Latest News

Sex is Not Sexy

I think it was my second year at Bible school when I had this mini-revelation.

Like many young red-blooded Americans (especially of the virgin persuasion), I had this notion that marriage and sex would assuage all feelings of emptiness and exacerbate all of my mad desires. I looked forward to marrying and finding that one person who, once found, would satisfy me once and for all.   As I’t written about before, I’ve awoken from this misguided belief and cultivated more realistic expectations.

I especially remember where I was this one night in school, though, when the seeds of the realization first took root. I’d grabbed a couch from the sidewalk in Chicago and used it as my bed for an entire school year. At the moment, I was studying Sarah F. Winner’s book   Actual Sex, which argues for a holistic and healthy view of sex and chastity, so the subject was heavy on my mind. I was grappling with this question of whether or not to continue pursuing a woman who was in my life at the moment, and there on this tattered couch-bed, it struck me.

Sex will not satisfy me once and for all.

This ethereal entity which seemed like a sanctuary of ecstasy and gratification would leave me no more permanently fulfilled than a fantastic meal fills my stomach once and for all.

Give it time and also the well runs dry.

This matter that, since middle school, had seemed like the end line to the human race  wouldn’t satisfy me once and for all. I especially remember the scene playing in my imagination. I imagined myself married to a woman, irrespective of how lovely and (ahem) sexy,  once the act was over, I’d be at the same place I was actually: Only trying to fall asleep, get a good night’s sleep, and proceed with life.

The act of sex wouldn’t permanently fill the evasive voids in my soul. Following the act, physically speaking naturally, I ’d be content for a while but life would last madly on, and the urge would reunite again. I realized it is not a permanent fix-all for whatever ails the insides of me.

You could say I realized that sex is not sexy.

I mean, what sort of conditions come to mind when we think of the term  sexy?   Isn’t it some sort of glamorous, polished, and unrealistic ideal that’s constantly sought after but not really grasped?

Sexy is exciting.

Sexy smells nice and doesn’t have morning breath or hangnails.

Sexy is airbrushed and may or may not have had some plastic work done.

But then I stir out of this fantasy long enough to look around and tame my wild fantasies. I look at those older couples that have weathered 50+ years collectively and are anything but sexy.   Nevertheless there is something that keeps them together all the years. There is something deeper and more attractive which brings him to her and vice versa for those decades. In their character, ‘sexiness’ and porn depend on novelty. There are always new folks and new bodies and new, flamboyant strategies to turn somebody on. Intimacy, however, is the reverse. It is dependent on getting to understand the same person over quite a while.

I recall something an older mentor advised me a Couple of Years ago that’s stuck with me, which I turned into a poem (read the full thing):

He said,
“sure sex is excellent
plus a fantastic body is exciting at first,
but finally,
it’s only fantastic to be nude,
it’s nice to be nude with the same old person. ”

Of course, this nudity runs far deeper than a physical deficiency of clothing. It’s a raw, performance-less sort of nakedness. Unlike Adam and Eve who realized they were naked and ran and hid, this kind of closeness shows itself to another at a beautiful and unabashed manner.

Real sex is not a one-and-done sort of occasion, but an ongoing, dare I say, dull and mundane practice involving a husband and wife. If we single people go into marriage expecting a cinematic (read: pornographic) experience every time we come to the marital bed with our cherished, we’ll be sorely disappointed. That is why thousands of married men and women still struggle with porn after the wedding night. Because sex is not a cure-all for all of our needs and fantasies. Nobody person can satisfy all of our profound longings, as they’ve been programmed by websites and magazine covers.

No, actual sex is not sexy. It’s romantic and longsuffering. It’s selfless and other-focused in nature. It’s not the object of union, but a reflection of the closeness which should already exist between the two spouses.

Consider it such as communion: In the dining table, we take into ourselves the bread and wine; the human body and the blood of Jesus Christ. It’s a physical   representation of a religious  reality. It’s a shadow that points to something outside itself. The bread and wine are not particular in and of themselves, however they’re significant for what they point to.

Sex, similarly, is the   physical   coming with two individuals who’ve already united themselves to another socially, financially, emotionally, and spiritually.

It’s a visible emblem of the invisible reality.

Nowhere are we assured that the sex will satisfy us. In fact, if we expect sex to fulfill us without the fullness of the connection being present, it will be hollow and lifeless and we’ll walk away empty. But when sex follows all the other areas of an intimate relationship, consummated in union (the covenant is  that the consummation), it is life giving and profitable (literally).

And when we think of it that way, we must recall: Sex is not sexy.

It’s real and it is continuing. It happens amidst the vacuuming and the errands. It’s not always made-up and gorgeous, and sometimes gets sick and vomits.   The question is, are we going to commit to this person who will have very un-sexy times (more so as the years roll), or are we going to keep holding out for a few sexy fantasy which will not materialize?

This year, I wish to try to unprogram my mind by what our culture has taught us is “sexy” and recover a more holistic and realistic perfect of sexual activity. I want to return it to the appropriate place in my mind, undoing years of being shaped in the image of our pornified culture, and embracing a view that’s sustainable, healthy, and very frankly, un-sexy.

Are you with me? Are you ready to help reform our culture in favor of real sex instead of the plastic version we are bombarded with daily? It won’t be easy (or pretty) and will require a lot of rewiring our brains to think according to reality instead of Insta-glamour. Let’s be individuals with eyes that will see truly and not be deceived by what media informs us is ‘sexy. ’

Read: http://www.faithit.com

Most Popular

To Top