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Sex is profoundly important to many of us, but do have a 'right' to it?

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02.09.2019

For those of us to whom sex matters at all it can be a profoundly important part of life. Sex can have positive health and psychological benefits, and can be a significant aspect of our relationships. People who are "involuntarily celibate" – either because they cannot find a partner, or their romantic partner isn’t interested in sex – can feel deeply frustrated.

But do any of us have the right to sex?

The answer seems simple enough. We all have the right to engage in consensual sex, but in the absence of consenting partner, we have no right to sex. But not everyone agrees. Back in the 18th century, utopian socialist Charles Fourier proposed a guaranteed minimum of casual sex for all; in today’s terms, this might equate to Medicare rebates and bulk billing for sex workers.

Sex is great but is it a human right?Credit:Alamy

Now, sex isn’t intrinsic to our individual survival, but we’re all entitled to many things that aren’t intrinsic to survival. We’re entitled to dignity, privacy, bodily integrity,........

© Brisbane Times