22/ 04/ 2008
Why does the debate over sexual freedom have to be so black and white?
Time and time again, I come across an argument by people who insist that sex is some sacred act that needs to be guarded like a priceless, fragile work of divine art. God forbid some alien object other than my future husband’s penis enters my vagina–it’ll be the end of life as I know it! I’ll surely ruin my future marriage, become an emotionless slut, and according to some people, burn in hell after that (Not).
Sex certainly is special and important. Sexual experiences can contribute significantly to who we are as people; they can make or break relationships. They (or a lack of them) can affect our moods from day to day. But sex in itself is not sacred; what’s sacred are the sanctimonious human institutions of thought and customs we’ve built around sex.
We live in a hyper sexualized time, sure. I’m just as disgusted as the next person when I hear about teenage girls giving blowjobs in the back of the school bus. I also think it’s a shame how difficult it can be to shield children from the pressures of sexuality during their most impressionable years, and worry that people I love will make poor decisions about sex.
But do I think sex is bad? No. Do I think pre-marital sex is bad? No. Do I think casual sex is bad? It can be, especially if it becomes routine. But it’s also a choice that adults should be free to make, and sometimes necessary to maintain a person’s sanity and perspective.
If a person refrains from sex for too long, sex naturally becomes a huge deal to them, disproportionate to its actual importance in the scheme of life and relationships. Should you think twice before jumping in the sack with someone? Yes. Should you spend your entire life avoiding something natural and beautiful that you have every right to experience? No. I’m sorry, but with war, hunger, poverty, economic downturns, environmental disasters, careers, family and friends to worry about, treating your vagina or your penis like it’s more important or any more worth your effort than any of these things makes you severely delusional. We are worth more than what we do in bed and who we do it with.
Besides–do you think societies that repress sexual imagry and formally denounce sexuality are any better off than we are? By we, I mean contemporary American society–which in actuality is more repressed than most people realize. Forget other sexually repressive nations, look at the Catholic Church. Despite the church’s many merits, overt sexual repression is one of those instituions that doesn’t seem to have done it much good at all. Why? Because just as it’s unnatural (as some say) to withold the emotions and feeling of attachment that come with sex, it’s also unnatural to constantly and consistently withold our urges to do it in the first place.
One night of casual sex will not hurt your prospects of a functional marriage. It’d more likely do you good if you’re going through a dry spell, but if not it’d probably hurt no more than your feelings. As many psychologists would caution, sleeping around too much is not really productive nor an ideal state of living to be in. But it’s not morally wrong (unless maybe your series of one nighters have been with married social deviants or something), and it’s your choice to make.
Having pre-marital sex may land you in some bad experiences, but you’re just as likely to end up with bad experiences if you only date to marry or if you save your virginity for marriage. And that, ladies in gentlemen, is my main argument. People need to get off their pedestals and realize that it’s not their place to condemn others, especially when the principles they defend aren’t proven to help anyone. People who’ve slept with only one person their entire lives (or who claim to, anyway) simply are not in better marriages as a direct result. I know many a functional couple were sexually active before being together, and have heard just as many stories of disfunctional couples who were not.
Still, there’s something to be said for the inevitable faction of people who will condemn society for whatever extremity it leans on at a given moment. And since we are now a society of school bus blowjobs, hooray for concerned parties who are lobbying on the other end of the spectrum. But please, while the kiddies aren’t listening–can we just take a moment’s break for rational thought? Maybe if we didn’t villify or obsess over sex so much, people of all ages would approach it more maturely and more rationally than they do now