Something better than sex
8 minutes | Aug 4, 2020 | 12 rewrites
Evolutionary selection made us who we are: hairless apes in a never-ending quest for sex. The mechanism was simple: for –literally– millions of years, the people who passed their genes the most were the ones who strived for sex and were successful in getting it. Hence, we ended up as the descendants of the horniest and hottest in the tribe (that’s what scientists really mean by “reproduction of the fittest”).
This obsession with sex is reflected in human society:
- Teens and youngsters can’t think of anything else (in their formative years!). That’s a non-negligible 20% of a human’s lifespan.
- The religions that shaped our values consider sex paramount: the Catholic Church dedicates to sex 1 out of 7 capital sins and 2 out of 10 commandments. In case this wasn't enough, these get a disproportionate amount of attention1.
- Modern western society is no different: sex is used to sell everything from perfumes and cars to hamburgers and soap, the internet is for porn, and everyone worships sex appeal (how much money do the fashion and fitness industries move?).
Wherever you look at, there’s sex: in the movies –all with a secondary romantic storyline, no matter the genre–, in videogames –what’s with all these bikini armors?2–, in art –since very very early times.
It’s not merely cultural, it runs deep in our biology. All these photos depict beauty, but one of them makes your heart race distinctly:
But sex is different from other biological drives. It’s not like, say, appetite. If it was, this (real) comment would be perplexing, not funny:
“I don't understand why there are so many songs about sex and how awesome it feels, but there are almost none about chocolate.”–an asexual person
Do you need more examples?: we always cover our genitals (beyond reasonable hygienical concerns), sex is still somewhat taboo (hence the fun in sex jokes, sex innuendo, and “virgin” or “tiny dick” insults) and the Wiktionary lists more than 50 synonyms for “penis”, “vagina” and “copulate”.
Settled: most of the people is obsessed with sex most of the time. They also worry about other things, sure. Namely, money and power. And why also worry about money and power?Tony Montana knows: it’s sex, sex, sex.
Now, don’t worry that I am getting ready to lecture you about the wickedness and perils of sex. That’s not what this essay is about. I love sex as much as the next guy3. Sex is awesome! Sex is:
- Pleasant: the synchronized pounding of the hips, the deep breathing, the rubbing of the skins, the scent of sweat, her wet lips, the buildup to the orgasm and, finally, the chatarchic extasis. I got goosebumps just writing this. An ounce of chocolate won’t ever give you that4.
- Healthy: sex burns calories, strengthens your heart, trains your muscles and relieves stress. Forget about the daily apple and embrace the daily shag!
- Fun: when done right, sex is playful, a game of complicity sprinkled with laughs, jokes, teases and kisses.
- Bonding: sex helps connect. It’s a fast, albeit imperfect, way to build intimacy. Just like a wild night out partying bonds coworkers more than 3 months working together, an evening of sex bonds a couple more than 4 weeks of shallow day-to-day conversation.
- ...and Free! I’m amazed that the government hasn’t tried to tax it yet.
So let’s celebrate sex. Go out there and do it freely, as much as you want (or can!).
* * *
Well, so much for trivial buzzfeed-like advice. You already knew that sex is awesome. You didn’t need me for that, did you?
I’m here for something else: I’m here to share a secret. What if I told you that there’s something else as good as sex? What the hell: what if I told you that there’s something better than sex? Something that gets barely any attention but is every bit as good as sex.
That thing is (🥁 drumroll please)... doing good deeds. Helping others.
Ok, bear with me. Hear me out. It might be surprising, but I promise you that it makes sense.
Let’s list the benefits of doing good deeds. Doing good deeds is:
- Pleasant: the little high from making someone’s day with just a few casual but carefully put words, the pride from seeing your friends succeed with your help, the emotion from knowing that you changed that kid’s life, the surprise from being profusely thanked for something that took you no effort (like giving away your leftovers to the tramp down the corner).
- Healthy: helping a friend move or an old lady with the grocery bags burns calories, strengthens your heart, trains your muscles and relieves stress (there’s no better way to forget about your problems than worry about other people’s problems). Pair the daily shag with the daily good deed and you’ll achieve optimal physical condition.
- Fun: yes, fun. Just like porn sells a fake image of what sex is, the Church and Hollywood5 sold us a fake image of what doing good is and feels like. It’s not hard, painful and boring. It’s fun, entertaining and somehow relaxing.
- Bonding: good deeds help connect. They are a fast way to build intimacy. Just like answering 36 thoughtful questions bonds two fellas more than a year of smalltalk, helping someone bonds more than honestly telling him how much he means to you.
- ...and Free! Doing your flatmate’s dishes costs no money. Uplifting the mood of a group is for free. For the price of a condom, you can save a life.
All benefits, just like sex. But it doesn’t stop here. Unlike sex, good deeds can be done:
- As many times as you want. No blue pill needed.
- As long or short as you want.
- At all ages. No need to wait for puberty and old age won’t stop you.
- In public (without risking a fine).
- Alone. The person you are helping does not need to be there, and you don’t even need his consent6.
Damm, good deeds are awesome, aren’t they? All the benefits of sex, none of the hassles.
Having read this, you might wonder: if good deeds are so awesome, how come I don’t see everyone around talking about it? Everyone around is definitely talking about sex.
Fair question. I’m no expert, but I see three possible explanations:
- First, good deeds have bad PR. They lack cool, relatable role models. Popular culture paints good persons as superheroes in a constant struggle, people who chose duty over happiness, like that was an inescapable trade-off. Who would wanna become one?!
- Second, there’s a huge disparity in economic incentives. He who convinces you to idolize sex can sell you the means to get it: expensive clothes, cars, diets, gym subscriptions and whatnot. He who convinces you to idolize good deeds can sell you… nothing, cause good deeds are done freely.
- Third, and maybe most important: the desire to do good can’t be forced into you, it has to come from inside. And it has to be an end in itself. Good deeds done for the wrong reasons don’t feel good (can’t say the same about sex!).
These prevent the benefits of good deeds from being talked about. Most don’t ever find out, so most don’t ever try. The good news? Now the secret is out. Good deeds are better than sex. Get ready for an avalanche of altruism.
Still not convinced? It’s alright. The revelation is shocking, and maybe you were not prepared. Let it sink in. The truth needs time, but it always gets there.
After some days of pondering, give good deeds a try. Thank me later.
Are you a GD-virgin? If you are scared and don’t know where to start, IdeaGen is a good place. And don’t worry, there are no GoodDeedly Transmitted Diseases7.