Choice & strategy

Behind the cut for length, not rudeness…

The things I’ve been reading lately seem to have left me with disparate ideas that my mind is intent on shepherding into a giant grand poohbah idea.

Affluenza, Oliver James
This is dull, poorly argued and laughably un-robust, but the idea of happiness coming from beyond anywhere material or consumer continues to troll around my head.

Why is Sex Fun?, Jared Diamond
Fun, sometimes contradictory (have pop science writers and editors sharpened up in the past decade?) but ultimately interesting.

Makes clear that sexual behaviour varies hugely across species, and that all behaviour is a choice (ok, too loaded, how about evolutionary strategy). This resonates with me in that it takes the moralising, and inevitability, out of monogamy.

I’ve also been surfing a lot of sex workers’ rights pages, here are a few: Sex workers international media watch, Unionisation of sex workers, and from the US (notice the different approach to communication!) the Red Light District Chicago.

I like that intelligent, articulate sex workers are so well represented online. It makes it much easier to win arguments with Christians who claim that no girl would debase themselves in such a way unless they were desperate, and that even the desperate girls would never *gasp* enjoy it. Which brings us to identifying choices, I guess.

Finally, I keep reading blogs about Dawn Porter’s Free Lover. I’m not very good at watching TV (I only watch CSI and cartoons, and only when I’m stoned) so I haven’t seen it, but it hasn’t had a good response from poly folk. My friend Breena gives a nice critique here.

Joining all these dots up in search of the grand unified poohbah theory, I’m left thinking:

1. A lot of what we do is by choice (tres existentiel)

2. Failing to recognise these options or choices can make us feel trapped or out of control

3. Recognising them gives us freedom, happiness and perhaps a greater sense of their value (ie, I’ve considered all the options, and this is the one that I am determined to put my energy into because it’s the one that means most to me, versus, I haven’t recognised that a choice exists, my resources are going into this by default)

4. We should try to make choices that maximise our happiness

This is true of any choice, I’m not just talking about sex here. Could be that you feel you have no option but to stay in a well paid job, but if taking a pay cut to do something more fun makes you happier, what is the point of all the extra money from your current job?


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