doing the nasty?
I don't get why people characterize sex as dirty, nasty or naughty. I suspect abrahamic religion is the culprit.
I think the premise is wrong. I don’t know anyone who would say that sex is dirty, or nasty and would only apply “naughty” in certain circumstances. I should imagine that this latter idea pre-dates Abraham by a few hundred thousand years. The idea of "dirty and nasty" is quite separate and very recent.
First we have to understand that our purpose on earth, like every other living creature’s, is to reproduce our genes. Imagine 2 Neolithic families:
Smith, has a daughter, the other, Jones, a son.
If the son impregnates the daughter, the concern of Smith’s parents is that they will end up taking care of the offspring, that they will die before their daughter is able to fully bring up the child, and that thus, the child will die. The Smiths want a good and capable father for their genes to progress.
The Jones, on the other hand, want a suitable woman to bear the children. One they can trust with their genes; one who will be a good mother.
Bad fathers and mothers were weeded out by natural selection and whole blood-lines ended. Quickly, humans began to learn that this process of mating needed to be approached carefully and with some planning and this was the parents’ job. It wasn’t good enough that two young people, filled with hormones should go at it like bunnies on coke, they had to be the two right people: the sons of the better hunters and the daughters of the better mothers. What was needed was a fertile woman who came from a family that had looked after her well, so she had learned about families and could be judged to be a good mother. So, sex with a random partner was wrong!
As time went on, an agrarian society obsessed with land appeared. Men owned land because they defended it. Now Jones’s parents had to look for a prospective mother and how they could increase their land and thus increase the chances of the survival of their genes. The harder it was to obtain good land, the more restrictive was the outlook on who should be the mother and thus who their son should mate with. The Smith family, having a daughter, wanted to ensure the good father and husband, not some fly-by-night or rich kid who would run off and leave them saddled with a child – another mouth to feed. So, sex with a random partner was wrong!
The 19th century brought increase in public health and survival rates. You could have 15 or so children in a lifetime and it was necessary to be able to care for them, so the choice of a partner became even more important.
Up to this point, sex was truly dangerous, but not dirty – you could die in childbirth, you could have more children than you could look after, you could be saddled with the wrong husband or wife.
You remember the story of Jacob and the breeding of striped sheep? You remember the biblical test for virginity? Why was this important?
Well right up until this point in time, it was believed that if a woman had sex with a man, then part of that man’s character was imprinted on her and that subsequent babies, regardless of the natural father, would have traces of previous partners in them and their character. (In some parts of the dog-breeding world, this exists today – they believe that, if say a prize bulldog bitch breeds with a mongrel, subsequent litters sired by a bulldog, will bear traces of the mongrel. True!)
The 20th century gave us welfare systems that would ensure the survival of children, so vast quantities of them were not necessary. In the middle of the century, life was to change for ever.
The 2nd World War was important. During the First World War, massive casualties were caused by venereal disease. To protect the 2WW troops from venereal disease, condoms were handed out. Fighting men became used to the idea and these became plentiful and accepted and any partner would do. The war gave us cheap, convenient and reliable contraception.
For the first time in our history, you might think that parents need not exercise too much caution over the sex-drive of their children. But all these parents had been brought up with other ideas. Adults had been taught that contraception was, in fact, protection against disease
and thus the connection was made – sex is dirty!
The pill arrived and suddenly there was no protection from disease but there was protection from knocking out babies by the score.
Old thoughts and memes die hard, but, as far as I’m concerned, and judging by the falling marriage rate but the birth rate remaining stable, humans no longer think of sex as dirty; they no longer think that sex = 100% babies.
So sex was dirty, and nasty because of the war. It is now only naughty in the eyes of the old, who have not yet disassociated sex from disease.