When George Michael sang “I Want Your Sex,” the guardians of civilization made him clarify in his music video that he was talking about monogamy and definitely NOT casual sex. Nobody respectable ever sings about casual sex. According to the Wikipedia definition, “casual sex” means promiscuous sex, that is, a non-formalized sexual encounter outside of the predominant sexual norms of the culture.
Clint Seiter has written a fascinating essay called “Applying Buddhist Dharma to Casual Sex,” in the book Queer Dharma (Gay Sunshine Press, 1988). Seiter contrasts intimate sex with archetypal sex. Western Judeo-Christian culture extols the virtues of the former while condemning the latter, says Seiter. But intimacy is just one facet of sex; there’s sex “that operates on quite a different plane . . . draws strength primarily from fantasy.”
Archetypal sex engages the fantasy life to connect the partner to a bigger, ideal archetype of a mythological scale. The Ideal Male, The Beautiful Youth, The Daddy, The Rough Trade, The Androgyne, The Masculine Man, The Cowboy, and so forth. From the perspective of many Western psychologies, Seiter argues, sex based on these sorts of ideals is attacked as based on arrested sexual development. In terms of the Integral approach, Seiter argues against the view that adult gay men have had sexuality arrested on tribalistic and egocentric stages rather than the higher traditionalist stage.
Seiter praises the virtues of archetypal sex while simultaneously acknowledging that it can’t accommodate every human need for warmth and intimacy and love. As a Buddhist, he acknowledges that a steady diet of archetypal sex would lead to human suffering. However, our given culture is already imbalanced in favor of intimate sex, he says, and therefore there should be greater balance allowed to flow in the other direction—toward archetypal sex.