(I should probably note that I’ve never had sex but I don’t think that disqualifies me from talking about it. You don’t have to drive a car in order to understand how it works and many people who drive everyday still have no idea how their cars work.
We tend to approach sex and magic tricks in a very similar way. In both cases, we assume that we have a fair understanding of the subject and that assumption creates a certain level of confidence. The problem is that most of us actually have a terrible understanding of both subjects and when it comes to sex our confident approach gets us into all kinds of trouble.
Our poor understanding of these subjects goes all the way back to when the first start to take shape. Most of us are exposed to these subjects when we’re kids or teenagers by watching them done on TV or the internet. At some point, we decide that we want what we’re seeing on the screen and the strength of our desire helps us believe that we understand what we want.
In my case, I saw people talking about the joys of sex on TV and in movies so I decided that I wanted to experience it for myself. Dating wasn’t a valid option when I started seeking out sex so I ended up seeking out porn instead. That initial search led me down a very dark path and eventually became an addiction to porn.
I would have never started that search if I had known where it ended but I never paused to think about the consequences because of my assumption that I understood sex. To me sex was something people just did for pleasure and sometimes the happy accident of childbirth happened. My terrible assumption and false confidence distracted me from the truth that I was slowly becoming addicted to something that was increasing my loneliness.
Seeking out pornography and masturbation creates a chemical reaction in our brains that’s similar to doing cocaine and heroine at the same time; this reaction eventually creates a powerful addiction. The shame of a secret addiction also made me feel kind of like a social leper and that feeling created a constant and painful loneliness.
Not everyone has a story like mine, but most of us have experiences with sex where our assumptions made us overly confident and led us to make choices that we now regret. The crazy thing is that most of us still think we understand sex even though we’ve been proven wrong before. We assume that our mistakes have given us a good understanding of the subject.
That’s kind of like thinking that crashing a car a few times makes you a good driver.
I’m not trying to point any fingers; I’m asking that you take a step back and admit that you may not have a perfect understanding of sex. One of greatest problems in our generation is the assumption that we completely understand this subject because we see it in movies and hear about it in music. This is the same thing as believing you understand a magic trick because you watched the magician do it a few times.
Good magic tricks are usually much more difficult and complicated than we imagine. Our desire to do the trick doesn’t take into account the skill and discipline that we need in order to successfully accomplish the trick. When we want to do a magic trick, we really just want to waive our hands around and get the flashy results.
The same is true with sex because we want to put in a little effort and get a fun and flashy result out of it.
The problem is that, when we approach sex this way, we get a quick shot of fun and a pile of consequences. I sought out porn in the past to get an easy source of pleasure and I ended up with a painful addiction. Not everyone ends up addicted to sex or porn but anyone who seeks out sexual pleasure outside of marriage receives painful consequences.
Kind of like magic tricks, there’s more going on behind the scenes than we realize when it comes to sex and that’s where most of the consequences come into play.
Casual sex causes emotional damage because it involves two people experiencing a strong connection and then the ripping apart of that connection. Sex creates powerful chemical reactions in our minds meant to connect us to the other person. Two of these reactions are dopamine and oxytocin; the former makes you want to repeat the action and the latter bonds you to the other person.
Breaking these chemical dependencies can be really painful and this is probably one of the reasons breakups hurt us so deeply; the minds of both people became a little addicted and bonded to the other person.
Having sex with someone you’ll eventually marry, on the other hand, creates a different and sometimes longer lasting problem. Many Christian married couples who didn’t wait for marriage talk about how an element of shame impacts their sex life because they’re initial experiences were sinful. I can only imagine the frustration of having shame impact one of the most intimate part of my relationship with my wife.
No matter which way you slice it, we don’t completely understand what’s going on when the magician makes the piano levitate or when we have sex. Assuming that you understand the trick won’t get you into much trouble, but the same assumption about sex can create all kinds of problems. We’ve got to humble ourselves and give sex the respect it deserves or it’s going to come back and bite us in ways that we can’t imagine.
Do you assume that you have a solid understanding of sex? Does that understanding come from Scripture or from your experiences? Is it possible that the Creator of sex understands it better than you?
Image Copyright: Jinby