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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Does living more ethically make creating an ethical sex life easier?

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Author Topic: Does living more ethically make creating an ethical sex life easier?
Executive Director & Founder
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Yesterday, I was talking with some friends on Facebook about issues with buying quinoa right now, and something struck me that I wanted to toss out to all of you and see what you thought.

In a word, I'm wondering if you feel like making efforts to live more ethically, on the whole, perhaps make having an ethical sex life easier. Or, alternately, if ethics in most parts of your life -- including things like how you eat, how you dress yourself, other parts of the most basic parts of a daily life -- are NOT something you generally think about as a practice, or make efforts with, if, perhaps, it might be more challenging to work out an ethical sex life because it's really the only part of you life where you're giving a lot of thought to ethics.

My own thought process was that thinking about sexual ethics just always seems like one more place I'm doing that, and where I'm using tools and skills for evaluating being ethical I use in other parts of my life. It also doesn't seem like a drag because it's a practice I engage in in every aspect of my life, not just this one.

But then I sat and recognized that not everyone does things like think about the ethics of what they eat, wear, how they clean their house, how they use language, etc. And I wondered if perhaps not being in those kinds of practices might be some of what makes thinking about ethics with sex -- or practicing them -- more challenging for some.

Whaddya think?

Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Scarleteen Volunteer
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This is an interesting question!

I do try to live ethically on a lot of axes, and sexual and relationship issues are a big part of that. I don't know that I see much of a direct connection, say, between sexual ethics and my dietary choices, but I think getting in a "how can I make choices that have a minimal negative impact on others?" mindset has meant I approach more aspects of my life that way than I used to. I think that for me the effect has been that as I really dig into ethical living in one part of my life, it's a lot easier to apply those same principles to other areas, or to be receptive of those ideas if other folks bring them up in conversation with me.

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Scarleteen Volunteer
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I'm actually the opposite of Mo, and come at this from the opposite direction to the way you're suggesting here! I DO think of sexual ethics in connection to dietary, and actually my ethics around sex LED to me thinking more in-depth about my ethics around food. Like my sexual ethics basically are what led me to deciding that, if I want to live entirely according to my ethics, I need to be vegan. Thinking a lot about consent, informed consent, around sex, is what led me to thinking about it in regards to food too!
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Jacob at Scarleteen
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I really appreciate how eating vegan and shopping in a conscious way goes together with eating healthily and makes me feel really in control of my own life and body.

I think for me the altruistic part of caring about animals, community, workers and the environment as a whole is already there but actively believing in myself enough to say "I am a significant part of this system" or even "my body deserves better" is that extra bit.

So I guess for me, being ethical is about more than just caring, it's about making that jump between thinking a certain way and then behaving in the spirit of those thoughts.

I think in partnered sex I have someone to do that with me, and then being ethical just means trying to make each-other feel good. I never really would have thought of miscommunication as unethical... but I suppose it works in a similar way and feeling more empowered sexually and in the rest of my life does go together.

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This is a really interesting question to me because I've thought about it a little bit in the past when I volunteered at a sexual health clinic - all but two of the volunteers there were vegan or vegetarian. It did indeed feel a bit like thinking about health and ethics in one area of life had lead a lot of us to be aware of ethics in other areas, but I hadn't heard anyone else discuss it outside of that extremely specific setting. I definitely think my personal sexual ethics have a degree of connection to my overall ethical values and political positions. The issues of consent and bodily autonomy that come up around sex strike me as relevant in a lot of other situations, like food ethics, or people's rights to healthcare and living spaces free from dangerous pollutants.
Posts: 62 | From: California | Registered: Jun 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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