Thursday, July 5, 2012
No Sex? No Problem.
Of the many nuances of human sexuality that one becomes acutely aware of during extended periods of volitional virginity, the lack of sex being a necessary life function is one that potently emerges; for better or for worse (I would say mostly for better). Sure in a broad anthropological sense, sex between a man and women is most definitely a life necessity regarding the propagation of the human race. But I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about the practical essentials of everyday life. Yes sex plays an important relational part within society, but it truly is not necessary to a productive member within it; contrary to popular belief of course though. Yet I do not need to have sex in order to be a good person to my neighbor, garner academic knowledge, perform well at my job, stay healthy, or be courteous and respectful, etc. This isn’t to say sex isn’t very desirable or doesn’t have the potential to enhance one’s life experience in the way taking a hot-air balloon ride or learning how to play the piano does, it’s merely just a fact that it isn’t necessary to live, and live well. When you abstain for sex for such extended periods of time, especially in the face of endless propaganda pandering sex’s presupposed absolute necessity in life - taboos be damned, you start to realize this. That realization empowers you to be able live life without the 800lb gorilla of having sex being on your back all the time; constantly pounding a false sense of inadequacy and discontentment into your life.
When I’m watching a show or movie in which some of the characters are begrudgingly discussing their lack of recent sexual activity (shoot, even some movies are based on this exact premise i.e. ‘The 40 Year Old Virgin’), sometimes I just want to slap them, sans compassion of course. One character says to the other that they haven’t had sex in a few months or, gasp, a whole year; soliciting intense feelings of pity and empathy from the other character – and presumably from network and film execs, the promiscuous viewing audience. Please. Cry me a river. Try your whole life buddy. Got any other completely misplaced priority/perspective-based complaints?
Now this isn’t a judgment on anyone’s sexual pursuits (nor a glorification of one’s prudence), it’s merely a commentary on how much mythical status most people put on having sex as a daily function of life, as if it were one of life’s totally essential requisites. I fear it’s because many people have never gone through a period in life in which they consciously, with purpose, abstained from their natural, carnal bedding desires…that they could not imagine life, or life very long that is, without continued action – or likewise. That’s why much of society is so inextricably tied to having sex, within marriage or without – because it’s perceived as being so necessary to life. When most people do something so often for so long, not to mention its tsunami-like promotional efforts, you begin to believe you need it in order to live. Sort of like having a mobile phone with you at all times, despite the fact for millennia people got along just fine without em (I love technology FYI).
There another aspect of this that I imagine may even creep into the most pure of marriages. Now I am not familiar with typical sexual arrangements marriages have (if there are even “typical” ones, i.e. “once a week”, “three times a week”, etc.), but I do know that guys are probably a bit more amped to get frisky on average than the females. Add into these marriages all the difficult times life inevitably hits us with, and you have potential “interruptions”, if not frequent, to what probably should be sexual frequency and equilibrium in a healthy marriage. Even not being married myself though, I know this “equilibrium” is a pipe dream in any marriage because life does get in the way a lot, not to mention emotional tempers and relational strains as well. I would assume though that guys (and girls included in their own, unknown to me way) who don’t have experience in sexual temperance and patience, well I assume these times of sexual dearth would be very difficult to navigate. Heck, more than a few times I’m sure it’s led to rampart infidelity. Guys want release, and if they can’t get it in a sanctioned environment, they’ll often seek it elsewhere if defenses are weak and sexual-perspective underdeveloped.
Despite the many advantages getting married very young contains, of the many disadvantages I’d think this one would manifest more often. A guy that gets married in his young twenties has never really had a chance to run the “gauntlet” of sexual temperance in life. Abstaining in high school and college has its merits for sure, but it’s not the real test adult, independent life forces one to persevere through. So a guy that’s known married sex from a young age perhaps will be less equipped to deal with periods of, even extended periods, of no sex. The same struggle could be said for someone who was married older so I’m not trying to say it’d be exclusive to young marriages, but I think the lack of experience may work against them in these cases; not quite as “refined in the fire”.
If there’s one things I’ve learned over the years, it’s that I don’t need to have sex, or even engage in any sort of sexual behavior, even solo, to live life in abundance. Any one or thing that tells you otherwise is lying to you. You’re fine living an asexual life among sexual tendencies. It can be done, and you will not die from it. Go ride a bike, take a class you’ve always wanted to, go out to lunch with that friend you’ve been slacking on calling back, visit your uncle, or start learning how to design your website. Don’t wallow in you sexual inactivity or play the pity party game, cause it’s time to stop buying into that lie that you need to sex to live.
We surely are sexual beings, don’t get me wrong, and that desire is no more potently apparent when in a state of sexual abstinence. That said we more so sentient, soulish beings, and a volitional life based on principle can surely conquer the baser instincts. Not only can they conquer, but the truth garnered is said best by C.S. Lewis in 'Mere Christianity', “Being in (romantic) love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing. There are many things below it, but there are also things above it. You cannot make it the basis of a whole life. It is a noble feeling, but it is still a feeling...Knowledge can last, principles can last, habits can last; but feelings come and go...” That is an empowering way to live.