Why is sex called dirty?

Ever notice this? Ever wonder why? What does sex have to do with dirt? It isn’t usually sex itself that people call “dirty,” it’s things that allude to it. Like pornography or sex talk. Why “dirty”? I could see calling it “dirty” if it involved rolling around in a mud puddle or a pigsty or something, but not between nice freshly ironed bedsheets!

Especially when a picture just shows a woman’s breasts and they call it a “dirty picture.” Exsqueeze me? If a woman’s breasts are “dirty”, how could you let a baby suck milk from them? Does it make any sense to let a child get nourished from “dirt”? I really do not understand this line of thinking at all.

It’s called dirty because by the time you buy the magazine the picture already has all kind of fingerprints on it.

If you don’t think sex is dirty, then you’re just not doing it right.

‘dirty’ is one of the first concepts that children learn regarding avoidance; the child drops her lollipop on the ground, the parent says “don’t eat that now, it’s dirty”; the child doesn’t really understand what is implied by ‘dirty’, but needs to have some sort of resolution to the ‘why’. I’m wondering if there is a connection with (historically) most parents’ desire to steer their children away from adult material without wanting them to know exactly what it is they are being kept away from.

Furthermore, good “clean” sex is hardly clean at all.

The words dirty & clean in this case are metaphors, probably made popular by puritans who wanted to shame fornicators by drawing a connection between sex and filth.

Look up dirty in a dictionary and you will see it has negative connotations totally unrelated to sticky fluids. Like dirty tricks, etc.

People who think sex is dirty are people who have dirty minds themselves.

I have my brain washed regularly to prevent this sort of thing.

It begs the question why there are so many inhibitions and prohibitions associated with sex.

Just to put in an old timers view point (stop throwing those stones!), I have lived thru both extremes and like everything else it is the extremes that are bad. If you don’t know about todays extremes I guess you don’t do much surfing on the net. Years ago, I went home from college thinking I was a man of the world. At the dinner table in front of guests I used the word “uterus”. Later, my father told me that I was never to say dirty words like that in front of my mother. That is the other extreme.

I think religious values have a lot to do with it. The “flesh” in Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition is dirty (quite literally in Adam’s case). In these religions, especially Christianity and Islam, man’s goal is to remove himself from that flesh as far as possible and become a spiritually centered being. And sex is about as fleshy as our existance can get…so sex is considered “dirty”, carnal, sinful, and of the flesh.

Well hopefully someone else can say this a bit more intelligently.

We have a social system based on controlling reproduction and manipulating the sex drive. It isn’t necessary to individuals that they have hangups and frustrations regarding sex and sexuality, but it is useful to exploitative processes, especially with regards to the young.

If you don’t have a visceral reaction to the word “feminism” (or if you can get past the name), go check out feminist theory and how it lays out the process of institutionalizing patriarchy via controlling sexualiity, e.g., Elizabeth Fisher, Woman’s Creation.

Not really. In this day of extremely powerful antbiotics and other medications and procedures it might be difficult for some to see what the ‘big deal’ was.

Syphilis and Gonorreah (sp) were nasty infections and were essentially untreatable till the advent of penicillin. They were the HIV/AIDS of their day, and the later stages would cause insanity and other neat-o effects.

Social mores and laws, legislation were strict, illegitimacy was strongly discouraged, etc. Things have changed, and not all for the better.

Ge, I’m sure AHunter3 has a very unbiased opinion.

Regardless, you don’t need to think of sex as impolite to have little desire to speak of it in polite company. Frankly, I think its very icky, all that sweat and sticky stuff.

Ewwwwwwww! Yech!

I’m reminded of the woman who accused her neighbour of having a dirty mind - she said he kept whistling filthy tunes.

Seriously, many religions have a concept of the “unclean”, for example unclean hands, unclean meat or an unclean soul. These are usually practices which require ritual cleansing to be performed.

Often the unclean concept is linked to genuine health issues. The unclean meats that Jews and Muslims avoid are those which are actually suspect in the hot countries where the religions originated. Similarly using one hand to eat and the other to clean after excretion is based on hygeine.

At other times, the unclean concept is symbolic. As a child I was told that sin made my soul dirty, and it was necessary to have God’s forgiveness to cleanse it. Sin by definition was dirty, while good living was clean.

A surprisingly large number of religions discourage recreational sex, including pictures linked to sex. The reasons given for this vary. In the western religions this is often seen as sinful. By transfer, this makes it dirty. Pictures and sex are called dirty because they are seen as sinful.

Wantonly promiscuous sex is generally a bad thing ™ (as opposed to polygamy or ritual prostitution) in most cultures so it is pretty much a taboo from early on. As a result, most monagamous cultures regard sex outside of marrige a sin.

I think there was a time sex was dirty. I remember a bumber sticker 'remember when sex was dirty & the air was clean?"

I had my brain washed and now I can’t do a thing with it.

This must be a sticker from the movie “Bum and Bumber”?

The concept of clean living is clearly linked to the concept of dirty thoughts or dirty practices. I wonder which came first?

A really serious Buddhist avoids sex, because it distracts the focus from enlightenment. However, I do not believe they see it as dirty - merely a distracting nuisance from the world of illusion. Can a Buddhist confirm this?

I believe similar principles apply to most brands of Indian religion, regardless of the well-known sutra. It’s ironic that the only sutra known to westerners is the Kama Sutra - indicating the Angl-Saxon prudery or prurience in relation to sex.