September 20, 2017

"Sex is the new opium of the masses... a temporary heart in a heartless world."

"Unfortunately, something so immanent as sex will not — and cannot — function in the manner in which religion can, has, and does.... Sex does not explain the world. It is not a master narrative. It has little to offer by way of convincing theodicy. But in a world increasingly missing transcendence, longing for sexual expression makes sense. It should not surprised us, however, that those who (unconsciously) demand sex function like religion will come up short. Maybe that is why very liberal women are also twice as likely to report being depressed or currently in psychotherapy than very conservative women."

Writes University of Texas sociologist Mark Regnerus in "Cheap Sex," quoted in an American Conservative piece by Rod Dreher, "Liberal Women Are Lustier."

Liberal women are lustier? The basis for that headline is:
... sociological data showing that “more politically liberal young-adult women report wanting more sex than they have been having.” Regnerus says the percentage of women who said they would prefer to have more sex is as follows:
  • 16 percent of “very conservative” women
  • 30 percent of “conservative” women
  • 38 percent of moderate women
  • 44 percent of “liberal” women
  • 53 percent of “very liberal” women
I don't see the correspondence between the extent of "lustiness" and whether you're getting as much sex as you want. What if a woman has a partner who provides her with sex whenever she wants it, and she wants it a lot? Is she not lusty? And what about a woman who isn't feeling much or any sexual desire and therefore doesn't have much sex but she feels she should have more sex because she believes it's important or the meaning of life or the way to happiness? Is she getting counted in that sociological data? Because she's not "lusty."

Now, the headline made me click, but I'm really annoyed at the word "lustier." I don't think The American Conservate should be eager to credit liberal women with lustiness, if that's a positive quality, and since "lust" is on the old-time list of "sins" (and sex is being discussed as a substitute for religion), I'm not sure that "lustier" isn't meant as a disparagement. In any case, "lust" — which only appears in the headline — is a bad distraction and beneath the dignity of The American Conservative.

What's important, apparently, to Regnerus and Dreher, is sex as an inadequate substituted for religion. Liberalism only comes into play because it has some correspondence to religiosity.

As for "Sex is the new opium of the masses" — it's odd to hear that from someone who favors religion. It seems to say: I've got the best opium!

53 comments:

n.n said...

It's a parody of Marx, who believed that morality was a moral suppressant.

Liberalism is quasi-religious/moral philosophy in that its principles are divergent.

Sex is the new opium of the masses. Case in point: abortion rites. A suppression of conscience and consciousness.

madAsHell said...

Liberal women are lustier?

Liberal women are scolds....and that's the nicest thing I can say.

Meade said...

Craving sex = lustful.

Being in rude good health = lusty.

darrenoia said...

It's been obvious to me for quite some time that sex is the current opiate of the masses. Religion, Marx's original target in his statement, offers challenges and demands for personal growth in addition to whatever comforts it provides. Our society has worked hard to dissociate any responsibility from sex precisely because it is the one thing we consider sacred. And it trumps everything. Every sexual peccadillo and desire is holy now, beyond reproach and mandatory to celebrate. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say, "Sex is the religion of liberal elites." But it's convenient for them that it's also the opiate of the masses.

Rob said...

Sex may be immanent though not imminent.

Ann Althouse said...

The headline writer shouldn't have referred to "lust" at all, but given that this person did choose to do that, is there also a problem in choosing "lusty" rather than "lustful" as the adjective?

One reason to chose "lusty" is to get to "lustier" and avoid the boring 2-word construction you'd need for "lustful" — "more lustful."

But "lustful" also conveys a feeling of sinfulness. Note the word is "sinful," not "sinny." And let consider the other deadly sins and the suffixes "-y" and "-ful." There's "pride" and "prideful" (not pridey), "sloth" and "slothful" (not "sloth-y"). And "wrath" becomes "wrathful." "Gluttony" doesn't become "gluttonyy," but it's also not "gluttoniful" (but gluttonous). "Envy" doesn't become "envyy" (or "enviful" (it's "envious"))." But "greed" does become "greedy" (not "greedful").

Anyway, I think "lusty" was chosen because it sounded like more fun. I think it conjures up a mental picture of the women engaged in sexual activity. "Lustful" makes you just picture them thinking about it. Which would be more apt, since the point is that they're not getting it.

buwaya said...

I agree that the survey does not have much to do with the response by Dreher, etc. What Religion has to do with it - its not obvious unless you are looking for grist for your mill.

And as per Althouse, the data could be explained just as well by conservative women being more sexually satisfied as they are getting more and better sex. I believe there are other surveys with such results.

On the other hand, to back Dreher and co. a bit, if God did not exist, of course , it would be necessary to invent him.

However, the modern liberal religion-subsitute is not sex but feelings.
Emotions are the new Gods, not to be questioned, and guarded from blasphemy and heresy.

Ann Althouse said...

The OED has a meaning for "lusty": "Full of lust or sexual desire; lustful. Obs." Obsolete!

c1386 Chaucer Manciple's Prol. 41 Fy stynkyng swyn fy, foule moot thee falle,..A taketh heede sires, of this lusty man....
1562 in F. J. Furnivall Child-marriages, Divorces, & Ratifications Diocese Chester (1897) 75 He went..when he was lustie, to his wief, and vsid her companye in bed....
1697 Dryden tr. Virgil Georgics iii, in tr. Virgil Wks. 99 While their Youth is fill'd with kindly Fire, Submit thy Females to the lusty Sire.

Ann Althouse said...

The OED defines "lustful" as "Full of, imbued with, or characterized by, lust or unlawful desires; pertaining to, marked by, or manifesting sensual desire; libidinous."

a1616 Shakespeare Taming of Shrew (1623) Induct. ii. 37 Wee'l haue thee to a Couch, Softer and sweeter then the lustfull bed On purpose trim'd vp for Semiramis. ...
1727 D. Defoe Syst. Magick i. iv. 113 Injecting lustful or loose and wandering Thoughts into her chaste Mind....

Sebastian said...

Feuerbach had this all figured out, before Marx made a mess of it.

@AA: "It seems to say: I've got the best opium!" Yes, they need to be more careful -- unless the most religious folks now buy into Marx. Then again, I think the Althouse line on religion is that most people don't believe what they profess to believe, so from that angle it would make sense. But then, it also doesn't -- since for many people doesn't work very well as "opium."

Titus said...

I would be considered a very, very, very liberal woman because I want sex all the time. I am literally hard right now.

I like the fact that i can touch an app on my phone and a guy can be at my penthouse loft, blowing me, in 5 minutes.

William Chadwick said...

I can tell you from personal experience that libertarian women--who tend to be non-religious--are the best in the sack. Of course, they're difficult to find, women being the Socialist Sex. (See "Gap, Gender.") Maybe that makes them extra fun.

Earnest Prole said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bruce Hayden said...

To be maybe uncharitable, maybe the reason that liberal women aren't getting enough sex is that they are, on average, probably not as good looking, and, maybe more importantly, tend to be significantly shriller and less accommodating to men, making men less interested in spending time with them. Who can blame a guy for preferring a nice more traditional woman, to a liberal feminist harpy?

Big Mike said...

I interpreted the numbers to mean that 53% of very liberal women turn off their male partners by hectoring them over white male privilege, and/or their own poor personal hygiene. Meanwhile 84% of very conservative women walk around grinning ear to ear.

Earnest Prole said...

Your take on this is just as lame as the headline. The data clearly shows that very conservative women are the lustiest because they're getting laid like tile.

Titus said...

Republican repressed gay men can be hot in bed.

Todd said...

53 percent of “very liberal” women

Talk about a dilemma! Very liberal women want to have sex, just not with liberal men. On top of that, they get the vapors about having sex with conservative men [you bad girl you]. That just leaves the "energizer bunny".

n.n said...

The progressive liberal religion is based on the principle of immediate gratification.

JAORE said...

Give Pajama Boy a break. He's doing the very best he can..... sadly.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Maybe that's why this liberal woman can't seem to stop herself from hopping in bed with men who voted for Trump:

https://www.glamour.com/story/hooking-up-with-trump-voters-essay

Bruce Hayden said...
To be maybe uncharitable, maybe the reason that liberal women aren't getting enough sex is that they are, on average, probably not as good looking, and, maybe more importantly, tend to be significantly shriller and less accommodating to men, making men less interested in spending time with them."

It could also be that liberal men are just not much of a prize either. I see a lot of neck bearded, skinny jeans, Che T-shirt wearing types around here and I noticed several years ago that there is often a strange whining note in young male voices these days, even when they are not actually whining about something - sort of the counterpart to young female vocal fry. It's not appealing.





IgnatzEsq said...

Sadly, this is about as high quality as I expect from sociologists. Just a bit below para-psychology.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

I'd have to think about it but it seems like the counter would be that lust implies improper desire in all cases, so you'd have to work up an argument that the unrequited desire of the liberal women is in contrast to the presumably-proper sated desire of the non-liberal women (or at least the in-higher-proportion-sated desire).
I'm no expert but I would bet Christianity allows for proper sexual desire and distinguishes that from lust, so the missing premise has to do with what makes the unrequited desire in question improper (by assumption).

Stated another way: it's not strictly being asserted that liberal women have more sexual desire than non-liberal women, it's that liberal women report less satisfaction of their sexual desire and, consequently, report higher levels of mental health problems (depression, etc)--and all of that is because they have rejected the framework that would allow them to quench their sexual desire in a proper way (through following Christian mores, or marriage, etc). Their initially-normal sexual desire is not channeled in the correct way and becomes lust instead of healthy, fulfilled (and/or fullfill-able) desire.

That's the line of attack I'd pursue if I wanted to defend the headline and/or article, anyway; I don't think I'll actually do that, though.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Earnest Prole said...Your take on this is just as lame as the headline. The data clearly shows that very conservative women are the lustiest because they're getting laid like tile.

Right, see: to avoid the conclusion that the headline contradicts the facts presented you have to assume the unstated premise is that there's a difference between lust and otherwise-healthy sexual activity (and/or desire). If you don't allow for that unstated premise then you're correct and the headline makes no sense when the data show non-liberal women engage in proportionately-more sexual activity (which I'm taking from the lower rate of reported sexual frustration, etc).

Bad Lieutenant said...

Titus said...
Republican repressed gay men can be hot in bed.


WTF would you know Titus, you're so dysfunctional, you talk and talk about your sex life, but what you actually do is so creepy that abstinence sounds better. You are literally a sick fuck. I bet all the other gays on the board cringe when you post.

walter said...

Just be sure to remove attractiveness (physical and otherwise) to men from any analysis.
That would just be shallow and phallo-centric.

Keep it up, Titus!

William said...

I thought OxyContin was the opiate of the masses.......Now, in my later years, I'm cultivating the vice of sloth. This is one of the few vices with which I have been able to achieve satiety. Sloth might even be a virtue. Nothing bad has ever happened to me while taking my afternoon nap, and it's an inexpensive form of entertainment........Gluttony is the true American vice of the masses. There's temptation everywhere, and, by the looks of things, not so many people who can resist that temptation......Cheap sex is an aspiration rather than a reality for most people. I've paid market price or above for all the sex I've had --excluding internet porn, of course. I suppose gays and rock stars can find cheap sex, but for most of us it's a rare occurrence.

mezzrow said...

The subject seems to have lost its luster.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

This is just stupid and sloppy thinking to extrapolate that the liberal women are "lustier" or sexier.

the percentage of women who said they would prefer to have more sex is as follows:
16 percent of “very conservative”
women 30 percent of “conservative”
women 38 percent of moderate women
44 percent of “liberal” women
53 percent of “very liberal” women


If they want MORE sex than they are having in order to determine anything you need to know how much they ARE currently having.

For example. Hypothetically..... If the very conservative women are already having sex twice a day and the very liberal women are only getting laid once a week (which is likely looking at some of them plus their pissy attitudes)....of COURSE the liberal women want more. They aren't getting any now anyway. The conservative women are just getting worn out and don't want any more.

Wanting more or less than you are currently getting of anything, like ice cream or spinach or sex, means nothing until you have some basis of comparison.

Mountain Maven said...

Sociology profs are the price of the Bill of Rights.

Saint Croix said...

Republicans Have More Orgasms

Also we laugh louder.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"WTF would you know Titus, you're so dysfunctional, you talk and talk about your sex life..."

I guess Titus thinks he's being shocking. Or funny. Or something.

Quaestor said...

53 percent of “very liberal” women.

"Very liberal" women just have more bag-over-the-head barkers than the other categories. That's how Occam's Razor slices it.

Quaestor said...

Or, just as probably, "very liberal" women have more impotent weenies for boyfriends. Or both. After comparing the on-air personalities of MSNBC to those of FOXNews as representative samples, Quaestor decrees the question indubitably settled.

buwaya said...

"Republicans Have More Orgasms"

Well, there, its settled then.

Titus should try women.
There is nothing quite like impregnation.
We sort of sensed when it happened.

Mac McConnell said...

I'll go with Dust Bunny Queen's reasoning, it's what I thought when I saw the stats.

cubanbob said...

There is an expression "crazy in the head, crazy in bed" and Liberal woman tend to be crazier than Conservative woman. But then afterwards you have to deal with the crazy.

tcrosse said...

53 percent of “very liberal” women.

Sex between fish and bicycles is quite awkward.

Bay Area Guy said...

Memo to college men:

Stay away from leftwing college girls -- even the good looking ones! You will have endless headaches, false rape charges, doxxing, ghosting, spoofing and many others.

The ugly left wing women, you can simply ignore. The good-lookin' ones, though, can be lethal.

That is all.

Michael K said...

"What if a woman has a partner who provides her with sex whenever she wants it, and she wants it a lot? "

They aren't complaining. The left wing homely types who hate men ate complaining.

Think of lots of tattoos and orange hair. And a ring in the nose.

Jersey Fled said...

The other factor that is working here is that conservative women tend to be married in larger numbers than liberal women. And survey after survey show that married women are more satisfied with their sex lives than unmarried ones.

Anonymous said...

"Now, the headline made me click, but I'm really annoyed at the word "lustier." I don't think The American Conservate should be eager to credit liberal women with lustiness, if that's a positive quality, and since "lust" is on the old-time list of "sins" (and sex is being discussed as a substitute for religion), I'm not sure that "lustier" isn't meant as a disparagement. In any case, "lust" — which only appears in the headline — is a bad distraction and beneath the dignity of The American Conservative."

If you're a guy who just wants to get laid, "lustier" is a virtue. So go after leftist women for that.

If you want an actual relationship with a decent human being, not a nutcase, OTOH, then you go for the conservative types.

This is not new.

MaxedOutMama said...

I'd say that study shows that liberal women aren't getting enough. Think about it. Liberal women are concentrated in large cities with an adverse male/female ratio, or are, all too often, running around college campuses with hookup cultures.

My observation from my own life is that more conservative women are getting more sex with better partners.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Since J. Farmer seems to sleep between pages of TAC, love for him to chime in here.

Howard said...

Everyone projects their ideals to the pollsters, then pollsters spin the results into comfortable political bins.

Birches said...

I would assume that conservative women are satisfied sexually because most of us are married.

Skookum John said...

I notice that this half-educated sociologist absurdly used the word "theodicy" where he really wanted to say "theology", or better yet "theosophy". Bet he thinks he's damned clever for using it, too.

rcocean said...

Obviously, preferring to "have more sex" may mean anything.

First, I'd just point out that describes 100% of straight men, except for Rod Dreher.

Second, most Liberal women are such horror shows, that they probably are having low quality sex with "male feminists" or not having much sex at all.

So, its less about being "lusty" then being "frustrated".

rcocean said...

I"m sure Rosie O'Donnell and Debbie Wasserman Schultz would "Prefer to have more sex".

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

William is right. Looking at society as a whole, the desire for sex (actual sex, that is) must be negligible compared to the desire for stuffing Doritos into the gaping mass of the masses. What a train wreck.

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

Maws, but, sadly, mass works too.

mtrobertslaw said...

My experience with liberal women, particularly progressive-liberal women, is that they have never have been able to learn the lesson taught by that country song: that there is a great difference between sleeping with someone and sleeping with someone your love.

It's interesting to speculate whether it's their world view that prevents them from making this distinction.

FIDO said...

Sometimes even Ann Nods

The point they seem to be making is that sex does NOT replace religion. But because it has SOME elements of transcendence, those who eschew religion turn to sex because they aren't getting their 'religion fix': i.e. Liberal women. They want meaning and a place in a dark and huge world and the best they can get, since they are 'too smart' to do religion, is small bits of semi-transcendent intimacy in the huddlings of sexual bouts.

Granted some women seem to go the SJW route in seeking transcendence, which makes me wish the women got a lot more sex! SJWs are worse than sluts every time. Certainly more tedious.