Sure, sex can be pretty risky. With STDs like herpes, chlamydia and HIV, having sex can be a little like playing Russian roulette – unless, of course, certain precautions are taken to minimize the hazards.
But, in my opinion, what’s riskier than sex is abstaining from it. Abstinence comes at a very high price.
Yesterday, I received a Valentine’s Day email from Ian Ellington, a friend of mine who is a Tantric guru. In his email, Ian shared a link to a great article about bonobos – some of the most sexual animals on Earth. These primates have been called the “make love, not war” species. For animals, it seems that more sex means less conflict.
According to the article:
As the great primatologist, Frans de Waal put it, “Chimps use violence to get sex, while bonobos use sex to avoid violence.” While chimps victimize each other in many ways–rape, murder, infanticide, warfare between groups–there’s never been a single observed case of any of these forms of aggression among bonobos, who are much sexier than chimps.
Researcher James Prescott, after completing a large-scale analysis of anthropological data, has concluded that the connection between less restrictive sexuality and less conflict holds true for humans, too.
Maybe abstinence is the real risk – and the real vice. Just look at Catholic priests, for example, who take abstinence to the extreme. These men take a life-long vow of celibacy. But when you try to repress such an important aspect of the human experience, it may express itself in less healthy ways – like in the molestation of children. (Update: According to Belgian researchers, Catholic priests are 100x more likely to be pedophiles). And if you believe that God created mankind and has blessed us with an amazing gift of sexuality – it seems like a slap in His face to deny ourselves from experiencing it.
Abstinence isn’t just unnatural and bizarre, it’s bad for society. Maybe the world would be a much more peaceful place if we all got a few more good fuckings every now and then.