A New Position on Sex

 Pieces of you
Pieces of you

In my last post, I asked the question, “What is sex?”

My thoughts on the standard positions, in short, “You have been weighed. You have been measured. And you have been found wanting.

It’s time for a new position on Sex, one that appreciates the whole of the person and elevates sex without idolizing it.

Most often the discussion focuses on the physical, comprised only of our sexual organs and other body parts that can be stimulated to feel pain or pleasure. When culture discusses risk associated with sexual activity, it’s focuses only on what a condom can cover, or fails to fix, such as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or pregnancy.

But that is only part of the picture. Appreciating the whole of you also means embracing a less tangible aspect, the emotional. As humans, you and I have the ability to think, to reason, and to weigh the possible outcomes of our actions. We dream, we feel, we are thrilled by beauty, and we have been known to sacrifice greatly for the good of others. We experience intangibles, such as guilt, regret, anger, joy, happiness, or compassion, that play out differently through our actions.

Studies of the human brain can show us what it looks like chemically to experience these emotions, and how our brain reacts to certain stimulus, but they cannot accurately explain why we feel love, remorse, shame, happiness, or sympathy.

I believe each of us are a body and a soul, with the soul as the root of our emotions.

We were made for more than this moment, and that we bear the blueprint of something greater than what we can see and feel in this present life.

For this reason, our physical desires and cravings take on a higher purpose and will impact us on a deeper level. The choices we make in the body can have a profound effect on our souls, on the part of us that cannot be quantified.

When I refer to the “whole person” I therefore mean the physical, emotional and the spiritual.

We need to elevate sex out of the gutter, where it has been slumming as a physical desire with no more significance than buying a new pair of shoes or going to the bathroom.

Stripping sex of any deeper meaning or reverence mocks those who have ever felt joy, regret, guilt, happiness, or fulfillment through the experience.

By reducing sex to a purely physical act, with only bodily consequences, we deny the existence of the emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of sex, and by extension, of each individual.

It’s not prudish, it’s not backwards, and it’s not conservative to say that sex affects us on an intimate level. Ask the 65% girls and 57% boys who have had sex and yet wish they had waited. Ask any woman who has been ravaged by rape. Or the young man who struggles with his wife’s infidelity.

Sex matters, often more than we care to admit. But it is not the holy grail of relationships, or the ultimate end of life. Sex is not the answer to our relational problems, our loneliness, or our identity.

Your sexuality is a part of who you are, but it is not the whole.

In properly appreciating sex, we must be careful to not build it up with unrealistic expectations that will only leave us frustrated and unsatisfied. I’ve seen too many young adults diligently wait to have sex and then find themselves disappointed when it didn’t go as they expected or live up to the “hype” that it was somehow going to be the most mind-blowing, glorious experience of their lives every single time.

We cannot expect sex to be more than it is, but neither should we flippantly underestimate the power of two bodies coming together in naked vulnerability.

At its best, sex IS amazing.

That is what I want for you. I want you to have great sex.

Sex where you don’t have to turn off your heart, even as your body is being turned on.

Sex where you are able to freely and completely bring the whole of you -the physical, the emotional, and the spiritual- without the threat of disease, of abandonment, of caring too much when they care too little, of uncertain commitment. Sex without any risk. Imagine.

When you are free to be all of you, then you’ll be free to enjoy the best sex.

See you next week when we talk about how you can actually experience great sex. Click here to get it straight in your Inbox. 

Photo courtesy of Ashtyn Renee via flickr

8 thoughts on “A New Position on Sex

  1. Although I agree with everything that was said, it still doesn’t change the way I live. I still have to live like sex is my enemy and emotions can betray me by causing me to lust. The understanding that sex is something precious and beautiful if approached with the fullness of my being doesn’t really change things currently.

    1. Mr. Kite, do you think then that temptation is allowing you to view something that is good as something that is evil? Sex is not the problem, it’s how, when, and why it’s done that can twist what it is intended to be. If you do want to get married, do you think viewing sex as you do currently will affect that relationship?

      1. Yes, I believe the temptation is doing exactly that. Good question! Do you think viewing sex that way will affect that relationship?

      2. An unhealthy view of sex, in either extreme, is going to affect your marriage. In viewing sex as you do, I think it will be difficult to then switch to seeing sex with your wife as a good act, without any shame, or being open about your emotions and feelings. Learn now how to resist temptation and control lust, while still holding a healthy view of sex, and you’ll be laying a great foundation for your marriage. Sexual temptation doesn’t go away once you get married. Learn the right habits now and you’ll save yourself so much pain later on.

  2. I really liked this post and can definitely relate. I’m in my mid-20’s and still a virgin, but I always feel as if I’m behind my friends who have already lost theirs. I want to have that kind of sex that you talk about in your post and willing to wait for it, but it’s just not the norm. And it’s hard to be in a relationship where your partner doesn’t share the same idea, but you can’t blame him can you? Just like you said, sex is not everything (not the “holy grail”) and just because your partner doesn’t have the same ideas about sex as you, is that cause for splitting up?

    1. Nari, I completely understand feeling a bit out of the loop. I waited until I was married to have sex, which wasn’t until my mid-20s. It certainly isn’t the norm, but for me, it was worth having waited (not that it was easy!). I do think that having different ideas about sex will at some point cause tension. Either he’s going to resent not getting sex or you’ll find yourself going further than you originally wanted. It will either mean one of you compromising what you believe or breaking-up. For me personally, none of my relationships lasted very long where we had different ideas about sex. It’s not anybody’s fault, you just have different values.

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