Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Good evening from the Pearl of the Orient!

I was just recently invited to guest at the news & info show Tayuan at Panindigan of TV5 (Ph) on the subject of Playboy. Hosted by Aida Uy, Lourd De Veyra, and Giselle Sanchez, the show is among the fast rising talk shows in PH today, and there’s a good reason for this: the platform is indeed informative, with a segment on analysis/reflection, and ethical standpoint declared by the hosts on the last segment.

The analysis/reflection is the segment that needs an expert. Being a sociologist with additional background on anthropology and social psychology, I was keen on discussing the topic of lothario phenomenon, and so I decided to say my nod to the invitation. I did decline previous invitations for one reason or another, so I better appear in this latest invite so as not to appear as a smug personality with ‘prima donna complex’.

The core questions asked of me involved the typical factors accounting for playboy behavior: cultural, genetic, psychological. These were often the standard variables popularly known as accountable for lothario behavior, so I delimited my discussions based on them. My expected task was to affirm whether such factors were indeed valid, deepening the articulation when warranted.

There was a sexist slant to the topic of course, as playboy behavior is just one side of the reality. There also are sexually promiscuous women, likewise are lesbians and gays affected by the phenomenon. Sexual promiscuity is the more generic phenomenon, and it is rising in fact in the context of postmodernity.

In the emerging context, there are two (2) other factors that account for sexual promiscuity: (a) drug subculture, and (b) predominance of the Primal.

Friends of mine who immersed in the drug subculture during their young adulthood, revealed to me how dope—with stimulant effect—can create a sex maniac out of someone who may not have manic behavior in the first place. I know of a former female staff of mine who got hooked into the sex & drugs circles, was impregnated and borne two (2) babies out of mere casual sex with men, and was treated psychiatrically for bipolar disorder. Welcome to the Primal era!

The 20th century saw the beginning of the rise of the Primal that tore down the last vestiges of Enlightenment’s reason-dominated discourse. The sexual revolution came and reached full circle during the last half of the past century. Postmodernity has a dark side to it, as it celebrates ‘drug is cool’ and ‘sex is cool’ clichés.

Not only that, even ‘evil is cool’ has become an in-thing in postmodernity. Notice many video games today, and kids killing other kids with bladed objects, even with mere ballspens (e.g. Vietnamese-American high schooler was stabbed to death inside an internet café in California). To rape and then kill the victim in such bizarre fashion is common everywhere in the urban planet.

Postmodernity is the culture of the emerging Post-Industrial economy, and so it dovetails into the cultural factor behind sexual promiscuousness. I prefer to discuss this factor in any forum about sexuality in fact, rather than go back to ancient cultures or socio-biological case factoring (e.g. male gorilla sexes 5X a day with different female gorillas to sustain homeostasis).

I am more of a present-to-future looking analyst and prognosticator, and this is what I can share as prognostication: sexual promiscuity will rise even sharply in the decades ahead. Unless that there is a reversal of sorts, as a new over-arching ethical regime will re-shape sexual conduct altogether. For now, that ethical regime is remote.

[Philippines, 19 June 2011]

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