Sex as Metaphysical

An excerpt from chapter 9 on Happiness from Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand by Leonard Peikoff.

I shall consider sex first as it functions in the life of a rational man.

A rational man needs not merely to know intellectually that he is good and the universe auspicious, but to experience in the form of a consummate emotion the full reality of these two facts, which are essential to his action and survival. Happiness in the sense of metaphysical pleasure, we have said, is an enduring affective leitmotif, a positive background conditioning one’s daily joys and sorrows. This kind of pleasure is too vital to remain always a mere background. Sometimes, as an intense state of exultation, it itself becomes the focus of consciousness.

Sex, in Ayn Rand’s identification, is “a celebration of [one]self and of existence”; it is a celebration of one’s power to gain values and of the world in which one gains them. Sex, therefore, is a form of feeling happiness, but from a special perspective. Sex is the rapture of experiencing emotionally two interconnected achievements: self-esteem and the benevolent-universe conviction.

Sexual feeling is …

Read the rest in Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand.

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