Sex—it's what your twenties were made for. Your hormones would have you believe that. And "perhaps," our culture might purport something similar. You know, delay that adolescence, live for pleasure, be sexy, experiment with life, have as much sex as you can—maybe you've heard stuff like that . . . here and there. Seriously, what's the harm? Why is fooling around such a bad idea? God made us sexual creatures, right?
Those are honest questions. But what about the proverbial "other hand?"
Why is the make-out master (guy or girl) never satisfied? Why is it the one-night stand never works? If sexual freedom and sexual expression are so great, then why do feelings of emptiness, shame, and sadness often follow these sexual adventures?
Could it be we, both male and female, are as deeply wired for intimacy and connection as we are wired for sexual activity? The answer is—yes.
Thus, the problem with casual sex; it negates intimacy. The experience, whether a make-out session or intercourse, is all about personal gratification. What can I get out of this? How good can you make me feel? How well can I perform? How well can I turn you on? What can I conquer? I. Me. My. Self—ish.
On the surface, this sounds great—getting something that feels good for free, i.e. without any commitment to or investment in the other person. Yet, reality promises a much higher price tag. What's the cost?
When people participate in selfish sexual experiences, getting what they want—orgasm, endorphins, validation, etc.—with little or no concern for the other person, immediate pains are felt, such as guilt, remorse, self-hate, and even "that wasn't everything I hoped for." The ripple effect isn't pretty either. For the one-timer and the serial seductor, the nasty presence of rumor and reputation soon arrives. Maybe he or she can handle it now, like water rolling off the duck; but what about in a few months or years when he or she is looking for that job, that role in the church, or that place in the community? Will that racy reputation disappear?
Such sexual trysts also mentally, emotionally, and spiritually chip away at a person. Because every person longs for and needs intimacy (i.e. total acceptance, respect, commitment, and unconditional love), a person involved in pre- and extra-marital sex must disengage to cope with the experience and the emotions arising from selfish behavior. Repeating this behavior over and over then hinders that person's mental, emotional, and spiritual growth.
Put two-and-two together and you see how this will affect a person's future ability—whether actual or perceived—to enter into and maintain a solid, healthy romantic relationship. When wedding bells come along, it will be much more difficult to learn to be a selfless lover when that person's sexual experiences are built upon the foundation of selfish sex. (Note: The key phrase is more difficult, not impossible!)
And let's not forget the pains and struggles of raising a child with two people who are not only unwed, but don't even truly care for one another. What am I saying? That won't happen to you either.
The Ultimate Lover
The one-night stand lacks humility and selflessness. Love—whether it be in the bedroom or not—is only truly experienced when selfishness is out of the equation. The Bible tells us real love involves sacrifice, meaning you place another's well-being above your own; your actions are first for your beloved's good. Love is unconditional, offering care, acceptance, and forgiveness willingly. Love is patient, kind, humble, and unselfish (1 Corinthians 13:4-8 and 1 John 3:18).
Remember Christ? He gave His body, His life for the Church (John 3:16, Romans 5:8, and Philippians 2:1-11). That act brings her security. The same is true in life. The commitment of marriage (God's arena for sexual activity) and the partners acting upon that commitment bring the best satisfaction, both in the bedroom and beyond.
In fact, God's gift of sex, His intention for sex, is to paint a picture of His love and intimacy for His people. The husband gives life; the wife receives life and gives birth to another life. Intercourse for a man symbolizes his willingness to know her—her thoughts, dreams, talents, desires, hurts, fears, all of her. Intercourse for a woman symbolizes her acceptance of him for everything he is. Union. Intimacy. Godly love. Love the way it was meant to be.
If you are settling for anything less than this, you are missing out. Casual sexual experiences cheapen and lessen the gift sex is meant to be. The minuscule pleasure of pre- and extra-marital sex pales in comparison to committed, unconditional, and selfless love. Stop wasting your heart on empty rendezvous and selfish desires. Prepare yourself for your spouse; learn to live unselfishly. Mimic Christ's love for His bride. Isn't that what you want in a mate?
Emily White Youree is a freelancer from Fort Worth. Her 10+ years' experience in publishing means she's crazy about grammar books, Scrabble, and crosswords. Thankfully, she cannot knit and has no cats.