If you’re looking for a rehash of my previous blogs on this topic, here’s one. Otherwise, I’m on deadline so here’s a guest blogger.

Guest blog by Rob Rolfingsmeyer

Sex unfortunately has gotten a bad rap over the past couple of decades. After the Sexual Revolution of the late 60’s and early 70’s, we as a culture began to experience what it is that is destructive about our sexual behaviors. It’s not as though sex was discovered in the twentieth century; people have been sneaking around the public mores since civilization was born. Even today, people are willing to risk death to fulfill sexual “needs” (I’m not speaking of other cultures alone but our own as well, we understand the risks that we take in our day and age.) It’s indisputable, we are relational creatures. We define ourselves by our relations to others. I am the husband of my wife, the son of my parents, the father of my son, etc. We have a deep desire to love and be loved by others.

A sexual relationship is one of the most intense relationships that we can have with another human being. Sharing our soul with someone one-on-one is intense; sharing our bodies with one-on-one can be just as intense. The physical experience, the instant gratification that we can get from a sexual encounter is undeniably enticing. Whatever happened to prolonged gratification? Whatever happened to waiting for something before we finally get it? I know that this is a horrid example but I can’t help but think of Christmases. When I was a child, I remember my mother and father waiting to let me open my presents until Christmas morning. My other friends were allowed to open presents a couple of days in advance making me more and more jealous and wondering why my parents were so evil. Every day the anticipation would mount; my love for staring at the Christmas tree for hours grew from me waiting with bated breath, admiring its beauty while staring at my presents. If I hadn’t been in a position of prolonged gratification I wouldn’t have learned how to quietly sit and stare in the darkness at the beauty that had been created with the tree. Christmas morning would roll around and I would tear into my presents like there was no tomorrow. The anticipation had grown so much and the excitement had built exponentially, even my friends were amazed at how many presents I had on Christmas to open up. And they all wanted to come over and play with my toys…theirs had lost their luster.

With our modern culture and the vices that are literally at our fingertips, we have been conditioned into objectifying the human person. When I say the ‘human person’ I am speaking of both body and soul (the soul being understood as that which is essentially you, call it your consciousness if you like). As human creatures, we are subjects. Each person is an individual with feelings, hopes, loves, fears, dreams, etc (one of the reasons why porn is so destructive to both the viewer and the viewed is because all of that has been removed thus dehumanizing the individuals involved). Many people have fought for the right to be recognized as a human being (here in the Western world we have made great strides in this area, while people are still fighting and dying for basic human dignities in other parts of the world). So often we deny ourselves and others the subjectivity that we all deserve.

When we deny ourselves that prolonged gratification and seek that instant gratification that we each crave, we deny the person that we our desiring of their humanity, making of them a vessel for our own wants and desires. We may say we love them but think with me. Will you ever forget your first? No matter how hard we try, the first time we ever opened our bodies to another, we made ourselves vulnerable. These days, vulnerability (much like sex) has become quite a dirty word, to the contrary, vulnerability is trust to the extreme. But too often we lose this trust because that vulnerability is handed back to us crushed. For most people, the person who has hurt them the worst or done the most damage to their psyche is someone who was given that vulnerability and took advantage of it, or simply forced the vulnerability on the other. There is a certain connection that is made between two people (or more) when that intimacy is created. That bond is never broken and what has happened will never go away.

Interestingly enough, even though the ‘bond’ (no matter how destructive and damaging it could have been) seems to be the only thing that our sexual appetites have left us with to remind us of permanence. With the traditional familial position of sexuality destroyed, a sense of permanence is lost as well. Children no longer have an expectation of a mother and father who are going to be there (this is much different than those children who lose parents to death…and damage is done there as well.) We enter a relationship and want to ‘test it out’ first to see how compatible we are when we live together. The lie of this is that it is a practice marriage, in all actuality it is a practice divorce. The (what is supposed to be) permanent institution of marriage is left dangling as we have in the back of our minds that we can always walk away from this. As true as we wish this impermanence to be, as I said before, the bond was made, the memories are there and believe me (and I’m not the ‘sole authority’ on this), those memories come back to haunt you at the oddest of times.

Along with this sense of permanence is the idea that you have given yourselves as a gift to one another. Men, we know we don’t want to hear of the sexual exploits of our counterparts, women I know from having listened to the grievances of other women that you don’t want your boyfriends/husbands to discuss their previous escapades either. Why? Because you are supposed to be a gift to one another. Think of a time when you’ve been cheated on, or if you haven’t been, think of your significant other cheating. Why is this so hurtful? Why should this matter? The gift that they gave to you, they now have given to another. But you don’t have ownership of them do you? They are not your possession. So ask yourself why it does hurt so much. Why does betrayal hurt? We fly back again to vulnerability and the abuse that we leave ourselves open to. Also, the betrayer has taken the gift that you have given them and decided to share that with another (nowadays you never know what ‘gifts’ are going to be coming back to bed with you when that happens…if you know what I mean).

If you don’t agree with me, this is fine. All I ask is that you be respectful of yourself and think about the destruction that you could wreak on another when you ‘must’ fulfill your ‘needs’. I’m not trying to preach, I haven’t thrown out a bible verse or mentioned God until now. I’m trying to speak as one human to another, caring for the human person, the individual that we all are. I’m no saint when it comes to this. I used to be the jerk that women complain about. It’s when you see the devastation left behind and the denial process of the injured party as they attempt to dust themselves off that makes you begin to reflect on that which is sacred to the individual; their own subjectivity.

Peace, Rob

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