This post is for “adults only”. And by that I mean if you are a teen or younger person, ask your parents to read this first. I’m going to be talking about things that not all parents want their teens reading about, so be respectful of that.
Or you know, be sneaky and read this. Get ready for some Catholic philosophizing about sex.
In my feed lately has been an absolutely fascinating array of discussions around the idea that when a trans person comes out to a potential sexual partner and that potential partner chooses to say “no thanks” that the partner is “transphobic”. That, and I’m putting this in the best way I can, saying no to having sex with a man with a vagina or a woman with a penis is akin to racism or wanting trans people to not have equal rights or dignity.
Essentially the argument that I’m seeing develop is that since a trans person is the gender/sex they
have chosen present as*, if you are interested in that gender/sex it should not matter what their genitals are. As one person said in regards to casual sex “If you find out it’s not your preference for a long term relationship, who cares, have sex and move on to finding someone else”. Which, frankly, to me seems VERY fraught, because what, if I start having sex with someone and find out that they don’t have the genitals I was expecting I’m somehow obligated to finish having sex with them? What happened to consent being revocable at any time for any reason?
But I digress.
One person, who was getting to a slightly more reasonable point of view said we shouldn’t say transphobic, but rather trans exclusionary. That if we automatically dismiss trans people from our list of preferred partners, that we’re excluding them and we shouldn’t do that. However, doesn’t this mean that the only “right” way to be is to be pansexual? That all homosexuals are “wrong” because they exclude people of the opposite sex? That all bisexual people are “wrong” because they exclude nonbinary people from their preferences? I thought that one major positive from the last fifty or so years of sexual belief development was that we’re free to have our own preferences with no critique?
What makes me crazy is that we’re extending labels even further. I would have to label myself a “cis” woman (meaning I was born with female genitalia and continue to identify with them) who is “heterosexual” meaning I’m attracted to people who present as male and I’m “Androphilic” in that I’m attracted to male genitalia. Like, thank the Lord that I’m not in a position to be dating now, because I’d hate to have to explain all this on a dating profile. It used to just be a simple “w4m” in chat rooms or whatever.
But really, this just gets us to the philosophy and theology behind it all.
If Man is god, and the self is the ultimate God, then sure, eventually you’re going to have to reach a point where the only acceptable sexuality is pansexuality. We can do no harm to others, thus denying someone else sex is harming them and we can not do that. I’ve not read Brave New World, but apparently this is an aspect of the plot and honestly I wouldn’t be surprised to see people praising this kind of society. And now I need to read Brave New World.
But, the contrasting argument, or the Catholic one, is this: Sex isn’t just a pleasant activity that we do to experience some momentary pleasure or perhaps make a child. There’s far greater cosmic impact. Souls are involved, souls are melding and becoming one in a flurry of passion. It’s not just bodies bumping against each other. It’s a mirrored reflection of God in the Holy Trinity. It’s two becoming one and then becoming three of one. It’s souls that aren’t separate but together with an eternal connection. If you take two cups of water and pour them together, can you ever separate them into the exact molecules that were separate before? Of course you can’t and in a way, that’s what happens to souls because of sex.
And this sex can only be of the kind that finds ultimate fulfillment in a bodily way. IN a child. When the two truly become ONE visible fleshy person with a unique soul. Where two glasses of water are poured together and are indivisible but also somehow make MORE water that overflows the glass and is its own thing.
Pleasure can be had with anyone or anything. And if pleasure is all one seeks, then we are doomed to become a hedonistic society that forgets that there is more to life than life. Where we forget that love is not truly found in pleasure, but is found in sacrifice and self giving. Where we forget how to even love because we are solely thinking about pleasing our own selves. And that society will be doomed. It already exists, because in our society right now we reject the “other”. We refuse to let the refugee into our country, because we might have to give of ourselves. We shame the poor for stealing OUR tax dollars to eat. We can’t sacrifice pennies to feed the poor. We can’t sacrifice dollars to pay for someone’s medical care. We only sacrifice to serve ourselves. We only work hard for our own benefit. We’ve forgotten how to love and the sexual side effects are but a reflection of the deeper disorders within our souls.
*Edited this phrasing. I’m trying to express that the argument is that the outer presentation as one gender/sex is what someone is attracted to and the genitals don’t matter. Apologies for the non-respectful original choice of words. I absolutely do understand that trans people do not choose their gender, but have come to understand it as their inborn and natural state of being.