The latest headlines of sexual harassment in the workplace and otherwise, the #metoo movement, and men of influence falling into disgrace after sexually inappropriate behavior have lead to many conversations in our society. What is “normal” sexual contact? What is a baseline amount of sex? What is allowed to be pursued sexually in a relationship, casual or otherwise? For many years, sex has been viewed as recreational and fun and not necessarily connected to any commitment. Sex is not the problem. Society’s attitude toward sex is more problematic.
“The idea that pursuing one’s sexual imperatives should take place over workplace rules, lines of power or even just appropriate social behavior is what allows predators to justify sexual harassment and assault. And it encourages the not-predators to value their desires above those of others.”
(Washington Post, “Let’s Rethink Sex”)
So, what does this mean? The “sex-above-all ethic” has lead to the reduction of virtues of prudence, temperance, respect and even love. Perhaps sex has a deeper significance than momentary pleasure or recreation. Respect and love of one’s partner leads to commitment. With commitment comes facing unintended consequences such as an unplanned pregnancy together. It also leads to the reduction of STI (sexually transmitted infections) diagnoses/ treatments or facing an abortion decision in an unplanned pregnancy without a partner a reality. Children are brought into committed relationships and less likely to be fatherless. Security within the relationship builds a strong tie between partners and their children, building a strong family unit.
Unfortunately, marriage is declining in popularity. Many people have a fear of commitment. Sex is readily available and “cheap.” Men can readily find sex and women ask little in return. Porn is easily accessible, and women have to compete with virtual encounters. With the rise of the use of birth control, there is “easy sex without consequences.” (Wall Street Journal, “Cheap Sex and the Decline of Marriage.”)
For more insights on this topic of sex and consequences, a recent article from the Weekly Standard, quoting the Washington Post has some great insights. Read the entire article here: Washington Post: Conservatives Are Right About Sex.
When it comes to issues of sexual behavior, it can be helpful to have someone outside of your close circle to discuss thoughts and feelings with. Someone who can be both knowledgeable AND trust-worthy, all in a non-judgmental atmosphere.
Keep us on your short list. We can be that friend that you talk to when you don’t feel you can talk to anyone else. No pressure. No agenda. Just a helpful, compassionate ear.