When I first wrote a blog about ‘sex,’ I expected a lot of the usual feedback – “Yeah, great point, David!” or “I totally agree! Want a hug?” Stuff like that. But that’s not the feedback I got; none of the fluffy, sentimental stuff I was expecting.
Instead, most of my respondents were women who believed that the more sex you had – and the more people you had it with – the better.
The reasons were scattered but numerous. I heard some arguments about sex’s ability to drive people toward self-discovery or self-awareness. Some said curiosity. Others cited a refusal to deny human nature. Some trumpeted the importance of developing a ‘skill’ (although never for themselves; just men. Maybe all women are experts?)
I suppose that when ‘sex’ as a whole is viewed objectively, it’s easy to see those points of view. They’re honest and pervasive. And since I mentioned in the first blog that I was more than conscious of the fact that I was treading some deep water that I may not have been fit to swim, I’ve listened. Because of that, I’ve decided to address the feedback I got as honestly as I can.
Humans are comprised of three ‘elements’ – mind, body and spirit. We can argue semantics but I believe most people would agree with that notion. They might also agree that sex is one of the few things that has the power to unite all three elements of who we are. Still on track? Well, I have a hard time disagreeing. Sex is a vehicle to self-discovery and self-awareness. I think most people would agree that they learn things about themselves through these experiences that they wouldn’t – and couldn’t – uncover through other means. Because our bodies are interacting with our minds and spirit during sex, along with many other permutation of those ‘elements,’ it’s understandable that we’d uncover things about each element that we hadn’t before. And that is a positive, profound human experience.
With that said, it’s by nature a two-person act (not talking about lonely Tuesday nights with your laptop). The notion that sex is somehow only about ‘self’ is where I begin to disagree; I’m sure many other people would get on board with that, too. The problem is, we as a generation have gotten very good at separating the body element of sex from the mind and spirit parts. Granted, it works for some people, but not for the sake of self-discovery or self-awareness. It’s a physical exploration more than anything. Is that wrong? It depends on who you ask – or when you ask them. But for the sake of true self-discovery, I’d argue that mind and spirit need to be in tune with body. If not? Well, then it’s something else.
Sex in modern times is viewed as an acceptable diversion from commitment; in generations past, it was a product of it.
To be fair, generations past were quite different than our generation. Socially, ours is structured differently, too. We have social media, which means connections to more people than our parents had; more options. And it’s almost a built-in social construct to attend college, too. As a result, our lives are starting later and we have a lot more people to pick from.
Look, I’m not writing this from a pedestal here. I’m a lot of the things described above, too. I just wonder if our tendency is to overstate our ability to separate sex from our hearts and our minds. I hear all the time from girls and guys who don’t trust the opposite sex, and I can’t help but think that using sex as a means to an end more often than not might have something to do with it.
I don’t believe it’s malicious, but consider the alternative. We know how good sexual experiences are in the confines of a trusting relationship; how they bind us together. Because of that, we have to consider that sexual experiences outside of trusting relationships might also pull us apart.
We can swear up and down that we can separate sex from people, but we also can’t separate people from sex.