Today, I am going to talk about sex. Not really in a theological or philosophical way. Just reflecting on things I have observed.
I hope I don't offend anyone. If you have different ideas, that's cool with me. I'm not claiming to be an authority figure here.
On the TV show "Angel" -- which is actually not extremely recent, but recent enough for my purposes -- the pretty lady is coming onto Angel (who is a vampire, played by David Boreanaz). She, though, doesn't know he is a vampire. He is rather taken aback, and asks her if she "wants to make love." She scoffs and asks what century he is from. This, of course, is meant as a comic moment, since he is hundreds of years old (being a vampire and all).
My daughter Andrea started me watching "Angel" and various other current TV shows and movies. She also got me doing more things on the Internet. This caused me to be more "in touch" with modern society, as I had been busy for many years homeschooling my kids. Andrea thought that since I was finished with homeschooling that I might enjoy connecting with the world once again. And it has been quite fun.
One of the things I started noticing is how people are looking at and talking about and having sex.
Now, I have never been naive about sex. I am not a prude. I grew up during the sexual revolution, after all. My education was provided at public institutions by many sexual revolutionaries. I do not mind talking about sex and thinking about sex. I have never shunned movies and TV shows with sexual content. I enjoy the good "dirty joke." But, with homeschooling and the lifestyle which that required, I had sort of been away from these things for a number of years. Just didn't really have the time for them.
So, when I started observing once again the world of modern sexual ideas and practices, there are some things I have noticed. I present them to you for your consideration.
And that brings me back to "Angel." When the young lady scoffs at the handsome vampire for referring to sex as "making love," she acts as though no one calls it that anymore. And guess what I have discovered since? Nobody really does. Not that everybody called it "making love" back in my youth, either. But, the term was much more common than it is now. Even the hippies wanted to "make love, not war."
I am not trying to sound all prudish and judgmental here. But, as I look at young people today and hear them referring to sex as anything but "making love," I find it a little sad. And the reason I find it sad is that it seems, on some level at least, to make them sad. I am not seeing a lot of happiness or joy in the "hook-up" culture. I am not seeing a lot of young people who feel valued and cared for in their sexual relationships. I see not a little bit of cynicism.
Please don't get me wrong. I am not what you would call an "ultra-conservative" in these matters. I would never be able to wait for my wedding day to have my first kiss with my new husband. I have always enjoyed physical affection, and I have a hard time doing without it. And I had a hard time doing without it when I was young, too. (Sorry if this is TMI.) So, I understand people's desires.
I hope, though, that people would really think about what is actually healthy for themselves. Yes, we hear a lot about "safe sex." We hear about how women need reliable birth control in order to have sex lives which are satisfying and free -- without worry about unplanned pregnancies. And I understand the reasoning behind these ideas.
But, maybe with all the talk about condoms and birth control pills and whether or not we should support the HHS mandate, we are forgetting that sexual health also includes healthy relationships. Relationships that include friendship and true affection. Relationships where people can actually trust and rely on one another. Relationships that include love...
So, yes, I admit I enjoy a good "off-color" joke. There are people who would probably disapprove mightily of some of the things I "favorite" on Twitter. And I understand that not everybody is Catholic or Christian. I understand that nobody wants to get forced into conforming to someone else's ideas of morality. We all have the freedom to choose what we will believe. That is part of the definition of human dignity.
Given that, though, I think most people want to feel valued by their sexual partner. Most people want to feel loved and cherished. Some people deny that these things are important to them. But, I don't quite believe it. I think the people who deny they want love are people who -- somehow, some way, for some (probably painful) reason -- have given up on finding it. And so I think, as a society, we should reflect on this. Condoms and birth control pills can prevent physical events, but they don't do anything for our psyche. And maybe the health of our hearts, minds, and souls is just as important as the health of our genitals.
In conclusion, I am going to mention -- once again -- the TV show "SouthLAnd." (You knew I'd find a way. Tee-hee.) In the current season of this epic series, we see Officer Ben Sherman -- young, handsome, star on the rise in the LAPD -- juggling two women. First, he starts dating a pretty schoolteacher. Things start to get a little serious (a.k.a. she likes him quite a bit). So, what does he do? He goes off and sleeps with this rather wild young lady -- who, in her own right, is lovely and interesting. Why does he do this? It seems that he is rather freaked out at the idea of commitment and, thus, is shooting himself in the foot. Now, Officer Ben has always had a rather wild sex life. This is nothing new. And I often wonder about the trail of antibiotic-resistant bacteria he is leaving in his wake. But, as the show progresses, we see that this footloose and fancy-free sex life does not actually make him happy. And I think this particular aspect of this particular show (as well as the above-mentioned scene in "Angel" and many other themes in current TV, movies, songs, books, etc.) reflects what I have spoken of in this post. There is a lot of sex going on. But, is it really making people happy?
We do have the freedom to choose. And we really always will, no matter what the state of the law. May we have the wisdom to choose that which will actually lead us to happiness.