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Different philosophers and authors have given various views on love and sex. Explicitly, there are certain misconceptions existing between love and sex. According to Soble, love and friendship are not forced since they develop freely among individuals. Therefore, there are different forms of love. One of them is experienced among siblings or members of the family. This is the same love that exists among friends. Another one exists between two individuals of the opposite sex, who have no blood relationship. Love is a cornerstone of friendship, and it is felt by both parties. "Love is a sheer gratuity" (Soble, 1997). Contrary to this, Soble argues that love is associated with a certain feature of a loved one. Therefore, he says that love is not blind in relation to what an individual wants from it.
Soble then poses a question about love relationship based on sex. He says that it gets deeper in that it involves a person's immunity and organic tissue. This form of love is so sensitive that an individual has to keenly select the partner, unlike the first form. He goes on to say that this love is inescapable given that both parties involved need to meet certain requirements after the sexual union. Consequently, the partners might be forced to marry or may be morally blackmailed whenever one of them wants a reunion. More so, some of the partners in this are exploited or disregarded by their partners.
However, whenever both parties mutually agree on their terms and conditions, their love can be more productive, enjoyable and abiding. Sexual relationship can be assertive and oppressive thus making love to be cruel. This can cause pain and loss to the victim. On the other hand, friendship can be abused by either of the parties. For example, when an individual betrays his or her friend, it leads to despair, just like in a love-relationship. Such a situation can result in disgust and anger. Therefore, sex-love and friendship differ in the common being. That is, friendship concerns two parties having a liberal and face-to-face interaction. Sex-love, on the other hand, involves the reproductive organs and procreation.
Love relationships are developed by the individuals involved. Nevertheless, such relationships may not last long if they are not mutually developed. For instance, it can just develop between two people having a drink together and ends when they get sober. Soble argues that "love union can be the consummating togetherness of shared being that comprehends body and soul" (Soble, 1997). He further emphasizes that people should take precautions when choosing their love partners. According to him, individuals have different intentions and criteria of choosing their partners. For instance, they could select a partner basing on their material benefits or physical attributes. They could also base their love on the end results, for example, business deals, marriage security or sex. In such a situation, love is just used as an avenue to these objectives.
Additionally, Soble classifies love in to good and bad love. He states that love and friendship are worthless in that it can be detrimental. He says a relationship could be as a result ofa person's ill intent or greed. On the contrary, love and friendship could lead to an extensive enjoyment of life and safety though it binds and have specific demands on both parties. He argues that love and friendship are not suitable despite the intimacy, permanency. Soble dismisses the notion that love is good if it involves intimacy, authenticity, or permanence.
According to him, good love is the one that enhances the welfare of the partners involved. It should also have a positive impact on their lives even after the union. Good love grows with the variety and the scope of life while bad grows with the decline of variety and depth by the friendship. One limitation of sexual love is that it incapacitates one to a certain situation. It has many obsessions and can threaten one's life with its demands. Conversely, its occurrence can be so inspiring and fulfilling. This can cause an individual to be effective in their work.
Soble also gave an insight on what sex is. He has categorized it into reductionist and expansionist perspectives. The reductionists claim that sex is "essentially the rubbing of skin against skin." On the other hand, expansionists maintain that "something more is required for an adequate account of human sexuality" (Soble, 1997). In reductionism, Soble uses Richard Taylor's and Roger Taylor's arguments to support his points. He says that a sexual relationship is not necessarily based on love. He claims that this is sex just involves "fleshy contact." He further borrows Alan Goldman's idea that "sexual desire is the desire for contact with another person's body and the pleasure which such contact produce" (Soble, 1997). Therefore, he emphasizes on contact and pleasure. Nevertheless, Soble maintains that Goldman's idea of sex is inadequate as sex encompasses all the actions that cause sexual contact and categorized as sexual whether they give pleasure or not. For instance, in hiring a prostitute or flirting. Moreover, the reductionists argue that an action has no supplementary features that can make it sexual.
On the other hand, expansionists have their own view on sex. According to Soble, they argue that sex has human importance contrary to what the reductionists think. For example, some of the expansionists claim that sex involves some values expressed. They argue that sex is as a language used in communication. They further say that sex is symbolic given that it is like a language. Therefore, Soble sought to provide the symbolic sense of sex. He says that some philosophers like Bertocci maintained that sex symbolized family, marriage and love. On the other hand, the Catholic Church views sex as "mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love." However, Soble dismisses these as traditional and superficial since sex is not symbolic of these claims. He establishes that sex is a tool of communicating certain views or feelings. Hence, sex does not symbolize love and reproduction.
Another way through which Soble explains the symbolic sense of sex is rather direct. By this, he means that sex symbolizes whatever the parties involved intent for it. For instance, some people might want it to symbolize dominance, malice, tenderness or love. Soble has excellent ideas on sex and love. He has clearly explained them clearly with illustrations that enhance compression of the text. Additionally, he has provided different categories love, sex and how each of these issues is understood. For example, he has given different forms of love including sexual love and the one that exists between friends and family members. He has also explicitly differentiated sex basing on the reductionist and the expansionist theories. His ideas are also well supported by other writers' ideas hence giving them credibility.
However, these ideas are somewhat vague as they are based on other people's ideas. Most of them are traditional. However, I disagree with his definition of sex. Sex also involves biological orientation of an individual's body. Hence, an individual is either female or male. The text also lacks modern touch since it was written a decade ago. Therefore, it has backdated ideas and illustrations. In conclusion, sex and love are essential aspects of human life. Therefore, people should understand the difference and relationship between them so as to enjoy their benefits. It is vital that individuals know the difference between good and bad love.