What would happen if all sexual behavior were accepted/allowed?

If we suddenly decreed that “everything’s ok, do whatever you want,” what would society look like?

Might it be kind of like declaring the “War On Drugs” over, and suddenly all of those things that held some attraction as “taboo” be devalued to the point that no one bothered with doing them anymore?

Or would we go completely ape-shit and destroy everything we have tried to create?

Something in-between?


Teen pregnancies and the spread of STDs would skyrocket.

While that decree might open up a few possibilities, for the most part, the gatekeepers would still be holding out for whatever reasons they hold out for. You’d have to go inside their brains and erase a few thousand years of evolutionary history to really open the floodgates.

Assuming that “everything’s OK” is to be read as “everything between consenting adults is OK” I don’t see how it’d make any difference for the vast majority of people, even in societies that have pretty restrictive sexual mores at present. The main practical constraint to people’s sexuality isn’t society’s norms anyway but rather to get >= 1 other to consent.

We’ve already had the Sexual Revolution. If there are any barriers left it didn’t succeed in breaking down, maybe those are barriers that cannot or should not be broken down.

Society would adjust, and would form new taboos. You simply can’t have a soeicty without them. If all sexual behavior was allowed, including incest, sex with children and animals, taboos would shift to language, or dress or other areas.

I’m about to say something very risky, and I hope I don’t get flamed for it: a good deal of the trauma experienced by incest and molestation victims is societally created. In cultures where sex with children and incest are permitted, the sense of victimization and emotional trauma are absent-- it’s simply accepted as the norm. We get our information about what is bad or “dirty” from others-- it is not innate. Our socialization tells us when we should be ashamed.

Humans are extremely adaptable. Even the so-called “universal taboo” of incest varies among cultures as to the very definition of incest. (I.E some cultures may abhor brother-sister sex but accept father-daughter sex.)

I had no idea there were any limits to sexual behavior (killing someone excluded, of course). As long as they’re consenting adults, anything’s fine. Obviously, we will continue to protect those who are too young to give informed consent.

Interesting that we’ve seen several responses of “there’d be no changes, so long as we keep these rules, here…”

The OP said “everything’s ok, do whatever you want.”

But that takes us beyond sexual behaviour into the realms of the unambiguously criminal. If the OP proposes legalizing rape (actual rape, not the “statutory” version) and murder for sexual gratification, then, yes, that would indicate a society which has broken down into anarchy.

A line needs to be drawn between purely sexual behaviour and behaviour that, although it might have a sexual component, is a violation of another’s rights, if there are going to be laws of any sort in the first place.

Quite right. I’ve noticed that too, thus far. “As long as we don’t allow [fill in the blank] then things wouldn’t change much.” But what if we did allow anything and everything?

I think that’s true. Look at Pitcairn Island.

I think people would go ape-shit at first but then things would die down and return to where they are now, except that there wouldn’t be any discrimination against someone because of their sexual proclivities, and we wouldn’t have to spend time and money policing it. Face it, most people don’t want to have sex with their cousins. Most people don’t want to have sex with children. If it were legalized (and I’m NOT saying that should happen), that wouldn’t change anything. Polyamory is legal, but not everyone does that. I think the same thing would happen with drugs, which is why they should be legalized. A temporary spike is just that–temporary.

Would you include rape in that?

I also find it odd that people are assuming that it is “between consenting adults,” or “not violating someone’s rights.” That’s not what the OP said. It said:

Well, you asking, what about murder in a sexual context? Well, tricky situation. But, for the sake of ease of th argument, how about we say things that are purely, 100% sexual. I took the OP to mean things like pedophilia, bestiality, incest, etc… were ok, not neccesarily sexual murder, or hardcore violence.

If those things were both legal and not considered immoral, then I don’t think we’d go down into anarchy, as people do these things now, they are just secretative about them because they are taboo and illegal (in some cases, rightfully so, IMO.) Would the instances increase? I would think so, yes, and people would be more public about them,

“Hey Bill, what’d you do last weekend?”
“Fucked my horse, my mother, and my three year old.”

But the OP suggest two extrermes, one being that the inticement to do something taboo is now gone, and as such they amount actuallyldelcines, the other being that, since they are no longer taboo, the only incentive to NOT do it is gone, and so it will be done to the point of bringing down society.

Cleary, neither scenario is accurate, but I would say that, from out current position, we would stray a little towards the anarchy side, because I don’t see people who are already engaging in these acts stopping, yet I do see them doing it more, as well as new people starting them, who had previously not done them because of both society’s views and the possibility of it being illegal. However, I don’t see people who previously had no inclination towards these acts starting them just because they can, as such, society as a whole will still go on, just without and Law and order: SVU.

But why do people not want to have sex with children or their cousins? Because society tells them that it’s icky. If future generations were socialized so that such things were perfectly normal, they wouldn’t have that restraint.

Of course, attraction varies from person to person, but it’s hard to say what people would do if their socialization were different.

I think a more productive question would be to ask, “What if the Judeo Christian ethos wrt sexuality were replaced with the safe/sane/consensual ethos?” The idea that it’s standard Judeo Christian nothing or wallbanging monkey sex rape riots everywhere is somewhat misleading, to say the least.

And the answer would be, a muchly impoved society.

Well, that’s what most formalized JC religions want us to believe, anyway…

As to the latter, I am including any type of behavior that people identify as sexually gratifying. So, yes, rape would be included, as I presume that at least some rapists get off on the practice.

I guess what I’m asking is, “If the dog catches the car, what does the dog do with it?”

Ahh, but this is begging the question. It assumes that merely engaging in those forms of sexual behaviour (that don’t violate others rights) could still “bring down society”, or would be “straying towards the anarchy side”.

What reasons, if any, do you have for asserting this? I’m not saying there aren’t any, but those on the “conservative” side of this debate need to present concrete reasons that “these acts” are somehow bad for society, rather than just assuming they are.

The earlier point about teenage pregnancy and STD’s is a little disingenuous. These (well, certainly pregnancy) are caused by irresponsible use of “orthodox” sexuality, not by “unorthodox” behaviour.

Well, it’s too long for a BAND NAME!, but I like the meter of it…it would make a great line in a song, or a soccer chant or something. :smiley:

I agree with your original assertion that a lot of trauma is societally created, but I’m pretty sure I thought sex with my sister would be icky before society told me so.

– Jack Handey