My mom and I were talking a few days ago, and through talking about some movie where there is some sexually explicit scene (knowing her, it's probably a pretty lame scene :-) ), she later went on into a comparison of today's sexual freedom (with examples from newspapers such as people that seem to go to nudist beaches to have public sex) with later ancient Rome, which is reputed for depravity and sexual orgies as well as its downfall, and it seemed to me like she was drawing the conclusion that today's society is going toward a downfall, maybe of the same magnitude, but most definitely for the same reasons.

In a way, I can understand her conclusion, as long as it's based on a morality where sexuality is something that should be hidden away, concealed within the privacy of family, and maybe even deeper.

However, morality is, very simply speaking, a system of opinions. I'm not saying that morality is wrong, just that it isn't a constant where everyone sees the same thing. Of course, there are some things that almost everyone agrees upon, at least when they talk about it, such as not killing another person. For other things, such as sexuality, people do not necessarily agree with each others.

But let's get back to the Romans for a bit. Was it really their reputed depravity that created their downfall, or was it something else? Could it be some kind of global apathy that made the Romans not care, and therefore not take care of their society, which would then fall to external forces it wouldn't have fallen to a few centuries earlier? And most of all, if there was such apathy, was it connected to the reputed depravity of the Romans? Questions I have no answer to.

If we go back to today's society, sexuality has absolutely become more visible, maybe even in your face, but in reality, it isn't anything new, it just didn't hit the newspapers the way it does today, so it wasn't as visible to those we weren't explicitely looking for it. In the 70's, the time of free love, I believe such things as group or outdoors sex weren't unheard of, and definitely wasn't unheard of in the 80's (I can tell, because I heard of that for the first time in the 80's).

The question remains, what exactly is depraved about sexuality? When I listen to my mom, it seems like anything but hints in movies is going too far. I believe she thinks nudity, except in front of your significant other, is going too far (although she seems to have nothing against nudist beaches, so I'm a little confused).

If we go back in time, there are numerous cultures with a very different view on sexuality, much more open, and deeply spiritual. And yet, noone today calls that depraved, as far as I know. There are indigenous people today with a very different view on sexuality than we do, and we don't call them depraved.

So, it would seem to me that some of us called an explicit sexuality depraved because it mirrors the morality that we're raised with. The question is, then, what happens when see through the morality and examine it from the point of personal truth? If we find that the morality is false, that sexuality carries a strong spirituality and doesn't deserve to be hidden away, what then? Does that make us depraved? I don't think so.

So what am I getting at here? I could say that we should stop calling each other depraved, bad and so on, but that's not really it. Rather, I want to leave with a few questions. Is sexuality something we should hide away, trying to pretend we aren't sexual (and spiritual, and all other things you can imagine) creatures? Is it really depraved to have a sexual energy and not being afraid to show it? Will a sexual openness really lead to a downfall of our society?

Oh, and one last thing. When something has a downfall, something else is born from it. A large scale change is the end of what is and the start of something new. Does that have to be a bad thing? From that point of view, the "downfall" of our current society might not be a bad thing. Think about it.

I don't need to know your answer to all the questions, just answer the questions for yourself and live your life accordingly. That's what I do.

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