Tuesday, 01 March 2011
[Editor's Note: This is a candid article about sexual morality. Anyone sensitive to topics of this nature is advised to exercise discretion. Please refer to the Revelife Behavioral Code of Conduct before commenting if you are unsure of what language is considered appropriate.]
Casual sex is when two people who barely know each other or who are not in a loving , committed relationship, have sex for pleasure's sake alone. This practice is often defended by sighting mutual consent and the lack of harm done. I would like point out that the "lack of harm" refers only to direct physical harm, though broken heart s and souls and sexually transmitted diseases are still at risk. Nonetheless, I also argue that the "lack of harm" has little bearing on the moral significance of that particular action.
Casual sex is wrong because it attempts to separate our physical selves from our emotional selves, and if we are to live integrated, good lives, these cannot be separated.
From a purely physical standpoint, sex is as physically close as two people can be. Within the marital embrace, two people are as closely united as humanly possible. Even on the physical level, this is no small thing. The unique quality of the sexual relationship is not something shared by other forms of mutually consensual pleasure such as a game of cards or a massage.
Given this, it is hard to see why anyone would want to waste the closest physical connection possible on someone they did not truly care for. Does it not make sense to save a unique action for a unique person such as a husband or wife?
The person arguing in favor of casual sex might reply that spouses are emotionally close, and that the emotional connection is what makes marriage and relationships special. And this is definitely true! Relationships are also a unique sharing of the self on an emotional and mental level.
But relationships are not only emotional, they are also physical. Just as every human person has emotions, a mind, and a heart, every person is a soul enfleshed in a body. Our bodily, physical reality is just as important to who we are as are our emotions. It takes, eyes, skin, a brain, and more to experience our lives and give expression to our being. Because of this, the body not a dispensable side-effect in our lives.
Arguments for casual sex separate our physical actions (such as sexuality) from our emotional and personal being, but this is not possible because of the integral nature of our bodies to who we are. On the contrary, the body (which includes the performance of the actions we choose) defines us just as much as our emotions do.
Because our bodies cannot be separated from our being and are an integral part of everything we do, we cannot ignore the physical aspects and effects of sexuality. It is wrong to pretend that our physical actions do not effect who we are. They do, and sex especially does.
To be fully integrated in body and mind, the actions and feelings should match. Thus, our emotional exclusivity and connection should be matched in the physical connection of intercourse. On the flip side, the physical connection of sexuality is not properly integrated with our whole selves (mind and body) if it does not coincide with a committed emotional connection.
This means that to live authentic, integrated, human lives, sexuality must take place within the context of a deep, loving relationship. A relationship, that I will argue, has to be marriage (as you can read about here).
Do you think that casual sex is permissible? Does the author's argument for unifying the emotional and physical parts of ourselves make sense to you? How should we approach difficult moral topics?