We hear a lot about sex in our society. Much of what we hear we accept at face value as though it is the way things are meant to be. Here is a different point of view. What you read may make you think a bit. Let’s hope so.
Who am I?
You are a person who has value. You are a person worthy of respect. You are a person who is not somebody else’s throw away toy.
Who are other people?
They are no more or less valuable than you are. They are also worthy of your respect. They are not yours to treat as disposable.
One of the first things we realise as we mature is that other people matter just as much as we do. When we realise this we tend to stop and think (most times) about how our actions might affect others.
Isn’t sex normal?
Yes. Sex is absolutely normal in every way. We are sexual beings. We are made to experience sexual feelings and desires and there is nothing at all to worry about with that. We can think of our sexuality as a gift to be enjoyed as a part of our existence.
This is only part of the story however. What we don’t hear about very often in our society is the potential this gift has also to cause us and others trouble, even to be destructive.
How can sex be good for us?
When a sexual relationship is between two people mature enough to commit themselves to each other’s wellbeing and to exclude others from that relationship, no matter what. This occurs most often in a marriage or committed exclusive relationship between two mature adults. We were designed to enjoy sex in a stable loving, exclusive and respectful relationship (we call it marriage). Anything else is second best, and at worst, is potentially harmful to us emotionally and spiritually.
How can sex be destructive?
When people use sexual behaviour to meet their own needs at the expense of another person. This is very likely to be the case whenever one or both of the people involved are not mature enough to put the other person’s wellbeing ahead of their own. It is certainly the case when sexual contact occurs between two people who are emotionally immature, do not know each other well, or who are not really committed to each other long term. It is also certainly the case whenever people use sex as a means to an end. This end could be to achieve popularity, social acceptance, to feel loved, or as a means of influencing or manipulating another person.
Why can ‘safe’ sex be a misleading term?
‘Safe’ Sex is a slogan often used in our society. We are led to believe sex is safe as long as people wear a condom. A better term would be ‘Safer’ Sex (that is . . . safer than absolutely stupid and irresponsibly dangerous sex). Wearing a condom protects a person only from sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy (although condoms are not completely effective in doing that either). What the slogan ignores is the emotional damage that people suffer when they engage in promiscuous sexual behaviour. This damage is real and it hurts people, sometimes throughout their life. The realisation, when it comes, that you have been used; that someone has treated you as a thing for their own pleasure; that in reality you do not matter to them; is not a pleasant one.
Although we might be tempted to think otherwise, there is no such thing as ‘Safe’ sex outside of a committed exclusive relationship between two mature adults.