Friday, April 11, 2014

Sex To Clear Your Head?

I ran into a guy online who thought the best way to get into a good marriage was to find someone you have immediate chemistry with and "fornicate like rabbits" until that initial sexual desire diminishes. Only then will you be able to make good decisions about a long term relationship. It seemed silly to suggest that sex would make you more rational rather than less rational yet he was quite serious. The truth is that an unfulfilled desire for sex actually morphs into a very healthy desire to get to know everything you can about the person you desire. Like a teenager who desires a celebrity seeks out every bit of gossip on their life. If there is no chance at actual sex you end up much more liable to become interested in the things that can make or break a good relationship. Both those are important. To go deeper when the potential is there and to leave when there is good reason to leave. 

Sex early in a relationship tends to push people to one of two extremes:
  1. They either fall madly in love. They put the person on a pedestal and  become convinced this is the greatest love the world has ever known. 
  2. They become uninterested in the person and just interested in the sex. They think of the other as a whore. 
Both scenarios seem to happen for both genders but women are more likely to experience #1 and men are more likely to experience #2. My sense is that because of the changing culture that #2 has grown more common than it used to be for both genders. 

Now there are 3 possible combinations of these scenarios. They can both be #1, they can both be #2 or one can be #1 and one can be #2. First, if they are both #1 we have the dream scenario. This is the one we see in all the movies. We have two people madly in love. Yet they have not really vetted each other very well. There can be quite significant incompatibilities. You will have some couples who happen to be quite good together and they can have good marriages. They can declare themselves to be living proof that waiting for marriage is just silly. Still even they would have benefited from a slower path to intimacy. Then there are the couples who are not at all good together. They can get into marriage and children. It can be very hard and it can last a very long time. Perhaps the rest of your life. 

Another situation is where both people experience #2. They become focused on the physical and really lose interest in an emotional and spiritual connection with each other. They might continue for a while if the sex is good but really they are just using each other. Sooner or later they get bored and move on. They might not feel any remorse. They both had some fun. What is the big deal? 

The trouble is sex is supposed to be a big deal. It is supposed to draw you into the ultimate love relationship. You have made that harder to achieve. Your view of sex becomes self centered and disconnected from emotional intimacy. It is similar to the effect of pornography or masturbation. It also tends to effect your view of the entire human person especially the opposite sex. You use people and get used so you don't expect anything else. 

The last combination you can have is one person is in category #1 and the other in #2. That is when things can get really ugly. You can have a hard breakup. Breakups are always hard but these can cause serious psychological damage. Violence can happen. Serious depression. 

It can also become an abusive relationship. The person who is in position #2 has a lot of power especially if they are not clear about how they feel. They might not know themselves. If they want to keep the sex going they have an incentive to be less than honest. They can string their partner along quite easily and he or she, more often she, will put up with a lot of bad behavior and remain convinced they are in love. Even very smart people can stay in a destructive relationship for a long time. 

So what is the downside to waiting with sex until marriage? Sure you miss out on some pleasure but you are playing with your heart and mind and soul. Is throwing caution to the wind really such a good idea? Marriage is a big deal. It is worth some time and some sacrifice. Hormones are powerful things. 

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