On Persons And Personal Lives

The phrase “personal life” is a peculiar one. Personal as opposed to what? Do I have an impersonal life? Or perhaps someone else has it for me. My personal life ought not to be opposed to my “public life”, because we already have an expression, “private life”, that does that job perfectly well. No, the expression one’s ‘personal life’ actually seems to mean one’s sex-life, no more, no less. Other cultures, while perfectly enthusiastic about sex in practice, would nevertheless consider it odd to consider copulation to be the very centre of one’s being, as implied by this restriction of the “personal” to sexuality. For that matter, “sex life” is another peculiar expression, implying as it does that I have two lives, one sexual and the other not, and that sex is not a part of my “life” when the noun is not so qualified.

Posted on January 6, 2011 at 12:43 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: MONKEY BUSINESS, What Is This Thing Called Love?

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