The idea that sexual acts between consenting adults are private is based on the principle of personal autonomy and the right to privacy. What two consenting adults do in their private lives, so long as they aren’t harming others, is generally considered their own business in many democratic societies.

There are a number of things someone or a couple can do in the privacy of their rooms but can never remain private since they often spill over and affect other people in one way or the other. For instance, abuse of drugs should not be an issue as long as someone has done it in the privacy of their room. However, there are a number of cases related to drug abuse regardless of the fact that people do it in the privacy of their rooms most of the time.

The principle of privacy is predicated upon the assumption that we are individuals. Though this is true, no man is an Island. You cannot make any personal decisions without affecting other people. This is why even the issue of marriage though it is private cannot entirely be a private matter.

Whenever people claim that no one should care what two consenting adults do in the privacy of their rooms. They assume that privacy is a quarantined Island where whatever happens there remains there. But this is never the case. People have to come out of the confines of their privacy and interact with other people. And if what happens in their privacy affects their public way of life, then what was assumed to be their private matter is no longer private.

You are entitled to your private matters as long as they do not end up spilling into the public domain. The moment your private matters become an issue of public debate, it means they are no longer private matters. No one debates private matters in public. For instance, it is a private matter for you to sleep without any clothes on. No one comes out to start debating on whether you should sleep with clothes on or not unless your actions cross a certain boundary.

For instance, if you are sleeping naked, and you also walk within your house naked but your house is of glass and it does not have any curtains; then whatever right you had to privacy ceases to exist because it is spilling into your neighbors’ domain. It is at this moment that people start debating on how to go about this matter to ensure that it remains private.

However, this is not the case with sex. Sex has a spillover that isn’t just debatable but requires other people to comply with a certain way of life that is in most cases public. It is intertwined in the whole fabric of society. It does not end in the bedroom. It requires other people to relate with your partner in a certain way. If they do not approve of your relationship with your partner, they will obviously not respect your relationship.

Therefore what started as private will end up in the public domain for debate because you want your partner to be treated in a certain way by your society. Before you know it, there is a total disagreement in the whole society because granting you certain rights means trampling down their own rights that spill over from their own sex category.

It is not possible to simply ignore how other people treat your partner in public and what they think of them. If minors are under their parents’ care until a certain age, it also means that certain things should be kept from them until they reach a certain age. Then how will these children be protected while at the same time granting another person certain demands?

The boundaries between private acts and public consequences are often nebulous, constantly reshaped by societal norms, individual choices, and evolving contexts. While the principle of privacy is a cornerstone of personal freedom and autonomy, it’s equally crucial to acknowledge that no act is truly isolated from the broader societal fabric.

Just as a stone cast into a pond creates ripples, personal choices made in privacy can influence and be influenced by the community at large. It is not right to simply assume that Sex is a private matter given the ripple effects it is bound to leave behind.


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