Robert Stewart Meaningful Sex And Moral Respect Analysis

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Conversely, Robert M. Stewart in “Meaningful Sex and Moral Respect” argues Elliston’s thesis that “promiscuity is a good thing for some people some of the time” (Elliston. 148) by claiming that they are only satisfying their lower-level pursuit of physical pleasure and are unbeknownst to the higher quality meaningful sex which they are capable of achieving. Stewart defines this lower-level pursuit of sexuality as “junk sex” and claims that pursuing it devalues the intellect and spirit of a person (Stewart. 143). Instead he argues that people should seek to engage in meaningful sex. According to Stewart, meaningful sex is related to higher, deeper, and more profound values such as love whereas “junk sex” can be an experience worth having but…show more content…
145). To illustrate his opinion on junk sex, he uses the example of a good massage or a fine but lonely meal that has no social aspect, friendship, or love (Stewart. 145). Also, Stewart consistently refers to the explicit behaviors of college students who are focused on living a qualitative way of life (i.e. through competitions of sexual scoring). He argues that junk sex is a lower-level pursuit of a something which can be experienced at higher levels without cheapening or devaluing the act (Stewart. 145). Additionally, he claims that pursing junk sex repeatedly undermines self-esteem and self-respect if shared with unworthy partners. Moreover, it expresses a lack of respect for humans as capable of higher quality experiences and disregards the notion that some people are better than others, thereby stating that one’s gift of intimacy should not be shared with just anyone simply for the immediate physical pleasure (Stewart. 146). He argues through Kant’s categorical imperative that a person may not realize they are being misled in the moment due to false gestures of kindness, attention, love, and…show more content…
However, there is no plausibility in stating that sexual acts violate the requirement to respect others when no one is forced, misled, or emotionally manipulated into becoming a sexual partner. Thus, Stewart implicitly agrees with Elliston as he acknowledges that sexual acts motivated by lower pleasures can be autonomously chosen by some to obtain physical pleasure, in which case (considering no one is forced, misled, or manipulated), respect need not be violated (Stewart.146). Nonetheless, Stewart continues to argue that junk sex need not be morally wrong in the context of “being unjust, violating a right, or failing to carry out a duty, although meaningless sex does exhibit a failure of character and judgement by devaluing the excellence and value of meaningful sex” (Stewart.146). In accordance with Elliston, Stewart also compares sex and eating, although his analogy focuses on achieving a higher value (such as love or friendship) out of the experience. He compares meaningless sex to fine dining alone; an experience which can lead to feelings of emptiness due to a lack of meaning (Stewart.144). Stewart concludes his argument by claiming that love is a higher virtue only achieved through commitment and meaningful sex; promiscuity in contrast, threatens our ability and end goal of finding love and can jeopardize our moral

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