A few days ago, What’s So Bad About Casual Sex? was published on here. And while everyone is free to have an opinion, I have to say sincerely that article was not a reflection of what casual sex does in its entirety to people, and to society. And yes, while we are all informed by our values, there are some observable facts in society. And indeed when creating an argument, that argument must at least reflect observable facts in society, which I do not believe that article did.
I remember reading a book called The Sexual Revolution a few years ago that discussed it as a twenty-first century mistake. The book, like it or not, laid down some very serious consequences of this societal sexual revolution – some being higher divorce rates, broken homes, single-family homes, the explosion of sexually transmitted infections, and of course the severe increase in abortions all under the guise of choice. Till this day, whenever I think of sex in the context of the larger societal consequences, I find that this book was spot-on.
There was an opening line in The Telegraph once that read like this, “Set free sexually, we are everywhere still in chains.” I thought it was an interesting commentary on the state of affairs of much of the modern world where people tend to boast freedom when their very constructs of freedom are ill-informed. Nonetheless years later, I think about that line and while it had a different intention for use, I think about it in the freedom and sex conversations, and I disagree with it. I think a lot of people’s attitudes towards sex are still in chains because they are enslaved not only by the attitudes that prevail among a certain Western liberal idea of sex and freedom; but in truth, many have not been able to master their desires – which takes not only freedom, but discipline, and above all other things, love of self and love of the other.
Because when you think of another person as simply an object, in which you put your desire for a certain animal satisfaction above their dignity and humanity as a person, you do not respect this person. And I always believe that when you fail to see a person in all their humanity, you lose yours as well. Beyond this certain objectification that takes place in casual sex where both persons objectify each other, there is a treatment of sex like some kind of forced, animal-like exchange. That we have qualities of animals is a fact, but an essence of human beings is that we are not animals.
I do not write very often about my attitude towards sex because I do not wish to enforce attitudes that come from both cultural and religious values on others. Nor do I wish to be a hypocrite because like every other human, I have sexual desires. I often jokingly tell people, that being a Scorpio – known as the most sexual sign – and a practicing Catholic, God was playing a joke on me. But when I do the work of moral discernment, observing society, and analyzing consequences of particular events, I cannot help but find casual sex to be one of the disturbing events of our time. Not because we are the first to engage in it – we most certainly are not, nor will we be the last. But this generation’s casual attitude to casual sex is frightening.
We could talk about erasure of sex in which the casual attitude would have one believe sex is only physiological. But ultimately this attitude is a scientific, cultural, and individual deception because sex has and will always be beyond physical. It is psychological, emotional, mental, culturally-informed, and arguably, spiritual. When we conceive of sex as something to just do with someone, somewhere, at any point in time that doesn’t matter, it does not change the nature of sex. But it does chip away at our humanity and the way we perceive those around us.
Now while I do not believe in any sort of socio-political governing of the sex act because I believe in liberty, and I believe in liberty because I believe in a God who loved us enough to give us choice in this act. But I also know that the best freedom is not doing what you want, simply because you can – it is making the best choice for the greatest good.
The reality is casual sex has made a society of people who are cold and detached in the ugliest way, from their fellow humans. But above all, casual sex has left many with a self-inflicted and socially-supported brokenness that seems natural when left unchallenged. I am an adult, an adult who knows that as much as I want all my individual actions to only be individual, the world is not set up that way. So I encourage other adults to observe society and make your own judgments about what casual sex does and does not do – to any of us, and to all of us. Because while the fantasy seems harmless, the reality seems at the very least, objectionable. And quite frankly, just not good enough.