Men, Sex and Love

I would really, really like to quote the entirity of Micah Murray’s post on the idea that men give love to get sex and women give sex to get love. But doing that is frowned upon here on the internets, so I’m just going to quote a couple juicy bits. But these are no better than the rest of the post.

It seemed reasonable enough. And it fit neatly with the gender stereotypes I’d heard all my life: Men think about sex every seven seconds. Women aren’t visual. Men are like microwaves; women are like crockpots.

But, as a newly married man, I soon discovered that these ideas were both inaccurate and damaging in our relationship. Beneath the glib cliché was an economic model of sex-bartering that undermines the very essence of love.

If it’s true that men give love to get sex, then our shared sexuality is simply a business arrangement, a deal brokered in flowers and kisses. My wife is a deluxe call girl with a long-term contract, marriage is sheer capitalism, and love is a filthy currency.

I have to be perfectly honest and say that this view of men as base creature who want sex more than they want anything was a real problem for me. I suspect it’s been a problem for a lot of people and the church isn’t doing any favors peddling this sort of outdated stereotyping of men and women.

I like sex. My husband says I’m good at it. But I don’t like sex so much that I’d put it above love. Frankly, I can’t imagine what sort of person “gives love” in order to get sex. At the worst, such a person is someone who uses me for his own enjoyment. At best, such a person is not someone I can really trust. What if the sex is bad? What if I’m sick or injured and can’t have sex? What if I’m upset or angry or busy? I can’t trust in a person’s love for me if it’s dependant on the quality of our sex life. How can I even understand such a person? They’re like some weird, alien being to me.

And really, that was long how I viewed men. How I viewed my husband. I thought of them as untrustworthy, alien beings who I would never be able to really understand. Which is a horrendous perspective to bring into a situation where two people are expected to “become one”! How can I become one with someone whose love resides in their genitals and not in their heart? How could I trust their heart? Did they really have one or did everything run through their little head instead? How could I raise my boys if this were an immutable part of their mental make up?

Of course, as Micah points out, and I’ve been learning, this isn’t actually the reality of men, love and sex. Or at least it shouldn’t be true. Any ways. You should go read the article. And pass it on!

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Allow Me to Screw Up Your Sex Life a Bit

“We monks do not try to repress our sexual passions . . . Woe to those monks and nuns, who shovel into their subconscious their sexual passions. . . There is no spirituality in that. What happens, and what we aim at, is the transmutation of erotic energy from earthly attractions to God.” – Father Maximos quoted in The Mountain of Silence: A Search for Orthodox Spirituality by Kyriacos C. Markides

In the old pagan world, sex and religion were all tied up together. Temple prostitutes and depictions of group sex on ancient Hindu temple walls and all that. Christianity has too often taken the opposite tact – sex as being so unholy that for a while it was considered a sin even in the context of marriage by the Roman church. Which led to possibly the most dysfunctional set-up ever; putatively and sometimes actually celibate priests being told each time a parishioner had sex with their spouse. What could be the problem with that, eh? Although the actual rejection of sex by the Christian church has varied wildly from place to place and time to time, the reality is that a lot of people continue to see sex and God as inevitably belonging in two separate spheres of our lives. To the extent that God and sex intersect, it is in the parsing out of rules for sexual conduct. But when actual sex takes place, well if our guardian angels could please exit the room, that would be great. And surely God has the good manners to turn his head for a few minutes. Wouldn’t want to be caught in flagrante delicto by the creator of the universe. That would be too weird. Continue reading

The Myth of Sex by Tim Muldoon

I came across this today at patheos.com and I thought it was so beautiful that I’m totally cutting and pasting the whole darn thing because you should read it too:

The Myth of Sex by Tim Muldoon

This is the myth of all myths: that people could use each other and still remember what compassion and tenderness looked and felt like.

In the beginning, the LORD created man and woman in his image.

He blessed them and made them fruitful. Among his many gifts he gave man the gift of physical strength to work, and he gave woman the gift of compassion to cultivate relationships.

Together, man and woman learned each other’s gifts. Woman developed strength and offered her work as an act of compassion. Man learned compassion with his wife and child. Continue reading

Teens have STDs because . . .

There was an AP story out today which seems to have been picked up by most of the major papers which “reports” on the CDC study that found that 1 in 4 teenaged girls have an STD. Why is the number so high, you might ask. According to the AP “report” it is because of abstinence only education. The evidence for this connection? The opinions of people who advocate for comprehensive sex education, of course!

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not a big fan of either abstinence only or comprehensive sex education. It is my opinion that any parent who allows the government to bear any, must less most, of the responsibility for teaching their kids about sex deserves to have their children come home thinking that pregnancy is caused by inhaling floating sperm vapors into their mouth while sleeping. If their children also think that condoms are good finger puppets – so much the better, I say! Serves them right. (Not that I’m being judgemental or anything! 🙂 ) Continue reading

One for the "Duh!" department

On MSNBC.com, they’re reporting on a study which found that “Sexually charged music, magazines, TV and movies push youngsters into intercourse at an earlier age“. They think this is because being surrounded by such media influences create a “norm” of early, frequent, fun and consequence free sexual activity in the minds of young people. Gee – ya think?