As we careen down this already well-greased slope, you may recall tales about the excesses in the fall of Rome. You may have also heard accounts of the “vomitorium,” at which partakers could never get enough of the banquet. According to these yarns, the gluttonous Romans would take time outs in a room where they’d upchuck their barely-digested delicacies. Then they’d go back to gorge some more. In like manner, the modest among us can barely imagine how sexual gluttons—like Roman bacchanals—might hasten also to a place in which they cast off one sexual novelty or scenario to try on another. And another and another in rapid succession.
The vomitorium stories, even if apocryphal, tell us something of human nature and uncontrolled appetites. Lack of self-regulation can lead to addictive behaviors and the elusive quest for ever-higher highs. In the end, it doesn’t matter how few or how many join in. It doesn’t even matter if a newly legalized behavior is limited to a small sub-culture in society. Once legalized, any and all contents poured into the trough of sexual practices will affect and, sooner or later, transform the mores of the whole society.
Such is the life of porn and drug habits alike. Brain circuitry rewires, and certain obsessive appetites go into hyperdrive. As more sexual taboos are openly challenged, our society offers more all-you-can-eat sexual buffets. For some, this gives the illusion of a state of ecstasy between visits to the vomitorium. For others, it induces a dizzying state of nausea.