Extraneous: Eros and Ethos Introduction

by Jason Stotts

This is one of the early introductions I wrote for my book (that’s almost done!) Eros and Ethos that I’ve decided not to use.  I thought it was too good to just go to waste, so here it is for your reading pleasure:

Sex is integral to the human experience.  The irony is that something that is so important, so ubiquitous, and so fundamental to who we are as humans, is one of the least understood things today.  Many of us are operating on a sexual ethic that was invented before indoor plumbing.  Others are operating on the ideas that came along with their hormones in puberty and which they have never been able to move beyond. How can it be that this far in to human development, when we can send people to the moon, cure infectious diseases, and even probe the very constituent particles of existence, when we can do things that would have been called magic only a hundred years ago and were beyond the very imaginations of those before—how can it be that we don’t have a real sexual ethic?

The stakes are high and the consequences are grave.  It is our lives, our happiness, and even our societies that are at stake.  Look around you: in our own country gays are being denied basic human rights, women are being denied rights to their own bodies, and consensual things done in private bedrooms are crimes.  Around the world it is no better: women are having their genitals mutilated and are being killed for not being subservient property, AIDS is destroying an entire continent, and humans are being sold as sex toys.  Things are bad and no solutions are being proposed because it is our lack of a real sexual ethic that has gotten into this mess.

As the saying goes, “it is always darkest before the dawn.”  It is not too late for those of us still living.  We have a chance to start over, to change our ideas about sex, our behaviors, and ultimately even our society.  We must do this if we want to live the best kind of lives possible and we only get one shot at it.

So, what can we do?  You’re already doing it.  By thinking about these issues, by questioning our own premises about sex and our beliefs about sex and its role in our lives, by being willing to change if we find a better way.  Reading Eros and Ethos is just the beginning, in these pages you will discover the knowledge you need to understand sex at its most fundamental level, the principles you need to begin to work for change in your own life, and a course you can follow as you move forward.  No book has all of the answers, but with the principles herein, you will have the tools to find the answers: even to questions you have not even thought about asking yet.

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