Also, the society is conditioned to exclude people who will get pregnant the normal, or traditional, way. This is seen as an act of rebellion against the State. If a woman gets pregnant there are many abortion clinics in the New World where you can abort your baby. If the World State needs new children, they surgically remove ovaries to bottle new kids. At the beginning of the process they are separated in different castes, which represent the different parts of society, starting with Alphas, who represent the leaders of the World State, and ending with Epsilon, who are more animal than human beings, and represent the working class.
All these sexual customs are determined by the World State. The act of sex is controlled by a system of social rewards for promiscuity and lack of commitment, which represents a big difference to the way we see sex in our world. A completely different view of sexual customs is shown through the inhabitants of the reservations.
Here the World State did not condition the people, because they thought it would not be worth it. Instead, they get their appreciation of sex from the older people and their religion, which is another difference with the World State. That the confrontation of the two different views can be very difficult is shown in the case of Linda.
As a member of the World State she is conditioned and has an open relationship with the other members of the society.
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Her life turns drastically, however, when she has to survive alone in a reservation after she has an accident on a trip to the reservation. She gets injured very badly, so that she cannot go back to her vacation home. People from the reservation see her, take her with them and care for her.
One of the reasons is that she has sex with different men from the reservation, who are all already married to other women.
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That is why she gets beaten by the other female savages. Since she is not accepted in the reservation, her son John is also excluded from the society. He thinks that you have to work for a woman, to get her love and have sex with her. His main goal is to get love, not sex, which is very different to the New World where it is the other way around. This gets him into trouble when he gets to the World State, where he sees more of Lenina. She is under the influence of soma, because she wanted to convince John to have sex with her, but she does not have enough courage.
Eros' Revenge: The Brave New World of American Sex
This shows that the two different views about the role of sex can lead to disaster. Hidden behind this question looms a secret longing for the elan vital, the surge of erotic energy that marks our aliveness. Whatever safety and security people have persuaded themselves to settle for, they still very much want this force in their lives. The real questions are these: Can we have both love and desire in the same relationship over time? What exactly would that kind of relationship be?
Eros' Revenge -- Brave New World of American Sex : Boye Lafayette De Mente :
In fact, security and passion are two separate, fundamental human needs that spring from different motives and tend to pull us in different directions. In his book Can Love Last? As he explains it, we all need security: permanence, reliability, stability, and continuity. These rooting, nesting instincts ground us in our human experience. But we also have a need for novelty and change, generative forces that give life fullness and vibrancy.
Here risk and adventure loom large. Ever watch a child run away to explore and then run right back to make sure that Mom and Dad are still there? Little Sammy needs to feel secure in order to go into the world and discover; and once he has satisfied his need for exploration, he wants to go back to his safe base to reconnect. Periods of being bold and taking risks will alternate with periods of seeking grounding and safety. And what is true for human beings is true for every living thing: all organisms require alternating periods of growth and equilibrium.
Any person or system exposed to ceaseless novelty and change risks falling into chaos; but one that is too rigid or static ceases to grow and eventually dies.
This never-ending dance between change and stability is like the anchor and the waves. Adult relationships mirror these dynamics all too well.
We seek a steady, reliable anchor in our partner. Yet at the same time we expect love to offer a transcendent experience that will allow us to soar beyond our ordinary lives. For a lucky few, this is barely a challenge. For them, there is no dissonance between commitment and excitement, responsibility and playfulness. They can buy a home and be naughty in it, too.
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They can be parents and still be lovers. But for the rest of us, seeking excitement in the same relationship in which we establish permanence is a tall order. Unfortunately, too many love stories develop in such a way that we sacrifice passion so as to achieve stability. At thirty-eight, she is a well-established lawyer in private practice.
I pick up the newspaper, and I feel fortunate. I know how bad it can be out there. So what is it I want? Because he wants to please me; he knows I like it. You know that feeling you have the first year, that fluttery, exciting feeling, the butterflies in your stomach, the physical passion?
And when I bring this up to Alan, he gets this face. Excitement wanes, yeah yeah yeah. Now when he travels I tell him not to call me. I have a kid.
The Age of Thanatos vs the Age of Eros
Does he not like me? Is he going to cheat? I want to be appreciated as a woman. Not as a mother, not as a wife, not as a companion. And I want to appreciate him as a man. It could be a gaze, a touch, a word. I want to be looked at without all the baggage. When we first met I bought him a briefcase for his birthday—something he saw in a store window and loved—and it had two tickets to Paris inside. This year I gave him a DVD and we celebrated with a couple of friends by eating a meat loaf his mother had made.
Familiarity is indeed reassuring, and it brings a sense of security that Adele would never dream of giving up. At the same time, she wants to recapture the quality of aliveness and excitement that she and Alan had in the beginning. She wants both the coziness and the edge, and she wants them both with him. Historically, these two realms of life were organized separately—marriage on one side and passion most likely somewhere else, if anywhere at all. The concept of romantic love, which came about toward the end of the nineteenth century, brought them together for the first time.
The central place of sex in marriage, and the heightened expectations surrounding it, took decades more to arrive. The social and cultural transformations of the past fifty years have redefined modern coupledom. With the widespread use of the pill, sex became liberated from reproduction. Feminism and gay pride fought to define sexual expression as an inalienable right. Anthony Giddens describes this transition in The Transformation of Intimacy when he explains that sexuality became a property of the self, one that we develop, define, and renegotiate throughout our lives.
Today, our sexuality is an open-ended personal project; it is part of who we are, an identity, and no longer merely something we do. It has become a central feature of intimate relationships, and sexual satisfaction, we believe, is our due.