Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

Toward a new definition of Perversion

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.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach and lehavdiel bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, GLBTQAI, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quit a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. November 13, 2018, he published his 500st blog post with the ToI. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having a peek outside of your cultural bubble. * NEW: To see other blog posts by him, his overspill blog you can reach by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture at the head of every post. There you may find precursors to later TOI blog posts, addition or corrections of published TOI blog posts, blog posts the TOI will not carry and some thoughts that are too short to be a TOI blog post. Also, the TOI only allows for one blog post per blogger per 24 hours. Sometimes, he has more to say than that. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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