Probably 15-20 years ago I was at a conference of some sort and sharing a room with a couple of guys that I didn’t know (and whose names I don’t remember). But as is often the case with young guys the conversation one day turned to dating and marriage. We were talking about the desire for sex etc, when one of the married guys busted one of the best one liners I’ve ever heard.
He said, “One of the most overrated things in the world is sex and one of the most underrated things in the world is taking a quality dump.”
I don’t really think that he was saying we should say forget sex, and just work on taking quality trips to the toilet. Nor do I think he was unhappy in his marriage. I think his point was that the physical feeling of an orgasm could be relatively equal to the physical feeling to the old number 2.
How I’d say it is this, the goal of sex is not just orgasm, and if it is, we’re in trouble.
Let me first say clearly that I’m extremely pro-orgasm. I mean I want to have them and I want my wife to have them. So orgasms all around = good. Seriously. Good stuff! Outstanding stuff! I’m for it! Ok you get the picture.
But to this guys point, and the one I want to make today, that’s not “The Point” of sex.
We have come to a place in our culture where sex has been relegated to a physical thing – aka – the orgasm. When it’s relegated to this, then why not have it, whenever with whoever. If the orgasm is king then why does it matter how we accomplish it.
This is the result of so many forces in our society. Hollywood constantly promotes sex with whoever. Feminism tells young women, wait to get married – but don’t wait for sex. Porn let’s you watch others’ orgasms and have your own without any effort. Kids are told, essentially, “Here’s how it works. Here’s a condom for you boys and a shot for you girls. Good luck out there.”
We live in the world where “science” reigns supreme. You’re a sexual animal, just a bit more advanced. It’s natural. It’s about the physical realm.
There are also the “realists”. These are the people who say things like, “You wouldn’t buy a car without taking it for a test drive, why should you marry someone without sleeping with them?” Yeah it’s like a test drive, except that every time you take a car out, you wreck it.
All of this is a lie. It doesn’t make sex better. It just makes it cheaper.
Most Christians would say they know all that I’ve said so far. And I get that. But I think the reality is that this notion of orgasm as the goal of sex has totally infiltrated even our church culture. We don’t wait for marriage – we wait for sex. The basic message often inadvertently becomes, “Don’t have sex then get married and have lots of sex.” Sex outside of marriage leads to bad stuff, but sex in marriage will be all pleasure. If only it was so simple.
The reality is if the point of sex is the orgasm – I can have one of those inside or outside of marriage, and it will still feel good. I might or might not feel bad about it later. Heck if the point is orgasm then I don’t even need a partner.
Let’s assume that the bible is true. That means that sex was created by God for us in the context of marriage. In the bible there are only two contexts for sex – Marriage and Sin. Now God does have our pleasure in mind. He created orgasms and the truth is that in study after study people who are married having sex report more orgasms than non-married people having sex.
But that’s not all it is. God’s view of sex isn’t smaller than the worlds’ view. It’s bigger. From the very beginning of the bible, as in the second chapter of Genesis, and reconfirmed throughout, sex is the joining together of two people. It is becoming one flesh. It creates oneness, bonding two people physically, emotionally, and spiritually together. It grows intimacy both in that moment and over time. All of this can happen whether or not both people orgasm every time or not. How amazing is that. This is why if you aren’t ready for marriage, then you aren’t ready for sex.
In a way, we need to demystify the orgasm and re-mystify sex. Talk about countercultural.
Maybe it’s time for each of us to take stock. How do we really view sex? What is it for? Do we want to relegate it to a bodily function? Or do we want it to be holy?