Ethics of anonymous sex stories

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by TwoBrains, Oct 16, 2020.

  1. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    5,089
    I missed this last time around. No, i didn't concede anything. Circumstances matter in many ways, but they do not affect the wrongness of an act. Outcome does not determine culpability. Firing a shotgun in a shopping mall is a crime, even if you don't hit anyone. Revealing personal information acquired in a position of trust is an invasion of privacy, whether the potential harm befalls the victim or not.
    No, the basic requirement was met in the OP: published details of intimate act involving other person who did not consent yo publishing intimate details:
    Whether B's marriage blows up and their life is ruined or whether nobody ever guesses B's identity and b never finds out - none of that changes the wrongness of making private matters public.
     
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  3. Hipparchia Registered Senior Member

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    Agreed, but I see no indication in the OP that personal information is communicated. Perhaps we differ on what constitutes personal information. What personal information do you think might be revealed? Person B is 5'8" tall, has blue eyes, plays tennis and like R &B. So what? How many people globally fit that profile? (And the odds are that A has got at least one of those details wrong.)
     
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  5. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    This was my point, but I would have used a more germane example, such as "we tried the reverse cowgirl position while singing the national anthem".

    Is that violating the privacy of someone who cannot be identified?
     
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  7. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Either the circumstances matter or they don't. If they do, then it can be argued that writing an account is not categorically wrong. That's what I mean by equivocation - the devil is in the details.


    Full disclosure: I am not entirely committed to the stance I am proposing. I am processing the intellectual argument and seeing where it goes. My heart agrees with you, but it is not rational. My logic sees some dots not joined.
     
  8. Hipparchia Registered Senior Member

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    648
    My God! Is that you Alice? Where have you been since Albuquerque?
     
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  9. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    18,959
    At the clinic. You should go too. And anyone you've been with.
     
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  10. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    5,089
    Circumstances matter in many ways, (Which is to say, they affect outcomes, sequelae, retribution and maybe a number of other tangentially related matters
    - - - - ** but they do not affect the wrongness of an act ** ----
    Publishing a factual account involving another person without their consent is categorically wrong.
    Whatever else happens as a result may add further weight to the wrongdoing, but can't turn it right.
    I'm not interested in the devil.
    Just make it non-sexual in your imaginary scenario. The proctologist blabbing out your embarrassing treatment; the bank manager discussing your financial difficulties; an uncle entertaining dinner guests with the story of your toilet-training.
    Eve if they change the name or don't refer to identifiable features, they should not be telling anyone your private business, let alone write it all down in a magazine article.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2020
  11. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,089
    As I said, the so what depend on whether A and B live in New York, Idaho Falls or Blakesburg and whether they're famous and how widely the published material is circulated. Also, a story steamy enough to masturbate to wouldn't be about tennis or music: it would be about physical features, predilections, habits and preferences of a much more particular nature - any of which would be readily identified by the next person with whom B is intimate. And obviously, by B, should they happen across the material.
    Isn't it wrong enough to betray someone's trust, even if the the world doesn't know whose trust you betrayed?
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2020
  12. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    18,959
    Yeah. It's called non-identifying data or sometimes aggregate data,
    Doctors and lawyers use it all the time.
     
  13. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

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    37,889
    See #1 above:

     
  14. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    18,959
    We must be talking past each other.

    The relevant question is: is the act wrong or not?
    If there are no circumstances that factor in, then the act is categorically wrong.
    If there are circumstances that factor in, then the act is not categorically wrong.

    You listed a bunch of circumstances. Then you say they don't affect the outcome. That appears to be an oxymoron. Why list circumstances that you state are irrelevant to the outcome?
     
  15. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,089
    YES
    YES
    YES, it still IS.
    Circumastances factor into the possible outcomes, but - yet again, and for the last time -
    It is not the outcome that makes an act wrong.

    Exactly backward. I said tangential issues might effect different outcomes, and might add to the wrongness,
    but nothing mitigates the wrongness. Firing off a shotgun in a shopping mall is bad. If you break some glassware in a display, the situation gets worse. If hit a person and cause them pain, the situation becomes worse still. If they die, it's very bad indeed.
    Those are tangential circumstances that affect the outcome of the act, not the decision to do something bad.
    If no damage occurs, it was sill reckless disregard.
    Because they may be relevant to various outcomes that A did not take into account, and should have taken into account, when deciding to publish an intimate story involving another person.
    It's categorically wrong, because A disregarded B in a decision involving B.
     
  16. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    5,089
    That would be wrong, too.
     
  17. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    5,089
    Talking bout one particular person is not aggragate data.
    If a doctor reported of 45 middle-aged male patients with perineal sebaceous cysts, seven had dragon tattoos, that might be clinically significant data. OTH "This patient I saw the other day, drained a horrific sc just behind his scrotum, had the most ridiculous purple dragon tattooed on his right forearm." is violation of privacy.
     
  18. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

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    37,889
    I fully confess, I wasn't joking when I said↑ I was fascinated by the things people are trying so hard to not say. These are such extraordinary examples.

    Then again, wouldn't it be interesting if the actual explanation was that the seven dragon tattoos were themselves irrelevant, except for being badges of a brotherhood that included the totally not closeteering ritual of group perinial sunning, and the sebaceous cysts were derivative of a problem in customary depilatory technique communicated almost exclusively through imperfect oral tradition? That would be some forensic medicine for the annals.
     
  19. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    5,089
    I can't imagine what you're imagining i'm not saying.
    I said exactly what i meant.
    Whether there is any significance to the content of a revelation, or whether it's about bathroom habits, state of health or sexual preference, or whether any collateral damage results are all irrelevant to the central issue.
    Which I cannot make any clearer
    is
    betrayal of confidence by publishing information obtained in a private exchange
     
  20. Hipparchia Registered Senior Member

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    648
    I wouldn't consider a published written account of my bedroom rambles by the other party a breach of trust unless the writer identified me. According to the OP's scenario the published, written account is "completely anonymous". So I cannot be identified. So who cares. I certainly don't. They haven't betrayed my trust.

    Would I object to them writing about the romp in their diary? Of course not. That would be an imposition on their rigths to write! I hope you agree. What if they later published that account, anonomously as specified in the OP? Again, what's there to object about? You appear to be wanting to obtain and retain rights that actually reside with the other party. That's almost creepy.
     
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  21. TwoBrains Registered Member

    Messages:
    3
    I have no interest in being in A or C's position myself.

    I may have been too open-ended in my original post to the point of muddying the conversation. I didn't intend to refer to any specific example for the sake of getting a more generalized range of viewpoints, but maybe some limitation would be helpful. When I personally think of "anonymous sex story", what I think of is "A writes on a publishing platform of some kind (the Internet, a magazine, etc.) about a sexual experience they personally had with B without sharing visual depictions of B or information about either party that could feasibly lead to identification of B" (although very generic information like age, first name, occupation, hair color or somesuch might still be involved).
     
  22. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    18,959
    Your shotgun analogy is not appropriate because it has a hard boundary.

    Writing an account of events is a continuum on the scale of harmless to bad. There is a such thing about a harmless amount of writing about my sex life. We're just trying to determine where that line is crossed.

    Here's a hypothetical continuum, arbitrarily designating it from 0 (no violation) to 1.0 (utter violation):

    Far left 0.01: "I had sex." Is this a violation? I'm gonna say no.
    0.02 left: "I had sex with a girl." I'm still gonna say no.
    0.05 left : "I had sex with a girl in the reverse cowgirl position." Are we getting into a grey area?
    0.8 left (or .2 right): "I had sex with one of the girls in my book club." Definitely infringing on privacy, (because the person B might be deduced by a reader).
    1.0 (0.0 right): I had kinky sex with Alice Smith."

    Rearrange scenarios and value any way that suits you, or add more.

    Where do you draw the line on that continuum? Are you asserting that the violation of privacy occurs at 0.0? That there is no possible way I could write about having sex without violating my partner's privacy?
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2020
  23. Hipparchia Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    648
    For what it's worth, as I hope is apparent from my own contribution to the thread, I thought your OP was clear: the account would be anonymous. You have confirmed that your understanding of anonymous is the same as mine and that of good dictionaries.
     

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