Before I begin, can I just say that I’ve been pretty nervous to publish this one. I can see the places people will go with objecting to this blog, but I still think I have a point. I haven’t been able to shake my desire to start this conversation.
So, here goes…
Sex. Lots and lots of sex. That’s what we are culturally saturated with. Most of us realize this reality when we mindfully listen to the radio, pay attention to commercials on TV, or attend a party. Even within the church, lots of us seem to think that sex is the center of adult life.
Most of the time, Christians just give the tried and true response: “We’re too saturated with sex. It’s private and should remain that way!”
Today, I’d like to offer a counter-intuitive antidote to our preoccupation with sex. It might catch you off guard, so prepare yourself. Ready?
We need to be exposed to more sex—not movie sex, but real sex.
The reason: Real sex isn’t (always) sexy. In the movies, what we see is movie sex. Sure, sometimes real life sex is like movie sex. But most of the time? Sex isn’t like that at all.
How often do you see lube or condoms in sex scenes? Are people saying, “Nope, this position isn’t working.” Are the people even talking at all? Think about it! Are women experiencing any pain? Are there leg cramps, elbows to the nose, or sneezes?
I personally would love to see a sex scene right now that tries to show the difficulty of having sex while nauseous. Would. Love. It.
Respectful, non-graphic exposure to real sexuality will ground us in the reality that sex isn’t magic. Sex doesn’t fix our problems. Having sex doesn’t make us feel complete. Sex doesn’t solve our loneliness. And sex is often an expression of power, selfishness, and pain, not an expression of love, service, or covenant. Sex isn’t always sexy. In fact, real sex might often make us cringe.
Fortunately, my husband and I were part of an honest community when we were dating and engaged, so we were as prepared for real sex as we probably could have been. But unfortunately, I have known numerous Christian newlyweds who have come home from their honeymoons disillusioned. What they experienced wasn’t what they had seen on screen their whole lives. And they’d never really heard Christians say, “Um, real sex isn’t always like that.” Instead, they had heard Christians simply try to hide sex in the Privacy of Marriage Bed closet.
I think Christian subculture does a huge disservice to virgin couples. Sex takes some learning. If you are waiting until marriage for sex, your honeymoon probably won’t be where your best sex happens. But that’s good. If it did, it’d be all downhill from there. That’s a sad thought. I offer the reality that your honeymoon may feel more like learning to ride a bike than effortlessly riding along with the wind in your hair. The training wheels may be frustrating and you may fall off a few times (literally). Movies and TV rarely show this reality, but maybe they should.
I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer about sex. But instead of agreeing with people who think that Christians should avoid talking about sex, I want us to have more honest conversations about sex. And when we talk about real sex, we see that it’s just one part of life, not the thing to which all things in life lead.
So, here’s to more sex on screen, as long as it’s realistic. Of course, of course… a respectful, non-graphic depiction of sex. But sex nonetheless.