Pt. 2: Overthinking A Simple Encounter
In the first part of this series, we discovered that sex may not be what we think it is. Or at least, we might not be thinking about it in a healthy way. So many of us are looking for freedom and empowerment in our sexuality, but are getting hung up on what we already believe to be true about sex.
Why focus on what we already believe instead of going right to the facts? Well, I can share with you new ideas, theology, and scientific statistics until you’re blue in the face, but if you’re already indoctrinated, you’ve already made up your mind on the matter. Chances are that you won’t be able to fully hear what I have to say because you’re hearing it through the filter of what you know or what you’ve experienced.
Though some of us grew up in a healthy environment when it came to sex, many more of us (sadly) didn’t.
We all need to take an honest look at where we’ve come from if we’re going to get where we need to go in the area of our sexuality.
As I mentioned in Part 1 of this series, there are three main environments in which we learn about sex. We call them the silent environment, the saturated environment, and the conflicted environment. In part 1 of this series we discussed the silent environment. In this blog we’re going to survey the saturated environment - the one we see the most in our contemporary culture.
In this scenario, imagine a bedroom door that is completely open -- almost as if there’s no door at all. Everything is accessible, nothing is hidden, and there’s no indication that there’s anything sacred or special happening in that open room. Those around you talk about sex through crude jokes, watch explicit movies with sex scenes, and have casual, overt sexual relationships. If this was your home environment, you probably can’t remember having a deep or intentional sex talk. Why would you need to? It was just everywhere. Sex was, simply put, a part of life. You learned that it’s okay to view sex as nothing more than a casual physical experience. Anything more is over-thinking a simple encounter.
Many who came from this environment don’t understand why sex is such a big deal to other people: “What’s so sacred about it? I don’t think there’s any kind of spirit or soul connection to the act itself. It’s just a way of connecting on a physical level and showing someone you ‘love’ them. Right?”
Without a door to the bedroom, everyone in the house can see every detail of what’s going on. Sex loses its mystery; its sacredness. It becomes casual and familiar, something we throw in with our everyday activities. In fact, everyone becomes so familiar with sex that they think, “What more is there to learn? I already know it all. I’ve seen it, been around it, had my own experiences. What else do I need to know?”
This is where the deception occurs in this over-saturated environment. Since it’s everywhere, we are comfortable with it. No shame, no blame, no guilt. All good. Or is it?
The world paints this picture so clearly, doesn’t it? We turn on the TV and watch sitcoms that celebrate one-night stands and “friends with benefits,” suggesting that this is just a part of life. So what? You get naked, you fool around. It doesn’t matter. It’s your body, so you can do whatever you want with it as long as everyone is consenting. I made no commitment to you, you made no commitment to me. What’s the big deal?
When we live out of these misguided beliefs, we are violating our nature and design. We believe that we are powerful individuals, choosing how to use our bodies. However, we can’t stop our bodies from doing what they were created to do, and, consequently, many of us think there’s something wrong with us. For example, the lingering feelings toward someone that you can’t get over -- feelings of jealousy, a sense of ownership, feeling bonded -- throw us for a loop. We think we should be able to have an encounter and walk away. We feel that we should be able to give away the most precious part of ourselves without any commitment, and then just move on with life.
There is a generation on the earth today that believes they should be able to walk away from a sexual encounter (or romantic relationship) without it affecting them at all. The truth is that we were built to bond for a lifetime, not separate after each encounter. We’ve made something sacred into something casual; something holistic into something basic. Is this the result of an over-saturated culture?
We must understand one thing: the saturated environment is not a healthy environment when it comes to learning about sex. Experience doesn’t lead us to freedom, wisdom does. Making something an everyday part of life may allow us to become more comfortable, but it will not give us the full picture of what God designed. It won’t give us what we require for a healthy perspective.
If you were raised in this environment, give yourself a chance to explore how your spirit and soul are touched by sexual activity. We hope that you’ll have a greater understanding of yourself, and that it will bring real freedom and light into your life.
COMING SOON: Part 3