I recently blogged about how my parents lived a lie. Publicly, and even to the rest of the family, they pretended to be offended by sex or sexuality. Any topic that got too close to sex was met with appropriate levels of feigned offense. Yet, privately, they were a couple of horn dogs who were into some pretty kinky stuff. They were hardly alone. Evidence is showing up everywhere that nearly all of us are much more sexual than we let on most of the time.
Eight out of ten adults surveyed, for example, admit to sexting. About 100% are OK with it when others do it. Also consider this: The website OnlyFans has paid out more than $2 billion to millions of content creators. Naturally, those millions of content creators are being looked at by... well, practically everyone else who has an Internet connection. And, that is just one of a countless number of places where all kinds of people go to watch other people suck, fuck, jack off or engage in all kinds of sex.
Chaturbate is one of several such websites. It isn't even the largest. Yet, at any given time, they have several hundred performers with several of them each having thousands of watchers. Add in the other "performing" sites, and the mutual jerk-off sites like BateWorld and it is abundantly clear that at any given moment, there are millions of people having sex together online. And, that is not even counting the numbers of people watching porn, surfing social porn sites, or all of those having sex the old fashioned way, off-line.
That is all a long-winded way of saying, basically, that we are all like my parents, to some degree. And, that is really tragic to a degree.
We are highly sexual creatures, yet live in a society where sexual shame is so pervasive that simply showing a naked body is considered offensive and is illegal in many places. We don't have to look any further than the Catholic Church to understand that burying our sexuality in a mountain of shame has toxic and damaging results.
The ancient Pagans took sexuality in a different direction. They believed that embracing sexuality was key to reaching spiritual enlightenment, so much so that they engaged in ritualized, public sexual practice, much to the chagrin of the Christians who set out to wipe the "sin" off the planet, all the while doing their own slutting in secret.
A growing body of research points to social shame about sex as being at the root of all kinds of social ills, including homophobia and misogyny. At the same time, there appears to be nothing of value gained by it.
I don't know if the Pagans were right, or that embracing sexuality will deliver spiritual enlightenment. I do know that doing so would be better than what we have now. I also know that things are changing fast, largely due to how widely available porn is these days, and the number of people making it, watching it and sharing it.