One of the most important concepts to grasp about Life is the strong interplay between Form and Function. I personally believe in the adage, “Form follows Function,” meaning that the need arises first, and then the body adapts (alters Form) to facilitate that need (Function). Coming at it from this angle, Function is boss, and Form is secondary.
However there is some back-n-forth, and Nature can also work the other way, with Form influencing Function. One rather silly example of a Function coming AFTER the Form might be the use of the nose and ears as a glasses-holding system.
Normally, I have a pretty strong aversion to the whole philosophical concept of Essence. I feel that all the talk over the centuries about so-called Essence versus Existence has resulted in a terrible waste of philosophical energies. Be that as it may, for today’s post I find the concept of “Essence” helpful, and so will make use of it…
One could think of the interplay of Form and Function in the following manner… When the FUNCTION appears to have dictated the Form of an instrument, device, or thing– then this Function can be called the Essence of the thing. But when the FORM has determined the Function (as with spectacles on the nose; as with a stick used to stir a can of paint), then this activity does NOT represent the Essence of the thing. To state the latter case in an extreme manner… when Function follows Form, the result is a perversion— that is, the Form has been bent to a use for which it has NOT been evolutionarily adapted– but merely accidentally adapted. In this sense, the use of the nose for supporting glasses is a perversion of the Form and Function of the nose.
Perversions away from “Essential” Functions strike me as being similar –in regards to health– to the Host-Foreigner relationships of Nature. In both such cases, a Form of the Host’s anatomy is put to a secondary (one could say, “accidental”) use. These secondary uses can, for the health of the Host, be either: 1) harmful, 2) neutral, or 3) beneficial. When the result of the Host-Invader relationship is, for the Host, harmful, the Foreigner is termed a “parasite.” When the result is beneficial, the relationship is said to be “symbiotic.”
Similarly, a life-form’s anatomy put to “perverse” uses can also be either harmful, neutral, or beneficial.
Reading the slim book, Life’s Too Short For Tantric Sex by Kate Taylor, I was put in mind several times of the beautiful interplay between Form and Function…
The procreationally relevant anatomy of Homo sapiens seems obviously to me a case of Form following FUNCTION. Here is the Essence of sex. However, when the procreationally relevant anatomical regions are diverted toward non-procreational pursuits, this is a case of Function (pleasure-generation) following Form. Thus, here is the perversion of sex, as I’m using the term.
Most of Taylor’s book focuses on the perverse side of sexual activity, very little on the “Essential” dimension. All of the perversions contained within the book, if not taken to extremes, appear to me to be of the Beneficial (or at worst, Neutral) variety– a simple re-purposing of Forms to serve secondary uses which provide harmless pleasures or psychological benefits with little or no negative repercussions. Like using the nose to hold-up one’s spectacles.
The more distant the alternative use of a Form is from that Form’s evolution-directed Function the more “perverse” it is. Thus, using the nose to hold-up one’s glasses is an extremely perverse act!
One should never take perversity so far that sex becomes parasitical– that is, fraught with negative consequences. The Essence of sex is procreation. Whatever secondary uses it is re-purposed for, sex should always be fun, healthy, safe, and psychologically unharmful. It strikes me as a perverse joke that Nature has played on us that sex should be dangerous at all.
P.S. (20 Dec 2015)…
Okay, so I think every human being should read several practical handbooks on sex over the course of his or her lifetime, from both the male and female perspective, as well as from both the biological and psychological perspective.
So it was very important to me, personally, that sometime during the course of this blog, I read several books upon the subject of sex. It’s too important an area of our lives not to be educated about. Ideally, in fact, we should all be experts on the subject.
However, the Internet is a kooky place, and I don’t really want to do an entry that will draw people to my blog from far outside its intended audience. So I’m just going to add a quick post-script here about the books I’ve read in this area.
Besides the book above (Life’s Too Short For Tantric Sex), I’ve also reviewed… Oral Sex She’ll Never Forget by Sonia Borg, and I Heart Female Orgasms by Solot & Miller.
First off, I understand why these books have to keep a certain light and “fun” tone, but I did find it extremely annoying.
To put it bluntly, it seems to me that the fundamental message in all these types of books is that successful sex lies mostly in learning how to please the woman; we men not only tend to be more assertive in having our needs met, but we also typically simply need less-complex and less-time-consuming stimulation.
I will not attempt to use this post to provide an education upon good sex. I do, however, recommend that you read the above books or others like them.
Out of compassion for my fellow man (and women), I will allow myself to make just a few general comments.
1) As a young man, the most egregious omission from my sexual education was the Clitoris– most especially, how to please it. I assumed, for lack of hearing anything different, that the woman received most of her sexual stimulation from the inside– why else would that be where the penis seems designed to go? Good for us, good for them, everybody wins. However, the truth is, gentlemen, the clit is extremely important when it comes to female orgasm. Find out every single thing you can about its desires if you really want to please your girl. And be warned– no woman is pleased the same way. What works for one may very well annoy another.
2) Don’t be goal-oriented. As much as both of you want her to orgasm, the best path seems to be to treat any achieved female climax as a side-effect of just enjoying each other. Granted, you’ll want to tailor the enjoyment to induce an orgasm if possible, but besides a general game-plan, just enjoy yourself and enjoy her enjoying you. And, of course, you’ll need to be patient. It’s not unusual for a woman to need fifteen or twenty minutes of clitoral stimulation to achieve orgasm.
3) Cycles and Change-ups. Generally speaking, you’ll want to start soft and slow with a woman, then build faster and with slightly more pressure– and then pull away and repeat the cycle a few times. And you’ll want to vary the spots you’re stimulating and how, because girl-parts are sensitive and what was pleasurable three minutes ago can become kinda irritating if the same spot is concentrated upon without break.
Also, you must be constantly very attentive to your girl’s sounds and movements, so you know which direction she’s wanting you to take it. And don’t be afraid to ask, “How does this feel?” Most women don’t want to bark orders at you (they know the male ego is fragile), and so you have to coax comments from them, and show how much you really, truly want to hear what she wants.
There is so much more! We are very undereducated about all this stuff. You can work on mastering technique over your life-time– what’s essential is the idea of not being fixated on the goal, and the attitude of taking your time– plenty of it– and of varying pressures and spots, and of monitoring and responding to her constantly, and of realizing (hopefully years before I did) that the importance of clitoral stimulation cannot be overemphasized.