuality should get more publicity as something wholesome and good. And pseudo-sex should be understood more as not the real thing.
For those who hate (talk of) sex without love, I added the following.
Now That is Love
Two very good friends walked along the canal when they suddenly see a houseboat gently bobbing up and down on the water. They grab a rope that’s connected to it and tie it to a tree. And they hop in. It is empty but everything is whole. Bottom, walls, windows and roof, all in top condition.
Be my guest, they told each other. They were so close that they didn’t finish each other’s sentences — they said the same things at the same time.
Tell me what furnishing you want and I’ll arrange it, they told each other.
After some time, a couple of police people came by. You can’t just live here! They also spoke in unison. When in Rome, do as the Romans.
I may live here but s/he’s only my guest, they responded.
These police people didn’t like puzzles. This was too complicated for them. They left, never to return.
And this is how they lived. Each making the other happy. Your wish is my command. Two happy campers.
As the great Wim Kan used to say: I have a plan for how to make all people happy. If everyone makes one other person happy, we will all be happy.