A young woman attends a conference on faith and sex and comes out changed.
On any given day, I receive anywhere from eight to 16 emails from my mother. And while this type of never ending dialogue could overwhelm some, I find it has, over the years, bonded us.
Recently, her emails began to take on a religious filter, her words often referencing quotes by King Solomon from the Bible, invitations to local church groups and the final straw? A total of nine emails in a 48-hour span, first asking, then demanding, begging and finally requesting my presence to join her at Christopher West's Theology of the Body conference. 5 Love Lessons From A Catholic Priest
At first I flat out refused. After all, why would an unreligious twenty-something, who values her sleep and regularly rejects religious jargon, make her way to a religious conference on a Saturday at 8 a.m.? But she wore me down.
I arrived at the conference begrudgingly prepared to listen to acclaimed speaker Christopher West. I figured that at the very least I could get my mother off my anti-religious back for a bit. So imagine my surprise when I not only connected with West's words, but also felt like they were completely in line with my currently shifting moral pendulum.
Growing up in a liberal Catholic home, my thoughts and feelings surrounding sex were less than traditional. I believed in a "do what you want, when you want" approach to sex, and it was taking its toll on me. When West brought up casual sex as a way of "using" other people, I was genuinely confused. How could consensual sex between two willing participants be a form of using? But the more I thought about it, the more I became convinced West was right. We Waited For Marriage
In any other sense of the word, I wouldn't tolerate using someone or being used. I won't date someone for his social status, befriend someone for the simple goal of getting ahead professionally, and I most certainly wouldn't sleep with an older man in exchange for being taken care of. But here I was sleeping with people because they were there, because my body had an urge.
The idea of actually using sex to connect was foreign to me. I had it all backwards. I'd been using sex to disconnect. Looking back on all my previous relationships, conquests and sexual partners, it was the partners I loved whom I was actually scared of connecting with, because I understood the magnitude of connecting on that level. 3 Steps To Connect To His Heart
I'd already wondered aloud to friends and to myself why I hadn't slept with the most recent guy I'd been seeing. Two months into dating, I still had butterflies, felt completely and utterly safe with him, and definitely wanted to be closer. But something had shifted. Something was more important than my hormones. I hadn't been able to put my finger on it, but it was this: I really wanted to connect, but not for the sake of connection. I really wanted to connect with him.
After listening to West, I realized that my previous "do what you want, when you want it" attitude toward sex wasn't helping me, and that there may be something to this traditional approach to sex and love.
Has your idea of sex become more or less traditional?