“A sit-down orgy for fourteen”. An immortal line from Miles Gloriosus in “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum”. The movie is a rare, hilarious send-up of a “recreation” practised since time immemorial, where nudity, promiscuity, licentiousness, sexual perversion and coitus in every imaginable position are practised by men, women, children among themselves and even with animals. Alcohol and drugs accelerate the suppression of inhibitions in a frenzy of sexual debauchery. Most of us have never participated in such orgies, except perhaps, at most, virtually and vicariously, preferring – for multiple motivations – to be voyeurs rather than active participants.
Sex is at the heart of the world’s oldest profession and a driving force in the universal human quest for pleasure. Ecstasy is the object, and many are prepared to pay the price for it at whatever cost to their health and the dignity and well-being of their partners. Religions have reacted to this drive and this need, either by incorporating them into their rituals or making them the object of their most violent doctrinal condemnations.
Is there a human, humane, dignified way to enjoy sex to the full without the excesses of unbridled, self-centered libertarianism and exploitation ? Most of us know there is, in spite of what religion has tried to tell us we should and should not do in bed.
Both Catholicism and Protestantism have a lot to answer for in their attitude to, and doctrine concerning, sex. Fortunately both brands of Christianity are becoming increasingly irrelevant and obsolete . Their preachers and confessors never were qualified to offer counsel, or worse, to legislate on this animal function engineered for reproduction, this source of exquisite pleasure for men and women, and this potential expression of truly mutual human love. As we continue to enjoy it, let those wet-blankets enjoy their wet-dreams and whatever else gives them their jollies. Except, of course, for many Catholic ministers of religion, their penchant for pederasty.