For Noyes the sexual act was 'amative
' (pleasurable and social) as well as 'propagative' (fur reproduction).
Much like Walt Whitman differentiating "adhesive" ("gay") consciousness from "amative
" ("heterosexual") consciousness in his poetry, Hay talked about subject-subject consciousness, which, he argued, is what differentiates gay men from the subject-object consciousness of non-gay people.
Suppose, then, it was a time and place--earnestly anticipated and vaguely predicted by Hester Prynne at the end of The Scarlet Letter--in which, in innocence or under the aegis of social reform, anyone could indeed pursue an amative
attachment to anyone else.
He believed that sex was one of the blessings of existence, but that mankind mistakenly confused its "amative
" side with procreation.
In his well-known "Song of Myself," he writes, "Welcome is every organ and attribute of me"; and in a much later poem called "Mediums," he describes who shall be "alimentive, amative
, perceptive." Whitman employed not only the language of phrenology but also the phrenological idea that the poet's calling is physically determined beyond any accidental powers of language.
Contrary to many theologians who considered reproduction the sole justification for sexual activity, Noyes distinguished the procreative and amative
functions of sex.
That males should be democratically "adhesive" and "amative
" was a dimension of his vision of the new civilization he longed for America to have.
For example, prochoice people in this study focus on the emotional aspects of sexuality--what our 19th century ancestors called amative
sex--rather than on the procreative aspects.
Male continence, or coitus reservatus, made "amative
" intercourse possible when propagation was not desired, and increased the pleasure of the female.