The area of sex, love and reproduction is a major factor in most people’s lives. They are very strong urges, so strong that there exists a wide array of ideas, attitudes and outright aberration throughout history and present time. For every “must” about any particular aspect in one group or culture, you can probably find “must not” in another. Most of us start out with no idea about what’s going to happen, no way to predict it and several, often contradictory, viewpoints from family, friends, the Internet, etc.
In fiction we are finding more explicit sex nowadays. The Romances are getting "steamy" whereas several years ago, the sex was often only implied. More genres seem to be created all the time. Even if you are reading or writing childrens' stories, Middle Grade, or Young Adult, sex is always on the table, even if the characters only recognize there is a difference between boys and girls. As humans, sex is everywhere whether or not some groups want it to be so.
By doing a bit of research on Google AdWords and Google itself, I found the phrase “sexual satisfaction” was searched for some 6,600 times a month and gave a result of 1,460,000 results. That tells me the sexual satisfaction area has both a lot of interest focused on it and a lot of different ideas on what it is.
A lot of results were clinical trial results of some drug/medication on helping a guy get it up or keep it up. Their “satisfaction” was measured as, “Did I get an erection and did I get it in?” Scarcely what we’re normally interested in.
We need to look at the broad expanse, not just the physical aspects. This way, we should be able to predict (subjectively, at least) how a particular encounter might turn out. After the encounter, we can then (again subjectively) see how well our prediction turned out. By tuning the factors, we can get the best results. The predictions we make should apply to all forms of sex from single/solo acts to multiple partners/genders. Note the satisfaction and areas are usually completely subjective. After all, how do you measure "hornyness?" What are the units? Kinsey can only go so far.
I propose several factors or variables we can look at, control and hence allow us to predict the probable results of a sexual encounter (there’s a brief discussion of several of these in Sorcerer 2):
The area of “love” is a strong, complex emotion. Let’s use the idea of affinity, which means love, liking or any other emotional attitude, as distinct from sexual desire. Affinity can be expressed in the degree of tolerance or desire to be close to another; the highest affinity, then, would be sharing the same space. Since we drive human bodies, that’s pretty difficult. There are two other parts associated with Affinity; they are Reality and Communication. L. Ron Hubbard shows us how these work together. I put the Reality and Communication parts in the Environment factor.
As this factor gets higher (more intense) it would blend into what we can consider to be romantic love. This is the “eros” love which does involve sexual interest.
In the Free Spirit Universe, “ones of us” can directly share their emotions, sensations and thoughts. Sharing the same space is actually possible. What does that do for the affinity and romance?
Even the “free love” practiced in the Hippie era needed some affinity. A sexual encounter without affinity? Might as well use your hands or toys.
If we go towards the other end of “wanting to share the same space,” we would get intolerance, antagonism and hate, right? Perhaps if we had a negative affinity, there would have to be an urge to injure or destroy. Most criminals, we would probably find, despise and hate others, and practice their “craft” on them.
This is the physical pleasure and aesthetics from sex itself. It is the spirit of play, like happy children without any cares, the good old “roll in the hay,” the “zipless f***”, the “no-strings-attached” encounter. It is the sharing of physical pleasure which the main reason people pursue it so intently. There’s lots of references, ideas, drills and what have you about increasing the pleasure. I get spam emails about them almost every day.
Find out about the “Butterfly Games” in Sorcerer 1. These are pretty much just fun and games.
The flip side would be a dislike of the physical contact. The “sex is only for reproduction,” “sex is a duty to be endured to have children,” and other attitudes prevalent in our recent past really didn’t go over too well since the urge towards pleasure is a very valid survival attribute. The fact that sex is often pleasurable has led quite a few groups to condemn its use as recreation, since “it leads to sin.” Nothing says these ideas have to be rational.
If we go towards a negative fun, we end up with “duty” indifference and even lower, desire to punish or control/dominate. Here is your rapist, who dominates through forced control.
Progeny is a fancy word for kids, offspring, etc. The urge to exist or survive through keeping our genetic line going is very strong; every known organism has that urge.
Most people hopefully practice some sort of birth control, even if it’s the rhythm method (they call those folk “parents”). Even with a sure-fire birth control method, the desire is still there; it’s a creative, pro-survival desire.
Same-gender sex might have this at pretty much the same level as 100% effective birth control. At least as far as I recall from my high-school Health class, it takes a male and female human to create a human baby. Full homosexuality as a lifestyle has the major drawback of denying or frustrating the urge to procreate. On the other hand, one can well argue they could use artificial insemination (for women) or adoption (for both male and female). This might help satisfy this urge. For the purposes of predicting a particular sexual encounter, just see how strong that urge actually is. Even with 100% birth control, the thought of creating a baby (between male and female at least) might be highly attractive and increase the score.
Let’s go negative – one could despise children and wish to destroy them. Even during a sexual encounter, one (or more) could be seeking to destroy.
This could be a catch-all. Some people require squeaky-clean bodies, soft light, warm temperatures, soft bed and lots of time. This are factors in the environment.
The other two parts of the Affinity factor go here. As Affinity increases or decrease, both Reality and Communication follow suit.
Here we would find “romance.” Given Affinity as above, the physical factors can now be effective. Romance to one person may well be cold fish to another. The idea of a typical “romantic evening” for a woman is probably quite different than that of a man; a lot probably depends on the culture, too. A positive Affinity would help them both communicate enough to come to a mutual agreement of what is “romantic.”
Let’s also put into the environment the emotional comfortableness with the situation. Being well-rested and having lots of time in a comfortable place (bed, beach, tropical paradise or what have you) would be positive. Teen-age sex often (in stories at least) has a lot of angst: “Will he still love me?” “Will he respect me in the morning?” “Will Daddy catch us and kill us?” “Will we burn in Hell for this?” and other ideas of that ilk would be negatives.
Any of you who’ve had young children probably have done the deed with one ear open for the baby crying. Being physically too tired or “having a headache” would be part of the environmental variable.
Nerding It Up
Let’s put some numbers on these variables and see what happens. Each variable can range between an arbitrary +20 on the pro-survival end and –20 on the contra-survival end. The 20’s would be as unattainable as any other absolute. One could then cold-bloodedly optimize whatever variables they wish with pre-planning (even if only a couple of seconds), then re-evaluate afterwords. Practice makes perfect.
Here’s an Excel spreadsheet; let’s plug in a few numbers.
Victorian woman doing her “duty.”
Nothing says the Victorians didn’t have Affinity, right? Progeny gets a high score; Environment and Fun are low because it’s a “duty.” Pretty decent overall, though not well-balanced.
Married 25 Years
Pretty ho-hum, but probably lots better than nothing.
Notice it’s lots of fun. This is a variation of the “no strings attached” scenario.
Let’s Make a Baby!
Fertile female, potent male, candlelight dinner, kids off to sleepovers, right time of the month… Yowsah!
You Do the Work
Figure out a scenario for this one.
These are from mainly the viewpoint of the female. You math wizards, how do we combine two or more people for an overall result? Average of each variable and a final graph? Just average the individual averages?
What’s a “good” average? There’s an old saying, “Even bad sex is good.” At what average score would you consider the encounter a “success?” Would a zero average even be worth doing? To start, I’d say anything above 0 is pro-survival and anything below 0 is contra-survival.
Notice even the Make a Baby got “only” a 10 in the Affinity. How high an Affinity score could free spirits have?
Could one have some high (over 2) variables and low (less than 0) at the same time?
Are there other factors in this? Let’s not get it too complex.