WHOA: Why Having Casual Sex Stunts Your Emotional Growth

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When it comes to sex, modern American society may be quick to joke about it, flaunt it, and prioritize it, but the one thing we don't often do is stop to really consider why it exists in the first place. Think about it: What is the point of sex?

It's easy to jump to the obvious conclusion of procreation and call it a day, but doesn't that explanation seem a bit lacking in the face of all the emotions and intimacy involved? In this day and age — with birth control, condoms, and surgeries — we've found ways around the logical reason for having sex and are now able to have sex just for the sake of it.

But what does that mean? Do we have it for physical pleasure? Is it about bonding and intimacy? Is it about scratching an itch? How about all of the above? The way you choose to answer that question will shape the way you perceive sex and the decisions you make regarding it.

My friend Seth thinks that sex is sacred. He's a high school teacher, and he tells his students exactly that. He tells them that sex is sacred when he sees them walking into his classroom with white headphones dangling from their ears, singing along to graphic hip-hop songs.

"Do you realize that you're singing about something special and sacred, and that you're actually cheapening it by doing that?" he asks them.

His question is most often greeted with blank and confused stares. They likely don't think that far into their music selections or think of sex as a sacred act. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Seth was the first person to introduce that concept to them.

In this day and age, we don't think that sex is sacred. We don't think that our bodies are sacred. Instead, we think that showing lots of skin and acting promiscuous is liberating, and that anything less is prudish.

And no one wants to be labeled a prude — not me, not anyone. Yet, I suppose I fear that I am. And it bothers me that I fear that I am. Shouldn't I, an adult college graduate, be above all that stupid high school business of caring what others think of me? Shouldn't I be completely comfortable in my own skin and in my own faith and convictions?

No. I don't need to care, but the truth is that I do. Not always, but sometimes.

I was recently reading a book about sex that was written by a young Christian author named Tyler Blanski. In one paragraph, before he makes his point — before he writes anything else — he says, "I don't want to be a sexual prude." Every time I re-read that, it makes me laugh. At least I'm not alone.

He continues, "But I wonder if by pretending that sex is emotionally and morally no-strings-attached, a person becomes an emotional prude. An emotional prude uses sex to escape the commitment and vulnerability required in general relationship."

Is that what we've done? Have we become a society that despises sexual prudishness, but glorifies emotional prudishness? Do we even really understand what sacred means?

I don't have all the answers to those questions, but I do think it's important to consider them. Take a few moments, hit the pause button on life, and before you make another joke about sex, or gossip about sex, or sing along to a rap song about sex, just ask yourself: What is it really all about?