Summary of Today’s Lecture: The Intentional View of Sexual Desire

I have posted a short summary of today’s sexual ethics lecture over at Lovesick Love. This is a really interesting topic. The big question is whether sexual desire is desire in the normal sense of “desire” (as in “I want a red sports car”) or more like an emotion (or something else altogether). I think sexual desire involves a lot more than desire in the narrow sense. Presumably, sexual desire isn’t really desire at all (as we normally use the word) but some kind of complex mental (and bodily) state. Normally, when we desire something (e.g., a piece of chocolate) we don’t already have what we desire. Sexual desire, however, has nothing to do with what we have or don’t have. I don’t think your sexual desire changes when you actually get to have sex with a person you have dreamed about having sex with for a long time. Presumably your sexual desire is intensified at this point. This suggests that “sexual desire” has little to do with desire and a lot to do with what is going on in your mind.

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