Thanks for your comments and for elucidating certain points. Now I understand better where you’re coming from.
I still don’t see anything intrinsically degrading and humiliating in the sex act. It might seem so if one chooses to focus only on the physical aspects, which may indeed be described as animalistic, but that would be mostly just porn. I’d say that in the average lovemaking there’s much more than that. There’s emotional engagement, playfulness, tenderness, passion, psychological bonding, eroticism, companionship, affection, etc. No need for stories to mask its “sheer animal crudeness”, because we don’t perceive it that way. The stories we tell about it may rather be a reflection of what we genuinely perceive as wonderful.
Absent all emotion and feeling, lovemaking would certainly be, as you so vividly put it, nothing but “a physical act between objects with grasping arms, slobbering mouths, and engorged genitalia, between bodies that sweat, grunt, and groan with pleasure from friction.” But how apt is that description, if it ignores the emotional aspects that are normally involved?
Anyway, we may just have to agree to disagree, as they say, on the sex issue. Changing the subject, I’d just like to add, with respect to “Most of what we do is driven by culture and by our antinatural creativity”, that culture is never disconnected from our biology (our nature). As I wrote in a post of mine (“Humans vs Bonobos”), a culture will never develop in which eating your partner in the middle of lovemaking is widely practiced and universally lauded as highly virtuous behavior (as would perhaps be the case if we had the genetic urges of praying mantises). Not sure what “antinatural creativity” means.