Wednesday, July 7, 2010

11. Now, hold on a minute! What's the big idea?

Yep, this is what I intend to take on with this post, or more using this post to introduce the thoughts I will be address.

"What is the big deal with sex?"

What separates sex and enjoying sex, from breathing, eating, singing, breathing in helium and talking like a chipmunk? Sex is something our body does. Sex is supposedly something that our bodies are designed to respond to pleasurably, but sex has taken on a new identity in the light of culture and society.

One side says that sex and sexual desire is natural, therefore it is good and should be expressed appropriately. Another side says that sex and sexual desire is nature, therefore it is evil and should be overcome. Being a virgin, I have no practical understanding of sex. I can only judge based on what I have been told., however, I have severe issues with much of what I have been told. As I see it, both sides are idolizing sex in different ways. One group looks to sex for fulfillment, and one group treats sex as if it is a deity that wields ultimate power over our souls. Sex is not a magical force that unites people, at least not by itself. Celebrities would get divorced far less often, and my parents would have a much better relationship. Sex, likewise, is not the source of human purpose and satisfaction. If it was, we would have figured that out in the last millennium, and everyone would happily be going at it rather than reading self-help books and doing drugs and searching for God or religion.

So then why do we have such a need to restrict and limit sex? I can understand that at one point it was a health issue, but what about now? I can understand that at one point it was a property issue, but marriages and relationships have changed. What about the fact that There is the "why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free argument" but this is BAD BAD BAD. It implies that he is only marrying you for sex, and if it weren't for the fact that he had to put a ring around your finger to unlock the chastity belt then he would have no reason to make vows. (Although I guess she could be the more desiring of sex just to be fair...) Shouldn't it be possible to have sex with someone and still choose to marry them simply for the fact that you feel that you are compatible life partners?

I feel like every time I talk to my parents or other Christians, I get the same laundry response. Rinse and repeat, without thinking. Not that anyone of them will admit to having had the experience to qualify them to think about sex outside of marriage. So many things I hear from them seem like they should make sense, but they don't. Supposedly, God has to be at the center of my marriage, or it will fail, but non-Christians have successful marriages all the time, and Christians get divorced everyday. I wonder if they are wrong about sex. I need to research it more, but I actually don't remember an explicit rule against premarital sex in the bible. Leviticus has lists of people not to have sex with, but these all seem to be speaking to married men or address incest. There is mention of adultery, but isn't that only applicable to situations where one person is married; once you have committed yourself, you are committed. There is also "sexually immoral," but that is so subjective that I am not sure what to do with it; it sounds like it shifts with society's ebbing tide.

I need to pull out my topical bible when I get home and look up the term "fornication." If anyone has the answer to this quesion, by all means let me know.

So I consulted my friends who have experience: from my college friends to my 30ish Japanese speaking partners. I have not asked my mother because I know what she will say (only because she has said it to me already) and I don't want her to worry about a hypothetical possibility like a random hook-up. (I will wait to tell her in person in August.) Most of them saw it as a natural part of life experience. It has no relevance or lasting impact on their emotions beyond any other dating experience. Some even suggest that what they learned was important for their current relationships. They have no regret for their actions.

These, the people who have been-there-and-done-that are telling me something that conflicts with the authorities within my faith who seem to be telling more of what they have been told than what they have learned. (Ok, that sounds like such a prejudiced, biased statement.) Maybe I have not mentioned it, but I have a growing distrust of the organized church and the traditions within. Among that is this perception that Christians know everything and the rest of the world are fools. If ever there is a discrepancy between the world and Christianity, it is because they are deceived. Last time I checked, Christendom doesn't have the best record, or even a record that is better than average. But I digress, and tearing at the foundation of the modern church with my questions is probably a topic for another set of posts.

To address the above concerns most succinctly, maybe Christians feel guilty about their sexual experiences because they are told to, and cannot discuss these ideas in a healthy, open environment, but rather face the knee-jerk reaction of the Abstinence Machine. Maybe.

In the end I cannot know until I judge for myself. I have to be willing to step out and learn for myself without hiding behind the my fear of the anger and judgment of others. Even if this is wrong, I am ok with making a mistake in the name of self-examination and understanding. I won't shrivel up and die. Many others have premarital sex and they live normal lives. I am not saying that I can just do whatever and it doesn't matter, but I consider this to be a good reason to step outside my bounds.

My solution; my scientific, logical, experimental solution: have sex in a manner that is completely devoid of romantic involvement. Very business-like.

Are my expectations even realistic. I have no idea what their expectations for the experience are. In my mind, I envision some sort of wind down, but it could be that once they are done it is back to campus and test tubes and listening to the OTHER people down the hall doing it. (What is that called, blow-and-go, right?) I want an emotionally neutral experience with all the trapping of enjoying the emotional side of sex.

Can I have sex in a "sterile" environment? Can I insulate myself from my own humanity? I can only engage in that act with someone I respect and trust. Even if I rapidly (maybe even quixotically) arrive at the state of trust, that respect, that admiration are elements of a my own affection for another man. Maybe I could be selfless and say that I am doing this for their enjoyment, and disregard my own desires. Maybe I can find someone kind and gentle that I don't find more than mildly attractive. Somehow that all sounds difficult to arrange.

Here goes.

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