Taking Sexy Back

JTI’m being stared at by two fairly attractive women … one of them has a baby. It’s kind of awkward because I’m pretty sure that they aren’t the type of women I would be attracted to holistically but we keep meeting eyes … I almost feel obligated to say something now that we’ve so obviously caught each other a number of times. 

See, here is the problem, I have no real interest in either of these women and I know it, but I still look; either out of curiosity, to see if they are looking at me, or out of lust, as one of the women, the one with the baby, has on a shirt that is cut entirely too low. In a way I hate admitting that I am that shallow … it’s embarrassing. What would my boss, or my students, or my friends, or future-wife think if any of them were reading this? That I am some carnal, possessive pig of a man? 

Or is that just expected now? It has become so normal for men to gawk at women; to make them objects of enjoyment, lust, greed, gluttony, pride, envy … objects to be used for our benefits … and most women seem to have just accepted it as normal and therefore, as ok; even many Christian women. 

It doesn’t make sense with the general Christian reaction to sex. Sex is one of the two “unforgivable” sins (the other being drugs (alcohol included)). Somehow there is a complete disconnect between physical sexual sin and non-physical sexual sin, as if one isn’t influenced by the other. Being an offender in both categories I can speak experientially to the influential power of the eyes and mind over the desires of the heart, as well as the influential power of life experience over the places to which the eyes and mind may venture. 

To be strict and intentional in one area while casually apathetic in the other is not only irresponsible, it is creating a culture that sets its members up for failure, shame, and in many cases, a desire to remove themselves from the culture altogether. 

It could be that physical sex has been so demonized in the Church that the sexual desires of humanity have been suppressed to the darkness. It has been taboo to talk about sex for as long as I’ve been alive, even in healthy ways. There are no healthy options (those in the light) for processing natural sexual urges, so we have begun to take the only options left available (those in the darkness). We explore our sexual urges in the privacy of our own rooms, alone; we think but never share thoughts with anyone else, and so our ideas of sexuality become a product from wherever our imaginations, aided by the Internet and media, can take us. 

And so the cycle continues; the sexual imaginations of those people in media and marketing are posted on billboards, cast and dressed for Cable TV, put into clothing catalogues, and posted on the internet for anyone and everyone to see and have their imaginations affected by.

If the Church has a goal of restoring people to physical, emotional, spiritual, mental, and sexual health, it will not be effective by only focusing its efforts on keeping its people chaste. It must become concerned with our minds and eyes as well. One does not defeat an adversary by simply avoiding it; an adversary must be actively engaged in battle and its life sources must be cut off or captured.

So what does this look like in the sexual realm? How do we recapture media and marketing in a world where everyone over the age of 7 knows the phrase “sex sells?” Is it in education or awareness? Is it in picketing, or boycotting? 

I do not know. Maybe it will have to look different for each and every subculture within the Church. But it has certainly become an issue that is worth fighting for. It is killing our marriages and wrecking our lives on both sides of the battle. There are women who feel dirty having sex with their husbands because sex was so discouraged in their lives growing up, and it is killing their marriage. There are men who can’t be satisfied sexually by their wives because their sexual expectations have been shaped and influenced by Internet pornography, and it is killing their marriages.

It’s time to take sex back … to recapture it for the Kingdom of God. Maybe we could start a campaign and call it “We’re Taking Sexy Back!” … Just a thought.

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~ by Will Norman on August 30, 2007.

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