Level 1: Consumer – No Communication
I see you as an object which can give me (instant) physical pleasure.
I do not communicate with you. There is no respect, or self-respect, here. Sex is only entertainment.
e.g., porn, sex while high or drunk, masturbation, rape
Level 2: User – Functional Communication
We will use each other to achieve our goals.
We limit communication to exchanging consent about what bodily functions we will use with each other. This is still selfish: the other is dropped when they are no longer useful to me. This is also achievement oriented: the more sex with more people the better.
e.g., one night stands, sleeping around, promiscuity
Level 3: Helper – Communication about feelings
I want to help you to be happy.
Feelings alone don’t make a relationship. Commitment is left as an open question, so I hold back from you. The two people can never really know where they stand. When will the other break it off?
All relationships may go through this stage. People often think that they can use sex to create commitment. But it doesn’t work that way. In fact, commitment needs to come before that ultimate bond for it to be complete.
e.g., long term dating, living together
Level 4: True Self – Communication of my inner self
We bond spiritually. People of faith would say that God enters the relationship. We are committed beyond our feelings. This is true mutual self-giving.
All true happiness at the other levels has its source and end here.
This is the true place for sex. The couple can accept each other as potentially the mother or father of their children.