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Friday, May 20, 2011

"Do You Want To Die A Virgin?"

With all this recent “end of the world” talk that this latest group led by Harold Camping (by no means the first, and of course will not be the last) is generating in the media, it got me thinking about a question I’ve been posed since high school; “Do you want to die a virgin?”. It’s a curious question really…mostly because I find it so unnecessary and misplaced considering the context of thinking about things to do before you die. I mean when I think of that weighty question, I think of wanting to do things that actually matter and have real meaning. I’m not saying sex doesn’t have real meaning, but the way the question is almost always posed is in the context of doing it just to “check” it off some sort of bucket list. If I were engaged and someone asked then someone asked the same question, well it’d take a little different meaning, and I’d probably answer no…because then I’d be considering the idea of having sex with the person I most care about in the world. In that sense it wouldn’t be a checklist type of thing. But considering the context 99.9% time I’ve been asked that question, my answer is that I could care less really. Sure from a purely visceral perspective of course I’d love to have sex before I die, but I’m not too worried if I don’t get to do it. It’s sort of on par of wanting to take a vacation to some beautiful island in French Polynesia before I die. Would I love to do it? Certainly! Do I really care if I don’t get to it before mortification? Not terribly.

And I suppose part of my apathy to that question is the fact that despite not having it, I know it’s no life-changing experience. The world, the media, and our peers (and yes our churches and church culture) I know blow the experience of sex way way out of proportion and give it way too much weight; something that hinders most men and lots of women in life (hindered me I know). Poor kids these days grow up thinking whether they’ve had sex or not by a certain age actually means a damn thing; which as adults we all know is meaningless with regards to a person’s worth, character, and success in life.

In fact, apart from the intimacy of a close relationship (preferably in marriage, but married folk do not hold a monopoly on relational intimacy), sex is quite meaningless. Perhaps not meaningless, but apart from that emotional intimacy, it is reduced to a lab environment; a vulgar collaboration of chemical reactions and animal instinct, devoid of any true substance that defines man. Sex gets its meaning from relationship, not the other way around. So if people think I’m really hung up on this whole “act of sex” thing, I’m actually not. The act of sex, though very fleshy desirable to me, actually isn’t very intellectually, spiritually, or emotionally intriguing to me. Well unless a wife, or potential wife, is there. That said, how we carry ourselves sexually says a lot about our character, our temperance, and our ability to consider the sanctity of relationships and others above ourselves and our temporal physical desires. The act of sex outside of marriage isn’t what hurts us, it’s what that act says about our volition, our priorities, and our self-control that can be damaging. But I digress…

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