In Praise of Reproductive Sex

Coital Maithuna in the Upper levels of Lakshmi temple Khajuraho

When the gods gave people sex, they gave us a wonderful thing.
Sex is food: just as people cannot survive without eating,
hunger for sex can cause people to die.
!Kung saying - Nisa.

Living at the Fertility Portal

My generation came of age in a cultural transition zone that will never be repeated and it holds an oracle to fertility and what sex is, which is essential to human survival. The pill was recently invented and single women of university age still had trouble persuading doctors to sign a prescription. We were the last of a generation where sex really meant getting pregnant and although the girls went on the pill, the cultural expectation for people turing 21 was to find a partner and get pregnant and have children as soon as possible. That was what sex was about. I'm really glad we were in this generation because it gives us a unique perspective on what sex is.

And sex wasn't just about a quick shag or erotic and pornographic fantasies. Sex is the path to an extraordinary experience with another human being in which the very intimacy of the act between a woman and a man is the portal to an experience of their unique journey in life, their hopes and fears and the subtle charisma that makes another being someone we could simply fall headlong in love with forever and a day - our very nemesis and our completion as one is to one. Sex wasn't just about gratification or the biggest orgasm, or the deepest most devastating penetration. It was about love and finding a potential life partner who was also, although I hate the cliche, a 'soul mate'. There was a big expectation that the guys would be just falling over themselves to get into the girls without needing any form of foreplay like the massive amount of sucking off we now experience in internet pornography typified by Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky's frolics in the White House. Neither was it about every form of deviant gratification but a real and deep experience of the 'other'. The guys wanted to fertilise the girls and the girls wanted to get fertilised. We still knew this was what life is all about and how we got here as living conscious beings. Sexual attraction is the very fertility of life itself speaking.

World pooulation growth (op left) is currently focused in Africa and several Muslim countries. Trends by continent through to 2100 (top right) show Europe and the Americas stablizing and shrinking while Sub-Saharan Africa swells to equal that of a stabilizing and then shrinking Asian population. In Europe (center) and across continents (lower left) Muslim birth rates outpopulate those of all other religions and the unaffiliated, secular and non-religous. Japan's population (lower right) is headed for an ageing crash due to failure of young people to reporduce sufficiently.

I met my first life partner when I was just turning 21 she was 19. We set off for England where I was studying as a grad student but a couple of years later settled into pregnancy on an idyllic time in a canal boat we built. Returning to "God's Own" Country Aotearoa, we rapidly became ensnared in the psychedelic life of free love and the adventures of multiple relationships. As a shy only child of my parents I was quickly overtaken in the love stakes by my partner who had already had several boyfriends before I met her, but pretty quickly after some freak outs along the way, we had a kind of urban court of free love with our friends. Part;y to cover my own insecurity in this endless state of flux, I became caught up the intrigue of trying to keep an ongoing relationship with two women in series of three menages a trois, as the common man in a household were the women also had their own sexual adventures with our friends and guests.

One of these was my relationship with my current partner who came to live with my wife and me, to have her first child, having been cheated on my her husband and had reached the age of 23 without yet having a fulfilling opportunity to have a child and fulfil her womanhood. We have survived 45 years of endlessly changing circumstances in a way that attests to our commitment to one another and a deep belief in preserving the sanctity of our children and the family. Early on in the piece my wife and I ended up splitting apart when she decided to make another of her relationships primary and have children with them after we had had two together.

But for nearly five years, the three of us lived in relative harmony together raising our three young children. There was no concept of deceit or betrayal. Everything was out in the open, and sometimes in full view. We even had a 12 foot bed for guests to stay over and a separate room where people could retreat to make love. But none of this meant we were swingers or people out to just enjoy sex for its lubricious orgasmic thrills. We were having open relationships with friends and acquaintances who we knew well as people we basically trusted. There was a large component of trust in one's partners good intentions and their freedom to make sexual choices. Jealousy was a moral public enemy although it erupted like are 'old faithful' whenever an outside relationship began to get serious.

All adult humans realise that jealousy, while a destructive force if entertained in an atmosphere of paranoia which is not justified by actual infidelity, has as its basis a natural and justifiable 'zealousness' to protect an existing relationship. For a man infidelity is an existential threat involving 'pollution' of one's partner by another man's sperm, possibly leading to his partner giving birth to another man's child. This often leads to interpersonal violence through innate male fear and anger, compounded by dire punishments if the prevailing culture assumes a male 'owns' a female partner and her reproductive sex life. For women jealousy is about the potential loss of the resource of a committed life partner who is bulwark to protect the future of her offspring.

"We Yolungu are a jealous people and have been since the days we lived in the bush in clans.
We are jealous of our wife or husband, for fear she or he is looking at another.
If a husband has several wives he is all the more jealous, and the wives are jealous of each other ...
make no mistake, the big J is part of our nature" (Australian aboriginal).

Bruising the teats of virginity: The pregnant images below show the ruddier nipples 'bruised' through hormonal stimulation by progestins preparing the breasts for lactation.

Monogamy teaches that one man should love one woman and vice versa so that any sexual intimacy outside marriage is forbidden under threat of dire punishment such as stoning. Again this innate fear is not just about a woman having a good time with another man but the innate male fear of sexual pollution of the virgin state of nubile womanhood as the husband's sole possession, echoing with fire and fury through the Old Testament in both the King James and the Mazoretic text:

And they committed whoredoms in Egypt; they committed whoredoms in their youth:
there were their breasts pressed, and there they bruised the teats of their virginity (Ez 23:3).

Modern bible versions try to disguise the fertility implications with a variety of euphemisms that mask the true meaning:

There, their breasts were caressed. Their virgin breasts were fondled (International standard).
there their breasts were pressed and there their virgin bosom was handled (New American Standard).
Their breasts were squeezed there; lovers fondled their virgin nipples there (Net Bible).

Its absolutely clear the forefathers weren't just talking about breasts being handled or nipples being fondled. That's child's play. They were apoplectic about bruising the teats of their virginity - that is the virgins getting pregnant by strange men and their nipples getting bruised with the flush of progesterone that leads ultimately to spurting milk.

But the monogamous ideal does't stop people having affairs. However, its narrow expectations lead to the notion of betrayal, of being cheated on if anyone has any form of romantic, sensual or soulmate connection outside the bonds of marriage. This in turn makes everyone secretive and deceitful all round. A husband cheats on his wife and keeps telling his secretary he will leave her but never does. A wife pretends to be faithful but sneaks out for a one night stand when her husband is away seeking the vital genes of a hunk dow at the bar.

The result is a culture based on cycles of jealousy, deceit, suspicion and betrayal, endlessly cursed as a moral affliction, in turn causing sex to be cursed as a diabolical temptation, somehow devised by the women, who are insatiable if given a thread of liberty or sovereignty.

So this transition zone was not just about sex and fertility, but went right to the very core of what trust, jealousy, freedom and possession of one person by another mean in the name of love and what fidelity actually means in this context. Monogamy sets a standard of one man and one woman with any sexual interest outside a betrayal. But this is not the nature of sexuality which is cross fertilisation. Sexuality seeks to traverse boundaries and wherever society lays iron-clad boundaries, sex seeks to find a way through. Monogamy thus becomes its very own curse. With all who cast eyes on another doomed to the invidious fate of the cheat, even though this is the very life force which drive monogamous fertility in the first place.

We understand that pair-bonding is a strong force and plays a central role in bringing up human children who need parental care to give them a good start in a life more complex socially that that of any other species, but the realities remain that men both seek to sew wild oats in every which way, while at the same time being mortally jealous that another man has done the same thing to their partner. Hence the way monogamous societies have assumed a woman to be the property of a man, to take his name and until recently to be a chattel devoid of her own property. We also know that prominent polygynous societies have used even more extreme forms of control over female reproductive choice so that a man who has the resources to support more than one wife exerts even more severe control, requiring her to be chaperoned by family members, covered from view and suffer the three of lethal punishment for sexual transgression which might pollute his potential offspring. Both monogamous and polygynous cultures have thus become biased and distorted to fulfil male reproductive anxieties and imperatives.

The unrelenting dominance of patriarchal cultures and religions has led to extreme forms of repression of female sexual identity in the vigilant maintenance of male control over female reproductive choice, manifest in a variety of oppressive to diabolical measures from female genital mutilation through stoning for adultery often aimed primarily at the famle party although the male has initiated it, to enforced chaperoningby male relatives limiting a woman's capacity for independence,accompanied by extreme forms of the veil in Islam, bride burning and honour killings darkly named karo-kari in Pakistan for black man black woman.

Deuteronomy which became the basis of Muhammad's edicts to stone to death for adultery600 years after the practice ceased in Judaism prescribed violent homicide of the woman if she lacked evidence of virginity or was caught in the city. Only a lone woman raped in the field is spared:

But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel:
Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house,
and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die ...

If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her;
Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die;
the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city ...

But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die.
But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing ... For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her.

Clearly this is based on manifest concern that the woman who is betrothed (commited to another man) has become polluted by the possibility of pregnancy to another man.

Liberal Culture's Divorce from Fertility

But this is not the only cultural aberration to sully the natural fertility of sexual engagement, because in the West, the advent of hormonal and other high-tech contraception has caused an effective divorce of sexuality from its own foundation in ensuring the fertility of the human race. Pornography where all manner of nonfertile forms of erogenous stimulation, from fellatio and cunnilingus to bondage sadism and masiochism and increasing obsessing with boundary crossing acts from heterosexual sodomy leave little meaningful distinction between heterosexual sex and all the varieties of LGBTQ sex that lie completely outside the central raison d'etre of sexuality in fertility itself.

Despite a rich tradition in Shunga in Japan and the tradition of love hotels, many of these are falling into dereliction as we speak
with many young people choosing not to have sexual relationships.

In several, particularly Asian countries,such as Japan, Korea and Taiwan, birth rates are falling precipitousl, as the number of people having children or even sexual relationships at all plummets. The sexual frequency rate of Japanese people lies at 34 times per annum at the bottom of the Durex world survey. About 1 in 4 Japanese adults in their 20s and 30s is a virgin. A survey of Japanese people aged 18 to 34 noted in 2017 found that almost 70 percent of unmarried men and 60 percent of unmarried women are not in a relationship. Around 42 percent of the men and 44.2 percent of the women admitted they were virgins. There are now many more virgins than in 2010, when the last study was conducted and when only 36.2 percent of men and 38.7 percent of women said they had never had sex.

Birthrates in Japan have fallen far below population maintenance levels leading to fears of eventual population collapse amid an increasingly aged population. Boosting the birthrate is one of the coveted goals of the Abe administration, which has declared it will raise the fertility rate from the current 1.4 to 1.8 by 2025 or so. South Korean birthrates have fallen as low as 0.96 and Taiwan's to 0.9 less than half the levels of around 2.1 to maintain a steady population.

These trends against sex as a meaninful and central foundation of life's existence are occurring across a swathe of developed countries from the US to the UK as well.

First let's get to the statistics on sexual frequency. At one extreme we have the 2005 durex survey (, in which the world global average for sexual frequency was 103 times a year or around, with the US on 113 and Japan on a world low of 45. These figures are distorted upwards by the over-representation of young sexually-active people in liberal developed countries. The survey also indicates that 15-58% of adutls have affairs with the global average 22 and the have 3-13 sexual partners with the average 9, so monogamy is a social institution that is widely flouted.

A significantly lower figure on sexual frequency is found in the US GSS (2016). US data from 2017 (doi:10.1007/s10508-017-0953-1) indicates that rates of sexual frequency have fallen by 15% over a decade. In 1990 people had sex an average of 60 times a year, in 2000 it was 62 times and by 2010 it had fallen to 53, with 50+ having 46, 43 and 38, 60+ 27, 26 and 25 and over 70s coming out at 10.5, 13 and 10.5. Notably in 2010 married people came out at 50.5 while those living together but not married scored 86 times a year,

The data has recently become even more stark. A 2019 BMJ survey (doi:10.1136/bmj.l1525) reported around 36 times a year for 16-44 year olds with frequency of sex declining recently, more markedly among those in early middle age and those who are married or cohabiting, although around half said they would like more sex. The proportion reporting no sex in the past month had increased from 23% to 29.3% among women and from 26% to 29.2% among men between 2001 and 2012. The proportion reporting sex 10 or more times in the past month has fallen from 20.6% to 13.2% among women and from 20.2% to 14.4% among men between 2001 and 2012.

Human Sexual Society

Homo sapiens is a species renowned for our social sexuality. The average person making love an average of say 3 times a week throughout a reproductive lifetime of around 25-30 years for a woman and longer for a man can be expected to have sex some 4700 times while reasonably expecting to have no more than an average of 2-3 children. Despite the appearances of monogamy in this time each sex might have an average of between 5 and 20 partners.

Social sex has evolved in humans to be a principal means of bonding and forming the close intimate ties between partners that cement together the human family with its long-term child rearing, and human society as a whole..

Despite being dominantly social, sex is essentially reproductive and remains charged with undertones of emotional infatuation, jealousy, infidelity and betrayal, because who you become intimately involved with will affect your immediate partner(s) and their offspring, and paternity security in the case of men, and resourcing commitment in the case of women.

This is not to say that humans are socially monogamous, despite the Western heritage of Christianity's excessive dependence on enforced monogamy as a result of Yeshua's quip that divorce was a violation of Adam and Eve's monogamous partnership - a notion ignoring Jewish folklore's claim that Lilith preceded Eve in the marital union only to fly off when Adam tried to assert the missionary position.

In fact 85% of traditional human societies practice effective polygyny with about 10% of better-endowed men supporting more than one 'wife', and even in Western society, serial monogamy leads to effective polygyny when older men divorce and couple with a younger nubile partner to sire a second family. Nevertheless human pair-bonding is a real and potent aspect of human family relationships, lasting for at least the 4-5 years it takes for young children to become semi-independent.

Only 3% of mammals are socially monogamous, for a pivotal reason - females have a major 'choosy' parenting investment in giving birth to a limited number of live young, for whom they need the best genes and resources they can muster, creating a major polarisation between the sexes, in which males have a primarily sexual investment seeking as many partners as they can fertilise. Even socially monogamous species such as prairie voles and colonial birds try to optimise their genetic investments by having occasional liaisons on the sly with partners of superior genetic fitness.

In many ways human pregnancy is at at extreme of mammalian evolution, with women facing a huge out-front commitment of 9 months of increasing vulnerability, often with existing young children in tow, significant risks to their survival in birthing a baby with a large head, years of breast feeding, and caring for small dependent infants for at least four years before human children can walk and talk and survive reasonably independently within their extended family.

Consequently women are traditionally choosy about their partners and tend to seek 'husbands' who bear sufficient resources to support and sustain a family and protect them from intruders. Hence we find the well-known themes of women often partnering with older established men and men in turn seeking out young nubile partners of peak fertility. Many of the themes of love and courtship, from good hunting, through story-telling, jokes and art and music stem from men establishing both their genetic fitness and resourcefulness as potential partners in the sight of women.

By contrast, men are want to sew wild oats, while keeping a very jealous eye on the women they do impregnate out of fear that another man has done the same. Women may also opt to sire by a clandestine partner on occasion as well if they cannot find a mate with both the best genes and good resourcing leading to endless suspicion of women's infidelity on the part of their men folk.

Thus while most sexual encounters don't lead to pregnancy, the implications of pregnancy drive our deepest emotional urges and jealousies of a sexual nature, even in an era when contraception is widespread, if only as effective as individuals make it, and genetic testing can lay bare all the subtleties of who has sired who.

Throughout history, paternity uncertainty has played a major role in shaping human societies. Most of our patriarchal heritage, from paternal lines of inheritance, which serve to compensate for the obvious certainty of maternity, through traditional marriage, in which a women is exhorted to be faithful to her husband, to religious and social laws, which violently punish women for infidelity, while allowing men to sew wild oats, as long as they aren't caught polluting another man's wife is founded on compensating for this uncertainty.

Eve is cursed for seducing Adam, women are to suffer the pain of childbirth, to be obedient to their husbands, to be stoned for adultery, or losing the tokens of virginity, doomed to be sequestered and veiled and only half the value of a man in law in Islam, genitally mutilated from Africa to the Amazon, abducted, trafficked and treated as the devil's gateway, so that sex becomes an evil of earthly temptation for men who seek to escape their mortality by pledging their allegiance to an eternal sky God of the day of judgment.

While this male fear of women is all very understandable, this form of patriarchal dominance, over the last 4000 years, is not conducive to evolution of intelligence because, like all animals that bear a few large eggs, or live young, it is female choice of male genetic and resourcing prowess that is the principal selective factor in ensuring the future viability and evolution of the species' gene pool.

The indications are that longer-term human evolution, and the emergence of language and culture, was accompanied by neither sex having strategic dominance, with each running a sexual Red Queen race of burgeoning intelligence, through courtship, in which female reproductive choice played a pivotal part. The ecstatic nature of human female orgasmic sexuality, and the lack of a penis bone in humans forcing men to display a genuine indicator of sexual fitness to reproduce, both attest to a significant degree of female reproductive choice, based on a lunar menstrual cycle, concealed oestrus and social sexual bonding throughout human emergence.

Looking deeper, we can see how sex and mortality became inextricably entwined in the burgeoning diversity of ever more complex life. All multi-celled organisms are sexual, with a very few exceptions. Where parthenogenesis occurs in a few species, sometimes to aid rapid colonisation, it is at the cost of declining resistance against (sexual) parasites in what is known as the Red Queen evolutionary race - that the immediate advantage of sex compensating for transmitting only half our genes is the immediate increase in disease resistance it provides, because sexual diversity means parasites cannot evolve to attack a single parthenogenetic clone.

The result is that to have evolved as conscious beings at all, we are inevitably saddled with individual mortality, because we are endlessly varied and can transmit only half our genes to the next generation. Dyadic sex may have even been invented by a 'selfish' jumping gene, which ensured its immortality, transmitting 100% of its genes, by providing the apparatus for sexual recombination and exchange, in which we each only transmit 50% of ours.

The result for our view of the world is that we are conscious beings caught in the mortal coil of birth and death, with no respite, because of the endless variety of sexual recombination which makes us each unique and different (except for identical twins) and which dooms us to expire at the end of our days, because we are sexual rather than parthenogenetic beings - a doom which it is said God cast upon us for disobeying his instructions not to eat the fruit of knowledge of good and evil, in Eve's carnal enticement of Adam, causing the fig leaf - an unfair un-biological judgment cast on sexuality by the male religious forefathers.

What we need to understand here is that sexuality is the manifestation of the life process potentially heading towards even greater heights of sentient existence, if we don't damage the enchanted loom and threaten the living viability of the planet. So, far from being evil and 'dirty', sex is good, as life is good, and our individual conscious existences, along with our sexual desires and fear of death, are a bountiful product of the immortal sexual loom of life.

It is thus to sex and the sexual paradigm that we should stoop to worship in devotion, not the loneliness of an imaginary godhead, just as Shiva courts Shakti in the Tantric dance of creation, and Yin and Yang form the Taoist completion of nature. Reproductive fertility is also the nascent theme of the Song of Songs, the grail of courtly love and the ideal of romantic love that echoes through the airwaves in popular music and is written into our literature from the Song of Inanna in Sumeria to Mills and Boon. Being in love and falling in love are not just manifestations of social sexuality but our evolutionary heritage. It involves the whole sexual cosmology of meeting the other in the full flush of fertility incarnate, with all its passion, tenderness and explosive potential for new life.

Christianity has sought to go further and violate the holy grail of love by assigning to sexuality only reproduction without pleasure, with social sexuality having little more than a bestial function of concupiscence, sexual desire or lust, to be avoided like the plague, as a diabolical influence. Augustine went so far as to curse the spontaneous arousal of his penis and Origen castrated himself in the shadow of Matthew 19:12. This is as perverted as all the manifestations of sexual deviation known to man and leads to denial, and sexual exploitation and degenerate behaviour, as has riddled the celibate Catholic church and fueled the witch hunts and Inquisition and European crusade, when the Albigenses insisted Jesus and Magdalen were lovers.

An integral feature of the evolution of the humanity is that, unlike many species, where fertility and reproduction are driven by chemical cues and sex takes place only in oestrus, when the female is ovulating, humans, and some of our sister species such as bonobos, have adopted the use of social sexuality as a medium of social bonding. In humans social sexuality is absolutely essential as a sensual glue that holds together conjugal couples in long-term relationships and provides much of the social bonding in society at large, that reduces violence and makes us sensual and loveable people.

Khajuraho - the lower layers. Rear entry, bestiality, fellatio and cunnilingus

However there are other manifestations of human social sexuality, which if not understood in relation to reproductive sexuality, begin to spawn a confused, if not perverted fulfilment of our sexual desires. These include a wide spectrum of erotic phenomena, many of which may be natural in one social context but forbidden in another. For example the Bible has invocations against masturbation and homosexuality, both of which are regarded as choices of consenting adults in modern Western society, although sodomy is regarded as unnatural in many Muslim countries and parts of Africa. Certainly masturbation may be essential for male sexual fitness and cannot be reasonably deemed to be harmful for females either, but the spread of social sexual gratification extends down to almost any deranged stimulus of boundary-breaking the mind can encompass, from extreme coprophilia and bestiality to rape, snuff movies and serial murder.

While Western society currently regards incest, bestiality, paedophilia and sexual violation as criminal derangement, it accepts cunnilingus, fellatio, both homosexual and heterosexual sodomy, as well as sadistic, and masochistic sexual acts and human bondage and prostitution as integral to social sexuality as long as it is between consenting adults.

This however comes at a frank cost. While women are increasingly enjoying the right and ability to watch female-oriented pornography, a large swathe of pornography is simply catering to male sexual fantasies veering towards exploitation of women as sexual objects of gratification.

Given the ancient nature of social sexuality and the endless male drive of boundary-breaking sexual curiosity it is likely that some women throughout history have been strategically compelled to give their man everything he might desire to ensure securing his commitment to her, even if this is sometimes painful or degrading. While it is true that some women enjoy all manner of erotic experiences, from fellatio to sodomy, many women find sodomy painful and mixing sodomy and coitus carries health risks. It is hypocritical for heterosexual men to treat gay men homophobically when they themselves are indulging in exactly the same kinds of sexual act.

Pornography has become a freely available standard of sexual concourse in the West and focuses on unfertile forms of sexualityleading to a defertilized society.

Confusing social and reproductive sex also alters the whole balance of the mind set, so that non-reproductive forms of social sex, such as fellatio become a central social norm of petting, while coitus itself is something more special for a more developed relationship, or even regarded as inferior to other forms of sexual gratification and self-stimulation, or unsatisfying to females entirely.

We also end up with highly distorted views of the role of sex and sexual bonding in society as merely social on the one hand, encompassing any form of erotic concourse and sexual orientation, but treat it as entirely reproductive in traditional and religious terms and in parenting and families, where reproduction is central.

This means that we drift into seeing eros purely in terms of sexual pleasure and gratification, demeaning it to a subservient role rather than a defining spiritual dimension through which we and the whole of life comes into existence. This dooms it to a similar fate that Christianity has doomed it in its fear of sexual power casting it down into a purely lustful level below the waist-line, when it place is nature is the holy grail of immortality.

This doesn't mean that by respecting the fertility of sexuality we will completely resolve all the problems of jealously, betrayal, infidelity, infatuation, unrequited love, and sexual violence that make pair-bonding an endless round of the cooperation, defection and tit-for-tat exchanges that characterise the prisoners' dilemma in action because evolutionary selection of the future of humanity is at stake and there are no global simple solutions that will put all partners in the ideal relationship they would desire.

Nevertheless, having a clearer view of the formative role of sexuality in life does lead to a profoundly more astute and successful love life and family life. Since the dawn of gatherer-hunter history, mothers have been teaching their daughters how to be both attractive and astutely choosy to make the best sexual choices they can under the limited and complex circumstances they find themselves in, and to fall for a guy only if he can bring home some good meat from the hunt and tell good stories round the camp fire, as well as showing sensitivity and respect to his partner(s), rather than going for the most pushy delinquent bully boy who is prepared to drive his car off the cliff to play chicken with every other guy in sight.

While we make what might be called social 'strides' in accepting the right of same-sex couples to marry and even to raise families through surrogacy and insemination, we seem to have become blinded to the needs of children to have close parental examples of both their own and the opposite sex, and to understand the distinction between social acts of erotic love and the fertility of the passage of the generations we all come and came from.

We need to understand that the highest peaks of sexual fulfilment, of deep bonding, of orgasmic intensity, and sexual and sensual meaning, come not just from social erotic gratification, but from the full flood of sexual fertility in coital embrace in love between a man and a woman, as the Song of Songs declares - the Tantric dance of male and female principles - of Shiva and Shakti - in bringing the entire sentient-material universe and the diversity of conscious life into being.

The temples of Khajuraho have a revealing perspective on this, with the higher levels of the Lakshmi temple consisting of couples with attendants practicing maithuna, or ritual coitus, while the lower layers include all the variations of fellatio, cunnilingus, masturbation, bestiality and sodomy.

While we can sustain the diversity of social sexuality as long as it is non-exploitative and between consenting adults, we need to realise that we can't substitute social gratification for the sexual life force from which we all came, and which gives us the capacity to fall in love, to form loving relationships and to procreate new life.

In this respect, sexuality is inevitably a meeting of opposites, and fertility is and has always been that shared between a man and a woman, whether or not we define marriage in this way.

Homosexuality is a legitimate aspect of social sex, but even though same sex couples form committed loving relationships and can rear children through surrogacy and artificial insemination, they can't celebrate the fertility of life without serious violation of our genetic endowment, by making genetic modifications to human reproduction to turn eggs into sperm or directly fertilise nuclei as some same-sex oriented scientists have already attempted to do, although we know sexual imprinting of genes is essential in development, especially of the brain, casting a pall over this endeavour.

Even to contemplate this is evolutionary suicide because all animal species reproduce through sperm-egg based sexual fertility because it is the most robust evolutionarily successful form of organismic development. The entire basis of embryogenic development is based on the fertilised ovum dividing using maternal mitochondria to form the ectoderm, mesoderm and endoderm. This is not only who we are as individuals but who humanity and all other animal species are as living organisms. Fertility is immortal and we absolutely have to adjust our utopian fantasies to respect the immortal reproductive process or we are doomed as a society and as a species. To try to engineer the reproductive genome to enable same sex fertilisation on the basis of a false imperative that same sex social sex has to mean same sex fertilisation is an assault on nature itself doomed to fail in evolutionary terms.

It also needs to be remembered that sexual orientation is a mix of genetic and social factors, with social factors still highly significant. For example direct genetic factors affecting male sexual orientation, namely the fertile mother effect and the serial brother immunity effect account for only a 21% genetic contribution to sexual orientation and even identical twins share only around 50% sexual orientation, indicating that, even with identical genetic makeup, uterine envoronmentof the same mother, and comparable upbringing, social choices are still important and for this reason it is important that social influences are not politicized by intrest groups seeking to drive one socual position or another and that individual in adolescence have the ability to make their own sexual discovereis without undue influence on either side.

Even given genetic or uterine factors influencing sexual orientation, these do not supplant the collective need for humanity and our future to be based on respect and understanding for the primacy of reproductive sexuality in the scheme of social sexuality. The same goes for sexual identity which is not just a matter of social choice.

Given that sexuality and the continuity of life depend on the fertility of man and woman, it is specious and counter-productive that parenting of a child of either sex can be deemed to be blind to the sexuality of the real, or foster, parents. Neither is it fair, or realistic, to deny growing children access to experiences of natural sexual complementation which they will need as adults to have a full opportunity to express their own fertility.

The sieve which sorts the wheat of ecstatic fulfilment from the chaff of sexual deviation is the reproductive fertility of sexuality and the understanding that the role other forms of social sexuality play are subsidiary to it and find their place and meaning only in relation to it.